I join Nigerians of goodwill to lament the loss of the late jurist Justice Sylvester Onu.
His Lordship was appointed to the High Court bench of Benue State on the same day as my dad, Hon. Justice James Ogebe on 14th July 1976. In that sense, they were juristic twins and His Lordship was to me a dear judicial father.
Despite all efforts to sabotage my dad’s judicial career trajectory, he joined his learned brother at the court of appeal briefly before Justice Onu was elevated to the Supreme Court. He had a quiet power amiability and unassuming strength of conviction.
I call on the judiciary and the National Judicial Council to comply with the constitutional provisions that superior Court Judges should retire with the benefits for life.
It is unacceptable, unconscionable and evil for the Nigerian State not to provide housing, vehicles or even healthcare commensurate to what they had while serving the nation at great risk to their lives and personal sacrifice and integrity.
Retired Justices decline rapidly due partly to loss of the station of life to which they were accustomed.
Retired Army Colonels and CBN Deputy Directors receive housing while Justices we require to serve with integrity don’t. This is manifestly unjust. It has to change.
May the soul of our dear departed judicial father Rest In Peace.