Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom swore in Justice Maurice Ikpambese as the new Acting Chief Judge of Benue State, with the charge of avoiding landmines associated with election litigations.
Ortom delivered the charge during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Acting Chief Judge on Thursday at the Benue People’s House in Makurdi, following the retirement of Justice Aondover Kaka’an.
“Let me quickly add that this acting appointment comes at a time when elections and the litigation that follows them are just around the corner. We are hopeful, however, that as a very articulate and experienced judge, he will avoid all of the landmines that are associated with such cases.
“In fact, I am delighted to be associated with this acting appointment because of the positive legacy we believe his appointment will leave for Benue, Nigeria, and humanity through service delivery,” he said.
Ortom applauded the Acting Chief Judge for being an erudite jurist whose knowledge and interpretation of the law is beyond reproach, noting that, “He is believed to be a fair, just and firm officer of the law. These qualities, among many others, have accounted for his career advancement and eventual elevation to this exalted position today.”
The governor praised the Benue State judiciary, which has been rated as one of the best in the country for the high quality of its justice dispensation, stressing that “it is my sincere hope that Justice Ikpambese will not just tow the footsteps of the previous Chief Judges but even strive to surpass them.”
He also praised the state’s three branches of government for their cordial and harmonious working relationship.
“As we draw closer to the end of our second term in office, we will continue to work hand-in-hand for the good of our state. We will not allow politics or other distractions to keep us from focusing on the smooth operation of Benue and the transition to the next democratically elected government in our state,” he said.
Ortom praised the smooth transition from Justice Kaka’an to Justice Ikpambese, noting that it was a symbolic representation of the unity, respect, and goodwill that exists in the Benue judiciary, and urged the Acting Chief Judge to settle down quickly to carry out his duties without any distraction.
While congratulating the Acting Chief Judge on his appointment, Governor Ortom assured him of the State government’s cooperation and support, adding that the Bench and Bar must also support him in order for him to succeed.
In his response, the State Acting Chief Judge, Justice Ikpambese, promised to uphold the oath of office he had taken and thanked stakeholders for nominating him for the position.
He also expressed gratitude to Governor Ortom for considering him worthy of the appointment, promising to repay the trust placed in him.
The ceremony was attended by the state deputy governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, and his wife, Justice Mary Abounu, the Commissioner for Justice and State Attorney General, Barr. Michael Gusa, the immediate past Chief Judge, Justice Aondover Kaka’an (rtd), and other former Chief Judges of the State, Justice Terna Puusu (rtd), Justice Adam Onum (rtd), and other senior lawyers.
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