Eminent Nigerians are gathered in Ilorin the Kwara State capital to mourn the departed Justice MusEminentambi whose death was announced early Sunday morning by his first son, Professor Mohammad Akanbi.
The Pioneer Chairman of the lndependent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (lCPC) who was also the first Wakilin Ilorin, in his life time was renowned anti corruption Czar passed passed on at a ripe age of 85.
In a brief prayer after the burial rites, the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Mohammed Salihu prayed Allah to receive Justice Akanbi as His true servant.
He expressed delight that the late Jurist led a virtuous and righteous life, urging Nigerian leaders across board to emulate his simple life style and exemplary conduct ” through which he impacted positively on the lives of numerous people. ”
Expressing views on the late jurist Governor Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed described as shocking and devastating the passing away of the Pioneer Chairman of Independence Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi (CFR).
Governor Ahmed who led government delegation to the venue of the deceased burial said in a condolence message that the state and indeed Nigeria has lost a rare gem, philanthropist and revivalist.
“Justice Akanbi’s years in the bench as an incorruptible judge, his stint at ICPC, struggle for good governance and involvement in community services would remain indelible in the history of Nigeria”, Dr Ahmed said.
The governor explained that his philanthropist gesture and investment in education, which is a key component of human capital development, will be greatly missed by all.
Governor Ahmed described Justice Akanbi as a true Nigerian, Pan Africanist and lover of his community with exceptional penchant for the advancement of humanity irrespective of race, ethnicity and religious belief.
According to the governor, Late Justice Akanbi was an epitome of humility, uprightness, honesty and discipline whose virtues would remain exemplary to generations to come.
Gov Ahmed recalled that Justice Mustapha Akanbi was among eminent Kwarans honoured by the state last year for his contributions to national development during the 50th anniversary.
“The state and indeed the entire country is grieved that it has lost one of its finest. The state is saddened that the outstanding contributions of the elder statesman will be sorely missed. But we take solace that Justice Akanbi lived a pious, modest and exemplary life worth of emulation”.
Gov Ahmed prayed Allah to grant the truly incorruptible Judge Aljanat fridaus and give the family, the Ilorin Emirate, Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad described the former President Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi as one of the best judges ever produced by the Nigeria judiciary.
The Speaker noted that Akanbi was acknowledged for his deep knowledge in law, disciplined personality and being an incorruptible jurist per excellence.
Ahmad added that throughout Late Justice Mustapha Akanbi’s sterling career as a judge, he rendered selfless service to the country, saying that several years after his retirement lawyers still revere him as a result of his expertise in the field of law.
Ahmad recalled that those qualities caused former President Olusegun Obasanjo to appoint Late Justice Akanbi as pioneer Chairman of ICPC shortly after Nigeria’s return to civil rule.
The Speaker lamented that the erudite jurist died at a time his wealth of experience and wisdom were still required, particularly as the nation’s judiciary is passing through difficult moment, in the nation’s chequered history.
He said it was, however, gratifying that having served the Nigeria meritoriously for greater part of his life, Justice Akanbi, a Pan African of note, retired to his country home to dedicate his remaining years to serve Allah and humanity through the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation.
Ahmad described the late Wakilin of Ilorin Emirate as one the personalities who contributed significantly to the growth and development of Ilorin in particular and Kwara State at large.
He then consoled the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed over the loss of one the illustrious sons of the state.
“Late Justice Mustapha Akanbi was a source of inspiration to every Muslim, the Bar and the Bench. He was a big source of inspiration to baby lawyers in the legal profession and to a lot more people in community service. He was very religious. We can only pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Al-janah Firdaos”, he said.
The Speaker equally prayed Allah to grant the Emir of Ilorin, his family, Mustapha Akanbi Foundation and Kwarans the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
He also urged Justice Mustapha Akanbi’s immediate family to see his death as a challenge to sustain the legacies of their father.
In his condolence message, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari expressed sadness over the death of the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd).
He also recalled that the late jurist was instrumental to the mentorship of many legal practitioners both in the bar and on the bench through his unique and sterling qualities of equity, fairness and justice to all.
According to him, “ We have lost a rear gem in the Ilorin Emirate and nation at large.
The history of judicial system in Nigeria would not be complete without adequate reference to the tremendous contributions of the late Wakili of Ilorin. We were together in the judiciary at different point in time up to the Court of Appeal.
“I can vouch for him anywhere because he was such an indefatigable personality whose major interest was nation-building, uprightness, preservation of professional ethics among other salient features of a worthy ambassador.”
The monarch however noted that “Although, the late Wakili of Ilorin lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation but his death is a great and colossal loss to the entire nation and humanity at large due to the fact , “he was a unique symbol of truth, equality and justice”.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari therefore prayed Allah to grant him eternal rest, grant him al-janatul firdaos and give his immediate family, the people of Ilorin Emirate and the entire nation the respite to bear the great loss.
Among eminent personalities who witnessed the Jabazah prayer led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Mohammed Bashir for the late jurist at his Ilorin GRA residence around 2.30 pm on Sunday was Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Justice Ayo Salami, PCA Rtd, Dele Babalakin, Prof Is’Haq Oloyede, JAMB Registrar.
Other dignitaries that thronged Ilorin to pay their last respect to Akanbi include Pioneer Grand Kadi of Kwara state, Justice AbdulKadir Orire, Kwara state’s Chief Judge, Justice Sulyman Kawu, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), Adelodun Salman(SAN),Kehinde Elena(SAN),Saka Isau(SAN)and state’s Grand Kadi, Justice Ola AbdulKadir.
Others include former grand Kadis in the state, Imam Oba Fulani, AbdilMutalib Ambali and Solihu Mohammed, the national publicity secretary of APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, JAMB’s Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Vice Chancellors of the university of Ilorin, Kwara state University, Malete, Al- Hikmah university; Professors, Sulymam AbdulKareem, AbdulRasheed Na’ Allah and Ibrahim Taofik respectively.
Also in attendance were former Kwara Chief Judge, Justice Raliat Elelu- Habeeb, Rector, Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin, Mas’ud Elelu, former minister of Transport, Bio Ibrahim, former speaker, Kwara House of Assembly, Babatunde Mohammed, members of the state execution council, and prominent Islamic scholars from far and near.
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