…Recalls what death of her husband did to her
…Says ‘I’ll dedicate rest of my life to humanity
…She’s a legal icon, a great amazon – Justice AAB Gumel
…She’s a role model, a gender champion – NBA President
…As she commissions quarters for Court of Appeal Judges developed by the Rivers State Government
Retiring President of Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has declared that she will use the rest of her life for the service of her community and the rest of the world.
This is as the President of the Court of Appeal commissioned the reconstructed, upgraded and furnished seven official Quarters for judges of the Court of Appeal, developed by the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Wike.
Presenting the seven official Quarters for commissioning yesterday, Rivers State GovernorNyesom Ezenwo Wike said it was the contribution of the State Government to the Court of Appeal.
He said: “We have developed these houses for the justices of the Court of Appeal. We also have for the Presiding Justice and other justices.
“The reconstruction, upgrade and furnishing of these houses form the contribution of the Rivers State Government to the Court of Appeal.”
“We also urge that you take a look at the Judges Quarters which we are building for our State High Court Judges. This shows that we also care for our judges,” he said.
Speaking during the Valedictory Court Session in her honour at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division yesterday, Justice Bulkachuwa said that she will invest her experiences for the good of mankind.
The valedictory court session was witnessed by the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, Justices of the Court of Appeal, Justices of the Rivers State High Court and senior lawyers.
She said: “As I go into retirement, the lessons of years past are going with me. I will spend my next phase of life, giving more of myself to my society and to the world at large.
“I want to look back and smile in the knowledge that all I have done, all I have learnt, all that I have experienced, will not be in vain. I will make sure that others benefit from that.’
Bulkachuwa said that she wants to be remembered as a woman who contributed to the development of the country.
She said: “I will go away with good cheers. I pray that life will continue to be good. In the midst of my bitter experiences, more than everything else, I want to be remembered as that woman who judged right, who did the best she could in every situation and who loves her country.”
She praised her Late Father, late husband and her present husband for their very positive contributions to her successful career.
She said: “The death of my husband tore my world apart. This tragedy hit me really bad. I scaled through the moments of despair with the help of my extended family and friends. The deep scars of his death will follow me for the rest of my life.
“My life has been awesomely phenomenal. I was born at a time when it was difficult for girls to go to school and even when they did, they were not allowed to go beyond primary school level before being married off. I was lucky to have a father who had an interest that I will be educated. I was married twice to support men who encouraged me to be the best and assisted me in my successes.”
President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN) represented by the Former NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN) said the life of Bulkachuwa reminds the society of what women can achieve if given the opportunity.
He described the retiring President of Court of Appeal as an extremely successful role model of multi-tasking women. He said that she should be celebrated as a gender champion.
He noted that the epoch-making event of Bulkachuwa’s successful retirement calls for celebration because of her outstanding achievements.
Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, Justice AAB Gumel described the retiring President of Court of Appeal as a legal icon, a great Amazon and colossus in law and administration of Justice.
Former President of NBA, Chief Onueze Okocha who spoke on behalf of the Body of Benchers, commended the retiring President of Court of Appeal for serving the nation meritoriously and with distinction.
He congratulated her for her trailblazing achievements in her work as a Judicial Officer over the years.
Attorney General of Rivers State, Prof Zaccheus Adangor congratulated the retiring President of Court of Appeal for bowing out of the Court, after a successful career.
After the commissioning the upgraded Quarters, the retiring President of the Court of Appeal, the Rivers State Governor and other judges inspected the Rivers State Judges Quarters, which is now ready for inauguration.