Fred Agbaje’s Last Instruction to Me – Niyi Pokanu

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TRIBUTE TO A DEPARTED LEGAL ICON – DR. FRED KOKUMO AGBAJE

I found it difficult and hard to believe but reality has caught up with me that my former boss Fred Agbaje and mentor is gone.

The last direct instruction you gave to me was to ensure I assist to apply for and secure Letters of Verification from Judges in respect of your 2017 SAN Application which we were already compiling. We both agreed and determined that we must get all Letters in by end of December. The very last instruction and assignment I have carried out on your behalf is observing and swearing in officers at ASSBIFI Delegate Conference in Abuja today. I had intended to ensure I visit you in LUTH on Monday in order to report to you and see your well-being. Hence I was shocked to the bones when I received the call of your demise on Saturday.

One great lesson I have learnt from you is your doggedness, passion for law/legal authorities and die-hard spirit. You always find legal solutions even when there seems to be slim chances. Whenever we brainstorm on legal issues, you will always say “Ubi Jus Ubi remedium, there must be a way out”. You reel out authorities from your memory even with their years and the Parts they were reported. I always marvel at this skill.

I appreciate the confidence you have always reposed in me despite my resignation from your office. It shows your large heart.
You have lost the battle to death but obviously won the war. You weren’t given the much touted rank of SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) but to many of us you are more than Ten SANs put together. You are a legal giant that bestrode the legal terrain and your contribution to the Nigerian Legal Jurisprudence is immeasurable and will be remembered.

You have indeed edged your name in gold in legal practice. You can now sleep well and rest in peace in the bosom of the Lord, my Oga!

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