Erudite professor of law, the Honourable Justice Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte has passed on. Impeccable closed to the retired Supreme Court Justice told Maritime Bits that he died yesterday at the age of 88.

He was said to have kicked the bucket in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, following a heart failure in an undisclosed medial facility.

Confirming the development, his eldest son and Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Dagogo Karibi-Whyte described his father who hails from Abonnema, Akukutoru Local Government Area, Rivers State as a “good man, very upright, dedicated and very meticulous professional and a dutiful father and family man. Not many are built like that.”

According to a citation posted on the Hallmarks of Labour Foundation website, his professional career took him through the Nigerian and international judicial systems.

Appointed Legal Draftsman in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice in 1973, the legal luminary successively attained the ranks of Solicitor-General, in that Ministry and Associate Professor of Law, University of Lagos.

He was the chairman of several commissions of inquiry including the Counterfeit Tribunal and the Inquiry into the Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank. He was also appointed as Judge, International Criminal Tribunal on November 7, 1993, and Chairman Nigerian Constitutional Conference between 1994/95.

Unarguably, a quintessential jurist, a scholar par excellence, an intellectual colossus and consummate judicial officer, he was a man driven by his passion for justice according to law, firmly undergirded by his resolute and reputed integrity.

His ad-hoc appointments have been no less inspiring. They include: Chairman, Counterfeit Currency Tribunal, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities, Law Report Committee of the Federal High Court, Civil Disturbances Tribunal, Committee for the Unification and Reform of the Criminal Code, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act and Criminal Procedure Code, Nigerian Constitutional Conference of 1994-1995. He was also Judge and Vice-President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, sitting at the Hague, Netherlands.

He authored 13 books and 55 academic publications in local and international learned journals, and is very much in demand for speaking engagements in his field.

Described as a “gentleman of indisputably stellar accomplishments”, Hon Justice Karibi-Whyte was a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) (1998), and also Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) (2008). He was happily married to Mrs. Faith Asareme Karibi-Whyte. They are blessed with six children.


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