Godwin Tsa Abuja
A Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Jude Okeke is dead.
Justice Okeke who hails from Idemili North Local Government Area of Onitsha, Anambra State, was called to Bar in 1985 and completed his National Youth Service (NYSC), the following year.
Until his appointment to the bench of the FCT High Court in 2007, the late jurist was in active private legal practice and a former Chairman of the Unity Bar, Abuja.
According to sources at the High Court, who confirmed the death to Daily Sun, Justice Okeke, aged 64, died at the National Hospital in Abuja.
The sources who confided in Daily Sun, the Judge had complained of chest pain some days ago after which his condition deteriorated.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the National Hospital, Dr Tayo Haastrup, confirmed to our correspondent that Justice Okeke died on Tuesday.
Justice Okeke, some high profile cases during his time on the bench including the corruption case filed against a retired judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, along with his wife, Olubolade, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe Agi by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
In his ruling on April 5, 2017, he upheld the defendants’ no-case submissions and dismissed the charges.
His ruling was on February 28, 2018, affirmed by the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of the case as speculative.
He also delivered judgment in the fundamental human right violation case involving the Publisher of ElombahNews, Daniel Elombah and two others.
The judge awarded damages of five million Naira against the Nigeria Police Force.
In another landmark judgment, the late Justice Booked had slammed a fine of N5 million on Airtel Nigeria Limited for violation of customer’s right to privacy.
The plaintiff, Emmanuel Anene, on December 21 filed a suit against Airtel for continuous disturbances through unsolicited messages to his line.
The judge held that the crucial issue that calls for determination here was whether or not that the plaintiff evidence made out a case to justify the claims in the reliefs he sought.
Okeke said: “One of the reliefs sought an order of the court seeks for the award of damages.
“A plaintiff who seeks for a violation of right is to succeed on the strength of his case and not on the weakness or absence of the defence.
“Though, he can rely on the absence of the defence to support his case.”
Okeke said the burden of proof could shift from party to party until the issue in contention is resolved.
The court records showed that the plaintiff evidence of claims was served on the defendant and led evidence in the support of same.
Okeke also stated: “The defendant who was afforded the opportunity failed to file statement of defence contradicting the plaintiff’s statement of claim or fails to lead evidence in challenge to the claims; it means he had admitted the facts.
“Unless the court does not believe in the evidence or sees any reason in contrary in law it reserves a duty to act on such.
“The defendant failed to place any evidence on the other scale of balance there is nothing against in which the plaintiff’s evidence can be weighed.”
He held that the plaintiff complained about disturbances and distractions which he did solicit for, from the defendant but the defendant did not reply nor do anything about it.
According to him, “The plaintiff having purchase the defendant telephone number a contractual relationship is satisfied, the defendant is in violation of the right to the plaintiff privacy.
“The defendant, having received complaints from the plaintiff, but continued to disturb the plaintiff from quiet enjoyment of the line.
“In every wrong there must be a remedy, to vindicate the plaintiff’s right which has been violated in the forth going circumstance by the defendant; the plaintiff shall be awarded damages based on the discretion of the court.
“Against this background putting into consideration the obvious inconviencies, discomfort and the embarrassments the plaintiff had undeniably gone through.
“The defendant has been directed to pay to the plaintiff damages not the N200 million the plaintiff asked for but N5 million only.”