Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has condoled with the family of the late retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Niki Tobi.
In a statement issued in Abuja monday by the Media Aide to the CJN, Mr Ahurakah Isah, the CJN said he received the news of Tobi’s death with a deep sense of shock but gratitude to the Almighty God.
According to the information received from members of the deceased’s family, Justice Niki Tobi died by 5.30p.m. on June 16, 2016 at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.
The CJN, on behalf of himself, the Justices, staff of the Supreme Court and indeed the entire judiciary of the country commiserated with the immediate family, relations as well as friends and associates of the respected late jurist, who joined the Supreme Court Bench in 2002 and retired on 13 April 2010.
The CJN said Tobi indelibly contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria and would be greatly remembered for his assiduousness in reviewing the draft 1999 Constitution under the military administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
He urged members of the deceased’s family to be comforted by the knowledge that the departed jurist served his country with commitment, dedication and honesty.
Also human rights lawyer, Mt Femi Falana and Chief Goddy Uwazurike, have described Justice Tobi as one of the finest minds to have adorned the Supreme Court.
In their separate condolence messages, the two lawyers said intellectual background of the late jurist added value to the several verdicts of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
They both concluded that Nigerian judiciary would certainly miss the erudite jurist who was a consistent defender of rule of law even under a military dictatorship that ruled with absolute powers.
Falana who reflected on the several landmark judgments delivered the late judge, said notwithstanding the complexity of a case, he was always quick to appreciate and identify the issues for determination.
Uwazurike on his part, said Justice Tobi was a judge in word and deed who bestrode the academic and judicial arms of law.
He noted that University of Maiduguri he gave the law faculty a gigantic status, likewise the Supreme Court where the law report would guarantee him immortality.