On 22nd of March 1951, a bouncing baby boy was born to the family of Honourable Justice (Chief) Akinwumi R. W. Rhodes-Vivour in Lagos Island. According to customs and tradition, he was named eight days after as Olabode Rhodes-Vivour.
He started primary school in 1956. And quite unusually, he attended three (3) different primary schools i.e. Maryland Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos, St. Msthias Primary School, Akure, and Ibadan District Council School, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1963.
Between 1963 and 1968, Honourable Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour attended St. Gregory’s College, Lagos. In 1970, he wrote and passed his Advanced Level Certificate Examinations and proceeded to University of Lagos for his undergraduate studies. He graduated from University of Lagos in 1974 with honours, and thereafter he was admitted into the Nigerian Law School, and was called to the Bar in 1975.
Honourable Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour rose through the ranks to become the eminent jurist he is today. As soon as he was called to Bar, he began to practice in his calling and by 1976, he became a Pupil State Counsel, shortly after, in 1978, he became a State Counsel and by 1982, he had become a Senior State Counsel. He was promoted to the position of a Principal State Counsel in 1984 and in 1989, he became Director of Public Prosecutions (D. P. P.) Lagos State, this position he held till 1994.
On the 18th of February 1994, he was appointed to the Bench as a High Court Judge. After many years of experience on the Bench at the High Court, he was elevated to the Bench of the Court of Appeal on the 25th of April 2005.
In 2008 on secondment by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he was posted to Sierra Leone Judiciary as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone. At his return to Nigeria, after this posting, he was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the 16th of September 2010.
Honourable Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour is a man of sterling qualities and unparalleled achievements. He has been successfully involved in various National Assignments, some of which include;
- Member Election Petition Tribunal, Rivers and Imo States, 1990.
- Member Election Petition Tribunal, Kwara and Anambra States, 2003 and 2004.
- Member Election Appeal Tribunal, Edo State, 2005 – 2006.
- Member Election Appeal Tribunal in Oyo, Ogun and Osun States in 2009.
He has attended various international professional conferences. In 1979, under the auspices of Commonwealth of Nations, Honourable Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour took part in an international conference for a course in Legislative Drafting in School of Law, Nairobi, Kenya. Also in 1983, he attended a conference in Chicago, United States of America for an Advanced Course in Legal Drafting, similarly in 1992, he attended a Seminar on Drug Related Offences in Christ-church, University of Oxford, England. Honourable Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivour has equally attended conferences and delivered Papers within the Country. The conferences he has attended include; Court Administration and Case Flow Management by the National Centre for State Courts, Delegate and Rapporteur at All Nigeria Judges Conference, Abuja 2001, Stakeholders’ Summit to Review High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules in Lagos State, 2002, EMCAP Workshop on “Strengthening the Relationship Between the Bar and the Bench”, 2002, Reform of Criminal Justice System, the Hague Netherlands, (24th – 27th August) 2003, Chairman – Review of Criminal Procedure Law, Lagos State, 2004.
The Papers he has delivered include: “Institution of Criminal Proceedings”, delivered at the training programme for newly appointed Judges, High Court of Lagos State, organized by the Judicial Commission of Lagos State, 7th June 2001; “Fair Hearing, Law and Practice”, delivered at the Zonal Workshop for Customary Court Judges in Southern Zone, organized by the National Judicial Institute, 18th June, 2001.
He is a recipient of many excellent awards, prominent among these awards are: An honourable award by Lagos State Government for Outstanding Contribution to the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, 2003; Lagos State Judiciary Merit Awards in recognition of Invaluable Service to the High Court of Lagos State, December 2003.
And like they say “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”, Honourable Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour is a social person, who sometimes relaxes and socializes with friends. He is a member of both Ikoyi and Islands Clubs of Lagos, and his hobbies are reading, watching sports, movies and documentaries.
Honourable Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour is happily married to Mrs. Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, and they are blessed with three (3) children.
Having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, Hon. Justice Rhodes-Vivour bows out of the Supreme Court on Monday, 22nd March, 2021.
Culled: Supreme Court.