Magistrate collapses at Cross River governor’s office during protest

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One of the 30 magistrates protesting against two years’ unpaid salaries slumped yesterday being the second day of the demonstration.

Magistrate Richard Bassey fainted at the governor’s office while protesting the 24 months salary arrears the Cross River State Government owed them since they were engaged.

They had returned to the Governor’s Office in continuation of the protest in their full regalia demanding their right as the state’s magistrates.

Chief Magistrate of the state, Solomon Abuo, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said since their engagement, they had undergone several screenings and that the protest was a last resort.

“We have courts that we are heading and we have been working for the state government to ensure peace and tranquility to society, yet Governor Benedict Ayade does not dim it fit to pay us our salaries despite our entreaties, correspondences and several screenings,” he said.

Speaking with newsmen on telephone, Acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Eyo Effiom-Ita, said the governor thought that since he did not approve their appointments, he would not pay the magistrates.

“I was only recently appointed Acting Chief Judge and I heard that some magistrates were appointed, but Governor Ayade said he did not give clearance for their appointment and as such, he will not pay them.

“Until the governor changes his disposition, there is nothing anybody can do, otherwise all representations have been made but Governor Ayade has not shifted grounds that he did not approve their employment,” he added.

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