Law News
Another Niki Tobi goes to Supreme Court of Nigeria

Justice-Chima- AT the time Justice Niki Tobi CON, JSC retired from the Supreme Court Bench in July 14th 2010, he was clearly one of the best judicial officers in the three-tiers of Nigeria’s judicial system.

He is intellectually exceptional, forthright, a judicial giant and almost holy. He came into the nation’s judicial system with the highest credentials ever paraded by any judicial officer dead or living in Nigeria.  He brought fresh revolution to judgment writing in Nigeria. Before him, judgments of our courts were dry, unreadable and latin-laced piece of tongue twisting literature.  But he simplified judgment writing; made it readable and elaborate for research purposes.

In November 2014, Hon. Justice Centus Chima Nweze Ph.D was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.  The writer here refers to him as “another Niki Tobi”.  We do so because both parade strong and striking similarities.

The Similarities

Both are dark complexioned and of average height.  They are deep and strong intellectuals with several law books and numerous illuminating articles in both municipal and international law journals.  Both are born-again christians, married and with children.  They are workaholics and doyens of the national and international human-rights community.

Of great significance is that both took strong doctor of philosophy degree (Ph.D) in law of the University of Nigeria under great legendary grand masters of law in the academia.  Whilst Justice Niki Tobi took his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Law under the legend Professor C. O. Okonkwo SAN and won the best prize for post-graduate work of the University in 1983, Justice Centus Chima Nweze took his Ph.D in law under the guidance of the legendary grand master of law, Late Professor Gaius Ezejiofor and also won the best prize for the doctoral work of the session.

As I hinted above, both are prolific legal authors whose major works are in use in faculties of law in Nigerian Universities and the Nigerian Law School.  Both have watered the growth of Nigerian legal system in formidable ways.  Both are great minds in Nigerian Law and legal and judicial process.  There is no maze constructed by legal arguments presented by counsel in court that they cannot easily decode, understand and evaluate.

In their judicial functions, they have no divided loyalty.  Their devotion to the legal profession is unswerving.  Both have managed rapid successes in their lives with outstanding humility.


It is the contention of the writer that the entry of Justice Centus Chima Nweze into the apex court of the nation would gently make up for any deprivation suffered by that court since the exit or retirement of Justice Niki Tobi (JSC) (CON).

He (Justice Nweze) would happily be a strong companion in the collaborative efforts of the Supreme Court of Nigeria under its present strong and informed leadership to fashion a freshivating, dependable and reliable jurisprudence for Nigeria.

•Umezulike OFR, FCIarb is the Chief Judge Enugu State

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