Lawyers pay glowing tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Karibi-Whyte at service of songs

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Lawyers, Justices, family and friends of the late Supreme Court Justice, Adolphus Karibi Whyte have relived fond memories of the late Jurist at his service of songs.


His family held the service last Thursday at the Church of Nativity, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Friends and family members of the late jurist paid glowing tributes to the deceased, acknowledging him as one of Nigeria’s most illustrious judicial officers.

The event was attended by the his children led by his son Mr. Dagogo Karibi-Whyte, lawyers and judges, including Chief Olakurin (SAN), Mr. George Etomi, Chuka Agbu (SAN), and a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Augustine Alegeh (SAN).

Speaking at the event, former Petroleum Minister, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) said factories that produced Karibi-Whyte’s types no longer exist.

Ajumogobia added: “Although most of his judgments were dissenting, Parliament changed the laws following his judgments, even when he dissented 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 and he had an uncommon sense of humour.’’

Former Rivers State Governor and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi described Karibi-Whyte JSC as being “very honest and sincere.

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.’’

Former NBA President Paul Usoro (SAN) said:” 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.”

His son in-law, a former Attorney-General of Edo State, Chief Charles Edosonwan (SAN), added: “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 still a blow, his passing.

“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-laws, and simply ‘Adol’ to mommy – Mrs. Faith Asrame 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 Godwin Karibi-Whyte JSC (Ret) and many other epaulettes that announced 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 60 years without stress. Ask mummy 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 60 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.‘’

By John Austin Unachukwu


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