Parliament has paid tribute to Justice Rubby Aweri Opio, the Justice of the Supreme Court who passed away on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
During a special sitting to pay tribute to him held on Tuesday, 13 December 2022, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, the Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao among others laid wreaths on the casket in honour of the deceased.
The Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, the family of the late Judge and other members of the Judiciary were in the House as Parliament paid tribute to the deceased.
In her communication to the House, Anita Among described the late as a man of boundless intellect who was selfless and dedicated in his service in the Judiciary.
She said that the deceased was committed to administering justice.
“I urge the members to emulate the dedication, humility and the selflessness of Justice Aweri Opio. Personally, I knew Justice Opio when he was a resident Judge in Gulu and I was working at Centenary Bank; he used to be a parent to all of us,” she said.
The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja who moved the motion to pay tribute to the deceased described Aweri Opio as a great towering legal mind who served the bench with boundless dedication, utmost humility and commitment.
“There is no doubt Uganda will miss his noble service. Justice Aweri had major interest in law and practice, civil litigation, criminal law, environmental law and management,” she said.
Nabbanja added that Aweri Opio was a true legal professional who dedicated his life to the Judiciary.
Several Members of Parliament described the deceased as a fountain of humility, hard work and someone who fought corruption.
The Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga said that although Aweri Opio had the opportunity to excel in private practice, he chose public service, which turned out to be of great importance to the nation.
Butembe County MP David Livingstone Zijan said that Justice Aweri Opio dispensed justice with empathy and humility, and decried the apathy and corruption in Ugandans institutions.
“As we send him off today, we owe him a better nation at the end of our journey. His legacy speaks for himself,” he said.
The House also adopted an amendment to the motion to name a road after Aweri Opio and also set up a modern library at Lango College in Lira, the secondary school that the deceased studied from.
The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja said that she will take the matter to Cabinet for consideration.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Norbert Mao said that Justice Aweri Opio had a tough stance on corruption in the Judiciary when he was named the Chief Inspector of Courts.
“Those of us who knew Justice Aweri Opio personally were impressed by his humanity, his capacity for hard work and his seriousness of purpose,” he said.
The Government Chief Whip, Denis Hamson Obua hailed Parliament and the President for the Administration of Judiciary Act, stating that the deceased’s family will benefit from the provisions of the law.
“In his rise to the Supreme Court, the track record of the late Justice Aweri Opio from wherever he was within and outside Uganda was clean and clear,” Obua said.
The Minister of State for Defence, Jacob Marksons Oboth described the deceased as a humble person who served with meekness.
The Minister of State for Urban Development, Obiga Kania equally described Aweri Opio as a humble man who presided over his court sessions with utmost integrity.
Dokolo District Woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal said that Justice Aweri Opio was a humorous man who cared so much for his community. She said that in his humility, Opio Aweri was a giant.
“I plead with MPs that we should remember this man to make sure that we increase funding for the Judiciary. They cannot perform unless we increase funding to them.” Ogwal said.