ASABA/Nigeria: The Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, has tasked retired public servants to channel the wealth of experience and knowledge acquired while in service to meaningful development of their communities while still active and energetic.
Justice Umukoro gave the advice at the valedictory special court session held in honour of Late Justice Okafor Azomani (rtd) in Asaba.
The Chief Judge, who was represented by Justice T. O Diai, extolled the immutable example of the late Justice who after his retirement relocated permanently to his home town Ogboli where he was made Onishe (kingmaker) of Issele-Uku, and engaged himself in promoting peace and unity in his community.
Describing Justice Azomani as a community leader and bridge builder, the Chief Judge enjoined retirees to jettison morbid fear, which he said made some of them remain in the city until they expire or too old to contribute to the development of their home towns.
“Our native-lands are not cemeteries, where we relocate only when we are about to die or bury our dead. Rather, our native-lands should be our second homes, to be developed, “he stated.
He charged people not to allow morbid fear of witchcraft to abandon their roots, noting that genuine love for kin and kindred ultimately conquers all evil.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpor described late Justice Azomani as an erudite jurist and dedicated judicial officer who availed lawyers, litigants and other judicial officers his wealth of experience and knowledge.
On his part, Chike Onyemenam SAN implored the family of the deceased and host of sympathizers present to take solace in the fact that he lived a worthy life of emulation.
He challenged great writers to produce books on the great works and his life, including landmark judgments for the benefit of upcoming ones in the legal profession to preserve his legacy.
While condoling with the family of the deceased jurist, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Asaba branch, Mr Fredy Eruli-Ede used the occasion to call on the state governor to fulfill his pledge to comply fully with the Law on financial autonomy for the Judiciary, observing that the Judiciary as one of the arms of government was entitled to adequate funding as the other two arms.
After called to Bar in 1965, the late Honourable Justice Okafor Azomani Eustace set up legal practice same year in Agbor. He joined the public service in 1974 as Principal State Counsel in the Ministry of Justice of the then Bendel State (now Edo and Delta States).
Late Justice Azomani was later made Director of Civil Litigation in the Ministry of Justice before being appointed Judge of the High Court of Bendel State in 1982. He retired in 1985, and thereafter relocated permanently to his home town, Ogboli, Issele-Uku, where he engaged himself in promoting peace and unity and development in his community at a considerable personal expense.