“He Was Dependable Father-Figure” – Supreme Court Mourns Justice Nweze


By Adadareporters

The Supreme Court of Nigeria, today, described the late Justice Innocent Chima Centus Nweze as ‘a dependable father-figure to all’.

Nweze died yesterday after an undisclosed illness at the age of 64.

A statement by the court’s director of press and information, Mr Festus Akande, said the staff and management of the court would miss Nweze’s intellectual and social prowess.

It read in part, “He had been a formidable ally of his brother Justices, an admirable pillar of support to the staff and management of the Supreme Court; and indeed, a dependable father-figure to all.”

Nweze’s Profile @ A Glance

Nweze hailed from Obollo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State. He was born on September 25, 1958.

His appointment as the Supreme Court judge was confirmed by the Senate in September 2014. He was a Supreme Court judge until his death at the age of 64.

He was a Roman Catholic, and married to Hon Justice Ugonne Jacinta Nweze of the Enugu State Judiciary. Their union is blessed with five children and a grandchild.

He attended St John the Cross Seminary, Nsukka, from 1972 -1977, emerging with a distinction in the West African School Certificate Examination. Between 1979 and 1983, he was an undergraduate student at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, where he read law.

In 1983, he represented all Nigerian Law Faculties at the Phillip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC as the Chief Oralist.

He graduated in 1983 with LL. B. (Hons), and proceeded to the Nigeria Law School (1983 – 1984), where he obtained the qualifying certificate [BL]. He did his NYSC between 1984 and 1985 in Bauchi.

Afterwards, he returned to the University of Nigeria, between 1993 and 1995, where he did his Master of Law. Between 1997 and 2001, he obtained his Ph.D. in law from UNN.

Having practised at the private bar from 1985 to1995, he was elevated 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, 1996 -1998; chairman, Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Nsukka, 1998 -1999; member, Ondo State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal, 1999; chairman, Ogun State Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal, 1999; administrative judge, Nsukka Judicial Division, Enugu State, 2001.

He was appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, February 15, 2008; and served thereat until October, 2014, when he was promoted to a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, October 29, 2014. He has been on the Bench of the Supreme Court from October, 2014 till date.

Nweze served in various capacities in extra-judicial vocational activities. These include member, DFID Access to Justice Programme, Enugu State, 2003; member, National Working Group on the Reform of Criminal Justice Administration, 2004 [the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, is the brainchild of this group]; team member, Enugu State Sector Strategic Plan, 2004; PATHS-DFID Hon Consultant, District Health System Law/Regulations, 2004; member, OSIWARD C Expert Consultative Forum on Federal Budget Act and Facilitator, Enugu State Justice Sector Reform Team.

He was a former convenor/co-coordinator, LL. M (International Human Rights Programme), and visiting human rights scholar, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, 2000 -2008.
He was a distinguished scholar, Pro Bono, Faculty of Law, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, Enugu. He was also a visiting associate professor of law, Faculty of Law, Ebonyi State University, and member, International Advisory Board, Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law (Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, USA).


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