The Cross River State judiciary has been thrown into a mourning mood as it gets hit by a really horrible tragedy.
The Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Okoi Ikpi-Itam, has died in early hours of Saturday in Calabar after a brief illness.
According to Punch Metro, Ikpi-Itam, who was said to have died following an undisclosed brief illness, was aged 63.
Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, who consoled with the family of the late chief judge, described the deceased as “a wonderful, peaceful man who would always go for the option of peace.”
The governor, who went with his wife, Linda, and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr John Gaul-Lebo, to console with the bereaved family of the late chief judge, said the cordiality between the executive and judiciary arms was strengthened during Ikpi-Itam’s reign.
He said, “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.”
Ayade disclosed that he had made frantic effort to take the deceased abroad for treatment before his sudden death.
He said, “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 that the death of the state Chief Judge has revealed the nothingness in the world, urging the bereaved family and the entire people of the state to be consoled by the legacies he left behind.
Also, a former presidential adviser, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, said that the death of Ikpi-Itam came as a shock, adding that he will be greatly missed.
“He was one of those that upheld the dignity of the judiciary in the state. He will be missed,” she said.