There are strong indications that Justice Chima Centus Nweze of the Supreme Court of Nigeria may have died due to complications arising from a collapsed organ.

CITY LAWYER gathered that Justice Nweze, adjudged as one of the most cerebral jurists on the Supreme Court Bench in the mold of celebrated Justice Chukwudifu Oputa and Justice Kayode Eso among a few others, died on Saturday in an Abuja hospital.

A senior lawyer who was close to the foremost jurist told CITY LAWYER today that Justice Nweze had complained to him about being unwell. An unconfirmed report stated that the jurist slipped into coma about four months ago.

Though it has been reported that his illness was one of the factors that led his colleagues at the Supreme Court to rebel against erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CITY LAWYER could not independently confirm the report.

With his demise, the South East Zone presently has no representation at the Supreme Court bench.

Justice Nweze is better known for his dictum in the controversial Supreme Court judgment which sacked former Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha. In a dissenting 1-6 judgment, Nweze had warned that “The decision of the Supreme Court in the instant matter will continue to haunt our electoral jurisprudence for a long time to come.” Ihedioha had brought an application urging the apex court to reverse its January 14, 2020 decision which returned Governor Hope Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of Imo State.

Though his profile among justice sector stakeholders peaked with that famous dissenting judgment, it seemed to have nose-dived when he led a sharply split 3-2 Supreme Court panel to dump Bashir Machina out of the Yobe North Senatorial race in favour of erstwhile Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

CITY LAWYER gathered that he and Justice Raphael Agbo who died on July 3 this year both worked as private legal practitioners in the chambers of legal luminary, Dr. Michael Ezeugwu Ajogwu SAN.

According to a Supreme Court profile obtained by CITY LAWYER, Justice Nweze, a native of Obollo, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, was born on September 25, 1958. “A practising Christian of the Roman Catholic Denomination, he is married to Hon. Justice Ugonne Jacinta Nweze of the Enugu State Judiciary. Their union is blessed with five children and a grandchild.

“He attended St John Cross Seminary, Nsukka, from 1972 -1977, emerging with a Distinction in the West African School Certificate Examination, [WASCE]. Between 1979 – 1983, he was an undergraduate student at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. In 1983, he represented the Faculty of Law, and indeed, all Nigerian Law Faculties, at the Phillip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington DC, as the Chief Oralist. Upon his graduation in 1983, [LL. B. (Hons) (Nig.)], he proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, from 1983 – 1984, where he obtained the qualifying Certificate, [BL]. He did his NYSC between 1984 – 1985 in Bauchi.

“Subsequently, he returned to the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, between 1993 – 1995, where he studied for, and obtained, the Master of Laws Certificate, [LL. M]. Between 1997 – 2001, he studied for, and achieved, the Doctorate Degree [Ph. D.] of the same university, the University of Nigeria.

“Having practised at the private Bar from 1985 – 1995, he was elevated to the High Court Bench of Enugu State in November, 1995. While on the High Court Bench, he served as Chairman, Second Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Enugu State, 1996 -1998; Chairman, Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Nsukka, 1998 -1999; Member, Ondo State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal, 1999; Chairman, Ogun State Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal, 1999; Administrative Judge, Nsukka Judicial Division, Enugu State, 2001. He was appointed a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, February 15, 2008; and served thereat until October, 2014, when he was, finally, elevated to Nigeria’s apex court as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, October 29, 2014. He has been on the Bench of the Supreme Court from October, 2014 – Date.”

To join our CITY LAWYER ROUNDTABLE on WhatsApp, click here 

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to Join us on Facebook at and on TWITTER at To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER, please email or call 08138380083.

All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.