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NBA President Hails Late Akeredolu as Nigeria’s Finest Legal Mind

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, leading the National Officers and other members of the Bar delivered an address at the valedictory court session held in honour of the late Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, former Governor of Ondo State and past President of the NBA at the High Court of Justice, Ibadan.

The NBA President noted that Aketi was “one of the country’s finest legal minds and political leaders.” Describing his unassuming personality, Mr. Maikyau stated that “Mr. Akeredolu exemplified utmost humility by his rejection of chieftaincy titles and ‘His Excellency’ appellations, which he was eminently qualified for. In a society where it is taboo to fail to address a person by his titles – whether deserving or not, Akeredolu defied the norm. Instead, he chose to simply identify himself as Arakunrin – a gentleman. Simply a gentleman, and no more.”

Notwithstanding his simplicity, the NBA President stated that Arakurin was not a simpleton. Instead, he was “what Yorubas would call ‘Okunrin Meta’ (a man who is more than three men). He excelled as a legal practitioner, and he was duly recognised in 1998 as the 139th legal practitioner to be conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He was Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice from 1997 to 1999, Chairman, Legal Aid Council from 2005 to 2006, and a two-term Governor of Ondo State from 2017 till his demise. According to the NBA President, “Aketi was a dyed-in-the wool” Bar man”, who went on to “become the 24th President of the NBA from 2008 to 2010 – one of the most influential and courageous Presidents ever to lead the NBA. He fought for the Bar, he worked for the Bar, and he led the Bar creditably.”

Mr. Maikyau, in his address, reiterated the stance of the NBA against the attempt at invading our legal space through the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP). The NBA President also reported an unprecedented appropriation of N341, 625, 739, 236.00 for the Judiciary, a development that is hoped to improve the judicial arm of government. He repeated the NBA’s call for the immediate swearing-in of the 11 Justices appointed to the bench of the Apex Court to help with the decongestion of the court’s dockets. The NBA President also seized the occasion to decry the tragic event of the explosion in the city of Ibadan on 16 January, 2024 and called on the government to identify and prosecute those involved for their actions and compensate those who suffered losses due to no fault of theirs.
The NBA President concluded his address by extending the condolence of the National Executive Committee and members of the NBA to the entire Akeredolu clan, the government, and the people of Ondo and Oyo States. He prayed that “God Almighty will comfort the hearts of all members of his family, his colleagues, and friends.”

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