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Honourable Justice Muhammed Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi was born on 11th September, 1932 in Accra, Ghana. Between 1939 and 1949, he attended African College (Primary) and Accra Royal Senior Primary School Accra before proceeding to the Odorgonno Secondary School, Accra in 1950/53 where he obtained the Senior Cambridge School Certificate in 1953. He attended the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria from 1960 to 1961; School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Gibson Weldon College of Law, Londonfrom 1961 to 1962. He was called to the English Bar at the Middle Temple, London on 9th July 1963. He did a post final course at the Council of Legal Education, United Kingdom in 1963. He is a holder of certificate for Commonwealth Law officer between 1967 – 1968.


Before proceeding to read Law in the UK, Honourable Justice Akanbi started his working career as a teacher and was later appointed as Government Clerk. He was an Assistant Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Northern Nigeria. In 1964, he was posted to the Northern Nigeria Civil Service as a Pupil State Counsel in the Ministry of Justice on 13thJanuary, 1964.  He rose through the ranks and in 1968; he became a Senior State Counsel.  He served in various parts of the country i.e. Kaduna, Kano, Makurdi and Ilorin.  At the creation of states, he was deployed from Ilorin to the former Benue/Plateau State as a Senior State Counsel. In 1969, he resigned from the service. Between 1969 and 1974, he went into private legal practice in Kano. He established branches of the firm of Akanbi, Ibrahim & Co in Kaduna and Ilorin.  In 1974, he was appointed a Judge of the Federal Revenue Court (now Federal High Court). He was the pioneer resident judge of the court in the entire Eastern states with headquarters in Port Harcourt. He held sessions in Calabar and Enugu.


In 1977, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench. He was posted to Enugu Judicial Division of the Court and was later transferred to Ibadan. In 1983, he was appointed Presiding Justice of the Court in the Jos Judicial Division. In 1988, he became the presiding judge in Ibadan Judicial Division. In September 1992, he became the President Court of Appeal (Nigeria) the post he held until he voluntarily retired in January 1999 before reaching the compulsory retirement age of 70 years.


Hon. Justice Akanbi had been chairman of several National Judicial Commissions, viz:-


i.             Enquiry into the collapsed Hostel Building in University of Ife (now known as Obafemi Awolowo University) 1976.


ii.           Investigation of Remote and immediate causes of student crisis in the Nigerian Universities and other Tertiary institutions 1986.


iii.          Enquiry into embezzlement of Funds and Problems in the National Fertilizer Company Limited (NAFCON) at Onne, Port Harcourt 1999.


iv.          Former Chairman—Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission otherwise known as “ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION”.








1.    Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (C.F.R.).

2.   Honorary Doctorate Degree of letter, University of Maiduguri,

Nigeria – 2010

3.   Honorary Doctorate Degree of letter, Al-Hikmah University,

Ilorin, Nigeria – 2011.

4.   Honorary Doctorate Degree of Law, Lead City University,

Ibadan, Nigeria – Dec 2011.

5.   1st Wakili of Ilorin by His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin

6.   Former Governor of the National Judicial Institute.

7.   Former Member of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

8.   Founder & Chairman, Mustapha Akanbi Foundation, Ilorin.

9.      Chairman, Ma-Assalam Islamic Foundation, Ilorin

10.        Founder, Nana Aishat Academy, Akerebiata, Ilorin

11.      Founder, Nana Aishat Arabic Nursery & Primary Sch., Ilorin

12.        Past Chairman, Nigeria Body of Benchers.

13.        Life Bencher, Body of Benchers.

14.        Former Member of the privileges Committee Responsible for Appointment of Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

15.   Past Chairman Nigeria Bar Association, Kano Branch 1970 – 1974.


16.        Former Member of the Advisory Judicial Committee.

17.    Life Member of Plateau Bar Association and Merit Award Winner.


18.        Former Council Member, University of Lagos (1971-1975).

19.        Chairman, Board of Trustees, Al’Hikmah University, Ilorin.

20.       Grand Patron, Faculty of Law, National Open University,   Ilorin Study Centre, Ilorin

21.        Life Patron Kwara Branch, Nigeria Bar Association.

22.       Merit Awardee of the Nigeria Bar Association (National).

23.       Life Patron, Magistrates Association of Nigeria.

24.       Chairman, Amicus International Club, Ilorin.

25.       Ijaw Youth Council- Award of Excellence  –        2010

26.       National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) – “For his    contribution to the development of Insurance Industry”

27.       Lagos Business School– Award of Excellence

28.       Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, KwaraState Council- Award of Excellence 1998/2000.

29.       Hallmark of Labour Foundation (HLF) – Appreciation of invaluable contribution to the 1st HLF Annual Symposium. Nov.2004

30.       Court of Appeal, Jos Division- Award of Excellence

31. Zulu Kanaini Gambari Memorial Royal Sports Award- August, 2005

32.Association of Nigerian Against Corruption –Award of Excellence

33.       Magistrate Association of Nigeria, Edo State Branch. Award of Excellence

34.       Nigeria Muslim Merit Award (NMMA), Award of Excellence for growth, Humanitarian service and development of Islamic propagation

35.       Dept of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Investigation Division- Award of Excellence

36.   Ilorin Emirate Students Union, University of Ilorin Merit Award

37.       Balogun Gambari Youth Movement, Ilorin- Award of Excellence

38.       Yolas Consultants, 25thAnniversary (1980-2005) –Special Personality Award

39.       All Nigerian Judges’ Conference- Merit Award – 2007

40.       National Youth Service Corps- Distinction Award for Excellence and exemplary Leadership- January, 2008

41.        Association of Sheikh Yahya Muritala Students- Award of Excellence- November, 2006

42.       Nigeria Bar Association, Kaduna Branch, NBA merit Award

43.National Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS),  National Secretariat,- Award of Excellence , Nov, 2003

44.       Ijan-Otun Community, Irepodun LGA, Kwara State- Merit

Award, Sept, 2002

45.       Ansarul- Islam Society of Nigeria and Abroad, Merit Award

46.    West Africa Nobles Forum- Nobles International Award-Nov,2003

47.       Turaki Adeen of Jamaat Tajudeen Islamiyy Society of Nig

(Ondo State Branch)

48.       National Association of Muslim Law Students (NAMLAS,

Nigerian Muslim Merit Award)

49.       Post Graduate Students Association, Unilorin- Merit Award

50.  Special  Award –“Exemplary commitment  to prevention of Electoral Violence in Kwara State”. Courtesy: CENTRE FOR PEACE AND SRATEGIC STUDIES, UNIVERSITY IF ILORIN,NIGERIA.


51.  Kwara State Government – Outstanding Performance in the fight against Corruption. On the occasion of 50th Indepedence Anniversary of Nigeria 2011.

52.  Honoree at the 5th M.M Akanbi Annual Lecture Titled: The Challenges of Judicial Reform in the 21st Century ; The Nigerian Experience. Date : 21st March, 2012. Courtesy: Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin.

53.  Merit  Award as HUJJATUL ISLAM  (THE POOF OF ISLAM ). Appreciation of his Immense Contribution and Recognition of his Meritorious Service to Islam.

54.  Qur’an Kareem Academy- Nigeria International Institute for Islamic Affairs “2012 SHEIK UTHMAN FUDI. National Islamic Heroes Award for Community Development. Date : 2nd of June 2012

55.  Ilorin Emirate Students’ Union , Kwara CAILS Chapter  “Merit Award”.  July, 2012.

56. Founder of Mustapha Akanbi Library and Resource Center.

57. Founder Mustapha Akanbi Youth Forum

He was born on Sunday September 11th 1932 in Accra, Ghana  and died in Ilorin on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 after a brief Illness. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Aamin.





Hon. Justice M.M.A. Akanbi CFR.

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