Miracle Akubuo

Chima Centus Nweze, a well-known judge at the Supreme Court, sadly passed away at the age of 64 on Saturday, July 29th, after a brief illness. 

The president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Yakubu Maikyau, confirmed the incident and explained that Justice Nweze had been battling with illness for the past few years, and his health had significantly declined before his passing.

Justice Nweze was a prominent and spirited individual, and his colleagues are deeply saddened by the news of his death. He played a significant role during his time at the Supreme Court, presiding over and resolving various controversial issues, making him one of the outstanding judges at the Court.

Family Background

Nwaze was born on September 25th, 1958, in Amesi, Anambra State. He hailed from Enugu State in Obello Udenu local government and was married to Ugonna Janita Nweze, also from Enugu, with whom he had five wonderful children. He was a dedicated and practicing Christian of the Roman Catholic Denomination.

Educational Pursuit

Justice Nweze’s educational journey began at St. John Cross Secondary School, where he excelled and obtained a distinction in the West Africa School Certificate Examination (WASCE). 

He pursued his higher education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, earning a Ph.D. in Law. After completing his studies, he attended the Nigerian Law School, where he obtained the qualifying certificate in 1984 and was called to the bar in 1985.

Judicial Career

Justice Chima Centus Nweze started his legal career in private practice before being appointed to the Enugu State High Court bench in 1995. He served as chairman of the Second Robbery and Furman Tribunal Court before eventually being appointed as a justice at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

In 2014, during the Goodluck Jonathan regime, he was appointed as a justice in the Supreme Court following a recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC). He was sworn in by the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar.

Judicial Pronouncements

Throughout his career, Judge Chima Centus Nweze made significant judicial pronouncements. He was among the panel of judges who refused the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar’s request to inspect the Independent National Electoral Commission server during their challenge to President Muhammad Buhari’s victory in the 2019 election.

Justice Nweze also delivered the controversial judgment in the 2019 general election of the All Progressive Congress, declaring the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as the authentic candidate for the APC Yobe North senatorial district. Furthermore, he was the only judge who dissented against the majority decision of the Apex court, exposing alleged tricks during the 2019 Imo State governorship election, where he held that Mr. Uzodima misled the court by crediting unverified votes in 388 polling units to himself.

Legacy and Impact

Justice Chima Centus Nweze’s passing has left a void in the Supreme Court of Nigeria, as he was the only judge from the South East geopolitical zone on the bench. His colleagues and the Nigerian Bar Association mourn his demise, recognizing his significant contributions to the judiciary and his dedication to upholding justice throughout his career.

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