The Edo State Government has expressed sadness over the death of a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Andrew Otutu Obaseki, which occurred on July 13, 2017

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, on behalf of the state government noted that the late Justice Obaseki who was 93 years old, was until his death the Obaseki of Benin Kingdom and the head of Obaseki family in Benin and the diaspora.

According the statement: “Edo people recall with pride and nostalgia the remarkable judicial career of Justice Obaseki which started in Benin City and culminated at the Supreme Court. There, he became a distinguished member of that galaxy of immortal jurists who created what is now known as the “Golden year of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

The statement further noted: “In the course of a long and distinguished career as a jurist at the apex court, Justice Obaseki set down groundbreaking judicial precedents and notable pronouncements in such classical decision as Governor of Lagos State v. Ojukwu; Garba v. University of Maiduguri; Obeko v. Olowo and Awolowo v. Shagari, where the principles of fair hearing, natural justice, rule of law, and the protection of the citizens from extral-judicial acts of governments were laid down and, which to this day, form the bedrock of our jurisprudence.

“The pioneering and groundbreaking achievements of Justice Obaseki as the first Edo man to sit on our apex court led the way and cleared the path for such other Edo legal icon as Justice Omorose Ibukun Akpata (of blessed memory) and Hon. Justice S.F Uwaifo to bring honour to the Edos. While we mourn his passing, we are condoled by the inspiring message of distinguished service which his life exemplified. We also celebrate the fact that Justice Obaseki lived long enough to see his family continue its record of distinguished public service by producing the current Governor of our State, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.”

The statement added further that “our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Obaseki family and we are certain that at the appropriate time, the entirety of our polity will rise as one to celebrate the passing of a distinguished superstar whose memory will forever remain in our hearts as treasure and inspiration.

“The government and people of Edo State send their condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the entire Obaseki family for the irreparable loss, and our governor, in particular, who has lost his beloved uncle. While our prayers and thoughts are with the entire Obaseki family, we pray God Almighty to grant the soul of the departed everlasting rest, amen,” the statement concluded.