Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, says the death of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, has robbed the country and the judiciary of one of the best legal minds whose contribution to democracy cannot be easily forgotten.
Reacting to the death in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, the former Vice President explained that Kutigi was a great Justice who avoided controversy throughout his judicial career, and that his commitment to law and justice and democracy would be remembered for years to come after his death.
Atiku, who is also the presidential candidate of the PDP, recalled that, as chairman of the 2014 National Conference, Kutigi demonstrated admirable wisdom and remarkable leadership in handling such delicate national assignment.
“By successfully chairing such gathering of Nigerians from diverse backgrounds”, Atiku said, Kutigi “showed a great capacity for leadership and broadminded disposition.”
The Waziri Adamawa prayed to Allah to bless and forgive the soul of the late Chief Justice of Nigeria and wished his family the strength to overcome this moment of great loss.
On his part, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Sunday, expressed sadness over the death of Kutigi, and described him as an honourable jurist who spent his life in the service of his country and humanity.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, stated that the death of the jurist was a colossal loss, particularly coming at a time when his experience, dedication and knowledge were required in the service of the country.
He stated that the late Justice Kutigi would be remembered for his high sense of integrity, incisive judgements, reform-mindedness and immense contributions to national development.
Saraki stated, “It saddens me that we have lost a vivacious, humane and tireless jurist who, even in retirement, was called upon by former President Goodluck Jonathan to chair the Sovereign National Conference in 2014. We shall all miss him.”
The President of the Senate commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased and urged them to be consoled by the praise-worthy lifestyle of the departed statesman.
He also condoled with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Nigerian Judiciary, the people and government of Niger State over the irreplaceable loss.
Kutigi died in a London hospital at the age of 78 years.
He was the chief justice of Nigeria between 2007 and 2009 and after retirement, he was made the chairman of the Constitutional Conference set up by the Jonathan administration in 2014.
Kutigi was born on 31 December 1939 in Kutigi, Lavun local government of Niger State.