- The Story Of Justice ADESOLA OGUNTADE (rtd)
- How He Started As A Court Clerk In IBADAN In 1968
It is no longer news that the New High Commissioner to United Kingdom (UK) is Justice Adesola Oguntade (rtd). Yes, he is. And we can confirm that to you authoritatively. A few months ago, the ever smiling retired judge of the Supreme Court was appointed the new High Commissioner to the UK by President Muhammadu Buhari. He will resume at his new post in a couple of weeks. “Mee lord` as he is fondly called has a very humble beginning just as every successful person all over the world.
Perhaps, we should refresh your memory about the 77years old “my lord“ called Justice George Adesola Oguntade was born in Epe, Lagos on March 10, 1940. He started School at St Michael’s School, Epe and proceded to Ijebu-Ode Grammar school in 1946. He attended Holborn College of Law [University of London], UK (1961-1964); and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1965. He was called to the Nigerian Bar on January 15, 1966. George Oguntade’s legal career commenced with a three-year stint as a Court Clerk at the High Court of Justice, Ibadan. After his call-to-Bar, he engaged in private legal practice for 14 years and was appointed a Judge of the Lagos High Court in 1980, and then proceded to the Court of Appeal seven years later. On May 19, 2004, he was elevated to the nation’s apex court – the Supreme Court of Nigeria, where he served meritoriously till March 10, 2010 having attained the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Undoubtedly, Justice George Oguntade is one of the sharpest legal minds that ever sat on the Higher Bench in Nigeria. He made his mark in the advancement of the nation’s legal system, even at a great risk to his person. His many strategic postings included Chairman, Lagos State Armed Robbery & Firearms Tribunal; Justice of the Court of Appeal, Enugu; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Ibadan; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Jos; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Lagos; and Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Such were his sound judgments at the High Court that they were hardly over-turned by the Appellate Court. In the same vein, he worked very hard to clear back-logs of appeals case during his four-year stint at Appellate Courts over which he presided. Among the celebrated cases he presided over or co-handled were:
Justice Anyebe Vs Benue Government, the Judge was sacked by the State Government, but the Appeal Court reinstated him after a reprimand.
Amechi Vs Omehia/PDP: Amechi’s name was replaced by Omehia’s after the former was duly nominated. Omehia won the election, but the court ordered him to relinquish office to Amechi as the authentic candidate and winner of the Rivers State Governorship election.
Justice Oguntade’s tenure at the Supreme Court of Nigeria witnessed the delivery of many landmark judgments, which have made significant impact on our legal system, particularly in the area of constitutional and administrative law. A fearless and courageous George, thorough and resolute in his reasoning, Justice Oguntade would not hesitate to disagree with his colleagues when the need arose.
In his dissenting judgment of the appeal by the Presidential candidate of the ANPP, General Muhammadu Buhari Rtd against the declared winner, President Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP, Hon. Justice Oguntade annulled the election and ordered a re-run. Interestingly, the President was to admit later that the election was flawed. So, sound were his dissenting/minority judgment that rather than alienate him from his colleagues; they have set the tone for younger legal practitioners to explore other angles to similar cases.
Indeed, his understanding of the law and the adjudicatory process as manifested in his judgments, are reference points to lawyers and law students alike. By his incisive and analytical pronouncements, he has contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria.
Justice George Oguntade has, over the years, been invited to different fora to share his knowledge, experience and perspectives on various aspects of law and jurisprudence. He is one of the Nigerian Judges who served at the 3 tiers of Judicial system, the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Beyond the Judiciary, Justice Oguntade has also served society in many other capacities. He is Chairman, Customer Complaint Bureau, Nigerian Insurers Association and member, World Jurist Association.
He is a Commander of the Order of the Niger and Commander of the Federal Republic. A God-fearing man, he has been Chancellor of Anglican Diocese of Lagos since 1992 and the recipient of the First Anglican Communion National Award for Integrity & Excellence. Justice Oguntade is happily married to Mrs Modupeola Adewemimo with children and grand children. One of his sons, Folu, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, while he also has other children who are doing so well in their chosen careers. He is a sociable man to the core. He belongs to many social clubs such as Rotary Club, Lagos Island Club and Diamond club.
Send Us News, Gist, more... to firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @CitypeopleMagz