Justice Niki Tobi dies at 75
Would have turned 76 next month •CJN condoles with family
•NIMASA chief Peterside mourns
Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Niki Tobi, is dead.
It was learnt the former justice died of an undisclosed ailment last Thursday at the National Hospital in Abuja.
The late jurist, who is regarded as a highly brilliant judicial officer, had been ill for some time.
His body is said to have since been deposited at the Garki Hospital’s mortuary in Abuja.
Sources at the Supreme Court told our reporter that the court was only informed yesterday about the jurist’s death and the movement of his remains to the Garki hospital.
Justice Tobi, who died almost a month to his 76th birthday, was born at Esanma in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, on July 14, 1940. He retired on July 14, 2010 as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Before his career at the Bench, Justice Tobi was the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Services) at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID). He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2002.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has condoled with the family of the late Justice Tobi.
The retired Supreme Court justice reportedly died at 5.30 p.m last Thursday at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.
A statement by his media aide, Ahuraka Isah, reads: “The CJN, on behalf of himself, the Justices, workers of the Supreme Court and indeed the nation’s Judiciary, commiserates 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 July 14, 2010.
“The deceased Justice indelibly contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria and will be greatly remembered for his assiduousness in reviewing the draft 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria under the military administration of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.
“His Lordship, the Honourable CJN, urges members of the deceased’s family to be comforted by the knowledge that the departed jurist served his country with commitment, dedication and honesty.
“The CJN prays that Almighty God will receive his soul…”
The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has described the death of Justice Tobi as a huge loss, not only to the Law profession but also to the nation.
In a statement yesterday, Peterside said: “Nigeria has lost a great son. For us in Niger Delta, this is an irreparable loss because the great Justice Tobi served humanity diligently and selflessly.
“We will always remember him for his invaluable interventions and wise counsel. Nigerians will also miss his wide knowledge of legal principles, both as a teacher and a judge.
“Our consolation, however, comes from the fact that he lived a good and worthy life. He will never die. Surely, he will live forever, particularly in the minds of those who encountered him in classrooms and temples of justice where he bestrode for many decades.
“In this season of great change in our country, we must all draw from his example of service, strength, consistency and commitment to great ideals. His exit also calls for deep sober reflection, especially for us in Niger Delta.
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