Benin — Benin, Edo State capital was thrown into confusion yesterday, following the death of the chief judge of the state, Justice Michael Edokpayi. He was said to have slumped in his hotel room in Abuja, where he was attending the bi-annual judges' conference.
Daily Champion gathered that efforts to revive him by doctors at the National Hospital Abuja proved fruitless.
Mr. Anthony Edokpayi, a relation of the late chief judge, confirmed the death. He said representatives have been sent to Abuja to get clarification on the circumstances that led to his death.
Until his death at 60, he was the sitting judge at the state High Court 1. Workers were seen in mournful looks when Daily Champion visited the high court premises.
Justice Edokpaiyi was described as very hardworking.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole paid glowing tributes to the departed judge, saying he was always committed to his duties and was active during the one year anniversary of the administration.
It would be recalled that his last public outing in the state was the thanksgiving service the governor held at St Patrick's Catholic Church, Benin.
Oshiomhole said: "This morning, we woke up to learn of the sudden death of the chief judge of Edo State; he was very much around with us last week; he was involved in our one year anniversary activities and as a matter of fact he was at the church service last Sunday and those who watched the television would have seen him like any one of us thanking God and singing and dancing. That same Sunday we met in the plane, he was going for the judges conference and I was on my way to Abuja to attend some other official engagements and there was nothing to suggest that was the last time we were going to see.
"We are saddened by what has happened but we recognize that God gives life and He takes it not at our convenience and we can file no petition except to submit to his will. We remember him in our prayers, may God forgive him his sins and grant him eternal rest and may God comfort the family strengthen the children and help them to overcome the shock and the pain arising from this sudden death". he said.
Others who paid condolences to the family included the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Zakawanu Garuba who expressed surprise over the sudden death.Source: Daily Champion