Law News
James Ocholi I know —Colleagues

I received the sad news of the death of Mr. James Ocholi SAN, his wife and son with shock and disbelief. In my pensive and sober state, I flashed back to my several professional encounters with the person of Mr. James Ocholi, SAN. He was an amiable and a jolly good fellow, an intellectual powerhouse who advanced legal arguments in court forcefully. Walked with a sense of mission and displayed profound understanding of the Nigerian law and jurisprudence. A very pragmatic and consummate advocate, who spent time with his colleagues any time he appeared in court. It is rather painful, that his sojourn in life had to end abruptly. May the almighty grant his immediate family, particularly the children, the legal community, the government and people of Kogi State, and the Federal Executive Council, that he was part of until this unfortunate incidence, the fortitude to bear the loss.

–Norrison Quakers (SAN)

A quintessential, thoroughbred legal professional

One thing that would strike anyone that has had any level of encounter with the late James Ocholi, SAN, was his infectious signature smile, whether in the courtroom or elsewhere. I was to understand later in the course of our relationship that the learned SAN had this unique disposition to solving complex issues and dousing tension, with his simplicity, a virtue he uncannily combined with his gifted forensic excellence in his legal practice.

A quintessential thoroughbred legal professional legal professional, who demonstrated no bile towards anyone, the sudden death of James Ocholi, SAN, will create a huge vacuum both in the polity where he was the honorable Minister of State for Labour and Productivity and in the legal profession where he was an icon. Rest in peace, good friend!!!

—Godwin O. Obla, SAN, FCIArb

A real human being, a consummate professional, a patriot of the highest order

One of my greatest regrets as I write this tribute is that I was unable to connect with him when he ascended the corridors of power as Minister of State for Labour and Employment. I had thought that my friend had a duty to perform that would not allow for distractions from some of us in the name of solidarity visits. I thought the man should be allowed to do his job while the crowds of well-wishers, including myself, pray silently for his success in the discharge of the Herculean national assignment. It is a philosophy that I have always held very close to my chest and the reason I refuse to invade the privacy of some of our friends who are now privileged to serve in high places.

However, in the case of James Ocholi, after receiving the shocking news of his death and inspite of knowledge of his humanity, I feel a deep sense of regret that I never showed up my face at his office door before his untimely exit. This remains for me a deep sense of loss as I ask myself when will I ever see our respected and eminent James Ocholi, SAN, ever again? I say this with all sense of responsibility for James Ocholi, SAN, from my recollection, was a real human being, a consummate professional, a patriot of the highest order and a personage who had great empathy and feelings for others. This is why we mourn his exit which is painful and tragic.

—Wahab Shittu


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