Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast in all judicial institutions for a period of seven days in honour of one of his predecessor, Justice Idris Kutigi.
The CJN who confirmed Kutigi’s death said Kutigi died on October 20 this year in a London hospital at 78 years.
Kutigi is the third former chief justice to die in 2018.
In July, 2018 another former CJN, Aloysius Katsina-Alu, who succeeded Mr Kutigi, died.
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Also in January, Mr Katsina-Alu’s successor, Dahiru Musdapher, died at the age of 75.
Born on December 31, 1939, the late Justice Kutigi, from Kutigi Town, in Niger State, the late jurist served as the CJN between January 30, 2007 and December 30, 2009.
A statement issued on Sunday by Onnoghen’s media aide, Awassam Bassey, was however silent on the actual cause of death.
He said Onnoghen, who commiserated with the deceased’s family, directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast in all judicial institutions.
Part of the statement reads: “The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has received with sadness the news of the demise of His Lordship, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Mr. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, GCON, who died in a London hospital on Saturday, 20th October, 2018 at the age of 78 years.
“The CJN, on behalf of the Nigerian Judiciary and, indeed, all Nigerians, commiserates with the family of the deceased former CJN and urges them to take solace in the fact that their patriarch lived to the fullness of age and served his country diligently, rising to become the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the highest office in the third arm of government.
“As a mark of deserved honour to the deceased jurist, the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria has directed that the Nigerian national flag in the premises of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the CJN’s official residence in the Three Arms Zone of Abuja, all Judiciary institutions including the National Judicial Council (NJC), the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), as well as all Courts of Records in the country, should be flown at half-mast for a duration of seven days.
“Similarly, the CJN has instructed the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court to open condolence registers at both foyers of the court to enable Honourable Justices of the court and other well-wishers pay their last respects to the deceased Justice Kutigi, who was Chief Justice of Nigeria from 30th January, 2007 to 31st December, 2009.
“The Hon. Chief Justice prays for the peaceful repose of Hon. Mr. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi and urges God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. “