The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) and Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice John Terhemba Tsoho were among leaders of the Bar and Bench who paid glowing tributes to foremost environmental law expert, Late Lucius Ezeaka Nwosu at a valedictory session held in his honour in Abuja.
Tsoho described Nwosu as “one of the finest Senior Advocates of his generation,” adding that the valedictory session was “an opportunity to express with clarity and warmth, how the late SAN was genuinely respected at the Bar and in all of his dealings with the Court. Therefore we count it as an honour to celebrate his lifetime and practice.”
The chief judge noted that until his death, “the distinguished late Silk had applied his perseverance, doggedness and dexterity in offering excellent legal services to his numerous clients, which comprised more of the Niger-Delta Communities. He was a fighter for human rights, the legal warrior of the Niger-Delta Communities and he will be remembered for easing the liability that comes with engaging the services of a lawyer with his clients.”
Saying that Nwosu “defended the financially and politically powerless whenever their rights were trampled upon,” Justice Tsoho stated that the late litigator was “a fierce environmental campaigner and activist through litigation,” adding that “Those he litigated against dreaded and labelled him ‘Lucifer Nwosu’ but the beneficiaries actually adored him.”
On its part, BOSAN in a tribute delivered by former Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN stated that “A time will never come when we shall forget the prowess of Lucius Nwosu. You witnessed yourselves the exploits of this remarkable man. The commendations that we bestow on him are a tribute to our profession. He is therefore entitled to our gratitude. He was a well-educated man, reared and trained in strict self-discipline. Whoever reared him, reared him well.”
According to BOSAN, “To deal with the achievements of Lucius Nwosu as a whole is something that we cannot now attempt in the short time available to us,” adding that “In his devotion to our profession Lucius Nwosu neglected himself.”
The body of senior lawyers stated that “The best tribute we can pay to him is to endeavour to realize our talents as he realized his and use them for the benefit of mankind as he used his. Lucius Nwosu was that man to whom the Lord gave five talents and who when he rendered his account the Lord commended him saying: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ ”
BOSAN described him as a “great man” and a “man of high character,” saying that “Lucius Nwosu was a selfless man. He was a brilliant man. He did not know how to relent. He was a man of defiant spirit. The grave cannot hold such a man down. We are witnesses to the trials and temptations that he had to contend with. We are witnesses to the many difficulties he had to overcome. We are witnesses to all the dangers that he had to avoid. He worked harder than a slave but it was the Lord that he served. He had to overcome many difficulties. He had to avoid many dangers and strive on so that on this day when he gives account of his stewardship, he can say, as did St. Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’ ”
The body urged lawyers to “do our work with all the passion, energy and sincerity that we can summon” notwithstanding that the legal profession has “come under suspicion of aiding and facilitating the collapse of the nation.”
Turning to the judiciary, BOSAN said: “As for you judges and justices, we thank you for your sacrifices. The fault is not yours that the nation continues to languish in violence and uncertainty. It is in spite of all your sacrifices. Do not despair. It shall be well. We have hope.”
It concluded that “Lucius is not dead. Though he failed to achieve old age, he has achieved a fame which knows no age. He has now been released from sickness and grief and from all the other sorrows and anxieties that attend our lives.”
The foremost senior lawyer will be buried on Friday at Udo Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government of Imo State.