By Kemi Yesufu
The crème de la crème of the Nigeria society gathered in Abuja on Tuesday October 23, for the public presentation of a book written by Former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rose Ukeje.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara was one of the early arrivals at the launch of the book titled, “Intrinsic And Extrinsic Aids to the Interpretation of the Constitution, Statues and Private Documents”.
Dogara is good friends with the author’s daughter, popular lawmaker, Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje.
Speaker Dogara, who was warmly received by the revered jurist was generous with his praise of her book. According to him, Justice Ukeje’s latest book will bridge the gap in legal interpretation.
“There is a yawning gap in this area of law, and thankfully she has decided in make a concerted effort at plugging this gap. The issue of interpretation of statues including the constitution is absolutely important in the advancement of our democracy”, he opined.
Another of the early arrivals at the classy book launch was the legal power couple, Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) and his wife, Victoria Awomolo (SAN). Mrs. Awomolo hailed the author for thinking of the future of the legal profession by writing a book that would educate legal and non-legal minds.
“What better time to present this book than the present, when we have democratic governance and with what is happening around us. This book will help interpret many of the legal logjams that we face”, she said.
Majority Leader of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila handled the official unveiling of the book. He expressed his respect for Justice Ukeje’s intellect, adding that book with its foreword written by the Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen is a significant contribution to intellectualism.
A short documentary on Justice Ukeje’s life captivated guests, as top personalities, some of whom have known the jurist since childhood took turns to give insight into her personality. Prof . Anya O. Ayanya, Chris Uche (SAN) and Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyuike were among old friends of Justice Ukeje, who spoke of her warmth and love for people. Daughter of the author, who Chairs the House Committee on Foreign Relations, revealed in the documentary, that her mother was her role model in public service.
The lawmaker who gave the vote of thanks, said her family was grateful for the show of love and support by friends and old associates of her mother’s, who thronged NAF Center Abuja venue of the book presentation.
Justice Ukeje also took to the stage to express gratitude to guests, even as she expressed optimism that the laws of the country would be better understood by lawyers and non legal practitioners, who read her book.
Guests, many of whom stayed back for the cocktail to mark the end of the book presentation were serenaded by a music by a saxophonist.
Some of the dignitaries as the event include, President of the Nigerian courts of appeal Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, Primate of the Church of Nigeria in the Anglican Communion, Nicholas Okoh, Justice Binta Nyako, Senator Andy Ubah, House Deputy Whip, Rep. Pally Iriase, House Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Chukwuka Onyema, Chairman of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka and former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke -Onyuike.
Other guests include, former Head of Service of the Federation, Engr. Ebele Okeke, former Director-General of NAPTIP, Carol Ndaguba, former minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Chris Uche (SAN) and Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin. Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo State was represented by Festus Osagie.