Supreme Court Justice Odili Retires
*Relives civil war experience
*Expresses worry over increasing youth unemployment, insecurity
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Mary Peter-Odili (Rtd), on Thursday relived her experiences of the nation’s civil war, with a warning that “some of the actions or speeches that propelled the unfortunate war which took the lives of millions of our people are being re-enacted at this time”.
Justice Peter-Odili, who spoke at a valedictory court session to mark her retirement from the nation’s Judiciary, stated that she was bringing back the memory not to whip up animosities or negative feelings but to call to mind the emergency situation currently facing the country.
Peter-Odili, until her retirement Thursday on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 years, was the second most senior justice on the bench of the apex court.
While stating that, “the millions of idle youth is not unrelated to the insecurity on ground”, the newly retired Supreme Court Justice called for a converted efforts in tackling the menace of youth unemployment.
“The urgency we are all faced with right now calls for the necessity or immediacy in tackling them. The matter has become a behemoth of sorts that need no further delay in solving”, she said.
Adding: the massive unemployment of tertiary institution graduates is a tip of the iceberg as the condition of the non-graduates who are numerous in number have made the matter of grave concern.
She also lamented the incessant perennial strike by universities which according to her leaves students roaming for months on end or idling away with their thoughts better imagined.
Besides the issue of youth unemployment another issue Retired Justice Peter-Odili wants the nation to focus on is that of “Restructuring” which she stated has been resonating for sometime now.
She said, “The issue should be given an immediate attention, lest we ignore the matter at the risk of a lost opportunity to set the ship of state on the right course”.
On the issue of State of Origin, Peter-Odili, advised that a person’s state can be gauged by the number of years he has lived in a given place and his choice instead of the locality of births of parents.
“The follow up on this matter of state of origin or residency and the import thereto have thrown up the fact that the women have seen themselves taking the short end of the stick on account of marriage outside the state of their birth.
“These are matters that need urgent attention in our journey of nationhood and building and sustaining thereof”, Justice Odili added
In his speech, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister if Justice, Abubakar Makami (SAN) said, the executive arm of government will work with the judiciary for critical reforms that would facilitate speedy trials and enhance confidence in the Justice sector.
Malami reiterated the commitment of President Muahammadu Buhari’s administration to respecting the dignity and independence of the judiciary as well as promoting harmonious relationship between the executive and the judiciary.
The Chief Law Officer, also urged the Judiciary to adopt innovation in technology to ensure a more effective and efficient justice delivery system for the benefit of all Nigerians.
While commending the judiciary for its role in enthroning a virile, dynamic and democratic culture in the country, Malami also applauded the apex court for its landmark judgements which have contributed to strengthening and sustaining the democracy of the country.
He described retired Justice Odili as a true image of a renowned jurist and African heroin.
In his speech, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad showered encomiums on the retired Justice, describing her as an epitome of jurisprudential finesse, an insuperable lioness.
The CJN said, Justice Odili has entered the revered history books of the country’s judiciary as the third woman to rise to the apex court of the land and held sway in the discharge of her judicial functions.