The people of Taraba State are in deep shock following the demise of one of the First Class chiefs in the state, the Kpanti Zing His Royal Highness, Muhammad Samba Abbas who died with two of his wives in the hajj tragedy in Mina, Saudi Arabia, which claimed hundreds of pilgrims from different nations.
Two Appeal Court justices, one of whom was the brother of former INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, Justice Abubakar Abdulkadir Jega, were confirmed dead by Nigerian judicial authorities at the weekend.
Jega was the presiding justice of Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
His remains had been reportedly identified at the mortuary in Saudi Arabia as one the five missing pilgrims from Kebbi State.
By hierarchy, he was third in seniority but widely tipped to succeed the incumbent President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa.
Justice Dalhatu Adamu, the most senior serving justice of the Court of Appeal, was by-passed for Bulkachuwa to emerge the PCA.
The development meant Adamu was out of reckoning and Jega was unofficially considered the most senior to succeed Bulkachuwa, hence his appointment as the presiding justice of the Abuja Division of the court.
The late judge was also a brother to the deputy Editor-in-Chief of Trust newspapers.
His wife died of cancer last year.
When Sunday Tribune contacted the management of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Head, Media and Publicity, Hajia Sadatu, confirmed Justice Jega’s death, adding that a statement might be issued later.
Meanwhile, Saudi Health ministry also confirmed a spike in the casualty figures, rising from 717 to 769.
The figures of the injured has also risen to 934 from 863, at the weekend.
Saudi authorities also reportedly refused to give a break-down of nationalities of victims, thereby making it difficult for each nation to account for its exact loss.
Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON, in a statement, mourned the death of the justices of the Court of Appeal.
Hon Justice Mahmud Mohammed, in a condolence message to their families, the Court of Appeal the Judiciary and, indeed, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, noted that the death of the revered jurists is not just a huge loss to the judiciary but Nigeria in entirety, adding that both men of the Bench had contributed immensely to the development of Nigerian jurisprudence.
The CJN prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the soul of departed Justices eternal rest and their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Also, Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, in a statement, joined others to condone with the Muslim community worldwide over the tragic stampede.
According to the statement, “the PDP mourns, our thoughts and prayers go to the Muslim community worldwide and particularly, the families of Nigerian worshippers who were affected in the sad occurrence. Indeed, we share in their pains and pray that the Almighty God, in His mercies, comfort and give them the fortitude to bear the loss.”


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