Buhari, Olubadan, NBA, CDHR mourn Akinjide

Buhari, Olubadan, NBA, CDHR mourn Akinjide

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 3:47 pm

Richard Akinjide

Tributes are pouring in for late Richard Akinjide, Nigeria’s second Republic Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federal who died in his Ibadan, Oyo State home early Tuesday morning.

Top among the torrents of tribute was from President Muhammadu Buhari, who in a statement by his spokesperson, Mr Femi Femi Adesina noted that the deceased had made remarkable impact on the country as Minister of Education in the First Republic, Minister of Justice and Attorney General in the Second Republic, as well as a  member of Judicial Systems Sub-committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977.

While describing the late Senior Advocate of Nigeria as an illustrious son of Oyo State, President Buhari condoled with family members, friends, professional and political associates of the legal icon.

“The President joined the Olubadan of Ibadan Court, Nigerian Bar Association and entire Judiciary in mourning the legal luminary, affirming that he used his rich experience and knowledge in serving the country and humanity.

“President Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant the departed eternal rest, and comfort his family,” President Buhari said.

In his own tribute, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, described Akinjide’s death as a monumental loss to the nation.

The monarch’s tribute was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan by his spokesman, Adeola Oloko.

Adetunji described Akinjide as an accomplished lawyer and politician who gave a very good account of himself as First Republic Minister of State for Education and Second Republic Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

The monarch said Akinjide, who also served as a chief in the Olubadan of Ibadan Court of Clan Nobles, was a patriot who displayed great love for his fatherland and her people.

He recalled that the legendary lawyer, who had Aggregate Six in his senior school certificate examination in the early 50s, used to be a reference point to generations of youths for his hard work, diligence and dedication to duty.

The monarch said he was not surprised when on March 8, the Yemi Soladoye-led Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) had included Akinjide’s picture among those etched in Ibadan Hall of Fame at Ibadan House, Oke Aremo, at an impressive ceremony.

The Olubadan, who said the vacuum left by Akinjide’s exit would be hard to fill, prayed to God to give the family of the deceased and his associates the fortitude to bear the loss

In their own tributes, the Ikeja Branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR)  described the passing of Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) as a great loss to the legal profession.

Reacting to the news of the passage of the 89 years old legal icon on Tuesday in Lagos, Mr Dele Oloke, the Chairman of NBA Ikeja, described the late SAN as “one of the greatest lawyers Nigeria ever produced”.

Oloke said that Akinjide had a brilliant mind and was an quintessential education minister and Attorney-General of the Federation.

“He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on the same day with Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief G.O.K Ajayi (SAN). He was also one of the founding fathers of the Yoruba nation.

“The NBA Ikeja branch regrets the death of Chief Richard Akinjide, Nigeria will miss him, the entire legal community will miss him, Yoruba land and Ibadan land in particular will miss him,” the NBA Ikeja branch chairman said.

Mr Malachy Ugwummadu, a human rights lawyer and the National President of the CDHR, said that the late Akinjide was a renowned and accomplished lawyer in Nigeria.

“He was greatly appreciated as one of the best legal brains in the country. He was not wanting among his contemporaries and there were quite a handful of them, his own generation of lawyers were mainly London trained.

“He brought that to bare not only in his communication skills, but in his advocacy and the level of integrity he put in his legal practice,” the CDHR president said.

Recalling an encounter with the late Akinjide, Ugwummadu said they met in 2004 when they had represented opposing parties in a case and that the late SAN displayed a lot of knowledge and humility in his conduct.

“He reached out to me and said young man there is a need to know you more and handed to me his complimentary card and assured me of the best alternative to resolving the dispute.

“For me, that was the trait of a gentleman who understood the ethics of the profession and was willing to expand the coast of his professional relationships regardless of your age,” he said.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.