By Davidson O. Edieya, Esq.
Tanto Nomini Nullum Par Elogium – Of this great man, no praise is adequate. The headstone of Niccolò Machiavelli’s tomb, in Florence, Italy, had this alluring epitaph etched into it only years after his demise. Niccolò is not alone in the tribe of beings marked for distinction only after their death. Akhigbe Emmanuel Odiase is also a man of such community.
Very rarely in history have people got together because of a common interest in a young lawyer. Akhigbe Emmanuel Odiase is an exception. He is known to have made countless memorable contributions that have greatly improved our legal jurisprudence including but not limited to advancement of the law clinic in Nigeria.
Akhigbe was a man of monumental influence over the development of law, both in its substance and style within his short but remarkable period of existence.
OThe iroko is arguably the tallest, strongest and most iconic tree in the forests of Africa. As a king in the forest, the iroko provides shelter to animals and humans alike. It is often referred to as ‘African teak’ because of its astonishingly multi-faceted value. And in most cultures, when a great man dies, his demise is likened to the fall of an iroko.
This aptly depicts the transition to the great beyond of Late AKHIGBE EMMANUEL ODIASE, ESQ whose sudden death occurred on Tuesday, 16th of April, 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria. This sent shock waves across the Nigeria legal profession and Nigerians at large.
I received with a rude shock the news of his death and same has left a huge abyss in the spectra of my heart.
The Late AKHIGBE EMMANUEL ODIASE, Esq was a personal friend and colleague at the university. We both served in various committees as members of the Law Student House of Parliament
The late AKHIGBE was my campaign coordinator when I contested as law student president in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, and his support was of great measure.
The late AKHIGBE personally joined in my research for the completion of my long essay in partial fulfilment for the award of Bachelor of Law.
This young legal giant invited me to the Nigerian Law School for weekend tutorials in Abuja and his zeal to become an outstanding legal practitioner was second to none.
I followed him to purchase his wig and gown in Abuja in preparation for his call to the Nigerian Bar by the Honourable Body of Benchers in November 2018. I never knew his prospects and dream Will become shattered by death at his young age.
I personally recount other various encounter with the Late Akhigbe. He was a complete gentleman. One common feature of AKHIGBE EMMANUEL ODIASE worthy of emulation is that he lived a positive and a Christian life. He was focused, dedicated, devoted and loyal to the lofty ideas of humanity. He never allowed sentiments to overcome his thoughts. He was a detribalized Nigerian. He respected his Seniors and never called any by their name without adding Sir, Master and the likes.
I recall with fond memories the deep appreciation which the late Akhigbe had for those he came across. It was only a few months ago that we met in Lagos and we discussed at length the prospect s of the legal profession and advancement of legal education.
We lost AKHIGBE EMMANUEL ODIASE at a critical moment we needed him most. It is indeed a great loss to us all particularly we his friends/colleagues and I pray God grants us the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. Your death still remain sunset at noon.
It is my hope and believe that we alive consolidate on the late AKHIGBE illuminations.
Rest in peace AKHIGBE EMMANUEL ODIASE, ESQ LL.B Hons(AAU,EKP), B.L
God knows best…
Edieya is a Legal Practitioner at Samuel O. Zibiri, SAN & Co.
email@example.com , 08055241970