Lawyers in Cross River State yesterday in their hundred blocked the State High Court premises located along Mary Slessor Avenue in Calabar, the state capital, in continuation of their protest against the lack of a substantive Chief Judge in the state.
Governor Ben Ayade had on Monday sworn in Justice Eyo Ita as the third Acting Chief Judge of the state following the expiration of the tenure of Justice Akon Ikpeme and Justice Maurice Eneji respectively, as Acting Chief Judges since December, last year.
Aggrieved by the development, the lawyers had on Monday protested the swearing in of Justice Eyo Ita in acting capacity as another Chief Judge for the state, accusing the governor and the state of the House of Assembly of attempting to destroy the state judiciary.
The lawyers, who were said to have protested to the Governor’s Office on Monday, were said to arrive there after the swearing in ceremony had been performed and the governor had left the office.
Meanwhile, the lawyers, however, blocked the High Court gate as early as 7a.m and deprived any Judge from entering into the premises, except lawyers, who were at the court to register cases, while all court sittings was postponed.
While addressing journalists at the premises of the State High Court, the leader of the protesting lawyers, Effiom Ayi, said they were against the action of the governor to turn the state judiciary into an appendage of the executive and the legislature arms, explaining that the state judiciary had never been this bad.