Obasanjo Mourns Passing of Legal Luminary Ogunbanjo  - The Top Society

Obasanjo Mourns Passing of Legal Luminary Ogunbanjo 


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed his deep sorrow over the passing of the legendary legal luminary, Christopher Ogunbanjo, who passed away on October 7 at the age of 99.

Olusegun Obasanjo, who served as Nigeria’s president, described Christopher Ogunbanjo as an exceptional legal luminary, whose contributions to the legal field were unparalleled.

In a statement released by his special assistant on media, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Monday, October 9, Obasanjo hailed Ogunbanjo as an outstanding and foremost Nigerian Corporate Lawyer.

He said:

“On behalf of my family and on my own behalf, wish to commiserate with the entire members of the Ogunbanjo family, the Awujale of Akile Ijebu, Oba Dr Sikiru Adetona and the entire people of Ijebu land and by extension of Ogun State on the transition of Chief Christopher Oladipo Ogunbanjo, who was one of the prominent and great sons of Africa.

“He was a successful captain of Industry, philanthropist, and exceptionally excellent legal luminary, who I can safely call an outstanding Nigerian Corporate Lawyer.

“Only a few days ago, I remembered him at a discussion and the only name that was coming to memory was; “the Corporate lawyer”, “the corporate lawyer. Yes, he was distinguished and truly deserving of that appellation.”

During his illustrious career, Obasanjo highlighted that the esteemed legal expert, during the early 1960s, played a pivotal role in advocating for local equity participation in foreign companies operating within Nigeria. Additionally, he was an early proponent of domiciliary accounts in Nigeria, a concept that eventually materialized with the enactment of the Foreign Currency Decree 18 of 1985.

He said:

“In all respects, he was a titan and a brilliant attorney: a good man, an inspiring leader and a remarkable statesman and nationalist whose intellect, integrity, hard work and vision impacted significantly on the legal profession. It is to the eternal credit of the late Chief that he strove to carve a niche for himself in several spheres.

“His zeal and resourcefulness were without deference to his noble background. He brought prodigious energy to bear in whatever he did and it was not surprising that he became a well-established lawyer and an astute businessman of note.

“Chief Ogunbanjo’s name will live forever in the minds and hearts of those who experienced his warmth, generosity, and guidance. His underlying commitment to education and his quiet philanthropic activities which culminated in his establishment of Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation cannot be over-emphasised.

“Having lived for 99 years, and only months to his centenary celebration, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo by any stretch of the imagination, cannot be considered to have died an untimely or premature death. I pray that the Almighty will grant him sweet repose and his family members the strength to bear the heavy and irreparable loss.

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Furthermore, he added:

“Chris Ogunbanjo was born on 14 December 1923, to the family of Daniel Ajayi Ogunbanjo, a catechist from Erunwon, Ijebu, Ogun State. He was educated at St Phillips Primary School, Aiyetoro, Ile-Ife before proceeding to Oduduwa College, Ife for his secondary education in 1936.

“Two years later, he transferred to Igbobi College in Lagos. He began work in 1942 as a junior clerk in the Judicial Dept in Enugu and was subsequently transferred to Port Harcourt. He left the civil service in 1946 to study law at the University of London, Ogunbanjo obtained a law degree in 1949, and was called to the bar in 1950.

“On his return from London, he worked briefly for the law firm of H.O. Davies before establishing his own private practice; his firm added two more partners, Samuel Ladoke Akintola and Michael Odesanya in 1952 to become Samuel, Chris, and Michael Solicitors. The partnership was dissolved in 1960 and his practice became Chris Ogunbanjo & Co. The new practice specialized in corporate law.

“Ogunbanjo married Hilda Ladipo in 1953. His wife was editor of AMBER, a women’s lifestyle magazine established in the 1960s but later acquired by Daily Times.”


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