I came back from Church today and sat peaceably to consume the rice and chiken that I bought from Shoprite on my way back from Sunday service. After eating, I came online to read news feeds only to stumble on a very devastating, incomprehensible, and completely unbearable news that has distorted the digestion of the food.
Mr Onuoha Justice Akachi Esq. was my colleague in the Faculty of Law, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He was one of the shining lights and intellectuals of the 08 set. He was not only a colleague but a close friend who never hesitated to offer a hand of fellowship whenever the occasion arose in the course of our studentship.
I recall those days I used to spend time with him in night classes to dissect the law. We would argue, debate and analyse the law. He was a lawyer properly so called.
As the Head of the University of Uyo Law Clinic during our time, Prof. as I fondly called him, was always there to offer advice. I note particularly that he used to read at the Law Clinic in the night frequently. Prof. was a consumate intellectual. He paid religious attention to details and specifics.
When I contested for the position of President of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), University of Uyo Chapter, Prof. gave me maximum support and stood by me. I won the election resoundingly on October 5, 2012 but my mandate was truncated by the Management of the University. That was the most trying period of my studentship. Prof. was one of the colleagues whose continuous words of encouragement I can never forget. He kept telling me Gani be strong. You are destined for greatness and your future is very bright. He took it upon himself to see to it that I over came the trying moments, and I did.
We had disagreements over political and leadership issues in the country after our graduation and called to the Nigerian Bar. He was a strong supporter of Goodluck Jonathan but I stood and still stand with Muhammadu Buhari. There were occasions we would argue vehemently online. However, our respect for each other was not in dispute.
Justice was based in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja where he also practiced law. He was particularly interested in property law practice and transactions.
Prof. was a very principled person. He understood the efficacy of prayers. He was simple, honest and sociable. Prof. was a good man.
Today, my bosom friend is gone.
I called his phone number to ascertain the terrible news and a family souce who responded told me that my dear friend left Abuja for his town in the East and died in a ghastly motor accident that occurred at Edo State on Saturday 11 June, 2016.
The deceased had a BSc in Political Science from the University of Calabar. LLB from the University of Uyo and a BL from the Nigerian Law School.
After going through so much difficulties to reach this level, this is how it has ended. What is life? Only God can console your immediate family.
In this life, we are bound to experience difficulties. Today the topic of the sermon was on “Difficult Situations of Life”. One of the 10 situations that the pastor talked about was DEATH. He admonished the congregation on how to bear the loss of a loved one.
What a tragic coincidence!
Justice (Prof.), I am unable to wish you good bye. It is too heavy in my mouth. But I know that God knows all things. May heaven accept your soul.
Rest In Peace Barrister Akachukwu Justice Onuaha.
By Inibehe Effiong