Former CJN, Katsina-Alu, dies at 76

cjn Katsina Alu
cjn Katsina Alu

The Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed the death of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

The deceased who hailed from Ushongo in Benue, was the CJN from December 30, 2009 to August 28, 2011.

The Senior Special Assistant to the CJN on Media, Awassam Bassey, in a statement in Abuja, said the CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen confirmed Alu’s death in Canada.

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“The death of the former numero uno of the Nigerian judiciary was confirmed while Justice Onnoghen was in Canada.

“A few of our colleagues have called this morning (from about 3:30a.m. 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.

“The Personal Assistant of the former CJN called her at 3.00p.m. Nigerian time to inform her of the demise’’, Bassey had quoted Onnoghen to have said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Onnoghen and other justices of the Supreme Court and Chief Judges of some states are in Montreal Canada attending a conference.

Katsina-Alu, born Aug.28 1941, was sworn in as the CJN on Dec. 30, 2009 by his predecessor Justice Idris Kutigi.

NAN recalls that Katsina-Alu’s tenure lasted from the day of his swearing-in to Aug. 28, 2011.

There was some controversy over the ceremony since in all previous ceremonies the Oath of Office was administered by the President.

However, President Umaru Yar’Adua was unavailable to carry out that task on account of ill-health, thereby providing room for Justice Kutigi to conduct the exercise.