The legal community and the entire country have been thrown into mourning following the death of renowned legal luminary, Justice Niki Tobi.
According to the information received from members of the late jurist’s family, Justice Tobi died last Thursday at the National Hospital in Abuja after a brief illness.
In a condolence message issued yesterday by the Media Aide to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Mr. Ahuraka Isah, the CJN expressed shock at the demise of Justice Tobi whom he said “indelibly contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria and will be greatly remembered for his assiduousness in reviewing the draft 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the military administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.”
Justice Mohammed urged members of the deceased’s family to be comforted by the knowledge that he served his country with commitment, dedication and honesty.
He prayed Almighty God to receive his soul and grant him eternal rest.
Reacting to the departure of Justice Tobi yesterday, some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) were unanimous in describing the late Justice of the Supreme Court as a legal icon who deployed his intellect to the service of the country.
According to Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), late Justice Niki Tobi was one of the most profound erudite judges that served at Nigeria’s Bench.
“Hon. Justice Niki Tobi (JSC) has gone to rest but certainly, he can never be forgotten in the Judiciary of this country. God has written his name in gold and he himself left so much legacy and judicial marks that generations to come will salute his industry, depth of the knowledge of law, uncommon application of philosophy and humanity in his decisions. He was an accomplished jurist and a fulfilled human being. May his soul rest in perfect peace,” Awomolo said.
Another eminent lawyer, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) described Justice Tobi as “a moving encyclopedia of jurisprudence and law and a gentleman per excellence”.
He said the country had lost an icon of great intelligence, an erudite jurist of credit and repute, adding that his kind was not easy to come by these days.
Okutepa furthered captured his demise as “a tragedy.” He however added that his death was a transition. “Niki Tobi still lives; he lives in the Law Reports, he lives in jurisprudential annals; Niki Tobi still speaks even from the grave.
“The legal community, the judiciary and Nigeria as whole has lost one of its finest brains,” Okutepa declared.
While Mr. Paul Erokoro (SAN) said another chapter had just been closed in the country’s legal landscape following Justice Tobi’s death.
He praised the late jurist for his immense sacrifice to the development of law in the country and beyond.
“His words are immortal, his very clear pronouncements, his command of the English language, all of this will be very hard to replace,” Erokoro said.
For A.B Mahmud (SAN) Justice Tobi’s demise had robbed the country of his huge wealth of experience which lawyers and the entire citizens would have tapped even in retirement.
The late Justice Tobi joined the Supreme Court Bench in 2002 and retired on July 14, 2010.
Originally posted 2016-06-21 11:19:44.