Cross River mourns her Chief Judge

Justice (Obol) Okoi Ikpi Itam , the Cross river Chief Judge dies @62,  A family source said to the news men that he passed away in the early hours of yesterday after a brief illness.
Wife of the deceased, Chief Magistrate Helen Itam, said her husband took ill on Friday and was taken to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) where he died.
“He complained of feeling somehow in his body and decided to go for check up at a private hospital from where he went to UCTH when the illness became worse,’’ the wife said.
She described her late husband as a caring and loving person who would stop at nothing to cater for the entire family.
Consoling the family, Governor Ben Ayade, accompanied by his wife Dr Lynda, Speaker John Lebo and members of the state executive council described the late chief judge of the state as “a wonderful, peaceful man who would always go for the option of peace.”
The governor likened the death of Itam to “a brick falling on you from the mountain top.”
He recalled considering the cordial relationship between his family and the deceased’s as well as the cordiality shared between the executive and judicial arms of government in the state.
Ayade stated upon hearing the deceased’s challenging health he made frantic efforts to move him overseas for treatment, a move which 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,” the governor stated.
An emotional Ayade said: “I have always accused death for not knowing who to pick. Why won’t death go for the kidnappers?
“Why won’t death go for those who bring pain and agony to the people? Why will it be somebody who administers justice, bring tranquility, peace and order in the society?’
”Death doesn't even have eyes. It doesn't even have a sense of feeling. If it does, it would have known that it made a very wrong choice,” he stressed.
He said the death of the chief judge has showed the nothingness in the world, urging the family to be consoled by the legacies he left behind.
Born on 18th May 1954 in Ugep Urban in Yakurr Local Government Area, Itam served as Chairman Public Funds and Property Recovery Tribunal, Cross River State 1992- 1997, Judge High Court of Gambia 2000, Judge Advocate  for Gambia Armed Forces  General Court Martial between 2001- 2004, Acting Chief Justice of Gambia 2002, Justice of the Gambia Court of Appeal 2003- 2004 and Chairman Presidential Commission of Enquiry into the Administration activities of the auditor General of Gambia in 2001, among others.

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