Some communities in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State have rejected calls to transfer a serving Magistrate, Ikpi Abam for alleged misconduct .
The communities stated this in a separate letters to the state Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme while reacting to the call by some persons to redeploy the Chief Magistrate.
Recall that some weeks ago, communities comprising Ekpri -Iko, Iwuru Obio Ntan and Ugbem staged a peaceful protest to the High Court in Calabar, calling for the immediate redeployment of Magistrate Abam presiding over the Biase Magistrate Court for alleged undue threats to peace and harmony of the people.
Rejecting the said protest in the letter signed by the Clan Head of Enuike (Ehom Central) village, Obort Onda Onda (King) on behalf of Council of Chiefs said the three villages that carried out the protest have no right to speak for the whole of Biase, stating that over 100 gazetted villages are in the local government council.
He described the protest in his letter to the State Chief Judge as “deceitful and misleading”, as the issue has to do with contempt and failure to attend court without explanation.
The letter read,“most of those criminal cases against them (leaders of the protesters) were instituted long before Magistrate Abam was posted to Biase.
“The demonstration of these criminal suspects from the three communities (Iwuru Obio Ntan, Ekpri – Iko and Ugbem) is a political gimmick, unjustifiable, fraudulent and mischievous.
“The aim is to rubbish and ridicule the Magistrate court in Biase LGA so that their criminal activities be covered.
“Any attempt to uphold their intention will amount to setting a very dangerous precedent to that level of the judiciary.”
Similarly, HRH Atte Obhort Sunday Eyong, the Atte Obhort of Akpet Nation/Clan Head of Akpet Central as well as Chief Stanley Assem, Secretary General of Akpet Nation /Chief Of Ahoma also reacted to the protest.
In a separate letter to the state Chief Judge, they appealed to the Chief Judge to use her good office to discountenance the protest based on what they described as “frivolities”.
They added that they are aware that three chiefs from Ugbem were facing criminal charges before the Chief Magistrate and everybody is equal before the law.
“If bench warrants were issued by the presiding Magistrate against persons guilty of contempt, this is in line with the law.
“It does not give those that committed same, the impetus to protest – scheming to escape from the wrath of the law.
“Those that have pending bench warrant against them should be advised to honourably face the law rather than engaging in superficialities as nobody is above the law.” the letter stated.