Ex-Chief Justice Idris Kutigi dies, Buhari, Okowa mourn

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Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Kutigi is dead. He was 78 years old.
Niger state commissioner for Information, Danjuma Sallau said Kutigi died in a London Hospital.
Idris Legho Kutigi was the chief justice of Nigeria between 2007 and 2009 and after retirement, he was made the chairman of the Constitutional Conference set up by the Jonathan administration in 2014.
Kutigi was born on 31 December 1939 in Kutigi, Lavun local government of Niger State.
He began his early education in the town and later had his secondary education in Bida and Barewa College in Zaria.
He also graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, after which he left for England, where he studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Gibson and Weldon, before returning to attend the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.
Justice Kutigi served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger State until 1976, when he was appointed high court judge.
He was on the bench in Niger for more than 10 years before his appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court in 1992.
He became the chief justice in 2007, succeeding Justice Alfa Belgore.
He retired on 30 December 2009 and did the unusual by swearing in his successor, Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, who died in July. He did so because President Umaru Yar’Adua was not in the country at the time, due to ill-health.

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Kutigi is dead. He was 78 years old.
Niger state commissioner for Information, Danjuma Sallau said Kutigi died in a London Hospital.
Idris Legho Kutigi was the chief justice of Nigeria between 2007 and 2009 and after retirement, he was made the chairman of the Constitutional Conference set up by the Jonathan administration in 2014.
Kutigi was born on 31 December 1939 in Kutigi, Lavun local government of Niger State.
He began his early education in the town and later had his secondary education in Bida and Barewa College in Zaria.
He also graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, after which he left for England, where he studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Gibson and Weldon, before returning to attend the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.
Justice Kutigi served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger State until 1976, when he was appointed high court judge.
He was on the bench in Niger for more than 10 years before his appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court in 1992.
He became the chief justice in 2007, succeeding Justice Alfa Belgore.
He retired on 30 December 2009 and did the unusual by swearing in his successor, Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, who died in July. He did so because President Umaru Yar’Adua was not in the country at the time, due to ill-health.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his heartfelt condolences to the Kutigi family on the passing of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, on Sunday morning in London.
Buhari, in a condolence message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja today, Sunday 21/10/2018, commiserated with members of the judiciary and legal profession.
The president also condoled with the government and people of Niger State on the death of the eminent jurist, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1992 and named as Chief Justice in 2007.
According to him, the late CJN will be long remembered and honoured for his visionary roles and contributions in the advances our country has made towards building a strong, independent and impartial judiciary, which is sine qua non for democracy to thrive.
He also believed that Kutigi’s “bold and articulate judicial decisions, advocacies on access to justice for all and protection of judicial independence are extant signposts for the advancement of the noble profession in the country and beyond.
The president urged all who mourned the late jurist to honour his memory by working for a better and just society.
He also enjoined them to uphold the virtues associated with him during his lifetime of long and dedicated service to the nation.
He prayed almighty God to comfort Kutigi’s family, friends and associates, and grant eternal rest to the soul of the departed.
Also today, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has commiserated with the government and people of Niger State as well as the family of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, over the passage of the former CJN.

A statement issued in Asaba by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okowa, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said the governor noted that the late Justice Kutigi contributed immensely to Nigeria’s growth and the development of the Judiciary.

He lauded Justice Kutigi’s contributions, experience and diligence which he brought to bear as Chairman of the Nigeria National Conference convoked by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

“I am deeply saddened by the demise of Justice Kutigi, former Chief Justice Nigeria, who served Nigeria diligently and meritoriously even as he left a legacy of discipline, brilliance and selflessness for the younger jurists to emulate.

“My condolences go to the government and people of Niger State, the Judiciary, as well as the late CJN’s family.”

According to Okowa, the late Justice Kutigi was a Minister in the Temple of Justice who bestrode the bench with unquestionable integrity, dignity and contributed immensely to the growth of Nigeria’s jurisprudence, adding that Nigeria would miss the wisdom and wise counsel of the late CJN, noting, “We are left with the consolation that he served Nigeria creditably.”

“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, I commiserate with His Lordship, Hon. Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, JSC, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, and the Judiciary for this irreparable loss,” he stated.

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