CJN, Fubara, Others Eulogise Mary Odili, Describe Her As Epitome Of Excellence

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon Justice Olukayode Oriwoola has congratulated the outgoing Chairman of Body of Benchers, Hon Justice Mary Odili, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court whose one year tenure as Chairman, Body of Benchers has come to an end. He described her as a lady of great integrity whose intellectual credentials stand out in the discharge of her duties.

The CJN said this last night while delivering a speech at the Send Forth Party in honour of Hon Justice Mary Odili as the outgoing Chairman, Body of Benchers at the Body of Benchers Complex in Abuja.

While commending her dedication to duty and untiring efforts to raise the integrity bar of the Legal Profession, the CJN said that Justice Mary Odili was effective and made sterling contributions during her tenure as the Chairman, Body of Benchers.

According to the CJN, “Your tenure as the Chairman of this august Body witnessed many remarkable achievements geared towards the development of the Legal Profession. Your passion and service to the Body of Benchers cannot be overemphasized nor downplayed as you have boldly written your name in gold in the annals of this August Body”

Also speaking at the event, the Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara described Hon Justice Mary Odili as a seasoned Jurist whose outstanding career in the bench reflected the discipline and intellectual hardwork that she brought to bear while serving in the bench.

According to Gov Fubara, those who have followed the career growth of Justice Odili and her accomplishments would agree that what you put in is what you get out medical. In other words, like one motor company once said, “Good thinking, Good product”, he said

According to the Gov. “Hon Justice Mary Odili rose from the ranks up to the High Court and from there she was promoted to the Court of Appeal and finally to the Supreme Court. Those are lines of diligent work and commitment to duty. You also saw the documentary that was shown. So when it comes to her life as a judicial officer, the records are there and it is only a good product that can beget a good product, noting that this is the reason why she is excellent in what she is giving out”

Delivering his goodwill message at the event, the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma who was represented by Amb. Humphrey Orjiakor congratulated Justice Mary Odili for a suuceesful tenure in office and described her as a round peg in a round hole. He noted that she was a great woman whose contributions to the growth and development of the Bench and the Bar as well as her commitment to truth, patriotism and rule of law remained unquestionable.

Also speaking at the occasion, the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem said Justice Mary Odili left no one in doubt that she had set out to make a difference in the Body of Benchers by constantly discharging her responsibilities with ease.

According to her, Justice Odili’s one year tenure as Chairman, Body of Benchers was not only remarkable but a millenium of good working relationship with the Bench and the Bar.

Apart from describing her as industrious, she noted that “Justice Odili championed the cause of improving the welfare of judicial officers and pursued the amendment of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Rules to enthrone a more disciplined legal profession”

The incoming Chairman of Body of Benchers, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN in his address said Justice Odili left a big shoes for him as her successor and extolled her sterling qualities and creativity in managing the affairs of the Body. While congratulating her for a successful tenure in office, he pledged to continue to pray to be able to maintain the standard of leadership that Justice Mary Odili had set in the Body of Benchers.

Speaking in the same vein and on behalf  of Chairmen of Committees of the Body of Benchers, Rafiu Lawal-Rabana SAN, noted that the one year tenure of Justice Mary Odili, eventhough short, was eventful and remarkable for initiating some positive changes. One of such was the innovations in the running of the Body by setting up a management committee comprising of Chairmen of Committees of the Body. This gave everyone a sense of belonging and responsibility in making input on burning issues affecting the larger profession.

According to him, Justice Odili’s candor, humility and diplomacy in approaching issues earned her the respect of everyone in the Body of Benchers, noting that “… history will judge her as contributing positively to the growth of the Legal Profession and working towards enhancing the welfare and work environment for the judiciary”

From the Odili family, Dr Adaeze Oreh, Hon Commissioner for Health, Rivers State and first daughter of Justice Mary Odili described her mother as a calm, intelligent, humble and caring. “She paid attention to every one in the house and walked them through the various paths they needed to succeed and even in marriage, she remained a support pillar for all of them in the house. She congratulated her and thanked everyone who turned out to honour her.

The highpoint of the event was the presentation of Award and Medal to the outgoing Chairman of the Body of Benchers which was performed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola while the incoming Chairman of the Body of Benchers Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN officiated the cutting of the cake to mark the end of her tenure.

Other dignitaries at the event included Justices of the Supreme Court and Justices of other jurisdictions, Hon Awaji-Inonbek Abiante, Presidential spokesman Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Senator Ben Obi and Wife, Chief Dr Abiye Sekibo, Chief Judge of Rivers State Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi DSSRS, Justice Adolphus Enebeli,  Life Bencher Eddy Mark and members of Body of Benchers, SANs, Judges, Barr Afam Okeke, Dr Abdulrahman Sambo, Dr Shedrack Akolokwu, Barr Henry Odili, Dr Emma Okah amongst several other invited guests.

Justice Mary Odili served as Chairman between April 2023 and March 2024.

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