Monday, July 13, 2020

Idris Legbo Kutigi

Biography of Idris Legbo Kutigi

Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi OFR , GCON
(31 December
1939 – 21 October 2018) was a Nigerian lawyer
and judge. He was Attorney General and
Commissioner for Justice in Niger State before
becoming a high court judge.

Idris Legbo Kutigi joined
the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1992 and served
as Chief Justice from 30 January 2007 until 30
December 2009.

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Education

Idris Legbo Kutigi was born in Kutigi, North-Western State (now located
in the Lavun Local Government Area of Niger
State), Idris Legbo Kutigi attended his elementary school in kutigi and secondary school in
Bida. He then moved on to Government
College (now known as Barewa College), and
then to Ahmadu Bello University (both in Zaria,
Kaduna State). He left the country for England,
where he studied at the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London and Gibson
and Weldon, before returning to attend the
Nigerian Law School in Lagos, Lagos State.

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Idris Legbo Kutigi was called to the Nigeria bar in approximately
1964.


Career


Idris Legbo Kutigi served as the Attorney General and
Commissioner for Justice in Niger State before
becoming a high court judge in 1976.


Idris Legbo Kutigi
joined the Supreme Court in 1992 and President
Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him to the
position of Chief Justice to succeed the
outgoing Salihu Alfa Belgore . Belgore retired on
17 January and Kutigi succeeded him on 30
January, after being confirmed by the Senate.

Idris Legbo Kutigi
retired on 30 December 2009, having
reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

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He swore in his successor, Aloysius Iyorgyer
Katsina-Alu . The President of Nigeria usually
swears in the Chief Justice, but President Umaru
Musa Yar'Adua was not available on this
occasion due to ill health. He afterwards
returned to serve as a high court judge until his
death in October 2018. Idris Legbo Kutigi
also continued
to attend Council of State meetings held at the
decision of the president.

In 2014 he was appointed chairman of the
National Conference on constitutional matters by
President Goodluck Jonathan.

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His
appointment was widely welcomed by those on
all sides of the Nigerian political spectrum with
praise coming for his impartiality and fair
handedness. On 12 June 2014 he stepped in
to separate northern and southern politicians who
almost came to blows during a conference
meeting over a disagreement on holding a one
minute silence to honour those that died during
the 1993 presidential election.Kutigi later
described the conference as the "most arduous"
to have been held in Nigeria's history due to the
short length of time, four and a half months, that
had been allowed for it. By its conclusion more
than 600 resolutions had been addressed
covering points of law, public policy and the
constitution. The findings were presented in
a 22-volume, 10,335-page document.

Personal life

Idris Legbo Kutigi had 18 children and more than 40
grandchildren. He died in London hospital on
21 October 2018 following a short period of
illness.

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A street in the Federal Capital Territory was
named in his honour in April 2015.

The
Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International
Conference Centre in Minna is also named for
him.


As a mark of honour following his death the
Nigerian flag was ordered to be flown at half
mast at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the
official residence of the chief justice, all judicial
institutions and courts of records for seven days.


A book of condolence was opened at the
premises of the Supreme Court.

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References
Idris Legbo Kutigi by wikipedia

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