Prominent Nigerian jurist, Bencher and former Gen-Sec. of the Nigerian Bar Association Chief Idowu Sofola SAN is dead. His death was announced by the Secretary-General, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide.
Sofola, died on Friday, March 23, in Lagos at the age of 84. Sofola, who was born on September 29, 1934, was the first black to be appointed the secretary of the International Bar Association (IBA) and was a prominent member of the Ikenne Social Circle and the Obara Ruling House for the Alakenne Royalty.
Olajide told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone on Saturday that the YCE was grieved and shocked by Sofola’s death, who he said, was not ill or bedridden.
“I spoke with him few days ago, congratulating him on the appointment of his son as a high judge and we were planning an event to host him.”
“The icon is leaving us at a critical time particularly in Yoruba land as the country prepares for the 2019 general elections.”
“He was an intelligent man of Yoruba extraction and the vacuum he left behind will be difficult to fill.”
“It is great shock to me and YCE; a strong advocate and believer in true federalism, brilliant lawyer and defender of human rights and democracy,” he said.
Olajide, who said he was leading a delegation of YCE headquartered in Ibadan, to the Ikenne home of the Sofolas in Ogun, added: “His death is terrifying.”
He condoled with the immediate family, Ikenne people, Ogun State government, the Nigerian government and the Yorubas on his demise and prayed that may Allah grant his soul rest.
Chief Sofola SAN was called to the English Bar at Middle Temple Inn of Court, London on July 17, 1962 and enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria on July 30, 1962. He immediately commenced legal practice and has been in active legal practice since then. He was in 1989 elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the equivalent of the English Queen’s Counsel. Until his death Chief Sofola was the principal partner of Idowu Sola & Co. He was also the President of the Yoruba Council of Elders.
May his soul rest in peace.