We, the Governors of the South-east geo-political zone received with sadness the news of the transition to eternity of our illustrious Son, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa after attaining 96 years of age.
The eminent jurist had been missing from the public space as he battled with illness. We were with him in prayers, hoping that he would rise up from his sick bed to continue his march to possibly become a centenarian. But the will of the Almighty God has prevailed.
Though Justice Oputa left the stage at a ripe age of 96, our eyes are still drenched in tears for losing such an exceptional jurist and statesman. In the legal firmament he belonged to the constellation of the brightest of bright stars. And it takes ages for such stars to appear.
As a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Oputa acquitted himself creditably to the admiration and applause of the legal profession. He left behind landmark judgments and judicial pronouncements that will forever illuminate the nationâ€™s judicial system.
In the continuous quest to build a nation where peace, justice and equity shall reign, Justice Oputa contributed in no small measure. He offered his services, wisdom and legal insights to make our father land better when he presided over the famous Oputa Panel that took far reaching decisions to restore peace and recompilation after a turbulent political crisis that shook the very foundation of Nigeriaâ€™s nationhood.
While we mourn the painful exit of Justice Oputa, we also have every cause to celebrate his life and times. He lived a fulfilled life and symbolized the Igbo philosophy of hard work, diligence and thirst for excellence.
We sympathize and condole with the entire Oputa family over the loss of their cherished patriarch and pray God to grant him eternal rest.
CHIEF T.A. ORJI
Governor, Abia State and Chairman, South-east Governorsâ€™ Forum