Ajibola was role model, man of uncommon integrity, says Osinbajo
• Oyebanji, MUSWEN mourn ex-World Court judge
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the late former Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola, as a role model and a man of uncommon integrity, who served Nigeria selflessly.
A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, yesterday, said the Vice President spoke at the interment of the elder statesman in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, Osinbajo was received by the deceased’s first son, Segun Ajibola, at the premises of Islamic Mission for Africa – an institution established by the erstwhile World Court judge – and where he was also interred.
Asked by journalists what he would remember the late Ajibola for, the Vice President described him as a man of integrity, who had a deep commitment to the unity and progress of Nigeria.
He added that the former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom was “an excellent role model.”
Osinbajo said: “He was a man, who believed that the worth of a person is what he is able to give back to society and he demonstrated it throughout his own life. So, I think it is a life that ought to be celebrated, and it is a life that is an example to us all.
“Something he demonstrated while I worked with him was a belief in this nation, a belief in our country as a united nation. But more importantly, is that one could serve in the public domain with integrity and with altruism. He demonstrated this all his life.
“First, he did not accept to be paid a salary when he was Attorney-General. At some point in his life, he told me that he wanted to establish a university, which turned out to be Crescent University, and that he was going to sell everything that he owned to establish that university.
“I recall that he sold all the houses that he owned and several other things to be able to establish Crescent University. This place where we stand, is also a place he established for primary and secondary education.”
BESIDES, Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, yesterday, regretted the passing of the legal icon.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, the governor described Ajibola’s death as a huge loss to the legal profession, international diplomacy and Nigeria as a country.
He noted that the deceased served Nigeria in various capacities with humility, integrity, passion, commitment and to the best of his ability, hence the worthy legacies he left behind.
Oyebanji observed that Ajibola’s distinguished himself in legal advocacy and was a leading light in the law profession, which peaked with his election as President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the award of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
According to him, the deceased’s tenure as Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice showcased his worth as an iconic jurist, which was followed with his appointment as a Judge of the International Court of Justice at the Hague, The Netherlands.
He stressed that Ajibola’s further service of Nigeria as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom further bore eloquent testimony to his versatility as a patriot that could be called upon by his fatherland anywhere his assignment was needed.
ALSO, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), while mourning its immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), noted that Ajibola’s exemplary contributions to the growth of Muslims in Nigeria and Africa as a whole is outstanding.
In a statement, the Executive Secretary/CEO, Prof. Muslih ‘Tayo Yahya, said: “He dedicated his life to the course of the Muslim Ummah and worked tirelessly to promote unity and religious harmony across the country and the continent of Africa. His numerous achievements and legacies will remain forever etched in the annals of history.
“Judge Ajibola was a visionary leader and a trailblazer, whose impact on the Nigerian Muslim community cannot be overstated. As a man of principle, courage and action, he was a shining example of what could be achieved when passion, determination, skill and punctuality are brought together in the service of a noble course.”
He continued: One of the most significant contributions of Judge Ajibola while serving as a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was his effort toward the improvement of the global justice system. At the World Court, he worked tirelessly to promote the course of justice and the advancement of international law. His legal expertise and unwavering commitment to justice and fairness earned him the respect and admiration of people all over the world.
“In Nigeria, Judge Ajibola was well respected within the legal community for his exceptional legal knowledge and for his role as former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. As minister, he championed legal reforms that advanced the course of justice, democracy and good governance in Nigeria. His contributions to the development of the Nigerian legal system remain significant and memorable.
“As the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MUSWEN, Judge Ajibola significantly promoted religious harmony and peaceful co-existence between Muslims and people of other faiths. Under his able leadership, MUSWEN worked tirelessly to improve the welfare of Muslims in the South West region of Nigeria.
“Judge Ajibola as a devout Muslim lived his life in accordance with the teachings of Islam. He was a man of great faith, humility and compassion, and he always put the needs of others before his own. His commitment to the course of the Muslim Ummah, his exemplary leadership and unwavering commitment to justice and fairness will continue to inspire countless Nigerians for generations to come.
On behalf of the President of NUSWEN and the entire Ummah, I extend our deepest condolences to Judge Ajibola’s family, friends and loved ones. May Allah grant him eternal peace and a place in Janat al-Firdaus, and may He grant his family, friends and loved ones the strength and patience to bear this irreparable loss. Justice Ajibola’s passing is a great loss to the Nigerian Muslim community and the nation as a whole.”