Abuja – Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were among the dignitaries who extolled the virtuous of the late Justice Ijeoma Uche in Abuja on Sunday.
Uche, who died at the age of 83, was the first female judge in the old Imo and a pioneer judge of Abia State Judiciary.
Others present at the Night of Tributes at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, were a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, a former governor of Rivers, Dr Peter Odili, and Mr Idris Wada, a former governor of Kogi.
Also in attendance were former Imo governor Achike Udenwa as well as Bala Mohammed, Emeka Wogu, Ihechukwu Madubuike, former ministers of FCT, Labour and Education, respectively, among others.
Prominent personalities the legal profession graced the Nights of Tribute.
Jonathan in his tribute said that Uche was worthy to be celebrated as she lived an exemplary life.
The former president also said that she was a humble person and inculcated the quality in her children by bringing them up in a good family way.
Mustapha said that in some cultures death was regarded as a transition with individuals having conquered the other side of life.
He said that the late jurist played her roles as a mother and legal luminary very well.
Mustapha urged her family to take solace in the fact that their mother lived a good life.
In the same vein, Mohammed said that late Uche’ s father should be commended for giving her daughter equal education opportunities with the males in the family.
The minister said that the late judge was a “ woman of integrity and focused,’’ who did not see her husband as a competitor and performed her domestic duties effectively.
Mukhtar in her tribute said she met the late judge in 1991 during the maiden meeting of women judges.
She said that Uche was “ a wonderful person, had good knowledge of the law and was a courageous judge’’.
Mukhtar said that the late judge’s children, including Chief Chris Uche (SAN) and Gordy Uche (SAN), were very humble and respectful, qualities their mother bequeathed to them.
Mr Paul Usoro, the President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), described the late judge as a trail blazer and a role model.
Represented by Mr Joe Gadzama (SAN), Usoro said that the late judge was an exceptional person, who had passion for education, adding: “ no wonder all her children are accomplished.’’
He said that as a wife, Uche had “undiluted loyalty to her husband, was very focused, resilient and determined’’.
Usoro noted that she had four children before venturing into legal education.
The late judge was born on Dec. 29,1934, in Okoko Item in Bende Local Government Area of Abia.
She graduated from University of Nigeria in 1971 and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1974.
She was appointed a chief magistrate in 1985 and was elevated to a judge in 1990. (NAN)