The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Senior Judges, Board of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) and a host of high profiled personalities where among the dignitaries that showered eulogies on the late Senior Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Honourable Justice Jude Obunike Okeke.
In a night of tribute organized by the NBA at the National Christian Centre Abuja on Wednesday, Justice Okeke’s demise was said to have created a huge Vacuum in the Nigerian Judiciary.
Speaking to LEX COMMUNITY, NBA Abuja Unity Bar Chairman Ms Hauwa Shekarau said the late Justice Okeke left behind, legacies that will stand the test of time.
“….Justice Jude Okeke was a …gentleman…he was a good man…when he was at the bar before he was elevated to the bench, he served as a chair in our bar and during his tenure, he managed the affairs of the bar with every sense of responsibility and maturity, he is known to be a very humble man, a very gentleman and one who has regards for other people and so it was not a surprise to us when he was immediately elevated a couple of months later after his tenure from the bar to the bench….and while at the bench he was known to be a fearless and erudite judge….” She said. “….we have really lost a great father, a great friend, a great judge but our consolation is that he left behind a very strong legacy that will stand the test of time….” She added.
Other senior members of the bar and bench also gave their tribute to the late Justice Okeke. For his part, Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello who was represented said, “….the Honourable Justice Okeke; a good heart stopped beating, but a good soul ascended to the heavens and the earth lost its heaven’s gain, it is difficult in the extreme to write about the Honourable Justice Jude Okeke in past tense; the sadness of his sudden passing hits us in the FCT judiciary like a thunder bolt out of space, it was indeed a rude shock, it was painful yet a constant remainder of human frailty and mortality, ever full of life and irreplaceable, my lord was in his elements…. My lord the chair was gifted with an uncommon sense of humour that covered his rather serious looks, he was a gentleman trained in the finest tradition of the bar….” Justice Bello said.
For her part, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem who was also represented said that Justice Okeke was a God fearing man. She called on the wife to calm down and be consoled by the good life her husband lived. “…bring the children and family together and let them grow and follow the footsteps of their father, our brother…a man of integrity, an erudite judge, somebody who lived his life in fear of God….” She said.
Other members of the bar and bench as well was the family members also gave their tributes. Justice Okeke’s most senior son, Divine Jude-Okeke said his father taught how to be a good leader.
His Lordship Late Justice Jude Obunike Okeke hails from Idemili North Local Government area of Anambra State. He was in active practice prior to his appointment as a FCT High Court Judge in the year 2007.