From George Kajo, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom has sworn-in Justice Maurice Ikpambese as the new Acting Chief Judge of Benue State with a charge on him to avoid landmines associated with election litigations.
He gave the charge at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi in his address during the swearing-in ceremony of the Acting Chief Judge, following the retirement of Justice Aondover Kaka’an.
“Let me quickly add that this Acting appointment is also coming at a time when elections and litigations resulting from them are by the corner. But as a very articulate and experienced Judge, we are hopeful that he will avoid all the landmines that are associated with such cases.
“As a matter of fact, I am happy to be associated with this Acting appointment because of the good legacy that we believe his appointment would be to Benue, Nigeria and humanity through service delivery.”
Governor 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. It is these qualities, in addition to many others, that have accounted for his career progress and eventual elevation to this exalted position today.”
The Governor commended the Benue State judiciary which has been adjudged to be one of the best in the country due to the 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.”
Governor Ortom further appreciated the cordial and harmonious working relationship between the three arms of Government in the state.
“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 and other distractions to take us away from working closely for the smooth running of Benue and the hand-over to the next democratically elected Government in our State,” he stated.
He lauded the smooth transition from Justice Kaka’an to Justice Ikpambese without hostilities from among the senior Judges, noting that it was a symbolic representation of the unity, respect and goodwill which exist in the Benue judiciary and enjoined the Acting Chief Judge to settle down quickly to carry out his duties without any distractions.
While congratulating the Acting Chief Judge on his appointment, Governor Ortom assured him of the cooperation and support of the State Government, adding that the Bench and the Bar must also support him to succeed.
In his response, Justice Ikpambese pledged to abide by the oath of office he has taken and appreciated stakeholders for recommending him for the appointment.
He also expressed appreciation to Governor Ortom for finding him worthy of the appointment, pledging to justify the confidence reposed in him.
The State Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu and his wife, Justice Mary Abounu, 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) among other senior lawyers witnessed the ceremony.