It was Marcus Cicero, a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and writer who expressed that Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others. The same reason an American motivational writer, William Arthur opined that feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
Based on the above reasoning, Thursday 7th December 2023 will forever remain evergreen as the Divisional Registrar, Barr Peter Ortese led other judicial staff of the Uyo division of the National Industrial Court, members of the Bar and Judicial staff across Akwa Ibom State to celebrate its pioneer and outgoing presiding Judge, a judicial actor per excellence, Hon. Justice Mahmood Abba Namtari.
For Justice Mahmood Namtari, My Lord’s affinity to stand out is not only defined by the niche his lordship has graciously carved for himself on the bench but has demonstrated a good heart towards the weak and the justice seekers in the society using the instrumentality of the law to put smile on their faces. A staff spoke in a laden voice, what My Lord cannot give does not exist.
Justice Namtari is sufficiently endowed with the anointing of unpretentious care and love for others especially the staff and downtrodden, not on the basis of religious or ethnic background but for the very fact that they are humans.
History shines on Akwa Ibom in 2017 when his Lordship was posted to the Uyo Division of the Court and recently transferred to the Kano Judicial Division of the Court effective from 5th January 2024. The colourful gathering became an avenue for the judicial staff and lawyers to express their satisfaction to one of the finest jurists the judiciary has ever produced for leaving behind – a legacy of outstanding personality, kindness, generosity, incorruptibility, and a genuine commitment to mentorship.
In his remark, the Uyo Divisional Registrar, Barr. Peter Ortese eulogized Justice Namtari as a judge with an exceptional character who is deserving of profound appreciation for demonstrating unwavering integrity and upholding the principles of justice without compromise.
Barr. Peter maintained that history will bear My Lord’s witness for speedy dispensation of justice, and his lordship stewardship cannot be over-appreciated for facilitating the movement of the Court to the permanent site with beautiful edifice where the Ministers in Temple (lawyers) and Temple Keepers (Staff) enjoy a positive working environment.
Mr Ortese remarked that one of the hallmarks of Hon. Justice Mahmood Namtari’s distinguished career is his deep commitment to nurturing young and old lawyers in the jurisprudence of labour law. Justice Namtari has provided countless opportunities for lawyers appearing before him to learn, grow and excel. His Lordship’s belief in the power of mentorship has shaped the lives and careers of many, helping them navigate the complex maze of legal complexities with confidence.
“Today, as we pay tribute to his lordship, Justice M.A Namtari, let us remember the countless lives he has touched with his exceptional personality, kindness, and magnanimity. Let us celebrate his unwavering commitment to justice and his enduring legacy that will continue to shape the legal landscape for years to come. As he embarks on this new chapter in his career, we wish him every success and fulfilment in his endeavours.
“My lord, your departure fills our hearts with a mix of emotions, but also with profound gratitude for the incredible contributions you have made during your time here. Your legacy will forever serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the great heights that can be achieved through a combination of character, kindness, and an unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice.
“We bid you farewell my lord with deepest gratitude and highest respect. May the path ahead be filled with abundant blessings, and may your impact continue to be felt wherever you go. Thank you for everything you have given, and may your legacy endure for generations to come.” Barr. Peter Ortese remarked.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Uyo branch, Augustine Enefiok Udoh Esq represented by the Vice Chairman Barr (Mrs) Angela Akpabio and other executive members of the branch appreciated his lordship’s outstanding personality, dexterity and diligence and vast knowledge in labour jurisprudence and his desires for out of court settlement of cases.
In addition, Emmanuel Mkpo representing Eket branch of the NBA thanked Justice Namtari for demonstrating outstanding and exceptional approach in handling matters within the jurisdiction of the Court in the State.
The Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, Barr (Mrs) Tola Jolada appreciated his lordship for simplicity, kindness and assistance to staff and those who have had contact with him, and prayed to God for more grace.
Similarly, Her worship Chief Magistrate, Dr Glory Udonnah of the Akwa Ibom State judiciary thanked his lordship for being a role model for judges and lawyers.
The event was brought to a conclusion by the presentation of an award of excellence bestowed on My Lord, Hon. Justice Mahmood Abba Namtari in recognition of his excellent service to the judiciary and fatherly role to staff of NICN-Uyo Division.