Friday, 10th April, this year, was the 17th remembrance anniversary of the late Honourable Justice Atinuke Ige, JCA, OFR, wife of the late Chief ‘Bola Ige, SAN, a former Governor of the old Oyo State of Nigeria and the sitting Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, until his assassination in his Bodija Housing Estate, Ibadan home, on Sunday,23rd December 2001.
May the gentle and kind souls of Chief and Honourable Justice Ige continue to rest in perfect peace. Amen.
In February 1983, I was seconded from the former Television Service of old Oyo State(TSOS), Ibadan(now known as the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State Television (BCOS-TV), to the Publicity Bureau in the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, under the Chairmanship of Dr(then Mr)Yemi Farounbi, who, years later, was Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Philippines.
My humble self and Femi Mapaderun, also seconded from Radio O-Y-O, Ibadan, thus formed a triumvirate of Governor Ige’s publicity and public relations team, with Dapo Aderinola, the incumbent Press Secretary to the governor. I was in charge of television matters.
My secondment thus brought me in close contact with Governor Ige, his lovely wife, Honourable Justice Atinuke Ige and family.
Honourable Justice Ige died on Thursday,10th April 2003, in Ibadan, aged 71.
Above was the title of my tribute to the late Justice Ige, published in the Daily Times newspaper issue of 1st May 2003, the eve of her burial in Ibadan.
Here are some excerpts from my tribute.
The late Honourable Justice Atinuke Ige was unassuming, organised, a loyal and doting wife and mother, an erudite legal mind and justice with a great passion for the rule of law. She was warm, humorous and open without malice to all. In short, she was our great auntie.
We, Governor Ige’s think-tank, comprising Dr Faroumbi, Professor Tunde Adeniran, Professor Tola Atinmo, Femi and I, frequented Esa-Oke, the hometown of the governor, usually at weekends.
One Sunday, after breakfast, while on a trip to Esa-Oke, Governor Ige was lecturing on politics, music and botany, when Justice Ige, Mrs Farounmbi, Mrs Adeniran and Mrs Atinmo, all who had gone on a stroll, returned to the house and joined our discussion. Governor was talking about plants and flowers.
Since Justice Ige and the three ladies had returned from their stroll with freshly-cut flowers, and the governor was talking about flowers, they started making bouquets for us.
As Justice Ige was about to handover the first bouquet to her husband, the governor, “Olowo-ori mi”, that was she called him, she suddenly stopped and exclaimed: “Darling, for you on our wedding anniversary.” That Sunday was their 24th wedding anniversary, and we held an impromptu, but beautiful wedding anniversary celebration!
Dr Farounbi said it would be great for the couple to re-live their 1959 wedding ceremony in London, United Kingdom. Pronto, one of the ladies offered her Gele(head tie)as the veil with which the ‘bride’ covered her head and face, as the ‘groom’ walked her down the ‘aisle’.
Femi, became the officiating ‘priest’, while the rest of us formed the ‘congregation’.I read the only lesson at the ‘marriage service’.It was Psalm 71(In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.
Never let me be put to shame.)
Someone remembered a partly-eaten cake in the fridge, glasses were filled with good wines, and toasts made to the couple. Both husband and wife were always great delights in etiquettes.
May God continue to grant Honourable Justice Atinuke Ige and all her departed loved ones perfect peace. Amen.