Home Nigeria Tinubu Mourns as Legal Luminary, Chris Ogunbanjo, Dies at 99

Tinubu Mourns as Legal Luminary, Chris Ogunbanjo, Dies at 99

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President Bola Tinubu has expressed his condolences, Sunday, to the Ogunbanjo family and the entire community of Ijebu Ode, over the death of their patriarch and elder statesman, Dr Chris Ogunbajo, whom he described as a legal luminary that has made landmark contributions as one of Nigeria’s most celebrated corporate lawyers.

Dr Chris Ogunbanjo died on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at the age of 99, precisely two months before his 100th birthday.

His death was announced through a statement released by his family, where they described the patriarch as ‘an unwavering beacon of reassurance  courage and moral integrity for the entire family, truly embodying dedication and service to his country.’

Speaking, through a statement released by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity,  Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu’s condolence message partly read: ‘Chief Chris Ogunbanjo will be remembered for his extraordinary life of service to his community and the promotion of best business practices as a corporate lawyer of untarnished repute. His contributions to the economic development of Nigeria and commercial law practice in our country will endure.’

He further described Chris Ogunbanjo as a Traditional ruler who distinguished himself in Nigeria’s legal and business communities and whose multifaceted roles as a corporate lawyer, philanthropist and industrialist has left everlasting impressions in those areas, having empowered and mentored many professionals both in Nigeria and beyond the shores of the country.

President Tinubu also paid tribute to the late legal icon for his consistency in dedicating himself to fighting for things he was passionate about, like grassroots community development and advocacy for peaceful coexistence between Nigerians from different backgrounds.

President Tinubu also paid tribute to him for the numerous prestigious chieftaincy titles which he received, such as Baba Oba of Erunwon-ljebu, Baba Oba of Ijebu-Imusin, Lerinja of Egbaland, Larinja of Egbaland, Olotu of Ijebu land, Gbadero of Lagos, etc.

He further called on all the people mourning the late Chris Ogunbanjo to reflect on the various contributions he made towards the progress of humanity and also to carry on with the legacies he lived for.

Chris Ogunbajo was born in the Erunwon-ljebu area in Ogun into the Christian family of Daniel Ogunbanjo and Madam Towobola on December 14, 1923.

He attended St. Phillips primary school, Aiyetoro, Ile-lfe before proceeding to Oduduwa College, Ife in 1936 for his secondary education.

In 1938, he was transferred to Igbobi College in Lagos where he completed his secondary education.

In 1949, Ogunbanjo obtained a law degree in from the University of London and was called to the bar a year later.’

In 1950, he began his legal practice as a partner in the law firm, Samuel,, Chris and Michael with Ladoke Akintola and Michael Odesanya as other partners. After 10 years, the partnership dissolved and he established Chris Ogunbanjo and Co, a commercial law firm which soon became a boot camp for many successful legal practitioners in Nigeria.

He was married to Hilda Ladipo, until her death in August 2004. His family has also stated that the venue for condolence visits and visiting hours will be shared with the general public in due course.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu prayed for the peaceful repose of the late legal icon, as well as divine comfort to his family and loved ones.

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