Chief magistrate Helen Itam, his wife informed the press that her husband fell ill on Thursday, March 16 and was taken to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) where he died.
The late chief judge was a native of Ugep in Yakurr local government area of the state. He was born on May 18, 1954, in Ugep and went on to become the chief judge of Cross River in 2013.
She explains: “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.”
Governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade, visited the family and consoled them, describing the late judge as a wonderful and peace-loving person.
Mrs Helen Itam described her late husband as a caring and loving person who would stop at nothing to cater for the family.
Governor Ayade said Ikpi-Itam’s death could be likened to “a brick falling on you from the mountain top”, considering the wonderful relationship that existed between the judiciary and executive in the state.
He said: “The worst thing that can happen to you is to have a meeting between the executive and the judiciary to resolve all challenges on a good note only to be told two days later that the person who represented the judiciary is no more.
“There cannot be a greater shock than this because we have lost a great legal luminary in the state.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on November 10 swore in the new acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen.
The inauguration took place at exactly 2.20pm inside the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Onnoghen’s inauguration was sequel to the retirement of Justice Mahmud Muhammed who clocked 70 today.