By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI— Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has expressed shock over the death of the President of the state’s Customary Court of Appeal, CCA, Justice Pius Ifeanyi Okpara, after a brief illness.
According to a Government House statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, “the government highly regrets the death of Justice Okpara at this time when his service to the people of Imo State, the Bench and Bar, are mostly needed.”
The governor promised that his administration would liaise with members of the late jurist’s family “to give the judicial icon the kind of burial he deserves.”
While extending his “condolences to the judiciary over the demise of this great jurist,” Okorocha also urged Imo people to pray for the family.
Meanwhile, his brother judges, magistrates, friends and relations have been trooping to his official residence to sign the condolence register.
The state Chief Judge, Justice Paschal Nnadi wrote: “My Lord was a fine gentleman of the Bar, an erudite judge and consummate family man.”
While Justice Paul Onumajulu described Okpara’s death as “a great loss to the judiciary,” Justice T. N. Nzeukwu said “he was a noble gentleman and a peacemaker.”