From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Senior lawyers have paid glowing tribute to the late justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Slyvester Nwguta, who died in the early hours of yesterday.
Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadizatu Mustapha, in a statement said he died in his sleep at his official Abuja residence.
“He fell sick and was admitted in the last one week in the National Hospital, Abuja, but before he was moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital on March 5, he tested negative to COVID-19 investigative test conducted on him.
“Ngwuta was due to retire from the Supreme Court bench on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 years on March 30,” the chief registrar said.
Speaking to Daily Sun, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, said: “I did not know Justice Ngwuta personally but a death of a Supreme Court justice as former president of the bar, leaves me saddened.”
Another SAN, Awa Kalu, described the late jurist as a good man of vibrant intellect who will be missed greatly.
Kalu told Daily Sun that Justice Ngwuta was his former classmate both in the Law School Class of 1978 as well as the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and has promised to write a tribute on him.
A constitutional lawyer, Sabastine Hon, described Ngwuta as an erudite jurist who fished out sound judgmnts and rulings.
A former attorney general and commissioner of justice, Imo State, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, said Nwguta died in protest of the shock and trauma occasioned by the 2016 midnight invasion of his Abuja official residence by operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
A former attorney general and commissioner of justice, Abia State, Solo Akuma, described Ngwuta as an erudite and courageous jurist who will be missed by all.
Another senior lawyer and governorship aspirant for Anambra State, Chief Emeka Etiaba, said: “It is difficult to accept the news that my lord is dead even as he was billed to retire on the 30th day of March, 2021.”