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Buhari, National Assembly, Obasanjo, Tinubu, others mourn Akinjide

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Richard Osuolale Akinjide


Prominent Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, Aremo Segun Osoba, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Chief Wole Olanipekun and Chief Afe Babalola, have mourned former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Richard Osuolale Akinjide, who passed on yesterday in Ibadan. He was aged 88 years.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari commiserated with the government and people of Oyo State over the passing of their illustrious son.

He also condoled with the family members, friends, professional and political associates of the “legal icon, who made remarkable impact on the country as Minister of Education in the First Republic, Minister of Justice and Attorney General in the Second Republic, and member of the Judicial Systems Sub-committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977.”

He joined the Olubadan of Ibadan Court, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the entire judiciary in mourning the legal luminary, affirming that he used his rich experience and knowledge in serving the country and humanity.

In his condolences, Lawan said the deceased lived a fulfilled life and carved a niche for himself as a “walking encyclopedia of the law profession having made his mark on the sand of time.”

He added that the erudite lawyer made great contributions to the legal profession as well as to the political and constitutional development of Nigeria. Speaking in the same vein, chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, in a statement by his press secretary, Aniekan Udofia in Uyo, extolled the leadership virtues of the departed senior lawyer.

In a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, in Abeokuta, ex-President Obasanjo described the legal personality “as a nationalist and patriot, who built bridges of love, goodwill, unity and tolerance which are the necessary ingredients for the perpetuation of a cohesive, strong, and stable Nigerian nation.”

The National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu, in the condolence message issued by his spokesman, Tunde Rahman, acknowledged Akinjide’s passion for service.

To Osoba, the deceased was a sound legal luminary who played a critical role during the Second Republic.

According to Oba Adetunji, the incident was a monumental loss to the nation. Besides, the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), in its condolence message issued by the Secretary General, Dr. Kunle Olajide, regretted the death of the founding member.

The group described the late Oyo indigene as a successful politician who began his career as a member of the federal parliament at the age of 27. According to Babalola, Akinjide was an erudite and brilliant advocate.

In the words of Olanipekun, the late Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) made a success of every venture he embarked on. In its tributes, the NBA president, Paul Usoro, in a statement issued by the National Assistant Publicity Secretary, Akorede Habeeb Lawal, labelled the association’s ex-chief executive an iconic legal practitioner.

Meanwhile, the late erstwhile minister could not access medical services for the two days he was rushed to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan when he copped up a health challenge prior to his exit yesterday. A family source said the octogenarian could not be attended on Friday and Saturday at the medical facility as the COVID-19 pandemic got prominence.


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