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A BIOGRAPHY OF HIS LORDSHIP, LATE ELDER (OTUEKONG) HONOURABLE JUSTICE EFFIONG

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

It was Thomas Caryle, a Scottish writer who popularized “the great man’s theory that become an acceptable idea in the 19th century.1 This theory presupposed that the impact of great men, heroes or heroine and highly influential individuals who have impacted that society due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom and power should be reckoned and acknowledged.2 Therefore this work tends to lay emphasis on the contributions of His lordship, late Elder (Otuekong) Honourable Justice Effiong J. Ntia to the judiciary system in Nigeria. It should be emphasized however, that men who deserve to be recognized and praised by their people are those who measure their success not only by the material wealth they had acquired for themselves but also by the positive contributions they have made on the lives of people and the society.3

The above assertions have formed the central reason for embarking on the study of the Life and Time of His Lordship, Late Elder (Otuekong) Honourable Justice Effiong Joseph Ntia (Rtd) who throughout his years of service at different capacities had greatly impacted Akwa Ibom State in particular and Nigeria at large.

According to David kidder,

“the purpose of our lives is to contribute our unique and God-given gifts to have an extra ordinary impact on the lives of others and the world”.4

Kidder’s view appears to be the guiding philosophy behind late Justice Effiong Ntia’s beneficent and selfless service during his life time which invariably affected the society positively.

Statement of the Problem

The contributions of late Elder Justice Effiong J. Ntia towards the socio-political development in Akwa Ibom in particular, and Nigeria in general has received little attention from the society. This is against the backdrop of the fact that many write ups have been in honour of particularly political figures in the state as well as their contributions. It is important that as historians that we develop the art of documentation about those who have impacted a great deal in the lives of people and society at large. As argued by Professor Okon Uya,

“a society that allows its heroes to die unsung and unpraised sooner or later will have no reference point against which to assess itself”.5

Valuable knowledge of self development which should promote and encourage the present generation are not documented and are lost to the present generation. The development strategies adopted by great men to promote the development of their societies, impact on the lives of people remains foggy and unknown. Therefore, this research work seeks to fill this gap.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are as follows:

·                 To give a historical background of His Lordship Late Elder (Otuekong) Honourable Justice Effiong Joseph Ntai (Rtd).

·                    To study his professional career life.

·                    To investigate his involvement in the socio-political development of Akwa Ibom in particular and the larger Nigerian society.

·                    To assess the general impact of his life on the community’s development.

Methodology      

This study derives its information from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources include oral information collected through personnel interviews from the people who had known the Late Elder Justice Effiong J. Ntia. Due to the fact that this is an original work and a biography, the bulk of the information used for this study will be derived from primary sources, mainly oral interviews. Secondary sources will include written information from both libraries and articles. The study adopted a historical narrative method in its writing.

Scope and Limitation of the Study

This scope of this study, spans between the period of 1930 when His Lordship, Late Elder (Outekong) Honourable Justice Effiong J. Ntia (Rtd) was born till his death in 2010. This period was chosen by the researcher because it marked the time Late Justice Ntia was born until his death, to examine his activities, success, and failures including his personal challenges during his life time. The research is however limited to the biography of Late Elder Otuekong Justice Ntia (Rtd) as other biographies of other persons will not be documented.

Significance of the Study      

The findings of the study will add value and volume to historical documentation, as it will give detailed information on the life of Honourable Justice Effiong (Rtd), as written documents of this magnitude has never been done before on the latter

The study will be of great importance to policy makers in their attempt to add value to the judiciary system in Nigeria.

Also it will form a very useful information resource base for future researches, for the government, independent scholars and the general public.

Literature Review

Based on the originality and nature of this work, it is important to note that written documents on Late Justice Effiong Ntia are very few. As a result, of this, there a is almost no literature to review but the little that do exist will be reviewed:

According to Brigadier – General Godwin Alabi-Isama in his book little – THE TRAGEDY OF VICTORY: On – the Spot Account of the Nigeria – Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre, which detailed chronological narrative of the Nigeria-Biafra War that lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970 with about 500 photographs and maps. Brigadier-General Godwin Alabi-Isama asserts that;

“To Keep civil society in order justice Ntia of Uyo set up the courts and arranged civil defence. Anything we wanted was made available. He was my civilian liaison with the people. A well respected and respectable person, he stood by the federal troops through thick and thin”.

Late Elder Justice Ntia (Jp) as a church leader, distinguished himself as a straight forward and respected Jurist, a disciplined gentleman, a voice to the voiceless and defender of the defenseless. His Christian virtues reflected in his family, Church, Community, and the larger Nigerian society.7         

Biography is a detailed description of a person’s life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of their life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (resume), a biography presents a subject’s life story, highlighting various aspects of one’s life including intimate details of experience and may include an analysis of the subject’s personality.6 In lines with above explanation, this Project Research is carry out to ascertain the basic facts about the life of His Lordship Late Elder (Otuekong) Honourable Justice Effiong Joseph Ntia (Rtd), his Educational Background, Working Experience, Civil and Political Activities, his Contributions to Development of his Community, the Church, Judiciary System in Nigeria and the Society at large.

This work relied mostly from information deduced from oral interviews. Due to the scarcity or written materials.       

Organization of the Study              

This work is organized into five chapters.

Chapter one consist of the introduction, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, methodology, scope and limitation of the study, significance of the study, literature review and organization of the study.

Chapter two focuses on the birth and parentage, early life educational background and family life of His Lordship, late Elder (Otuekong) Hon. Justice Effiong J. Ntia (Rtd).

Chapter three discusses the career achievements of Late Elder Justice Effiong Ntia (Rtd), Civil and Political Activities, and Honours/Awards.

Chapter four examines Late Justice Effiong Ntia’s contributions to the development of the Nigerian Judiciary system, his Community, and Christian Life.

Chapter five is the Summary and Conclusion of the work.

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