By Worgu Boms
With deep grief, I received the news of the passing of the Hon. Justice Regina Obiageli Nwodo, who until her transition was a justice of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
Justice Nwodo was, before her appointment as a Justice of the Court of Appeal, a Judge of the Federal High court and infact, presided over its Port Harcourt Division. It was while here in the Port Harcourt Division of that Court that I had the privilege of appearing before her.
Calm, humble (but obviously, easily irritated by any slothful, slovenly and ill-prepared Counsel who appeared before her), Justice Nwodo brought dignity and respect to her court and her judicial duties as a Judge of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt as we did not hear, even for once, of any corruption or corrupt practices associated with her. She was conscientious and assiduous in her judicial duties.
As the news of her passing filtered into Port Harcourt Bar, all who knew her, especially members of the Bar who heard the news, were stunned and momentarily speechless. Many did not know that she had been ill, which lack of knowledge heightened the shock and disbelief associated with the sad news.
Educated in the universities of Middlesex (LLB 1982) and London School of Economics (LLM 1990), this beautiful and brilliant lawyer started her judicial career in 1985 as a Magistrate in Enugu and made it to the Country’s Court of Appeal before she was prematurely plucked by Death, the Bad Reaper described by the Christian Scriptures as Mankind’s ‘The Last Enemy’.
We at the Port Harcourt Bar and indeed, the organised Bar in Rivers State, mourn Justice Nwodo and will forever remember and cherish her imperishable judicial contributions to our corpus juris through her judicial activities whilst she served here at the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court.
Our hearts and prayers are with her families and those she left behind. May they be consoled by the realisation that Regina was respected and admired by all as a virtuous and incorruptible and knowledgeable personality. There is another reason they should especially be consoled: the fact that the pain of the loss is shared by many.
May the Almighty God, the God of all comforts, heal all that are broken-hearted, teach us that are still alive how to number our days so that we can bring in a heart of wisdom into how we live the remainder of our lives, forgive the departed her sins and admit her to His Glory, Amen!
Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State.