“Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [Psalm of Life]
- My Lord, the Honourable, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON, and My Lords, the Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today in this special court session, to pay tribute to one of the very outstanding personalities that ever graced our halls of justice, the Honourable Justice Chima Centus Nweze, PhD, JSC,CFR.
- Valedictory Court sessions, irrespective of the circumstance, are sober and solemn moments; they both speak to the transience of the positions we are privileged to hold in life and the fleetingness of life itself. When it is about death, it comes with it an additional feeling of sadness for an irreparable loss.
- The Honourable Justice Nweze, CC as he was fondly called by friends and colleagues, was a very distinguished judge who was not only devoted to duty, but also carried out the same conscientiously and with an unflinching dedication to the cause of justice. With his undeniable intellectual prowess, His Lordship made very significant contributions to the growth of our jurisprudence and helped extend the frontiers of our legal landscape.
- His lordship will always be remembered for his erudition and the painstaking manner in which he waded through volumes of legal arguments to present the position of the law with clarity. His lordship’s decisions were legally sound with strong logical foundations, a testament to the amount of hard swork that went into every one of them. His Lordship was also a master of words; with practiced dexterity he weaved English words and phrases, sometimes laced with Latin, to lucidly drive home the point in very interesting and memorable ways.
- Honourable Justice Nweze, of blessed memory, was one of the Justices, the thought of whom drove counsel to go the extra mile in preparing for a case. When pressing any position before His Lordship against which there is an existing conflicting authority, counsel can be sure that His Lordship will raise the existence of such authority and would always expect, nay, require counsel to distinguish between his case and the case which the conflicting authority was decided. His lordship was painstaking in conducting every individual case and did not suffer unprepared counsel lightly.
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