A Supreme Court Justice, Chima Centus Nweze, has passed away according to media reports.
Justice Nweze, 64, reportedly died on Sunday night after a brief illness.
Although the Supreme Court has not yet made an official statement, Justice Nweze is said to have been one of the highly treasured assets of the Supreme Court due to the roles he played in some landmark judicial cases in the country.
Justice Nweze by the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), was appointed to the Supreme Court by the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in 2014.
He was responsible for the court ruling that pronounced Emeka Ihedioha of the People Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the 2019 governorship election in Imo State in 2020.
Justice Nweze also delivered judgement on a three-to-two split decision of the supreme court which declared Nigeria’s former Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the legitimate All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District for the 25 February general election.
Similarly, Justice Nweze was among the panel who declined the Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar’s request to inspect the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s server while challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in 2019.
He is known for his meritorious services and contributions to the judicial service and some extra-judicial activities.
A peep into his profile reveals that the late Justice Chima Centus Nweze, a native of Obollo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, was born on September 25, 1958.
He is a practising Christian of the Roman Catholic Denomination and is married to Hon Justice Ugonne Jacinta Nweze of the Enugu State Judiciary.
Before his death, their union was blessed with five children and a grandchild.
In what seemed like a wrap up of his educational pursuit, the late justice who acquired formal education predominantly in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, obtained a Doctorate Degree [Ph. D.] at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in Enugu State between 1997 – 2001.
During his days as an undergraduate, he represented the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and indeed, all Nigerian Law Faculties, at the Phillip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC, as the Chief Oralist.
Career-wise, Justice Nweze had practised at the private Bar before his elevation to the High Court Bench of Enugu State in November, 1995. While on the High Court Bench, he served as Chairman, Second Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Enugu State between 1996 -1998. He also served as the Chairman, Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Nsukka between 1998 -1999 and Member, Ondo State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal, 1999.
Justice Nweze further went on to serve as Chairman, Ogun State Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal in 1999 as well as the Administrative Judge, Nsukka Judicial Division, Enugu State in 2001.
He was appointed a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria on February 15, 2008 and served thereat until October, 2014, when he was, finally, elevated to Nigeria’s apex court as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on October 29, 2014. He has been on the Bench of the Supreme Court from October, 2014 – Date.
With his unfortunate exit, the South East is presently without a single Justice at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as Justice Odili is currently retired, while Justice Ngwuta had reportedly passed away two years ago.
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