Adebisi Onanuga and Robert Egbe
Tributes flowed on Thursday from the Bar and Bench for the late Hon Justice Yahaya Abiodun Jinadu.
A retired judge and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) described Justice Jinadu as a man with impeccable character, courage and integrity.
The late judge, a former Solicitor-General of the Federation, died on Wednesday, aged 93.
A former Judge of the Ogun State Judiciary Justice Babashola Ogunade (rtd), described the late jurist as very fair and upright.
He said: “Justice Jinadu I knew from the beginning of my practice in 1972 and I would describe him as one of the conservative ones from the way he conducted himself on the Bench and from what we heard of him when he was in the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“He was one of those who stood strictly for the norms and excellence of the Bar and the norms of the legal practice. Then if you are one lawyer to appear before him, you must ensure that you have dotted and crossed all your Is and crossed your Ts.”
Justice Ogunade recalled that the late judge was reputed to be a stickler for regularities.
“Don’t describe him as a tough man. I had my own personal experience with him and I found him to be a pleasant man. You can only find him difficult when you don’t know what you are doing with him.
“I remembered one occasion I had a case before him when people said I shouldn’t argue with him but he listened and said the point I was making was right. That is the kind of man he was.
“Very fair, very upright and so one is not surprised when he suddenly decided he was going to leave the Bench and that decision was strictly by principle.”
For Chief Emeka Ngige SAN, Justice Jinadu’s death was Nigeria’s loss.
Ngige, Chairman of Nigeria’s Council of Legal Education (CLE) said: “I think his death is again another loss to Nigeria of one of our illustrious citizens.
“He was a judicial officer of impeccable character, of courage, of integrity and of the stock that we yearn for now in the present day judiciary.
“The circumstances under which he resigned is now part of our history and it is a tribute to his integrity that when he did not feel that what was going on between him and his Chief Judge was acceptable, he threw in the towel.
“History will be kind to him and we will continue to pray for the repose of his soul and for this country to always remember him for the good name that he has etched in our history as a judicial officer of courage.”
Chief Felix Fagbohungbe SAN described Jinadu as one of the country’s best.
Fagbohungbe said: “Justice Jinadu was one of the best judges Nigeria has ever produced before he left the judiciary in 1984. A very principled man, he was an incorruptible person, very incorruptible. Instead of allowing the government to interfere in his decision on the Bench, he had to retire. He has left behind a good legacy for the Judiciary. I pray we have such judicial officers in the judiciary.
For Norrison Quakers SAN, the late jurist was one judge whose integrity everyone could vouch for.
“He was a good judge, fearless. In the era of judges being accused of corruption and compromise, he was one of those that you could not accuse of corruption, he was upright, dedicated to his job and he discharged his duties creditably and justice was discharged without fear or favour.
“He was one of the few judges that you could really vouch for as judges who were cut out as judges, in terms of judicial candour. He will be greatly missed and considering the fact that he lived up to 93 years, it just shows a good man, a good heart, who discharged judicial duties favourably. He will be greatly missed. He was a good man,” Quakers said.
The late Jinadu was Solicitor-General of the Federation before being elevated to the High Court Bench in Lagos State in 1973.
He was known as a very upright Judge who believed very strongly in the independence of the Judiciary.
He retired on principle from the Bench in 1984.
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