The President, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, Governor Nyesom Wike and Wife, Justice Suzzete Nyesom Wike, during a valedictory in honour of Justice Bulkachuwa at the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The President, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, has noted that if a girl child is properly nurtured, especially in education, her contributory impacts will make the society a better place to live in.
Justice Bulkachuwa who spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, at a valedictory session in her honour as she prepares to bow out of office by March 6, 2020, stressed that ‘every girl has an opportunity to live and make the world a lively and happy place to be’.
Speaking on her retirement, Justice Bulkachuwa noted that it is constitutional as a civil servant to handover at the age of 70, stressing that she has served the nation well in her capacity.
Recalling her experience in office she narrated: “I give thanks to the almighty Allah that on the 6th of March, 2020, I would have attained the age of 70 years and i will cease to hold the office of a judicial officer and President of the Court of Appeal by virtue of the provisions section 291(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As i go into retirement from active service, the lessons of years passed are still with me, i will spend my next phase of life, giving myself to my society and to the world at large. I want to look back and smile in the knowledge that all I have done, learned and experienced will not be in vain.
“I go away with good cheers, i pray that life will continue to be good, in the midst of my bitter experiences, more than anything, I want to be remembered as that woman who judged right and did the best she could in every situation and who loves her country Nigeria.
‘It has been a glorious, interesting and eventful period in which i anticipated in so many things in terms of policy, economy and governance in this country.
‘As a high court judge, i remained focused on my job and catered for my six children, adopted children and I balanced my roles appropriately and even had time for my extended family members.
‘Between 2000 and 2003, I was the National President, Association of Women Judges, which gave me a chance to meet all the female judges in Nigeria and they remained my sisters since then.
‘I was also the initiator of the Jurisprudence of Equality Project, which lasted for about eight years, from 2001 to 2008. I was married twice to supportive men who encouraged me to be the best and contributed to my success both in my personal life and in the development of my carrier’, Bulkachuwa narrated.
In his opening remarks, Presiding Justice of Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, Justice A. A. B. Gumel, lauded Justice Bulkachuwa for the support she gave to the Division all the time she was in office.
He said that the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal is one of the most decorated and a very robust division, stressing that some of the best known legal practitioners in Nigeria, practiced in the division.
According to Justice Gumel ‘During my three-and-a-half-year stay here, we have had the honour to host all the most senior legal practitioners in Nigeria, the practice of the law here is a very robust one and is comparable to any division in any jurisdiction in Nigeria.
“At the moment, in the Supreme Court of Nigeria, four of the justices of that court had served in this division and it is unprecedented, no other division of the Court of Appeal has contributed that much to the jurisdiction of the apex court.
‘So my Lord, you are welcomed to one of the most successful and versatile division, it is also a privilege to congratulate all those who have practiced here and enriched our knowledge in the discharge of the business of the Court.”
However, Zacchaeus Adango, Attorney General of Rivers State, commended Justice Bulkachuwa for her standing for justice in matters brought before her especially in election petition matters.
He urged the President of the Court of Appeal, that even after retirement she should continue to render service to the profession and Nigeria at large.
‘My Lord has demonstrated his erudition by in same large judicial pronouncements Bale vs Court of Appeal number one, dealt with the concept of course of action of a Court of Appeal in election petitions in a very admirable fashion and further underscored the special nature of election appeals and the need to determine them expeditiously.
‘Several other pronouncements and and a pletora of decided cases all attest to the glorious service on the court of appeal bench, there is no doubt that the bar and bench would miss you, but we are consoled by the fact that you have given your very best to the country and have contributed significantly to the growth of the legal profession and the fulfillment of our law both in the substantive and adjectival contexts.
‘We are sure that even in your retirement, you will continue to render service to the legal profession and the country at large’.