The Nation (Nigeria)
Eulogies as Industrial Court celebrates Justice Amadi’s Appeal Court appointment
IT was a harvest of tributes last Friday as colleagues, associates, friends and family members took turns to eulogise Justice Kenneth Ikechukwu Amadi, who was among the recently inaugurated 18 Justices of the Court of Appeal.
Speakers at the dinner and night of tributes, held by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in honour of Amadi, the first judge of the court to be elevated to the Court of Appeal, were unanimous that Amadi is an articulate, hardworking and an incorruptible judicial officer, who should be emulated by all.
They Deputy Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Mary Peter-odili, who led a number of Justices of the Supreme Court to the event held on July 9, said Amadi as a diligent and committed judge.
Describing him as a brother, Peter-odili recalled how Amadi, as the Chairman of the Mbaise branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), honoured her late father by naming the branch’s Bar Centre after him (her late father).
The President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Monica Dongbanmensem, who hailed Amadi’s elevation to the appellate court, said “we, at the Court of Appeal, are delighted to have him among us, because of the wealth of experience he is bringing with him.”
The PCA commended the President of the NICN, Justice Benedict Kanyip for his role in Amadi’s elevation, noting that he (Kanyip) nominated three judges of his court and, “never, at any point, indicated preference for any candidate. All he wanted was to see that NICN too is represented on the Court of Appeal’s bench.”
Kanyip noted that with his elevation, Amadi has made history, noting that he broke the jinx by being the first judge of the NICN to be elevated to the Court of Appeal.
Speaking on his role in Amadi’s elevation, Kanyip said: “Although we had three persons recommended by the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) to the NJC’S interview panel, only Justice Amadi made it.
“This places a huge burden on you, because if you don’t represent us well, you have effectively shut the door for others. So, the burden on you is to represent us very well so that others can come behind you.”
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, who described Amadi as an ambassador of the NICN at the Court of Appeal, urged him to justify the confidence reposed in him and advised that he should not detach himself from his root, being the NICN.
The immediate past President of the NICN, Justice Babatunde Adejumo (rtd), who said he employed Amadi as a judge of the NICN, noted that while in service, Amadi was very close to him among the judges in the court, because he is incorruptible and very hardworking.
“He is very articulate. He has distinguished himself since his appointment. I know about two or three occasions when people brought money to him, because they wanted to influence his decision. And, he came to me to tell me about it and I told him that I have heard about it, but was only waiting to see if he would collect the money or not. But he did not collect,” Adejumo said.
He urged other judges of the court to work hard and do everything humanly possible to discharge their responsibilities diligently to enable their consideration in future elevation exercise.
The Chief Registrar of the NICN, Olurotimi Williams Daudu equally eulogized Amadi and prayed for
God’s continuous guidance and protection as he climbs the judicial ladder, noting that his absence would be felt by staff of the court.
Responding, an elated Amadi said he was humbled by the array of persons and dignitaries, including Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, among others, who turned up for the event.
Amadi assured that he would remain committed to service to fatherland
and would not betray the confidence reposed in him by his elevation to the appellate court’s bench.
Also at the event were retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kumai Akaahs, Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, Inyang Okoro, Ejembi Eko, Abdul Aboki and Mohammed Garba (all of the Supreme Court), Alex Iziyon, Damian Dodo, Akinlolu Kehinde and Joe Kyari Gadzama (all Senior Advocates of Nigeria), among others.