Cross River state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, Thursday swore-in Honourable Justice Sampson Mbe Anjor as the new acting President of the Customary Court of Appeal with a charge to him to be insenstive to politics, religion and ethnicity in the discharge of his duties.
Ayade also at the occasion announced the setting up of Special State Judicial Welfare Review Committee with Rtd Justice Eyo Effiong Eta as Chairman.
The committee is to review the salaries of Cross River judicial officers and submit its report in two weeks.
The swearing-in ceremony held at the State Executive Council chambers of the Governor’s office, Calabar with the State Chief Judge, Justice Akon Ikpeme and other justices in attendance.
Speaking, the governor urged the acting customary court of Appeal President to focus on peace and reconciliation.
“We are here gathered to celebrate Justice Anjor who is being elevated to Acting President of Customary Court of Appeal , Cross River state. I like to say that you are the custodian of our culture, our heritage and so, as you are elevated to this position, I urge you to look at the jurisprudence of our socio-cultural setting in dispensing customary justice.
“It is also important that you focus on peace and reconciliation; you must bring a lot of innovation”, the governor said.
Ayade expressed confidence in Justice Anjor’s capacity to deliver on his mandate.
According to him, “sometimes it is not the office that defines you, it is you that defines the office. Therefore, I do not doubt your capacity to deliver because I know you are God-fearing and that you will be fair to all.
“I charge you to be insensitive to politics, insensitive to ethnicity, insensitive to religion but let God take control of your office so that you do that which is good before God.”
Responding, Justice Mbe pledged be fair and just in the discharge of his duties and commended the governor for creating the court and broadening the frontiers of justice delivery by appointing more judges.
His words: “Your Excellency, I will not take this honour you granted me for granted. I will ensure that this court that you created functions effectively. The importance of the customary court of Appeal cannot be overemphasised; a court that deals with the grassroots. It is a specialised court and we will dispense justice fairly.
“Your Excellency, by creating the customary court of Appeal, you created in one fell swoop, five judicial offices. It is unprecedented in the state. There are some local government areas that never had a judge before you become governor, today they have, you have filled those gaps. Every local government area now has a judge assigned to them.
“As the president of this court, I will do my best to synergize with other courts to ensure justice delivery. I thank you for your concern for the welfare and well being of Cross River judicial officers”.