By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin
AÂ Â Â Large crowd witnessed the interment of the late JusticeÂ Babatunde Mahmud Belgore at his Isale_Koto, Ilorin, family house. The late justice was buriedÂ according to Islamic rites late Friday afternoon.
The former Chief Judge of the Federal High CourtÂ who died early in the hours of Fiday at his residence in Lagos at the age of 76 was flown to Ilorin for the burial.
Announcement by the family members yesterday afternoon, said the late legal luminary died after a protracted illness.Â Family sources revealed that the former chief judge died from multiple organ failure at the St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos as a result of diabetes.
He is survived by several children, four of them lawyers, one of whomÂ is Dele Belgore, SAN.
Justice Belgore was the longest serving Chief Judge of the Federal High Court from where he retired. Justice Belgore was appointed the fourth Chief Judge of the Court on September 22, 1988.
Kwara state governor, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, described his death as a monumental loss to Judiciary and Nigerians.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Musâ€™ud Adepimbe.
The governor said the late Justice Belgore died when the nation needed him most, and that his contributions towards the growth of Judiciary in the country will always be remembered.
â€œThe governor, the people of Kwara state and the nation in general have lost somebody that will never be forgotten in the history of Judiciary and the country,â€ added the statement.
Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association of Nigeria(NBA), Kwara state chapter , Barrister Salman Jawando, in his reaction described his death as a great loss to the law profession in the country.Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, said Belgore was a â€œGreat Jurist who extendedÂ foundation of the modern Federal High Court laid down by Anyaegbunam CJ.”
Another legal practitioner in Ilorin, Mr Rasaq Gold, said: â€œMahmud Belgore was a principled man who lived his life for humanity and for the rule of law. He was a detribalized Nigerian, whose interest was to ensure that justice is done accordingly.â€
Belgore was appointed the fourth Chief Judge of the court in 1988, and retired in July 2001.