Cross Rivers appointment of CJ is attack on women
A coalition of women groups under the aegis of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, (WARD-C) has called on the Cross River State House of Assembly to reverse the appointment of Justice Maurice Eneji who was made the Chief Judge of the state.
The organisation was reacting to the alleged refusal of Governor Ben Ayade and the State House of Assembly to confirm the appointment of Justice Akon Ikpeme as the Chief Judge of Cross Rivers State, but instead replaced her with Eneji.
The WARDC, in a statement by its Founding Director, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, on Sunday ,which was monitored by Irohinoodua, said the action against Justice Ikpeme whose husband is from Cross River State, “is clearly discriminatory and a breach of the constitution and several international human rights documents.”
WARDC regretted that such discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity and gender “could still happen at a point when Nigeria was struggling to meet its obligations under international law and also reflecting on the gains of the Beijing platform for action.”
The statement read in part, “This is indeed a bad precedent and we call on the National Judicial Council to take steps towards protecting Justice Ikpeme and other women in Nigeria so that this practice does not become the norm.
“WARDC condemns in its entirety the practice of the chief executives of states attempting to impose their preferred candidates for an appointment either as judges or chief judge of a state without regard and total disrespect to the independence of the NJC in its recommendation for the appointment of the Chief judge of a state.”
Also, a lawyer and founder of a non-governmental organisation, Queen Aruk II Foundation, Marie Ikpeme-Erete, has called on the Cross River State Government to have a rethink on the issue of Justice Ikpeme.
Ikpeme-Erete in a statement said, “We must reform our system or face historical consequences. This racial and gender discrimination has put us 100 years behind time. Humanism has gone out the window. Man or woman, we must stand tall. “