Buhari, Obasanjo, Govs, Awolowo Dosumu, others pay tributes as Bola Ajibola dies at 89

•My father passionate about Nigeria’s unity —Son

The Grand Chief Imam of Egbaland, Sheik Sa’dallah Bamgbola, performing Islamic prayers on the remains of the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola, at the Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA), Abeokuta, on Sunday.

Torrents of condolence messages, tributes, greeted the announcement of the death of an outstanding lawyer, eminent jurist, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, SAN.

Ajibola died on Sunday at 89 years, at a Lagos hospital after illness associated with old age.

Announcing the death of his dad, his son, Segun Ajibola, via a statement issued on Sunday, wrote: “With very deep heart and gratitude to Almighty Allah, Our Dad, Prince Bola Ajibola, departed this world over midnight. May Almighty Allah bless him with Aljanah Firdaus.”

Ajibola, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Judge Ad Hoc of the World Court, is renowned as a voracious reader, prolific writer, renowned administrator, jurist and arbitrator of global acclaim.

The remains of Ajibola were later, on Sunday, committed to earth, at the Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA), Abeokuta, after the Ṣalāt al-Janāzah performed by the Grand Chief Imam of Egbaland, Sheik Sa’dallah Bamgbola.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; former president Olusegun Obasanjo; the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and represented by his deputy, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele; former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, were among dignitaries at the burial ceremony.

Prior to the burial, a condolence register had been opened at the Ajibola’s Abeokuta residence with Obasanjo among the early callers.

My father was passionate about Nigeria’s unity —Late Ajibola’s son

Speaking with journalists, child of the late jurist, Segun Ajibola, held that his father throughout his lifetime was passionate about the unity of Nigeria.

He said his father would be missed greatly for his sense of humor, generosity and religious beliefs.

He said: “My dad was a very passionate person, very deep and highly religious in all his efforts.

“As a father, he meant so many things. He was very loving but he was a strict disciplinarian; he was very firm, very tough, a thorough personality. He never allowed us to get out of hand in anyway and we will remember him for his high level of humor.

“My dad was an extremely humorous person and generous to a fault. We are all beneficiaries of his love and his affection and his wisdom and discipline. We will miss him dearly without a doubt.”

His patriotic inclinations, passion for advancement of humanity was outstanding —Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari led the torrent of condolence messages describing Ajibola as outstanding for using his God-given knowledge, intellect and talent to advocate for justice, fairness and equity in all his undertakings within and outside Nigeria.

A statement issued on Sunday by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) noted that Ajibola’s contributions to the development of Nigeria’s legal system cannot be overstated, especially serving as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice at a critical period in the nation’s history.

“His patriotic inclinations, integrity and passion for service and advancement of humanity will continue to resonate after him,” Buhari said.

He loved Nigerians regardless of ethnicity, religion —Tinubu

On his part, president-elect, Senator Bola Tinubu, expressed his profound sadness over the demise of the eminent elder statesman and international jurist.

Tinubu in a statement from his media office acknowledged Ajibola’s important contributions to Nigeria’s political evolution and nation-building, legal profession and international jurisprudence.

The statement read: “As ICJ Judge, Justice Ajibola made his mark as one of the brightest legal minds in the world in many decided cases involving state actors across the world. Through his excellent performance, he brought honour and dignity to Nigeria.”

His legacies in judiciary, philanthropy won’t be forgotten —Abiodun

The Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, described the death of Ajibola as a big loss to the judiciary, saying that his legacies in the judiciary, philanthropy and the educational development of Nigeria would never be forgotten.

Abiodun submitted that Ajibola’s death was saddening, devastating and the end of an era.

Abiodun said: “The death of this illustrious son of Ogun State, a celebrated jurist and judicial activist, public intellectual and elder statesman, is a severe blow to all of us who knew him.

“He was a jewel of the Law Profession and an accomplished judicial officer of prodigious hue. Baba was a go-getter who delivered on any assignment committed to his hands because of his belief that service should always come first.”

His contribution to the legal profession indelible – Lawan, Gbajabiamila

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in a release signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, said the late elder statesman left bold imprints on the study and practice of law both in and outside the shores of Nigeria.

He added that Ajibola tremendous impact on the legal profession will not be forgotten.

Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila said the Nigeria legal profession had lost one of its finest and most authoritative voices.

He recalled that the late legal luminary was instrumental to the entrenchment of law and order for decades in Nigeria and across the globe.

What I’ll remember Ajibola for – Atiku

A former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in his tribute, said he remembered Ajibola for many things among which were his being a doyen of the law profession, a jurist of note, his values of forthrightness and candour

Whether as a diplomat, jurist or educationist, Atiku said what was consistent about the descendants character was the overwhelming presence of rectitude and forbearance in every of his endeavours.

Atiku added: “Prince Ajibola was always at peace with his Creator and fellow humans when he was at this side of the divide and the legacies of his lifetime should be a beacon that should call younger Nigerians to an exemplary life that he lived.”

His contributions to Awolowo Foundation indelible – Awolowo Dosumu

While commiserating with the Ajibola family, Ambassador Awolowo-Dosumu, who is also the chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, recalled the indelible contributions of Ajibola to the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation where he served as a member of the selection committee of the Obafemi Awolowo Prize on Leadership.

The former Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands also recalled, with fondness, the support she got from Ajibola while she was on tour of duty.

She prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the eminent jurist while commending his family to God’s continued care and comfort.

His demise a big loss to legal profession – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, described the demise as a big loss to the legal profession, the education sector, Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.

Sanwo-Olu described Ajibola as a renowned jurist, seasoned administrator and philanthropist who served his country and the world meritoriously at different levels.

In a condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, on Sunday, Governor Sanwo-Olu commended the ex-ICJ Judge for his legacies, sacrifice and dedication to nation-building and service to mankind.

Nigeria lost a legal icon, man of peace —Daniel

Former governor of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, said Nigeria had lost a great legal icon and a man of peace in Ajibola.

Daniel, in a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, lauded Ajibola for playing significant roles both at the national and international level.

He fulfilled the purpose of existence – Muslim group, NAHCON

Continuing the tributes, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria extolled the leadership qualities of the departed jurist.

In a statement, National Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi described Ajibola as a tremendous personality who fulfilled the purpose of his existence in all spheres of life.

The group said the death of Prince Ajibola challenged other well- to-do Muslims in Nigeria to contribute meaningfully to the religious, educational, social and medical well-being of Nigerians for abundant rewards from Allah.

Similarly, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, said Ajibola’s contributions to Islam and knowledge propagation would be forever remembered and missed.


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