Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade has directed the stoppage of salaries payment to 40 lawyers in the state Judiciary. 

This may not be unconnected with the recent face-off between him and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which sternly urged Ayade to reverse his appointment of new members of the state Judicial Service Commission.

This resulted to the removal of the state chief Judge, Michael Edem, who should be the Chairman of the JSC, constitutionally.  

The chief judge had insisted that the next most senior judge in the state, Justice Akon Ikpeme, as is the rule of NJC, ought to succeed him since his tenure ends in November, whereas the governor preferred someone else from his senatorial district. 

The affected law officers were said to have been employed about three years ago after a rigorous employment process but Governor Ayade is reported to have insisted that their employment did not follow due process. 

The 40 lawyers, who were working in the state ministry of justice, are amongst hundreds of other civil servants said to have been screened and found not to have been hired properly and were not paid their October salaries. 

Findings show that none of the lawyers, like other affected civil servants, received letters of termination but the state Accountant General reportedly told them that the governor had ordered the removal of their names from the state payroll. 

The accountant general of the state refused to speak on the matter when journalists called.

DAILY TRUST 

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