Justice Obaseki dies at 93, Edo mourns

The Edo State Government has expressed sadness over the death of retired Justice Andrew Obaseki, the first Supreme Court justice to be produced by the state.

Justice Obaseki, an uncle of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, died on July 13, 2017 at the age of 93.

In a statement on Monday by the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie, the Edo State Government said though it was pained by Justice Obaseki’s death, it would take solace in the fact that the late jurist not only distinguished himself on the apex court bench but also lived long enough to see his family continue its record of distinguished public service as the state now has an Obaseki as governor.

Ogie said Edo State was proud that the late Justice Obaseki belonged to the Golden Year of the Supreme Court when groundbreaking judicial pronouncements were handed down.

The statement partly, “The Edo people recall with pride and nostalgia the remarkable judicial career of Justice Obaseki which started in Benin City and culminated at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. There, he became a distinguished member of that galaxy of immortal jurists who created what is now known as the ‘Golden year of the Supreme Court of Nigeria’.

“In the course of a long and distinguished career as a jurist at the apex court, Justice Obaseki set down groundbreaking judicial precedents and notable pronouncements in such classical decision as Governor of Lagos State v.  Ojukwu; Garba v. University of Maiduguri; Obeko v. Olowo and Awolowo v. Shagari, where the principles of fair hearing, natural justice, rule of law, and the protection of the citizens from extrajudicial acts of governments were laid down and, which, till this day, form the bedrock of our jurisprudence.”

The statement added that it was the late Justice Obaseki’s sterling achievements on the Supreme Court bench that paved the way for the likes of the late Justice Omorose Akpata and Justice S.F Uwaifo, who also did the state proud.

It added, “We also celebrate the fact that Justice Obaseki lived long enough to see his family continue its record of distinguished public service by producing the current governor of our state, His Excellency, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Obaseki family and we are certain that at the appropriate time, the entirety of our polity will rise as one to celebrate the passing of a distinguished superstar whose memory will forever remain in our hearts as treasure and inspiration.”

Source: Oladimeji Ramon

The Punch

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