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Ondo Judiciary holds special court session for Akeredolu

By Adedotun Ajayi

Ondo state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa on Wednesday joined the Ondo state High Court, Akure, in a special valedictory court session in honour of late Governor Oluwaroritimi Akeredolu SAN CON.

The late governor died on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at the age of 67.
In a press statement released the next day by Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Jnr), the family said he peacefully departed in his sleep at a hospital in Germany, where he was undergoing treatment for protracted prostate cancer.

Pix: Ayodele Suberu & Stephen Olajide

Aiyedatiwa in his remarks, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Ondo state judiciary for organizing the special valedictory court session in honor of the late Rotimi Akeredolu.

“I acknowledge the profound impact of Governor Akeredolu’s lifelong dedication to the legal profession, this honor done by the judiciary to our departed hero, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is well deserved.”

He emphasized Akeredolu’s enduring legacy, which transcends mortality through his extraordinary deeds and contributions to the society.

“Today i reflect on Governor Akeredolu’s passion for justice, rule of law, and the legal profession, I’ve many times expressed admiration for his unwavering commitment and devotion to these principles. At a personal level, I am always elated with awe, each time I observe my late boss discuss the issue of access to justice, rule of law and the general practice of the profession he so loved.”

Governor Aiyedatiwa highlighted Governor Akeredolu’s distinguished tenure as Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, noting his clarity of mind and unwavering stance against abuse of office and violation of human rights, even in the face of formidable challenges.

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“I laud Governor Akeredolu’s proactive approach to legislative reforms, i know of his pivotal role in sponsoring bills aimed at enhancing security, governance, and welfare in Ondo State, We remember with pride today, his sense of urgency and intervention and unusual dedication to the cause of access of justice.” He commended.

Governor Aiyedatiwa paid homage to Governor Akeredolu’s indelible legacy, characterized by his integrity, industry, and unwavering commitment to excellence. He expressed the collective sorrow of all present, acknowledging that Governor Akeredolu’s departure leaves an irreplaceable void in the hearts of many.

Also in attendance from the Akeredolu family are Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, Prof. Oluwole Akeredolu, Ifeoma Akeredolu, Dr Teniola Akeredolu, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu jnr and Pastor Kola Akeredolu.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chief Judge of Ondo State, Hon. Justice A. Olusegun Odusola, paid a heartfelt tribute to the distinguished legal luminary and revered leader.

“Since December 27, 2023, the shocking news of the painful and untimely transition of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, CON, has taken us through several stages of emotional trauma and nostalgic moments.”

Describing Governor Akeredolu as an exemplar of courage, integrity, and principled leadership, Justice Odusola commended his unwavering commitment to justice, rule of law, and societal welfare. He praised Governor Akeredolu’s efforts in reforming the legal profession and enhancing access to justice during his tenure as President of the Nigerian Bar Association.

“I can not but acknowledge Governor Akeredolu’s contributions to governance, particularly in the areas of security, judicial infrastructure, and legislative reforms. I can recall Governor Akeredolu’s vision for a modern judiciary complex and his advocacy for judges’ welfare, emphasizing his dedication to the judiciary’s independence and integrity”

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Justice Odusola paid homage to Governor Akeredolu’s enduring legacy, expressing condolences to his family, loved ones, and the people of Ondo State.

He affirmed, “We shall forever remember him,” as he urged all present to honor Governor Akeredolu’s memory by upholding the principles of justice, integrity, and service to humanity.

In their separate tributes to Late Akeredolu, Nigeria President, Nigeria Bar Association, represented by the 3rd Vice President, Mandy Demechi-Asagba; Representative Body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Olusola Oke; Representative Body of Benchers, Charles Edosan; Acting Solicitor General who doubles as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Representative Nigeria Bar Association Ondo State Banjo Ayenakin.

They said the late Akeredolu was a fervent pursuer of his beliefs, he was portrayed as a stalwart in the legal profession, a recognized activist whose leadership endured until his passing. He was hailed as a brave individual who never misled anyone.

In response to the tributes, one of the deceased’s children, Dr Teniola Akeredolu, conveyed gratitude on behalf of the family, acknowledging, “Our father was truly a remarkable man,” upon hearing the sentiments shared today.

Others in attendance is the Deputy governor of ondo state, Dr. Olayide Adelami, kwara state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, Speaker house of assembly ondo state, Hon Olamide oladiji, APC chairman ondo state, Engr. Ade Adetimehin and other top government functionaries.

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