…As CJN declares 7-day mourning
By Lawrence Olaoye, Lateef Ibrahim, Vivian Okejeme Abuja and Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his heartfelt condolences to the Kutigi family on the passing of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), the Honourable Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, GCON.
In a statement made available to newmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the president also commiserated with members of the judiciary and legal profession, 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.
The President joined them in mourning the elder statesman who 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.
Throughout his career in the apex court, President Buhari believed that the former CJN’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 mourn the late jurist to honour his memory by working for a better and just society, in addition to upholding the virtues associated with him during his lifetime of long and dedicated service to the nation.
The President prayed almighty God to comfort Kutigi’s family, friends and associates and grant eternal rest to the soul of the departed.
Also yesterday, a former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, extended his condolences to the families of the late Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi.
He recalled with nostalgia the early tutelage he received under him at Government College Bida in the late 1950s According to the former military president, “the great late Justice was consistently upright and it was no surprise that he rose to become a very respected Judicial officer and ultimately to the highest judicial office in Nigeria “.
IBB in a statement from his media office in Minna posited that the late Justice Kutigi left at a time his judicial and statemanly counsel was most needed.
IBB prayed that Allah SWT grants him Aljana Firdausi and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Similarly, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said that the death of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, has robbed the country and the judiciary of one of the best legal minds whose contribution to democracy cannot be easily forgotten.
Reacting to the death in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, the former Vice President explained Kutigi was a great Justice who avoided controversy throughout his judicial career, and that his commitment to law and justice and democracy would be remembered for years to come after his death.
Atiku recalled that, as chairman of the 2014 National Conference, Kutigi demonstrated admirable wisdom and remarkable leadership in handling such delicate national assignment.
The Waziri Adamawa prayed to Allah to bless and forgive the soul of the late Chief Justice of Nigeria and wished his family the strength to overcome this moment of great loss.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has also commiserated with the family of late former chief justice, Idris Kutigi, who died at a London hospital on Saturday.
In a statement by Mr Onnoghen’s spokesperson, Awassam Bassey, the CJN directed that all judiciary institutions should fly the national flag at half mast, as a mark of honour for Mr Kutigi.
“As a mark of deserved honour to the deceased jurist, the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria has directed that the Nigerian National Flag in the premises of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the CJN’s official residence in the Three Arms Zone of Abuja, all Judiciary institutions including the National Judicial Council (NJC), athe National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), as well as all Courts of Records in the country, should be flown at half-mast for a duration of seven days.”
The statement also includes a directive for the Supreme Court registrar to open a condolence register for the late CJN.
Also, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello has expressed shock over the death of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, who died yesterday at a London hospital after brief illness. He was 79.
The Governor in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Baba Ndace however described the demise of the legal luminary as a great loss to the country in general, the state in particular as well as the legal profession.