The sun set for retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Simeon Adebayo Oduwole, on June 4. He died at 90.
A statement by the family, signed by Justice B. O. Ogunade (rtd) said the remains of Justice Oduwole will be buried on August 10 in Ijebu Ode in line with his wish, after a funeral service at the Christ Church, Porogun Ijebu Ode.
Born on December 14, 1928, the late Justice Oduwole began his education at Agbeni Methodist School, Ibadan (1936 to 1941). He proceeded to Ijebu Ode Grammar School in 1942 and passed out with outstanding performances in 1950.
He bagged the Senior Prize for the best behaved border when the prize was first introduced at the school in 1948.
Two years after finishing his secondary school education, he served as Assessment Clerk Grade III between 1951 and 1954. He later passed all departmental examinations leading to his accelerated promotion to first class clerk.
In 1954, the late Justice Oduwole proceeded to England to further his education where he attended North Western Polytechnic; Council of Legal Education; The Law Tutors. In 1961, he was called at the Middle Temple to the Degree of Utter Bar and enrolled in Nigeria same year.
Having passed the prescribed exams of the University of London, he was admitted by the Senate to the Degree of Bachelor of Laws ( LL.B. London) as an external Student on August 1, 1961. He later bagged Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts ( F.R.S.A).
The late Justice Oduwole practised law actively from 1961 until he was elevated to the High Court Bench of the Ogun State Judiciary on June 1, 1977. He was one of the first three judges appointed after the creation of Ogun State in 1976.
He conducted various cases at different levels such as the Customary Courts, Magistrate Courts, defunct Western State Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. As a lawyer, he had quite a number of cases reported in Law Reports. He featured prominently in Adepeju (U.I) Enquiry as one of the counsels representing the family; University College Hospital Enquiry presided over by the Hon. Justice M. Muhammed, then Chief Judge of Niger State; S.C.S.C Board of Inquiry into Nigerian Airways (1972), otherwise known as Okorodudu Commission of Inquiry; Lanlate Chieftaincy Enquiry in 1976.
He was member of the Ibadan Branch and National Executive member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for most of his time in private practice.
The late Justice Oduwole served at the Ogun State Judicial headquarters, Abeokuta from June 1, 1977 to August 31, 1979.
He served as Chairman of Ogun State Lands Tribunal, appointed by the Federal Military Government for three years vide Legal Notice No. 62 of 1977.
He was specially assigned by the then Chief Judge ( Hon. E. B. Craig, C.O.N.) when in Abeokuta to assist the Law Reporting Committee then headed by the Chief Judge,Justice T.O. O. Odunlami.
Justice Oduwole also served as the Senior Judge in charge of Sagamu Division from 1st September 1979 to August 31, 1982.
He also served as the Senior Judge in charge of Ilaro, Otta Division from September 1, 1982 to October 31, 1985. In November 1985, he became the Senior Judge of Ijebu Ode division where he served till 1991.
Justice Oduwole was member, Local Government and Community Boundaries Settlement Appeal Tribunal of Ogun State from 1987 to 1991.
In 1982, he was part of the delegates to the All Judges Conference in Ilorin, while in 1993, he was in Nairobi, Kenya to attend the African Bar Association conference.
Justice Oduwole was also member of a delegation nominated by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Fatai Williams, which comprised Justice Akanbi, former Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal, Kaduna, Justice Kalgo, J. C. A, the then Chief Judge of Sokoto State, Justice Belgore, to go on a wide study tour of some states in the United States sponsored by the United States Information Service (USIS) on a special programme designed to expose Nigerian states and federal judges to their counterparts in the United States, the functioning of the American system, its philosophical underpinnings, the relationship between judiciary, legislative and executive branches.
While the late Justice Oduwole attended American National Bar Association Congress in New Orleans, U.S. in 1984 and got honorary membership conferred on him in 1985, he was also on a private visit to the District Court of Miami, Florida, U.S.A in August 1985.
He was a Rapporteur at the All Judges Conference in Abuja in 1998.