By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Sylvester Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, confirmed the passing of a former CJN Justice Aloysius Kastina-Alu, at 76 years.
The former CJN, who was born on August, 28 1941, hailed from Ushongo in Benue State, was the CJN from December 30, 2009 to August 28, 2011.
A statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant Media, to CJN, Mr.
Awassam Bassey, said the death of Justice Alu, was made known to the Supreme court Chief Registrar, while Justice Onnoghen was attending a conference in Canada.
The statement read, “A few of our colleagues have called this morning (from about 3:30am Montreal Canadian time) to seek confirmation of the death of former Chief Justice Katsina-Alu.
“I can confirm that the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mrs.
Hadizatu Mustapha, sent me a WhatsApp message to that effect about an hour ago confirming the death of the former CJN.
“I have just called the Chief Registrar to confirm that this is indeed the situation. That the Personal Assistant of the former CJN called her at 3.00pm Nigerian time to inform her of the demise.
However, it’s 3:30am here in Montreal, Canada, where His Lordship the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, and other Justices of the Supreme Court and Chief Judges of some states, are attending a conference organised by the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, and I haven’t yet contacted the Hon. CJN for his reaction.
Details of the death of the former CJN were not contained in the statement.
Justice Kastina- Alu was the first CJN to be sworn in by his predecessor, Justice Legbo Kutigi (retd.) due to the unavailability of the then ailing President Umaru Yar’adua, who did not hand over powers to then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Katsina-Alu, during his tenure as the CJN, had a controversial battle with the then President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retd), who was later controversially suspended by the National Judicial Council.