The family of late Supreme Court Justice, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte held a service of songs for him last Thursday at the Church of Nativity, Parkview Estate, Lagos.
Friends and family members of the late jurist paid glowing tributes to him, acknowledging him as one of Nigeria’s most illustrious judicial officers. In attendance at the event were late jusrist’s children led by his son, Mr Dagogo Karibi-Whyte, notable lawyers and judges, including Chief Olakurin, SAN, Mr George Etomi, Chuka Agbu, SAN, former NBA President and Augustine Alegeh, SAN.
Former Petroleum Minister, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, SAN said of him ‘although most of his judgments were dissenting, Parliament changed the laws following his judgments, even when he dissents from the other six justices.
‘He was a professor of law at the University of Lagos before going to the Bench and he was very Godly. He had an uncommon sense of humour.”
Also, former Rivers State Governor and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi said Karibi-Whyte, JSC was very honest and sincere in his entire professional and family life. Chief Tonye-Cole said: ‘He taught us about integrity. He gave us a feel of what it meant to be in the judiciary. He lifted us up and taught us what it meant to defend the integrity of the country.’
For former NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN: ‘You must be exceptional for Nigeria to recognise you. He was exceptional as a judge and as a professor of law. He made us feel proud.’
NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata said: ‘I consider myself privileged to have known Karibi-Whyte in his life, as I grew up with his children.’
Ajumogobia SAN said: ‘Factories that produced his types no longer exist.’ His son in-law, former Attorney-General of Edo State, Chief Charles Edosonwan, SAN, in his tribute said: ‘It’s hard to deal with the loss of Justice Adolphous Godwin Karibi-Whyte for one wished he could have gone on living forever. However, life is such that none lives forever and like all mortals, he had to go one day, his day being 22nd May 2020. He was 88 but his passing was still a blow.
‘Married to Tonye his dear darling daughter, just like all his children, I called him “dad” to his face or “The Old Boy” away from him. Larger than life that he was to the outside world, he wasn’t the big man at home but a taciturn soft spoken patriarch to his family members; dad to us his children and children in-law, and simply “Adol” to mommy – Mrs Faith Karibi-Whyte nee Bob-Manuel.
‘Many others within the family referred to him simply as “Uncle Adol” which is far away from the formal Judge (Justice, Dr, Sir, Chief) Adolphous Karibi-Whyte JSC and many other epaulettes that announce him to the world as a man of global acclaim with uncommon achievements.’
His whole life in its history taught so much lessons for children and mentees to draw from. For a husband, he sustained that relationship with mommy for sixty years without stress. Ask mommy and she would gladly tell you that she had a heavenly marriage in which no third party ever interfered or successfully intruded for all the sixty years they were married. He was inseparable from his wife and dotted on her to no end. They went everywhere together and did everything together.
For a father, he was a complete one that was present in the lives of all his children including ones of the extended family regarding which he assumed paternal duties and care. He was kind and selfless in his provision of care to those that came to him in need.