AKETI Eternal: Family Announces Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Scholarship Fund for Lawyers

In recognition of the ineffaceable legacies imprinted on the surface of the earth by the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, the Nigerian Bar Association Ibadan branch, on Wednesday commissioned a Bar centre annex, to memorialize him.

This was as the late Governor’s family announced the establishment of an annual law Scholarship in his memory, named Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Scholarship Fund for Lawyers, aimed at supporting aspiring students in the Nigerian Law school.

In her opening remarks, the NBA Chairman of the branch, Mrs. Folasade Aladeniyi noted that the project, which was envisioned to serve as a source of income to the bar association was named after late Governor Akeredolu being a promoter of the rule of law, advocate of justice and for his outstanding leadership style in Nigeria.

She lauded the unalloyed support of the late former NBA President and former chairman of the Ibadan branch towards the establishment of the Bar centre annex, noting that, although he’s dead, his legacies remained unforgettable.

Announcing the establishment of the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Scholarship Fund for Lawyers, his widow, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who spoke on behalf of the family informed that the Scholarship was in recognition of his love and immense contributions to the legal profession in Nigeria and to appreciate his legacy of excellence.

“This scholarship will be awarded annually to aspiring lawyers who have been admitted to the Nigerian Law School, and who demonstrate academic merit, leadership potential, and financial need. The scholarship will cover the full tuition and living expenses of the recipients for the duration of their studies at the Nigerian Law School. Details of its takeoff will be provided in due course.”

“The aim of this scholarship is to honor the memory and the vision of Aketi, and to support the development and advancement of the legal profession in Nigeria. The scholarship is also a way of expressing our gratitude to the Nigerian Bar Association, and especially to the Ibadan branch, for honoring my husband and our father with this naming ceremony. We hope that this scholarship will inspire and empower the next generation of lawyers, who will uphold the values and principles that Aketi embodied and exemplified”, she asserted.

While eulogising her late husband, the Akeredolu’s matriarch described him as a fearless critic of injustice, corruption and tyranny who was committed to fighting for the rights and interests of the marginalized and oppressed Nigerians.

She further described him as the father of the modern Ondo state who prioritized good governance through implementation of developmental policies and programmes that touched lives, including empowerment of women and girls.

Her words: “He was a defender of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and the separation of powers. He was a promoter of national unity, regional integration, and continental cooperation. He was an advocate who spoke truth to power, and who stood for the common good.”

“As a philanthropist, he gave generously to various causes and organizations that supported education, sports, religion, and social welfare. He was a benefactor of many individuals and groups who needed financial or material assistance. He was a patron of many associations and clubs that fostered professional development, social interaction, and community service.*

“As a family man, he was a loving and faithful husband, a caring and supportive father and grandfather, a loyal and protective brother, and a kind and generous uncle. He was a pillar of strength, a source of joy, and a fountain of love for his family. He was a family man who cherished and nurtured his family, and who made them proud”.

She therefore, appreciated the NBA Ibadan branch for the decision to celebrate him by immortalising him with the edifice.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola GCON, who commissioned the centre, affirmed that Aketi was a great Ibadan Bar man who indeed, deserved the honour done to him by the branch.

He added that the honour would serve as a good memory for Aketi’s family, and as a testament of his commitment to the Bar, hinting that the late Governor had promised to come back to the Bar after politics before his demise.

“Akeredolu deserved what the Ibadan branch has done for him. There’s no reason this could not be done for him. He will not forget you because he sees us, I thank you very much and I’m sure Aketi’s family and his children will be happy”. He said.

Also speaking, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, said the Late Akeredolu left indelible and visible legacies that people derived joy in.

The event which was held at Aare Afe Babalola Bar centre, Iyakangu quarters Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, had in attendance, the deputy governor of Ondo State, Chief Olayide Adelami, Chief Folake Solanke, SAN, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima, Prof. Wole & Ifeoma Akeredolu, Pastor Kola & Prof. Alero Akeredolu, Mr Kunle and Yejide Runsewe, Engr. Babajide Akeredolu, members of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, led by its national President, Amb. Tolu Taiwo, Aketi Friends and Associates, amongst others.