He Was Born for The Bench! Read Abia CPS' Eulogy for new Judge

* Abia CPS, Ememanka, left and Hon Justice Nwakanma

By Onyebuchi Ememanka

Today's swearing in ceremony of the Honorable Justice Chiemezie Nwakanma as Judge of the High Court of Abia State brings to fruition something some of us saw many many years ago.

A first class gentleman with an unmistakably calm mien, Mi Lord was born to be a Judge.

Brilliant, soft spoken, and possessed of a huge reservoir of dignity and integrity, the Abia Judiciary is better off with his coming.

As he recited the dry words of the judicial oath today, my mind went down memory lane to our days as law students of the Abia State University Uturu.
Mi Lord always had this carriage that set him apart and no one would argue against his elevation to the hallowed Chambers of the Judiciary.

Hon Justice Nwakanma takes oath of office

He had always been captivated by the mien of Judges. He loved Lord Denning and Lord Atkin. Those days, he loved the dictum of Lord Atkin in the celebrated case of Donoghue V. Stephenson where the NEIGHBOR PRINIPLE in the law of Torts was firmly established.
"Who then in law is my neighbor? The answer would be any person who is affected by my actions and omissions  that I ought to reasonably have him in contemplation when directing my mind to those acts and omissions that are called to question".

He adores Oputa and Niki Tobi. 

I saw him work on that project and I saw first hand, the hardwork and industry he put into it. He insisted on doing a truly original work and often times, we discussed and argued the issues raised in the work.
In that work, he argued, rather forcefully, that there was no justification for the difference between Fundamental Human Rights as contained in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution and the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy as found in Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

Drawing inspiration from the Indian jurisprudence, Mi Lord argued then that for life to have proper meaning, governments across the world must make issues like the Rights to Education, Health, etc to stand on the same pedestal with Rights to Life and Dignity of the Human Person. In his view then, life would make no meaning to a man who cannot approach the courts to enforce his right to Medicare, the way he can for his right to life.

He drew huge inspiration from a former Chief Justice of India, Justice Bhagwati who led the silent judicial revolution in that country which led to the recognition of such other rights as Human Rights.

Mi Lord believes that a Judge should be bold and courageous. He was captivated by the idea of being a Judge.
Today, he is one and I have no doubts that he will excel.
He has the right frame of mind plus that independence and clarity of thought and of course, a deep and profound sense of justice. All these garnished with a solid grasp of the law will make him a great Judge indeed. His PhD program in Law is almost done and dusted. 

And yes, it was my delight and pleasure to take over from him as the President of the Rotaract Club of Abia State University way back. As President then, he laid a solid foundation which enabled me do well in office.

If there is one thing I can take a bet on, it is this...
That God willing, this Judge will berth at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Take a deserved bow, My Lord
The Honorable Mr. Justice C C Nwakanma.

I know that very soon, lawyers and law students alike will begin to make references to your well reasoned judgments.

According to Nwakanma J,... 

May the good Lord strengthen you as you begin this new phase of your life
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