Former Attorney General of Nigeria, Richard Akinjide dies at 88

Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nigeria, Late Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN)

A former Minister of justice in the second republic, Richard Akinjide has died at 88 in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital.

News of the death of Akinjide, who first served as Federal Minister of Education in the government of former Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa was received on Tuesday.

While confirming the death of the renowned legal luminary, Spokesperson of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Tonye Akinrionola notes that Richard Akinjide was brought dead to the hospital.

Late Richard Akinjide was until his death the oldest member of the exclusive “Former NBA Presidents Group” that the NBA President often consults on important issues concerning the legal profession.

Akinjide was born in 1930 in Ibadan and attended St. Peter’s Primary School, Aremo in Ibadan from where he proceeded to Oduduwa College in Ile-Ife. Upon completion of his secondary school studies, passing out in Distinction, Aggregate 6, he relocated to the United Kingdom in 1951 to study LLB degree in Law at the University of London and in addition earned a certificate in Journalism. In 1955, he was called to the English Bar.

Late Akinjide was a member of the Nigerian Bar, as well as the Gambian Bar.. In 1978, he rose to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Before setting up his law firm, Akinjide & Co, he had practiced briefly with S.L Durosaro.

Mr Akinjide was a contributor to West African Pilot and Daily Times. He also taught International Commercial Arbitration at post-graduate level at the University of Ibadan.

He was a member of the Judicial Systems Sub-Committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977 and later joined the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1978. He became the Legal Adviser for the party before hwas later appointed the justice minister when President Shehu Shagari assumed office.

In a statement released on behalf of the office of the President, Nigerian Bar Association and signed by the National Assistant Publicity Secretary, Akorede Habeeb Lawal expresses sadness at the passing of one of Nigeria’s finest professional.

Lawal states that “Chief Akinjide, was steeped in the ethics of the Bar, a brilliant advocate – one of the finest in the legal profession.

He described the deceased as a renowned leader of politics and thought.

“His contributions to the Bar as President between 1970 to 1973 were immense. And until his demise, he was always on hand as the oldest member of the exclusive “Former NBA Presidents Group” that the NBA President often consults on important issues concerning the legal profession”, Lawal states.

The NBA says it is committed to supporting the family of Chief Richard Akinjide as the family plans a befitting burial for the late Attorney General.