From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, on Thursday, paid tribute to late Justice Ibrahim Mamman Watila, a judge of the court who died January 25 after a brief illness.
Justice Watila died in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday where he was serving as a Judge in the Ogun state division of the federal high court.
Speaking at a special valedictory session in honour of the late Judge, Justice Tsoho described the death of Justice Watila as a sad and sorrowful especially as he was bubbling with life a few weeks ago during the ceremonies marking the court’s new legal year.
The Chief Judge said the news of the death of the late Judge came to the Federal High Court family as a rude shock, saying that ‘we are traumatised that it has occurred this time in the life of a brother and a friend so dear to all of us.’
Tsoho said the Federal High Court will miss the deceased, regardless of his short stay on the Bench of the court, noting that Late Justice Watila was a hardworking Judicial Officer, who discharged his duties assiduously and carried himself with the poise and dignity required of a member of the Bench.
Also speaking at the occasion, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, who spoke on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria described the death of the late Judge as a rude shock.
He said, even though he is older than the late Judge in age and in the legal profession, he, and some other lawyers learnt a lot from late Justice Watila, whom he said was an intelligent, hardworking, friendly and humble Judge.
‘Life is about choice, choice between good and evil, between righteousness and unrighteousness. Late Justice Watila made a right choice and he is resting in the Lord,’ Gadzama stated.
In a short ruling at the session, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Tsoho held that ‘in view of all the submissions in this valedictory session, especially, that of Chief Gadzama, who spoke on behalf of the body if SANs, I hereby ordered that the body of Late Justice Ibrahim Watila be laid to rest on Saturday, 30th January 2021 at Marama, Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State.’
Late Justice Watila, who was born on May 12, 1963, was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987 and was appointed a Judge of the Federal High Court, along with 29 others in November 2015.
Until his death, Justice Watila was serving at the Abeokuta Division of the Federal High Court.