The President of the Nigerian Bar Association Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN received with great shock the news of the demise of a jurist per excellence and a seasoned administrator, Hon. Justice Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi (Rtd) whose sojourn on earth ended in the early hours of Sunday, 3rd June 2018 after a brief illness at the age of 85 Years.
Late Hon. Justice Akanbi was born on 11th September 1932 in Accra, Ghana to Muslim parents from Ilorin, Kwara state. He had his education up to Secondary school in Ghana after which he worked as an Executive officer in the Ghana Civil Service. On returning to Nigeria, he had a brief spell working at the Broadcasting Department of the Ministry of Education before deciding to further his education.
Late Justice Akanbi was awarded a scholarship to study law at the Institute of Administration now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria after which he travelled to United Kingdom to further his studies. In 1963 he was called to the English bar and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in 1964. Immediately after being called to the Nigerian Bar, he joined the Ministry of Justice and rose up to the position of a senior state counsel. In 1969, he set up his own private practice which was a very successful one until 1974 when he was appointed a Judge of the Federal Revenue Court.
In 1977, late Hon. Justice Akanbi was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench. In 1992, he was made the President of the Court of Appeal, a position he held till 1999 when he gracefully retired from the Bench.
Owing to his competence and dedication whilst being the President of the Court of Appeal, the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 appointed Late Hon. Justice Akanbi as the pioneer chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, a position he held till 2005. The late jurist owing to his love and commitment for promotion of the rule of law and proper dispensation of justice joined the Board of Justice and Law Enforcement Reformation Organization that aimed at eradicating corruption and poverty within the judiciary and law enforcement agencies.
In 2006, Justice Akanbi established the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation in Ilorin, Kwara State which is dedicated to strengthening civil society groups, governmental agencies, private businesses concerns and helping them imbibe culture of transparency and accountability.
The life of late Hon. Justice Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi was indeed a life of service. He was a man who lived for the law and the need for a better Nigeria. His contributions towards the fight against corruption has been the basis upon which several anti graft agencies in Nigeria have built upon in the incessant fight against the cankerworm that has eaten deep into the Nigerian system “corruption”.
The NBA President on behalf of the National Executive Committee and entire members of the NBA commiserates with the family of Late Hon. Justice Mustapha Akanbi, the legal profession and Nigeria at large on the loss of a father, grandfather, great grandfather, colleague, mentor, jurist and nationalist.
It is our prayer that Almighty Allah will grant him Al jannah Firdaus.
The 8th day Fidau Prayer comes up as follows:
DATE: Sunday 10th day of June 2018
VENUE: Metropolitan Square, Asa Dam Road, Ilorin, Kwara State