A valedictory court session was held at the supreme court on Thursday in honour of Mary Odili, who is retiring from service.
Peter-Odili, until her retirement Thursday on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 years, was the second most senior justice on the bench of the apex court.
In her remarks, she spoke on the issue of state of origin and residency as it affects Nigerians, especially women.
“The issue should be given immediate attention, lest we ignore the matter at the risk of a lost opportunity to set the ship of state on the right course,”.
“The follow-up on this matter of state of origin or residency and the import thereto have thrown up the fact that the women have seen themselves taking the short end of the stick on account of marriage outside the state of their birth.
“These are matters that need urgent attention in our journey of nationhood and building and sustaining thereof.”
Peter-Odili also called for a concerted effort in tackling the menace of youth unemployment.
“The urgency we are all faced with right now calls for the necessity or immediacy in tackling them. The matter has become a behemoth of sorts that need no further delay in solving”, she said.
The massive unemployment of tertiary institution graduates is a tip of the iceberg as the condition of the non-graduates who are numerous in number have made the matter of grave concern.
She also lamented the incessant perennial strike by universities which according to her leaves students roaming for months on end or idling away with their thoughts better imagined.
In his remarks, Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, said the executive arm of government will work with the judiciary for critical reforms that will facilitate speedy trials and enhance confidence in the justice system.
While commending the judiciary for its role in enthroning a dynamic and democratic culture in the country, Malami applauded the apex court for its landmark judgments, which he said have contributed to strengthening and sustaining democracy.
He described Mary Odili as a true image of a renowned jurist and African heroine.
In his speech, Ibrahim Muhammad, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), described the retiring justice as an epitome of “jurisprudential finesse with an irrepressible voice in the temple of justice”.
The CJN also said Mary Odili has entered the revered history books of the country’s judiciary as the third woman to rise to the apex court, adding that she held sway in the discharge of her judicial functions.
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