The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on Tuesday eulogised late Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Chima Centus Nweze on his commitment to enthronement of rule of through quality justice delivery.
Justice Nwexe died on Saturday, 29th July, 2023, at the age of 64 years.
The CJN said, the late Jurist, “was one of those cerebrally mobile judicial officers in our contemporary history who had latched on our memory an enviable degree of intellectual eminence and legal finesse that encompassed all spheres of philosophy and methodical reasoning”.
Speaking in Abuja at a valedictory court session in honour of Late Nweze, the CJN said, the late Justice was a very unique and nationalistic personality with a radical posture of justice and rule of law adding that, even though he looked simple and unassuming, the late Justice was very strict and consciously principled in disposition.
“He was always very warm and engaging. Like all great men, my Lord was a man of paradox; simple without being simplistic in disposition; elitist and dignified in carriage, yet he related exceptionally well with everyone around him, especially the underprivileged and the downtrodden in the society”.
He noted that the entire life of late Justice Nweze was completely devoid of duplicity, undue arrogance and elitism; as some people often manifest once fortune smiles on them and they are elevated to positions of influence and affluence.
He said, even though Justice Nweze was a dogged fighter for whatever cause he believed in, he was an astute advocate of the arts of mediation and reconciliation.
Justice Nweze, who was born on the 25th September, 1958 in Obollo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, gained admission into University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) in 1979 where he studied and graduated with a Degree in Law in 1983.
In direct response to Justice Nweze’s commitment to duty and immense adjudicatory prowess, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench on 15th February, 2008; where he served until 29th October, 2014 when fortune reciprocally shone on him with a well-deserved elevation to the Supreme Court Bench.
“At the Supreme Court, my Lord, Hon. Justice Nweze exhibited immense scholarship and rare jurisprudential candour. All his judgments were laced with academic flavour and intellectual steam. His judicial pronouncements were like ocean waves that move with vigour and vibrancy.
“His judgements covered a gamut of issues that have offered us sufficient food for thought; not just as Judicial Officers and lawyers but as citizens of the global village that are desirous of having a free, peaceful and egalitarian society.
“His intellectual accomplishments have, to a large extent, crystallized the legal profession by injecting confidence in the minds of both practitioners, law students and the common man on the street. His astuteness and eloquence in the courtroom, coupled with the seamless application of legal wisdom to every matter, made him an enigma of some sort”, the CJN stated.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), in his speech said the Supreme Court of Nigeria is overwhelmed with workload of cases.
Represented by the Solicitor General of the Federal and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, the AGF said the Supreme Court of Nigeria is one of the over- worked court all over the world.
He said Justice Nweze’s life will continue to shine as an example to all, adding that, the late Justice contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s judiciary.
The Body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (BOSAN) represented by Damion Dodo (SAN) said the late Nweze distinguished himself on the Bench and had delivered qualitative judgements during his stay on the Supreme Court Bench.
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), in his speech, said late Nweze made, “significant contribution to the growth of our jurisprudence”.