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Buhari, Ahmed, others mourn pioneer ICPC chairman, Mustapha Akanbi

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Justices Mustapha Akanbi


Pioneer Chairman of the lndependent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (lCPC) and first Wakilin of Ilorin, Justice Mustapha Adebayo Muhammed Akanbi is dead.The renowned anti corruption Czar and former President, Courts of Appeal, who was 86, passed on in the early hours of yesterday in a private hospital, in Ilorin.

The son of the late octogenarian, Prof. Mohammad Akanbi, of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ilorin confirmed the death. The burial led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Mohammed Bashir took place at 3:00pm at his Agba Dam GRA residence, Ilorin.Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, former ministers and top government functionaries and stakeholders in the judiciary were among dignitaries that attended the burial.

Already, tributes have started pouring on the late Akanbi who caught his legal teeth in Ghana.President Muhammadu Buhari, described him as a man whose greatest asset in life was his enviable integrity and incorruptibility.

The president in a condolence message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the late Akanbi would be remembered for his enormous contributions in bringing credibility and respectability to the country’s judiciary.He said: “Being respected by the people for your honesty and patriotism is the best legacy a man can leave behind.’’He noted that his death was a colossal loss not only to the Nigerian judiciary, but the country as a whole.He affirmed that Akanbi’s greatest achievement was leaving the public service with his integrity intact and untainted.

Buhari noted that throughout his distinguished career in the judiciary and public service, Akanbi resisted the defeatist mindset that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.”Buhari extended heartfelt condolences to Akanbi’s family, the government and people of Kwara and the entire Ilorin Emirate.Ahmed described as shocking and devastating the passing away of Akanbi.Ahmed in a condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba said the state and indeed Nigeria has lost a rare gem, philanthropist and revivalist.

The governor explained that his philanthropist gesture and investment in education, which is a key component of human capital development, would be greatly missed by all.He described Akanbi as a true Nigerian, Pan Africanist and lover of his community with exceptional penchant for the advancement of humanity irrespective of race, ethnicity and religious belief.

The Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad said the vacuum left behind by Akanbi would be difficult to fill.Legal luminaries in Ilorin, Mallam Yusuf Ola-Olu Ali, Bayo Adelodun, John Bayesheia, Abeni Mohammed, Abeni Mohammed and Adebayo Adelodun all described the late jurist as a quintessential private and public person worthy of emulation and a pride of the nation among his peers.  

Lawyer and rights activist, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa, similarly described Akanbi as an incorruptible jurist. He said his death is a great lost to Nigeria and the legal profession.Akanbi, who had been laid to rest according to Islamic rites was born on Sept. 11, 1932, in Accra, Ghana, He obtained a scholarship to study law at the Institute of Administration, now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.He then went for further legal studies in the United Kingdom.He was called to the English Bar in 1963, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in January 1964. He joined the Ministry of Justice and became a Senior State Counsel in 1968.late Akanbi was appointed the ICPC chairman by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 and served until 2005.

In 1969 he set up a private practice in Kano. In 1974 he was appointed a judge of the Federal Revenue Court, and in January 1977 he was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench.In 1992 he was made President of the Nigerian Court of Appeal, a position he held until retiring in 1999.

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has also commiserated with the governments and people of Adamawa and Kwara states over the demise of the renowned academic and federalist, Dr.  Bala Takaya and anti-corruption czar, Justice Mustapha Akanbi. Takaya, a one time Governorship Candidate in Adamawa State was until his passing, the  President of Middle Belt Forum.  Justice Akanbi  was President, Court of Appeal and  Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) .The Governor in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary,  Francis Ottah Agbo,  described them as great Nigerians who contributed immensely to the development of the country and prayed for the repose of their souls.


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