Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra has described the death of Justice Chukwudifu Oputa as the final epilogue in the narrative of Nigeria’s generation of icons of jurisprudence.
Oputa, a retired justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, died on May 4, at the age of 96 years.
The late jurist hailed from Oguta in Imo, and was a product of Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha, Anambra.
In a tribute signed by Mr James Eze, Senior Special Assistant on media to the governor, Obiano said that Oputa belonged to the front row of Nigeria’s foremost jurists and legal giants.
“These legal giants,’’ the governor said, “used their genius to lay down the judicial framework for the country.’’
He added that Oputa belonged to the generation of Justice Anthony Aniagolu, Justice Kayode Eso, Justice Augustine Nnamani and Justice T. S. Elias.
“But even so, he was a towering giant of incomparable stature whose brilliance left an indelible mark on Nigeria’s collective consciousness at the now famous Oputa Panel.
“His passage brings closure to Nigeria’s long line of legal luminaries of his era,’’ he said.
He further said that Oputa’s passage came at a time “when his sagely counsel’’ would have illuminated conversations at the on-going National Conference to further underscore his pre-eminent position as a leading statesman.
“The world will never forget the monumental talent and excellent jurisprudential skills he brought to bear on the Oputa Panel.
“The panel helped heal the wounds inflicted on Nigeria by 15 years of military dictatorship.”