THISDAY Judiciary Correspondent, Akintunde, Laid to Rest

  • Company unveils composition of foundation, other welfare reliefs

Peter Uzoho

The remains of the judiciary correspondent of THISDAY, Mr. Akinwale Akintunde, were interred Thursday at his family residence in Lagos.

Akintunde, in his early 40s, died on Monday at the Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos, where he was rushed to after a truck hit him on his way home after work.

He had finished production for the Tuesday Law pages of the newspaper on Monday night and had set off for home to meet his son and pregnant wife. He didn’t make it.

The late journalist was laid to rest in the presence of family and friends; representatives of THISDAY Newspapers, who took an active part in his burial arrangements; his professional colleagues and church members amid an outpouring of encomiums on him.

The officiating minister at the funeral and Senior Pastor of Youth Province II, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ajao Estate Parish, Lagos, Pastor Charles Awoyele, in his homily, said Akintunde died a good man.
He said Akintunde, who was a devoted pastor in his parish, had performed and finished his race on earth and that there was no reason for people to remain in perpetual sorrow because of him.

Awoyele urged people to rather use his death as a time for sober reflection and a time to amend their ways.
He said: “A time like this calls for sober reflection. This is not a time we should be weeping; it is not a time we should be gnashing our teeth. God knows best. He did not die an unbeliever. If he had died an unbeliever, maybe many of us will not be here. You can see dignitaries from all walks of life here present today. It shows us that this brother has lived a good life; it shows us that life is not assessed by duration. He has impacted lives.

“There is need for encouragement; there is a need for all of us not to join this woman in weeping. Let’s not sensitise her into more weeping, rather let her continue to thank God.”

He urged everyone to live cautiously as no one knows when his death would come and admonished mourners to try and live their lives for others as demonstrated by Akintunde.

At the funeral, THISDAY Newspapers reiterated its commitment to setting up a foundation to cater to the needs of his family.

Giving details of the foundation, the Managing Editor of THISDAY, Mr. Joseph Ushiageli, said in line with the long-standing tradition of the organisation and as directed by the Chairman/Editor-in-Chief, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, the foundation would be administered by a five-man board of trustee.

Members of the trustee would comprise THISDAY representative, Akintunde’s wife, his next-of-kin as deposed by him, representative of judiciary correspondents, a representative of his church, and any other interested party.
He said the foundation would be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and that a lawyer would be hired to do the necessary work so that the process would be completed within two weeks.

According to him, the targets of the foundation include training Akintunde’s children up to university level, paying his full salary for at least the next two years.

Ushiageli said: “Our chairman has sent me here to make a pronouncement. We have a tradition and that tradition is: ‘We are setting up a foundation for the benefit of Akintunde’s family.’

“Now, the foundation will be administered by a trustees represented by THISDAY, the wife, the next-of-kin, (the next-of-kin will be somebody he filled in his form), the church, the correspondent chapel (judiciary correspondents), and also interested people from the judiciary.

“We are looking at a maximum of five members to run that trustee. And also, Akintunde’s salary will be paid for a minimum of two years. We will dedicate an account for that so that the wife will have it to deal with. Between now and next week we are contacting a lawyer to come and do the paper works. By the time all that is done, we will get them to do the signatures and all that. Also part of the package is that we will train his children up to university level.

“The foundation will be registered with the Corporation Affairs Commission (CAC) with the signatories of the trustees. It’s going to be very swift and very quickly. So, hopefully, in a fortnight we should be through with all these and then we move on with it. Whatever outstanding salaries he had we are going to deal with all that.”

Some of the top THISDAY management team at the burial were Managing Director, Mr. Eniola Bello; Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Komolafe; Ushiageli; Deputy Editor (Daily), Mr. Davidson Iriekpen; and Assistant Editor of Sunday Glitterati, Ms. Funke Olaode.