By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
It was day of tributes as eminent Nigerians relived the life and times of one of the nation’s finest jurists, retired Justice Pius Olayiwola Aderemi of the Supreme Court, who passed on at 78 on Monday, June 18, 2018, in Ibadan.
Justice Aderemi was variously described as a father at law and irreplaceable quintessential jurist whose contribution to legal theory, practice and principles shall find no match.
The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, who described the late Aderemi as his father, said Oyo State Judiciary had lost a compass, and a great motivator.
He said: To me, I have lost a mentor, a guardian, an adopted father-in-law and most of all, a great inspirer and my beacon of steps in life in the legal practice.”
He was a man of honour, dignified in expressing opinions; he refrained from drawing conclusions or comments that were adverse on counsel. His language was sober and temperate, not satirical. As Judges ought to be, he was witty, more reverent than plausible, more advised than confidant. He was integrity personified. My Lord was a living oracle of law.
The event, which held at the Ring Road High Court, Ibadan, also had in attendance Jurists from High Court, Appeal Court and the Supreme Court, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Attorneys-General, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chairmen, Registrars of the Supreme Court. The jurist’s seven children were led by Olakunle Aderemi.
The quintessential jurist, who started as a Judge of the Oyo State High Court later climbed to the Supreme Court where he retired in 2009 after 23 years of meritorious service.
Speaking on behalf of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Prince Lateef Fagbemi described the late jurist as pious who was in locus parentis to me. To Fagbemi, late Aderemi was an example of upright Judge who throughout his practice never compromised integrity and the ethics of the practice.
He used the forum to advocate for better welfare of
judicial and court officials, as well as equipping the
court rooms with modern facilities to make the
dispensation of justice easier for the betterment of
the society at large. He particularly reminded the
Chief Judge of the need to have efficient Research
Assistants with adequate training and remuneration
to assist our Judges and advance the course of
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,
Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, who represented the State
Government and Governor Abiola Ajimobi,
described Aderemi as a no-nonsense Judge in the
diligence aspect of it. He would not tolerate
indolence, sharp practices of any sort. He would
always enforce adherence to dress code, though in
a very mild and fatherly manner. He was
professional, tact, elegant in practice.
The AG used the occasion to stress that Governor
Ajimobi had a zero tolerance for land grabbing or
illegal appropriation of people’s property, noting that
anybody, even lawyers who engage in forceful take-
over of people’s property is open to prosecution as
Oyo State has no tolerance at all for the menace of
Omo Onile practice.
Chairman of Ibadan branch of NBA and a senior
lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan,
Dr. John Akintayo, said: Justice Aderemi was a
man of uncommon humility. He was humble in all his
dealings even whilst relating with persons young
enough to be his children. His Lordship was also
respectful of elders at the Bar and on the Bench,
while also commiserating with family for the
A Magistrate, Mrs. Sunmbo Adetuyibi (nee Aderemi)
in her response to the honour done their father on
behalf of the family, thanked all for the befitting
farewell session, adding that the entire family
members were deeply appreciative.