Akinjide, a legal colossus–Afe Babalola

Richard Akinjide

Eminent lawyer, Afe Babalola, on Tuesday described the late Chief Richard Akinjide as a legal colossus and a professional who was a fervent believer in the rule of law.

He said this in Ado-Ekiti in his tribute to Akinjide, the Second Republic Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, who died on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Babalola, who personally signed the tribute and sent a copy to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), also described the former minister as an erudite and brilliant advocate.

“I have seen the departed learned Brother of the Silk at close quarters, seen him at work and I have also seen him at play.

“I interacted with him in the court and outside the court and found him to be a genial and humble person who was sold to hard work.

“But as traumatising as the news is, I am consoled by the fact that the departed senior member of the Inner Bar, who was well known for his mastery of the English Language and his dexterity in court lived a most fulfilled life,” he said.

Babalola further said the deceased impacted on  his community, ” particularly the judiciary, his primary constituency, thereby leaving his giant steps on the sand of judicial times.”

“A professional to the core, the departed legal colossus was a fervent believer in the rule of law.

“His acclaimed brilliance and the very professional ways he conducted himself both within and outside the Bar will remain indelible in our psyche.

“The Bar and the Bench will certainly miss him, particularly his fine legal analysis.

“He was a man, who was loved and respected by all members of the Bar which he was fortunate to lead at some point in his beautiful career as the National President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

“I thank the Almighty God for granting him the enviable grace of being able to make his marks before being called home to rest in His bosom.

“It is my fervent prayer that all he worked for whilst still with us on planet earth will stand him in good stead before The Maker of all things.

“It is given for all mortals to leave one day, we will all leave one day after the other.

” One of the greatest ways God has demonstrated his almightiness is that no one knows when, where and how he will die.

“While wishing him a most-deserved rest, I pray that the Almighty God will grant the entire Akinjide dynasty and the judiciary where he served meritoriously the grace and the equanimity to bear the irreparable loss,” Babalola said.