Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Seye Ojo, Ibadan
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with government and people of Oyo State over the passing of an illustrious son, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide.
Buhari in statement by Femi Adesina in Abuja yesterday, said the late legal icon 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 Judicial Systems Sub-committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977.
Also, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, said Akinjide lived a fulfilled life.
In his tribute, eminent lawyer, Afe Babalola, described Akinjide as a legal colossus and a professional who was a fervent believer in the rule of law.
“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.
Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation) described him as “a very erudite and brilliant lawyer. A great leader of the Bar. His indelible contribution to the development of our Jurisprudence and the legal profession is not in doubt. We shall all miss him. May his soul rest in peace.”
Former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who is the Deputy National Chairman (South) of All Progressives Congress (APC), described Akinjide as a legal icon, nationalist, and statesman, saying as a legal icon, “he was the pride of Ibadan and the Nigerian society, proving his worth at different legal fora. As a nationalist, he gave his best to the world of legal practice and the best came back to him in terms of recognition.”
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, also has described the passage of Akinjide as a monumental loss to the nation, adding that he was an accomplished lawyer and politician that gave a very good account of himself. He stated that the deceased also served as a chieftain in the Olubadan of Ibadan’s court of clan nobles.
The All Progressives Congress in Oyo State, in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olatunde, said the demise of Chief Richard Akinjide has robbed Ibadan, Oyo State and Nigeria of another political titan.
A former Minister of Aviation and a trained lawyer, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, also posted on his verified twitter handle: @realFFK: “Our father, Chief Richard Akinjide, Minister of Education in the 1st Republic, Minister of Justice in the 2nd Republic, great nationalist and elderstatesman has passed on. We loved and reverred him. My prayers are with his family,” adding that both the South West and Nigeria as a whole lost a great son.
Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Ogbomosho Zone, Oyo State, Oba Francis Olushola Alao, also described the death of the legal luminary as a great loss to the Akinjide’s family, Oyo and Nigeria as a whole.
The late legal icon’s daughter and former Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Jumoke, has revealed how she would miss her father.
“I can’t gather my thoughts now. I miss everything. He was the pillar of the family. He was an inspiration. He was our mentor. He was the one that kept everybody sits on the ground. He was very far wise beyond his years. He was very deep. When everybody has said their own, he would speak from an angle that nobody really knew or thought about. One thing he imparted in us is excellence. He taught us to excel at anything we do.”