By Ese Awhotu and Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent his condolences to the government and people of Jigawa State over the passing away of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher.
This is just as Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has mourned the late former CJN who died yesterday, aged 75.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari commiserated with the Kano and Ringim Emirate Council, professional colleagues, family members and friends of the eminent jurist whose contributions to the structure, letter and spirit of the nation’s constitution and legal practice will always be remembered and greatly appreciated by generations.
The President commended the mediatory and conciliatory leadership roles the former Chief justice played in his career development and nation building, serving as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaduna State, Chief Judge, Kano State Judiciary, Justice, Court of Appeal and Justice, Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The President prayed that Allah will grant the departed soul good rest in eternity and comfort his family.
In a statement signed by the CJN’s spokesperson, Awassam Bassey, Mr. Onnoghen ordered the Nigerian flags at Supreme Courts and other judiciary institutions to be flown at half-mast on Tuesday.
“The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has directed all National Flags in the premises of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the CJN’s official residence in the Three Arms Zone of Abuja to be flown at half-mast.
“The Hon. CJN gave this directive at 9.00am this morning (Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018) after he was informed of the demise of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, the late Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, CFR, who passed away in a London Hospital on Monday (22nd January, 2018).
“In the same vein, flags at all Judicial institutions, including the National Judicial Council (NJC), the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), as well as all Courts of Records in the country are also to comply with this directive.
“The National Judicial Service Council was directed to send memos to all Heads of Courts to ensure compliance by all jurisdictions across the country,” the statement said.
Also Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto in a message of condolences issued by his spokesman, Imam Imam, the Governor said the deceased made invaluable contributions to the development of the legal profession in the country.
“He was jurist’s jurist. He was a man of distinction and impeccable character. His life is an example in dedication and commitment to legal ethos, norms and values,” Tambuwal said.
Information released by the ex CJN’s younger brother, Muneer Musdapher, on Facebook indicates that the former CJN died in the early hours of Tuesday.
According to Muneer, “My elder brother Justice Dahiru Musdapher former CJN passed on tonight.”
The late CJN had retired from bench five years ago on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70.
However, sooner than he retired, he was appointed CJN by the then President Goodluck Jonathan administration to replace Justice Alysious Katsina-Alu.
Dahiru Musdapher born on 15 July 1942 served as Chief Judge of the Kano State Judiciary from 1979 to 1985, and as a member of the Court of Appeal from 1985 until 2003. He was the acting Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He attended the Ahmadu Bello University and the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.
He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1968.
The late CJN was born a member of the Bani Ya’muusa clan in Babura Town in Babura, a local government area in the north of Jigawa State.
The progenitor of the clan, the late CJN’s great-grandfather, Goni Ya’Musa, was a Fulani scholar, a renowned and respected Islamic jurist and teacher who migrated from the Kanem Bornu Empire in the mid-1800s and pursued a lifelong mission of teaching and Islamic missionary work. The great-grandfather settled in Babura Town, in Jigawa State.
Musdapher’s father, Mallam Musdapher Musa also a renowned Islamic scholar served as a principal advisor to several District Heads across the Kano Native Authority during the colonial era, for decades before he was eventually enthroned as the District Head of Babura L.G.A. Mallam Musdaher’s father was the first headmaster of the first primary school in Babura. He died in 1993 as the head of a large and respected family leaving behind over 300 children, grandchildren and great-grand children.
The late CJN was the head of the family.