Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the late judicial icon, president Court of Appeal and pioneer chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi, laid foundation of a critical pillar of Nigeria’s nascent anti-graft institutional framework.
Speaking at the eighth day Firdau prayer for the late judicial icon in, Ilorin, on Sunday, President Buhari, represented by Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who led Federal Government’s delegation to the event, said that, “So many years after completion of his tenure of office, he remained a strong and persuasive moral voice in articulation and implementation of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agenda.
“The legacy Justice Akanbi has left behind for Nigeria in general and for the legal profession in particular is one that will continue to inspire us all for years to come. It is indeed by appreciating those attributes that we are consoled at his departure at this time, at the blessed age of 85 years.
“Throughout his impressive career on the Bench , which culminated in his ultimate elevation to the position of the President of the Court of Appeal, he displayed an uncommon sense of integrity, diligence and capacity for team work.”
The President, who said that the country would forever be grateful to the late Justice Akanbi for his positive contributions, added that he would be remembered in noble terms and that Nigeria would continue to be inspired by his ideals and values.
He continued, “He played his part fully as a responsible family man, a strong voice for religious values, a crusader for humanitarian causes and a pillar of support to his immediate and extended communities.
“It is particularly gratifying to note that these personal values and norms as well as his commitment to high human ideals will continue to be promoted by the various Foundations, which he either founded or was affiliated to, such as the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation, Maasalam Islamic Foundation and the Mustapha Akanbi Library and Resource Centre, among others.
In his sermon at the occasion, the Grand Mukadam of Ilorin, Sheikh Sulaiman Dan Borno, enjoined all to emulate attributes of the late Justice Akanbi, saying that his abhorrence for hypocrisy made him to be feared by many people.
The cleric, who described his death as fall of one of pillars of the Ilorin emirate, said that the late judicial icon was not in habit of concealing truth.
Dignitaries at the Firdau included Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state, Sen. Mohammed Sha’aba Lafiagi, a former national planning minister, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, Dr. Wale Babalakin, Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.
Others were a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Modibbo Alfa Belgore (rtd), a former Appeal Court President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, a former United Nations UnderSecretary, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, labour leader Isa Aremu, Senate President Bukola Saraki represented by Saka Isau (SAN), Executive Chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), Dr Muritala Awodun, Secretary to the Kwara State Government Isiaka Gold, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali (SAN), Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) and Chief Executive Officer of Lubcon oil, Alhaji Jani Ibrahim.
The Emir of Ilorin Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari led the pack of traditional rulers that graced the occasion. Other personalities at the event were Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkarim, his predecessor, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Mohammed Bashir, PDP governorship hopeful in Kwara State, Alhaji Mohammed Ajia Ibrahim.