Former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide, and the Chairman of Globe Motors, Chief William Anumudu, died yesterday.
While Akinjide passed on at 88 in Ibadan, Anumudu died at 68 in Lagos.
Condolence messages poured in moments after news of the deaths broke with President Muhammadu Buhari, his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, paying homage to Akinjide.
The sympathisers also included the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji; pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, and legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN).
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) also mourned the late legal icon.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, commiserated with the government and people of Oyo State over the demise of the late AGF.
The president said Akinjide made a remarkable impact as Minister of Education in the First Republic, Minister of Justice and Attorney General in the Second Republic and a member of the Judicial Systems’ Sub-committee of the Constitution Drafting Committee of 1975-1977.
The president noted that the late AGF used his rich experience and knowledge to serve the country and humanity.
Jonathan expressed sadness over the passing on of Akinjide, describing his death as a great loss to the nation.
Atiku, in a tweet commiserated with the Akinjide family and prayed that God should grant him a perfect rest.
Gbajabiamila, in a condolence statement, described Akinjide’s demise as a painful loss, saying that he lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation, especially by the upcoming generation of lawyers in the country.
The Olubadan of Ibadan land, described the passage of Akinjide as a monumental loss to the nation.
The monarch in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Adeola Oloko, said he was an accomplished lawyer and politician who gave a good account of himself while in public service.
According to Adetunji, Akinjide, who also served as a chieftain in the Olubadan of Ibadan’s court of clan nobles, was a patriot who displayed a great love for his fatherland and the people.
Tinubu also sent his commiseration to the deceased’s family and the government and people of Oyo State.
The message signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Tunde Rahman, said: “Chief Akinjide was an extra-ordinarily brilliant lawyer and an indisputable giant in the legal profession.”
Afenifere also described Akinjide as a brilliant attorney with a forensic knowledge of the law.
National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, told THISDAY yesterday that Akinjide would always be remembered as a brilliant barrister with forensic knowledge of the law.
Babalola described him as one of the pillars behind the Nigerian bar, adding that he was shocked when he received the news of the departure of the erudite lawyer.
He said the former AGF was a good and reliable lawyer during his lifetime.
The NBA also commiserated with the family, friends, and associates of the former minister.
Its National Assistant Publicity Secretary, Mr. Akorede Lawal, in a statement, quoted the association’s president, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), as describing the deceased as a brilliant advocate and one of the finest of the legal profession.
The BOSAN prayed to God to grant the Akinjide family the fortitude to bear the loss.
In a statement signed by the Secretary, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), the group said as a consummate Bar enthusiast, Akinjide served as President of the NBA between 1970 and 1973 and in that capacity, became a statutory member of Council of Legal Education and Body of Benchers, and later became a Life Bencher and Chairman of the Body of Benchers.
Anumudu Foremost Manufacturers’ Representative
The Chairman of Globe Motors Holdings (Nigeria) Limited, Anumudu, was a foremost manufacturers’ representative in Nigeria’s auto industry.
According to family sources, he passed on yesterday morning about 4 a.m. hours before he was to be flown to Germany for treatment.
He was said to have tested negative for COVID-19 after he became sick a few days ago.
“One of Nigeria’s biggest car dealers, WILLY ANUMUDU, has died! The Chairman of GLOBE MOTORS, Victoria Island suffered some health challenges a few days ago and was tested for COVID-19 which came out negative. He was to be airlifted to Germany this morning but died about 4 am,” the Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, said in a tweet.
The family was yet to make an official statement, as at press time.