Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court yesterday bowed out of the judiciary following the mandatory retirement age of 70. At her valedictory court session at the Supreme Court in Abuja, she warned against speeches or actions that could propel another war in Nigeria. She said: “During the war (1967-1970) we survived the air raids with the bombers and fighters as low as the height of fruit trees with me catching the eyes of the pilots on an occasion.” Justice Odili said she brought out this period of her life up “not to whip up animosities or negative feelings but to call to the mind of all and sundry the emergency situation which now faces the nation”.
“Some of the actions or speeches that propelled the unfortunate war which took the lives of millions of our people are being reenacted at this time,” she said. On restructuring, Odili said the country should not ignore or “lost opportunity to set the ship of state on the right course,” adding “a stitch in time saves nine”. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CNJ), Tanko Muhammad, extolled Odili’s virtues, describing her as a beacon of strength for African women.