The Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Okoi Ikpi-Itam is dead.
Ikpi-Itam died in the early hours of Saturday in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, at the age of 63.
The deceased was said to have died of an undisclosed illness.
Consoling the family, the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, described the deceased as “a wonderful, peaceful man who would always go for the option of peace.”
The governor while visiting the bereaved family, said the cordiality between the executive and judiciary arms of the state was strengthened during Ikpi-Itam’s reign.
According to Ayade, “The death of Ikpi-Itam could be likened to a brick falling on you from the mountain top, considering the wonderful and fantastic relationship that existed between his family and that of the deceased as well as the cordiality shared between the executive and judicial arms of government in the state.”
The governor revealed that he was making frantic effort to take the late Chief Judge abroad before his death.
“On hearing of the deceased challenging health, I made frantic effort to ensure that he was moved overseas for treatment before his death but the cruel hands of death did not allow the late Chief Judge to benefit.
“The worst thing that can happen to you is to have a man that you just had a meeting between the executive and judiciary to resolve all challenges on a good note and two days later, you are told that he is no more. There can’t be a greater shock than this, and that is the way of mortals which shouldn’t have been,” he said.