By Douglas Okoro
Chief Elias Mbam, the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says the death of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta has left a vacuum that will take time to fill in the Nigeria judicial system.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mbam and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abakaliki.
Mbam described late Ngwuta as a legal icon who has left his footprints on the sands of time through his many contributions in the development of legal jurisprudence in Nigeria.
He said that the late justice of the Supreme Court was one of the best brains that the country has produced and served his nation with the best of his strength and ability.
“It is with grave sadness that I learnt of the passing unto eternal glory of our beloved brother and friend, Justice Nwali Ngwuta.
“Justice Ngwuta rose through sheer hard work to prominence as one of the leading justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“This was a great inspiration to many people, both his peers and the young, especially in our dear state of Ebonyi where there is need for more men of high status as the late Justice Ngwuta.
“His death indeed has left a wide gap not just in our young state but in the entire country, where his wealth of knowledge of the law and jurisprudence will be highly missed.
“I enjoin his family to be consoled knowing that their father and brother has left indelible footprints on the sands of time in Nigeria.
“To the Ebonyi Government, and indeed the entire state, I ask that we take solace in the pride that he was our own and may God rest his soul and grant him paradise,” Mbam said
Similarly, Dr Paul Okorie, former Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport, described the death of the late legal icon as shocking and tragic, saying that the entire nation has lost a ‘rare gem.’
He said that the deceased jurist was a foremost justice of the apex court who contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria’s jurisprudence, rule of law and the judicial system in general.
“His death is very painful especially as he had few more days to retire from active service as justice of the Supreme Court.
“It is a very very sad loss; he started from the state high court in Ebonyi and from there to the Court of Appeal before he was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2011.
“In the course of his movement in the bench, he has left some major benchmarks in the sands of time in the judicial system in Nigeria and by this sudden exit, we have lost the opportunity of tapping from this wealth of experience,” Okorie.
He prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest in paradise, while urging the family to bear the loss with great fortitude, knowing that the deceased left a legacy of transparent and upright living while on earth.
Ngwuta, the Ebonyi-born jurist was born in 1951 and died on March 7,2021 peacefully in his sleep.
He was due to retire just in few days when he would have attained 70 years mandatory retirement age for judicial officers.
Also, reacting to Ngwuta’s death, Chief Jossy Eze, the Chairman, Ebonyi Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) said that he received the devastating sad news with grave shock.
He said: ” If the news is true, the implication is that we have lost one of our finest brains and one of our best jurists in the highest court of the land.
”It is a big loss not just to Ebonyi but to the entire country and the legal profession because he was one of the best that has adorned the Supreme Court bench.
“His erudite judgements and pronouncements will live after him; so, we are saddened by that news, but our prayer is that God Almighty will give him eternal rest and bless his soul.” (NAN)