Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Former Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide’s Personal Assistant, Ademola Adediran, yesterday disclosed that the former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Richard Akinjide (SAN), died on his way to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, at about 1am..
Adediran made the disclosure during an interview with journalists at Akinjide’s residence.
Akinjide was said to have died at the age of 89, and would have been 90 years old on November 4, 2020.
Adediran, who said his principal and daughter of the deceased asked him to always be with her father because of his old age, recounted his last moments with the deceased.
“It is a pity we lost him. He was a man of honour and an icon. I was with him till 6:30pm yesterday (Monday). I got to this place by 7am yesterday. When he was eating his breakfast, I sat beside him. When he was eating his lunch, I was with him. Around 6:30pm, I went to meet him and told him that I wanted to leave because the curfew would start by 7pm Then, he said okay. But he asked me to do him a favour. He said the trees in his compound, he did not like the way they have been growing, I should help him cut them. He asked after my wife and the kids and I left.
“So, after midnight, I received a call that he was unconscious. I had to rush down here, despite the curfew. We rushed him to UCH. On arrival, we were told he’s dead,” he said.
Fielding questions on whether the deceased was sick prior to his death, Adediran said: “He had been feeling feverish for about a week now. Then, we took him to UCH, but we were told the doctors were not around. They said we were going to do COVID-19 test before they could administer any treatment on him.
Unfortunately, it was in the midnight too; it was the night of Friday to Saturday. They gave us a prescription of drugs that we should use. We went back home and we started using the drugs for him. He was okay. But it was a pity he left today.”
When asked if Akinjide had travelled outside the country recently or received visitors from abroad, Adediran answered: “He had not left Ibadan for the past three years. He did not also receive any visitor from abroad. I have been the only person that has always been with him in the morning, afternoon and night.”
Asked how his daughter, Jumoke, received the news, Adediran said: “When I broke the news to her, she felt so bad. But there is nothing anyone can do about it. Immediately I told her on phone, she kept quite for some time and later picked up again, and told me: ‘Demola, go and arrange mortuary for him’. She is in Abuja and because of this lockdown over COVID-19, she could not come to Ibadan now.
Tthe deceased’s cousin, Peter Akinjide, who said the burial arrangements would be announced by the biological children.
Akinjide served as minister of justice during the administration of Shehu Shagari of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) from 1979 to 1983 in the Second Republic. Prior to the time, he also served as minister of education in the First Republic in the government of a former Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa.
He was a member of the judicial system’s sub-committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977 and later joined the NPN in 1978, and in the same year, he became the legal adviser for the party.
Akinjide was born in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State in the early 1930s.