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.