President Muhammadu Buhari has on Wednesday paid tribute to former Chief Justice of Nigeria, late Justice Muhammed Idris Legbo Kutigi, hailing his contributions to the evolution of the country’s jurisprudence.
The president, while also honouring the late CJN by authorising his burial at the National Cemetery, Abuja, said the nation will not forget the hard work and dedication of the eminent jurist.
A bit about Kutigi
Born December 31, 1939, Kutigi was a Nigerian attorney who led the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of Nigeria from Janualry 2007 to December 2009 after succeeding Belgore. He attended the Barewa College before proceeding to the Ahmadu Bello University. He also studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, United Kingdom before processing to the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.
Kutigi also served as the Attorney General of Niger State before becoming a High Court judge in 1976.
Buhari’s reaction to Kutigi’s death
Reacting to his death earlier, Buhari noted that the late CJN ”would long remembered and honoured for his visionary roles and contributions in the advances our country has made towards building a strong, independent and impartial judiciary, which is sine qua non for democracy to thrive”
He also urged all who mourn the late jurist to honour his memory by working for a better and just society, in addition to upholding the virtues associated with him during his lifetime of long and dedicated service to the nation.
Why is burial at the National Cemetery significant?
The National Cemetery is reserved for the nation’s fallen heroes and it requires discretionary approval of a sitting President for a citizen to be given a final resting place in its grounds.
Kutigi being a former Chief Justice of the federation has therefore been honored by the President even in death as he would would be buried in the cemetery.
President’s delegation for the burial arangements
President Buhari had sent a government delegation led by his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari to represent him at the funeral prayer at the National Mosque, Abuja and thereafter, the burial at the National Cemetery.
Other members of the Presidential delegation were the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.
The government delegation had also paid a condolence visit to the widows and other family members of Justice Kutigi at his residence in Asokoro, Abuja