CJN, Aiyedatiwa, Fagbemi, legal icons storm Ibadan, as Oyo judiciary, Loyola College honour late Akeredolu

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Kayode Ariwoola; Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa and other legal giants were in attendance today Monday 19th February 2024, at the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan, Oyo State, during the special valedictory court session in honour of former Ondo State governor, late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON.

Akeredolu spent most part of his law practice in the Oyo state judiciary and rose to become SAN and the National President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and later served as the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Ondo State.

The High Court session which took place at Justice Complex, Ring Road, Ibadan also had deluge of commentaries from dignitaries from various states of the federation, taking turns to pay tributes to the man fondly called Aketi in the legal circle as a religious and courageous fighter who was never afraid of speaking the truth even when battling a life-threatening ailment.

The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima in her address said she was grateful that the Oyo judiciary and legal community could pay their last respects to late Governor Akeredolu in an exquisite setting due to his relationship with Oyo State and Ibadan in particular, adding that she is certain that the spirit of “Aketi” is alive and jubilant at the restoration of the Oyo State Judiciary.”

According to her, “he loved Ibadan dearly and proudly states that Ibadan was his “constituency”; he therefore looked forward to coming back to Ibadan after completing his second term in office.

“Aketi” was family to me and I also mourn his demise. Governor Akeredolu meant different things to many people; to me, he was a patriarch of the Nigerian Bar at the National level and especially here in Ibadan, Oyo state. He was passionate about the Bar and Bench and loved the Ibadan Bar dearly. He was someone I could speak with freely about matters concerning the Bench and he always gave good counsel.

“Late Governor Akeredolu was a highly religious man and a devout Christian. Today, we mourn a great man, but we also delight in the cherished memories of our beloved “Aketi” because we know that his legacy lives on. He lived a great and impactful life, such that he will always be remembered for good. So I encourage us to rejoice that he has gone to rest and will receive his reward from his maker and lord,” she said.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi in his address, stated that he is terribly devastated by the death of Akeredolu who he described as a colossus, adding that “to describe this colossus fondly called Aketi may not be a tough job but it is a complex one all the same. For in what simple way can you describe a man who cannot be pigeon-holed. He was a giant who was at home with people of all classes and ages. His persona commanded a respect he would never force.

“In his undying spirit, even as he battled the illness that fast-forwarded his exit from our midst, Aketi renewed his pledge to give the people of Ondo State, the portal Ondo, the dry port that was designed to be the best around. He didn’t allow the allure of power and political partisanship to neutralise his commitment to true federalism and good governance

“Your life is a lesson to those of us still living. The lesson from your life is a reminder that death can come at anytime to anybody. We must therefore stop procrastinating. We must all hasten to do that good deed now. Tomorrow may be too late as it is not guaranteed for anybody. Aketi to the glory of God, quickly utilised his little time he had and our world is the better for it.

“I urge us all to take heart over this national tragedy as I pray God to give his immediate family, the legal profession and the entire nation the fortitude to bear the seemingly irreparable loss. The least we can do to appreciate our departed Aketi is to emulate his good deeds of selflessness, generosity and sincerity of purpose,” he said.

The representative of the Body of Benchers, Dele Adesina (SAN), said Akeredolu’s life is a lesson to all especially leaders that it is not to lead but to serve selflessly like Akeredolu did. He served the Bar, served the nation and humanity.

He added that NBA was pragmatic and decisive and believed in the rule of law under him, adding that “There is no room for anybody to pass through life without having a legacy like Akeredolu. We should celebrate him and not mourn because he left a good name and legacy behind.”

Also speaking, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Abiodun Aikomo described Akeredolu as a man of strong conviction who was strongly courageous and a shining light who worked hard to ensure the emergence of the Southwest Security Network codenamed Amotekun.

The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), represented by Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), said Akeredolu is a renowned activist, astute legal practitioner and politician who aside from his leadership roles, was an astute protagonist for justice, fairness and rule of law which attitude he exhibits without fear of anything or favour to anyone.

“He was a man of impeccable character, honest to a fault, impartial, courageous and bold. His remarkable courageous moves include his opposition to the Federal Government’s order that security outfits set up by various state government cannot bear firearms. He maintained that Ondo State will procure arms for Amotekun officers if the Federal Government can allow a security outfit in Katsina to carry arms,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Akeredolu’s daughter, Yejide Runsewe expressed gratitude for the heartwarming messages and testimonials about the person of their late father, adding that it will go a long way in strengthening the family he left behind and make it easy to continue with his legacy.


Torrent of Tributes were poured on the late Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, as notable politicians, professional colleagues, church members, and other stakeholders gathered to honour him at the Evening of Tributes and Service of Songs.

The event held at the Jogor Centre in Ibadan on Monday, witnessed an emotional outpouring of heartfelt tributes for the late Akeredolu.

The expansive hall was filled to the brim as notable politicians, clergy, professionals, First Ladies, and other dignitaries came together to honour the late patriarch of the Akeredolu family.

Each speaker at the event eloquently described the late Akeredolu as a champion of the voiceless and a defender of the people of the Southwest region and the entire nation.

Distinguished guests in attendance at the Evening of Tributes and Service of Songs included Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olamide Oladiji; Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, and his wife; former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Ade Adetimehin; members of the Ondo State House of Assembly; some members of the state executive council, and former members of the State Executive appointed by the late Akeredolu, led by former Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu.

The late former Governor’s widow, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, received special honour as First Ladies from across the country attended the event.

Notable among them were the Wife of Kwara State Governor; Amb. Dr. Mrs. Olufolake Abdulrazaq; Wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Olayemi Oyebanji;  Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Wife of the Bayelsa State Governor, Dr. Gloria Diri; Mrs. Titilola Adeleke, the Wife of the Osun State Governor; Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola, the Wife of the former Osun State Governor and current Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, among others.

Prominent governorship aspirants in Ondo State, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, Chief Olusola Oke, SAN, and Mr. Gbenga Edema, were also present at the event.

Former Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi, paid tribute to the late Akeredolu, saluting his exceptional qualities in the political arena.

He said:”I witnessed his trials and triumphs up close. He was a dear friend, a trusted adviser, and a pillar. As a lawyer and politician, he achieved great success. But his greatest achievement lies in the countless lives he touched. He was the voice of the voiceless. As the chairman of the Southwest governors, he was the commander-in-chief in defending the defenseless people of the Southwest.

“His relentless advocacy for community policing has now gained widespread acceptance, transcending political affiliations. His greatest joy was serving the public good and building a united nation. He fearlessly spoke truth to power.”

In his brief message, Venerable  Dr. S.F.O Jolayemi emphasised the lifelong commitment of the late Akeredolu to serving the Lord until the very end.

He described him as a man who was deeply loved and had a profound impact on many lives.

The cleric reminded the congregation that everyone has a date with death, stressing that no one can live for 200 years.

He urged people to live well and leave behind a positive legacy.

Other speakers at the event included a childhood friend of the late Governor for over 60 years, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola; Sir Biyi Adesanya; former Special Adviser to the late Governor on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye; a family friend, Mr. Ayo Sotirin; a friend and professional colleague, Prof. Wole Akintayo; Head of Chambers, Olujimi & Akeredolu Legal, Mr. Ibrahim Lawal; a long-time staff member of 36 years, Mr. Samuel Iwalewa; a close friend and professional colleague, Justice Iyabo Yerima; an Aide-de-Camp and family friend, Mr. Tunji Alapini; a business associate, Mr. Kayode Falowo; Dr. Seye Oyeleye; the late Governor’s younger sister, Justice Bolaji Olajuwon; the first grandchild, Ayomide Akeredolu; and Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu Jnr., the first child.

The funeral arrangements continues with a Commendation Service at All Saints Church, Jericho, Ibadan.


The Loyola Day of Tributes organized by the Alumni of Loyola college, Agodi, Ibadan for Late Ondo State governor Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was yet another opportunity to shower encomium on the late Governor who lived and made an indelible mark on the sands of time.

In his welcome address during the event held in Ibadan on Sunday, the National president, Loyola College Old Boys Association, LOCOBA, Ibadan, Professor Femi Ogunbiyi said Late Rotimi Akeredolu made an indellible impact not only in Loyola college, Ibadan and Ondo State but also in Nigeria at large.

Professor Ogunbiyi who is also a professor chemical pathology, university college hospital, Ibadan noted that the tribute became important in view of the numerous contributions of the late governor to the development and growth of Loyola College.

Other old students and legal practitioners including the national secretary of LOCOBA, Mr Gabriel Akande said the late governor took the bold step in confronting the menace of kidnapping in Ondo state leading to the formation of the Western security network, Amotekun in the southwest zone of Nigeria.

In a sermon, the Parish Priest, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church, Monsignor, Joseph Idowu urged the congregation to live a life worthy of emulation like late governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Monsignor Idowu who attributed the current socio economic situation in Nigeria to the unpatriotic life of past leaders emphasized the need for all to work towards the good of their fatherland.

In an interview, the brother of Late Rotimi Akeredolu, Professor Oluwole Akeredolu said the testimonies of Nigerians on the good deeds of his brother remained a motivation in the right direction for the family .

Highpoint of the event included special prayer for the family of the late governor, special songs and candle light procession.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *