SWITZERLAND, APRIL 21 – A former Minister of Justice in the second Republic, Chief Richard Akinjide,(SAN), who is the oldest lawyer in Nigeria today, has been reported dead but the cause of demise remain sketchy as at the time of filing this reports.
Akinjide, who was also a former Minister of Education in the government of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, practiced law for over 60 years and has stated several times that there is no retirement in legal profession, according to Penpushing.
The late legal luminary was born in 1930 in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, attended St. Peter’s Primary School, Aremo in Ibadan, before proceeding to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, from where he passed out in Grade One (distinction, aggregate 6).
In 1951, Akinjide travelled to the United Kingdom for his higher education, where he studied for his LLB degree in Law at the University of London and also obtained a certificate in Journalism, and called to the English Bar in 1955.
The deceased was subsequently called to the Nigerian and the Gambian Bar and became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1978, while on return to Nigeria, he practiced briefly under S.L Durosaro before setting up his practice of Akinjide & Co.
He was a contributor to West African Pilot and Daily Times, as a result of his love for journalism, and he also taught International Commercial Arbitration at post-graduate level at the University of Ibadan.
The late Akinjide was a member of the Judicial Systems Sub-Committee of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of 1975-1977 and later joined the National Party of Nigeria in 1978 and became the Legal Adviser for the party before he was later appointed Minister of Justice.
It was under Akinjide’s watch that Nigeria temporarily reversed executions of armed robbers and the abolition of a decree.