Court Of Appeal honours late Akanbi, flies  Flags At Half Mast  ….As Nigerian Lawyers extol his virtues

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The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa has directed that flags be flown at half-mast in all the divisions of the Court in honour of late former President of the Court, Justice Mustapha Akanbi.

In a statement on Sunday, Justice Bulkachuwa said the late Justice Akanbi left a great vacuum not only in the judiciary but the country in general.

She noted that it was the recognition of the late jurist’s distinguished career, as a forthright and incorruptible judicial officer, that former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 appointed him the pioneer chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), a body vested with the statutory responsibility of combating corruption in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, tributes have continued to pour in for the late judge, who was buried on Sunday in Ilorin, Kwara State according to Islamic rites.

Justice Akanbi died in the early hours of Sunday in a private hospital in Ilorin.

Speaking on the death, Ilorin-based lawyer and close family friend to the late judge, Abeny Mohammed (SAN) described him as an exceptional jurist reputed for unmatched integrity, honesty, and excellence on the Bench.

“He remains the only Nigerian jurist to have voluntarily retired from the Bench as President of the Court of Appeal with three more years to serve. He was the pioneer chairman of the ICPC,” he said.

“On retiring from ICPC he established many Foundations, schools, mosques and a Library for the service of God and benefit of humanity. He was an extraordinary all-rounder whose philosophy for living was the service of God and humanity and he did it excellently,” he added.

In a message, Yusuf Ali (SAN) described Justice Akanbi as “a totally de-tribalised Nigerian, a truly learned jurist, wholly incorruptible, lover of young professionals, a great family man endowed with intellect, and profound philanthropist.”

Also, in his message on the passing of Justice Akanbi, Ahmed Raji (SAN) prayed Almighty for the repose of his soul, forgiveness of sins and eternity.

“The name Justice Mustpha Akanbi is synonymous with modesty and integrity. And his legacy can be seen in his well cultured children,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, senior lawyer and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Oyo State, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) said late Justice Akanbi was an anti-corruption crusader who lived an enviable life, who walked the talk for members of the Bench to be above board.

“The late Justice Akanbi was more concerned about the hereafter that anytime he spoke, he laced his words with God’s admonitions. He was not materialistic and would have been a Moslem cleric, preacher, if he didn’t practise law. We thank God for his life,” he said.

“It was shocking. We are going to miss him. Personally, I am going to miss him. He was a father to me and took interest in my nuclear family. He monitored my progress and was always there to offer personal advice. Even in this my personal project of running for governorship, he was one of those I consulted,” he added.

In his remarks,  Chief Judge of Kwara State,  Justice Sulyman  Kawu described late Akanbi as a true man of God and a man that was moderate in all ramifications.
Also in his comment, Professor Abdulwahab Egbewole of the faculty of Law, University of Ilorin described him as a essentially gentle man, highly detribalised and highly incorruptible.
Barrister K. K Eleja (SAN) said late justice Akanbi left an indelible mark on a positive note, adding that he was so unique in every respect, as he stood out clearly in terms of integrity. ” He was a philanthropist of note and lover of less privileged in the society.


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