Federal High Court holds valedictory court session for late Justice Abdu-Kafarati

The Federal High Court (FHC), on Monday, held a posthumous valedictory court session in honour of its former Chief Judge, Late Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, in Abuja.
The Chief Judge of FHC, Justice John Tsoho, in his address, described the late Kafarati as “a revered gentleman, a great family man; very humane, articulate, peaceful and quiet by nature.”
According to Tsoho, he was humility personified, but courageous and stood firm, as circumstances demanded.
He said the news of Kafarati’s untimely death came to him, the judges and members of staff of the court as a rude shock.
“Though death is generally accepted as an inevitable end of all mortals, we did not expect it to visit our beloved Hon. Justice Kafarati so soon,” he said.
He said the late Kafarati, during his short tenure as the chief judge, introduced innovations towards speedy and effectual adjudication of cases and natters.
“He caused an amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules of the Court, culminating in the new Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.
“He also put in place the Federal High Court Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Proceedings Rules and Federal High Court Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Rules.
“He commissioned the Federal High Court (ADR) Centre, Abuja on the eve of his retirement from public service.
“His Lordship also issued a Practice Direction, regulating the grant of injunctive exparte orders with regard to election matters before the Federal High Court.
“This immense helped to minimise crisis and controversies in the process of litigation over pre-election matters before this court,” he said.
Tsoho said “by his demise, death has dealt unfairly with our beloved Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati (Rtd), by not allowing him the opportunity to enjoy his retirement.”
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the legacy of the deceased was that of humility, hard work and excellence.

Malami, represented by E. A. Gazali, SAN, said the late judge served his fatherland with passion.
The representative of the Body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, described him as a courteous judge.
“Speaking personally, I had the opportunity and privilege of appearing before His Lordship and doing cases before him several times.
“It was common knowledge amongst lawyers, and we attest to this, that His Lordship was a very calm and courteous Judge, and had a reputation for patiently and quietly listening to all counsel canvass arguments, and will never interject, interfere nor bully counsel.
You can even see his forbearance under seeming provocation. It was only in his rulings and judgments that you will see the courage, wisdom and experience of the late Jurist,” hr said.
According to Uche, his rulings and judgments were notable for his clarity of thought and simplicity of presentation.
He said the respect the Bench gives to its own, both in life and in death, equally impacts on the respect it gets from the society, and an elixir towards greater commitment to service by the living.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Kafarati was born on July 25, 1954 to the family of Mallam Abdu Kafarati, the district head of Kwami and Hajiya Ashiye Musa, both of Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State.
In 1980, he joined the Ministry of Justice, Bauchi State as a State Counsel II and rose through the ranks until his appointment to the Bench of the Federal High Court on Oct. 31, 1991.
The late Kafarati was appointed the acting chief judge of FHC on Sept. 16, 2017, and was subsequently confirmed as substantive chief judge on June 19, 2018.
The former CJ, who held the appointment till July 25, 2019, when he retired, died on Feb. 25 after observing evening prayer for the day.

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