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Nigerians bid legal icon, GOK Ajayi, farewell

Published by Tribune on Fri, 30 May 2014

IJEBU-Ode, the ancestral home of the legal icon, Chief Godwin Olusegun Kolawole (GOK) Ajayi, was still for several hours, as his remains were committed to mother earth on day he would have been 83 years old.At a Holy Communion/thanksgiving funeral service held at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Ijasi, Italowajoda, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on Thursday, the Bishop of Diocese of Ife (Anglican Communion), Right Reverend Oluranti Odubogun, admonished Christians to live a Christ-like life.Odubogun, who was the preacher at the service, described the deceased as a committed and dedicated Christian, who gave all that God had blessed him for the good of mankind and service to his creator.The cleric further described the deceased as a cultured gentleman, with trail of achievements in his kitty, adding that his sagacity in the legal profession was unquantifiable.Bishop Odubogun also said that the late Ajayi was a sociable and community man to the core, adding that he was a brave and courageous lawyer.The bishop also urged the gathering to serve God diligently and be good to their fellow mankind.'Are you Christ-like in any way' Are you a kidnapper or an armed robber or a pen robber or a beneficiary of it' Then, if you are involved in all these, you cannot make it to heaven. If you don't leave all the detectable things, you cannot make it,' the cleric added.In his remarks, the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said the late Ajayi was an uncommon, intelligent and one of the great lawyers the country had ever produced.'Papa GOK Ajayi was a professional to the core. He was a progressive-minded being, whose passion for adherence to justice and the rule of law endeared him to many people.'Papa fought so many remarkable legal battles for the common man. We can only pray that his soul rest in peace,' the governor added.A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Tunji Ayanlaja, in his tribute, said that the many works of the deceased would continued to live in the minds of many generations yet unborn.'How can we eulogise this great man' GOK Ajayi was a consummate lawyer and a good teacher, indeed, he was the best teacher. He was a teacher of so many lawyers. He is not dead. He is living in us and he will continue to live in us forever,' he said.Also speaking, General Zamani Lekwot (retd) eulogised GOK for his fearless and brillance advocacy which led to his discharge and of his kinsmen over the Zango Kataf disturbances in 1990.Lekwot said: 'He was tenacious. He was a fine human being and a very brilliant man. He was a great asset to the legal profession. May his soul rest in peace. The people of Atyap Community will forever be grateful to him.'In attendance at the service were the immediate past governor of the state, Chief Gbenga Daniel, eldest daughter of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Reverend (Mrs) Omotola Oyediran and her husband, Professor Oyediran, Barrister Segun Awolowo (Jnr), representative of the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olori Ladun Sijuwade, the chairman, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Chief Subomi Balogun and his wife, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, founder, Oodua People's Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasheun, Dr Sunny Kuku, Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi, Chief Oladipo Jimilehin, Chief Bisi Omidiora, Chief Bode Ogunlana and litany of legal profession.
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