Legal Luminary Profile: Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN

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Legal Luminary Profile: Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN
Chief Richard Akinjide SAN

Chief Osuolale Abimbola Richard Akinjide, SAN is the oldest lawyer in Nigeria today. He has practiced law for over 60 years and has stated severally that there is no retirement in legal profession.

Born in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State in the early 1930s to an influential family of warriors, Chief Akinjide SAN attended St. Peter’s Primary School, Aremo in Ibadan, a school regarded as one of the best schools in Yoruba land at the time. He then proceeded to Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife from where he passed out in Grade One (Distinction, Aggregate 6).

Chief Richard Akinjide SAN travelled to the UK in 1951 for his higher education. He studied for his LLB degree in Law at the University of London and also obtained a certificate in Journalism. He was called to the English Bar in 1955 and subsequently called to the Nigerian and the Gambian Bar. He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1978.

After returning to Nigeria, Chief Akinjide SAN practiced briefly under S.L Durosaro before setting up his practice of Akinjide & Co. As a result of his love for journalism, he was a contributor to West African Pilot and Daily Times. He also taught International Commercial Arbitration at post-graduate level at the University of Ibadan.

Chief Akinjide SAN was a former Minister of Education in the Government of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa during the Second Republic and the Minister for Justice in the Administration of President Shehu Shagari. He 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 (NPN) in 1978. He became the Legal Adviser for the party and was later appointed the Minister for Justice.

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Notably, it was under his watch that Nigeria temporarily reversed executions of armed robbers and the Abolition of a decree barring exiles from returning to the country.

He was lead prosecutor in the treason trial of Bukar Zanna Mandara.

Source: Wikipedia; Tempoonline.com.ng

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