The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, is mourning following the exit of one of its members and onetime Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide.
In a release issused by the chairman if the Nigeria chapter of the body, Mr. Olatunde Busari, SAN, the institute described late Akinjide as an active supporter and member of the institute whose loss will be felt by the institute and the country at large.
The statement said: “The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria branch received with total submission to the will of God, the sad news of the demise of one of our members, Chief Richard Osuolale Abimbola Akinjide, SAN, FCIArb.
“Chief Richard Akinjide was born on 1st November 1931 and called to the English Bar in 1955 and later to the Nigerian Bar. Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN was a distinguished Senior Advocate of Nigeria and an outstanding pillar of the legal profession in Nigeria.
“In his quest to improve the efficient delivery of justice, he joined the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) in 1990 and became a fellow of the institute.
“As a pioneer member of the Nigeria branch of the CIArb, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN was one of the spirited numbers of founding members that worked assiduously at ensuring that Nigeria was accorded a branch status by the CIArb.
“He was an active and strong supporter of the Nigeria branch and served as a member of its training faculty. For many years, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN was one of the leading arbitrators in the field of oil and gas and had many published articles and awards to his credit.
“He, together with many of his ilk, contributed in no small measure, to ensuring that arbitration gains prominence as an effective and efficient method for resolving commercial disputes in Nigeria.
“As an elder statesman, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN left indelible prints in the annals of history of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He served as Minister of Education in the First Republic under the administration of the then Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa. He also served as a member of the Judicial Systems Sub-Committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee in 1975-1977. He also served the country as Attorney General and Minister for Justice during the Second Republic, under the administration of President Shehu Shagari.
“Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN was passionate about his work as a legal practitioner and arbitrator. We wish our time together could have been longer, but the Lord chose to call him to eternal glory after a commendable service to country and mankind. Though he is no longer with us, we are consoled that his legacy lives on.
“Indeed, the branch has lost a rare gem. On behalf of the branch, I convey our heartfelt condolences to his daughter Jumoke (who is also our member) and the entire Akinjide family. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
“As we join to mourn the loss of this legal Icon, our prayer is that the Almighty God will give all, especially his family, the fortitude to bear this loss.”