The Supreme Court of Nigeria has held a Valedictory Court Session in honour of Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad while speaking at the court session in Abuja, said, Justice Rhodes-Vivour has exhibited rare qualities and tenacity of strength and character to the admiration of his colleagues.
Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, born on 22nd March, 1951 was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1975 and started his working career with the Lagos State Ministry of justice in 1976.
Through his numerous achievements, he was elevated to the Court of appeal in 2005 and subsequently, to the supreme court of Nigeria on September 16, 2010 and until his retirement, the Jurist was the next ranking justice after the CJN.
Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour who officially bowed out of the Supreme Court bench this day, March 22nd, was described by the CJN Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as diligent and meticulously offered unquantifiable services to the judiciary at different capacities for several decades.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata who commended Justice Rhodes-Vivour for his time on the bench, said he would continue to be referenced as a role model to every judicial officer in Nigeria and beyond.
In a address, President Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, while eulogizing Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour for his hardwork and integrity, called for a more transparent process in the selection and appointment of justices.
In his Response, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour who lamented that corruption is still deeply rooted in Nigeria like any other country in the world, said concerted efforts must be put in place to reduce the menace to the barest minimum.
The jurist also faulted the conduct of elections in the country, stating that they were protracted as the stakes were too high.
He however, renewed his appeal for the country’s Electoral Act to be amended to shift the burden of proof to the Independent National Electoral Commission to prove that it conducted a fair and reasonable election.
There was a minute silent observed in honor of Justice Nwali Sylvester Nguta who passed on March 7, just few days to his retirement from the Supreme Court bench, which would have been March 30, 2021.
With the death of justice Ngwuta and the retirement of justice Rhodes-Vivour, the number of justices at the Apex court now stands at 18.