The Executive Governor of Cross River State (CRS), Ben Ayade has today sworn-in Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme as Chief Judge of the State. This follows the confirmation of her nomination by the Cross River State House of Assembly.
Against all odds, the Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) on January 28 2021, confirmed the nomination of Justice Ikpeme as substantive Chief Judge after almost 12 months of consistently spurning all chances to do so.
CRSHA’s refusal to Ikpeme’s confirmation were hinged on the reason that she is originally from Akwa Ibom State by birth, and would “pose a security risk to Cross River State” should there be a conflict between both states.
In the last one year, the state has had Justices Ikpeme (3 months), Maurice Eneji (6 months) and Eyo Effiom Ita (3 months) as Acting Chief Judges at different times.
The bio on her linkedin page shows that Akon Bassey Ikpeme attended the Holy Trinity Anglican School, Calabar where she obtained her First School Leaving Certificate in 1970, the Union Secondary School for her West Africa School Certificate (1971 – 1975); the Federal Government College, Ikot-Ekpene: A levels (1975 – 1977) and subsequently the University of Lagos (1977 – 1980) where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Law.
She also attended the Nigerian Law School (1980 – 1981), chaired several tribunals, and possess a certificate in civil law practice and procedure from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Lagos, amongst others.
She rose to become the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Ministry of Justice of Cross River State in May 1993, a position she held until her appointment in October 1998 as a Judge of the High Court of the State alongside Emilia Okon Ibok (now retired), Ignatius Igwe Agube (currently the Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal Makurdi Division), Maurice Eneji (former CRS Acting Chief Judge) and
Justice Ikpeme is married to a medical practitioner, Dr. Bassey Ikpeme from Odukpani LGA of Cross River State.