By Ime Silas, TheProfileNewspaper

The member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, has described the death of a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Richard Akinjide, as a loss of a great patriot.

Onofiok Luke, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, while stating this in a tribute in honour of the late Akinjide, noted that it was during the late legal luminary’s tenure as the nation’s Attorney-General that Nigeria temporarily reversed the execution of robbers as well as other strides in the country’s judicial system.

The tribute dated April 21, 2020, which the national lawmaker personally signed reads: “We received the news of the demise of former Attorney-General of the Federation Richard Akinjide at age 88 with sadness.

You offered your service to the nation as a Minister of Education in the First Republic during the government of Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa and President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

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We also recall the excellent service you provided to our nation during your time as Minister of Justice and Attorney- General of the Federation under the Alhaji Shehu Shagari Administration. It was under your watch that Nigeria temporarily reversed executions of armed robbers and abolished the decree barring exiles from returning to the country”.

Onofiok, who was recently inducted into Nigeria’s Body of Benchers, also recalled the late former Education Minister’s contribution in the drafting of the nation’s constitution, saying “When our nation was in dire need of a new constitution, you were a member of the judicial system sub-committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977, rendering your invaluable support.

“You also contributed your quota to the current political dispensation when needed.

In you, Nigeria has lost a great patriot and we mourn your demise.

“Even as we suffer the pains of your departure, the House Committee on Judiciary remains grateful for the valuable contributions you made to ensure fairness, equity and justice.

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On behalf of the Committee, we extend our condolences and pray to God to comfort your family. God will grant the departed eternal rest”