NBA President Mourns the Passing of a Quintessential Jurist, Hon. Justice Adolphus G. Karibi-Whyte, JSC, CFR

Quintessential Jurist, Hon. Justice Adolphus G. Karibi-Whyte, JSC, CFR

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN is saddened to receive news of the demise of one of the greatest jurists that Nigeria ever had – a judicial colossus – Rtd. Hon. Justice Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte (JSC), CFR, who passed on yesterday the 22nd day of May, 2020 at the age of 88 years old.

Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte was a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and an erudite Professor of Law. His lordship had an illustrious career which started with his appointment as a Legal Draftsman in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice in 1973 and he rose through the ranks to become Rivers State Solicitor-General and an Associate Professor of Law, University of Lagos.

In 1976, Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte was elevated to the High Court as a Judge of the then Federal Revenue Court (now Federal High Court) and thus began a sterling judicial career, which took him through the Court of Appeal from 1980, and the Supreme Court of Nigeria from 1984.

Rtd. Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte (JSC), CFR while on the bench served in other capacities as Chairman of several high-powered Commissions of Inquiry and Tribunals amongst which were Chairman of the Counterfeit Tribunal, Chairman of the Inquiry into the Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank. Rtd Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte (JSC) CON also served as a Judge and Vice President, International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (sitting at the Hague) on November 7, 1993, and Chairman Nigerian Constitutional Conference between 1994 to 1995.

He authored thirteen books and 55 academic publications in reputable local and international journals, and was highly sought after speaker on legal issues.

A gentleman of indisputably stellar accomplishments, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to nation building, Rtd. Hon Justice Karibi-Whyte (JSC), CFR was conferred with the National Honours of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) (1998), and Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) (2008). He was happily married to Mrs. Faith Asareme Karibi-Whyte and blessed with successful children. Rtd. Hon. Justice Karibi-Whyte (JSC), CFR left behind sterling legacies and delivered landmark judgments that continue to define the Nigerian legal jurisprudence.

On behalf of the National officers and members of the Nigerian Bar Association, the NBA President hereby expresses his deep condolences to my Lords, the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the entire Nigerian judiciary, the government and people of Rivers State, families and friends of our departed noble Lord, Rtd. Honorable Justice Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte (JSC) CFR.

May the Almighty God bless his soul and grant him a peaceful rest.

Kunle Edun
National Publicity Secretary, NBA.


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