Today makes it exactly 8 years since legal luminary, human rights activist, philanthropist, publisher and politician, Chief Abdul-Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi left the world for the greater beyond. The late lawyer, born on Friday, April 22, 1938, lived an illustrious and worthy life. He was not just a lawyer and philanthropist, he would always go to any length just to guard human rights. This notable traits of his earned him popularity home and abroad.
Eight years after his death, encomium.ng brings you things to note about this icon.
- Chief Gani Fawehinmi was born on Friday, 22nd day of April, 1938, at his family home in Okedasa Street, Ondo Town.
- His father, late Chief Saheed Tugbobo Fawehinmi, was a successful Timber Magnate, Philanthropist, the Seriki Musulumi of Ondo and one of the famous sons of Late High Lisa Alujannu Fawehinmi of Ondo Kingdom.
- His mother, Alhaja Muniratu Fawehinmi was the Iya Olori Egbe Adini of Ondo Central Mosque and daughter of late Chief Yesufu and Madam Rabiatu Akinnibosun.
- Chief Gani Fawehinmi attended Ansar-ud-deen Primary School, Yemoja in Ondo from 1947-1953. Then he proceeded to Victory College, Ikare from 1954-1958 and the University of London from 1961-1964 as an External Student for Law and graduated in 1964.
- Gani was forced by financial circumstance to drop out of the Holborn College as a full time student while studying Law because of his father’s death. He had to work to finance his education, as he took a full time job as a Toilet Cleaner in Russell Square Hotel in Southampton Row, London.
- After graduading from the University of London, Chief Gani Fawehinmi returned to Nigeria in 1964 and started working in the Law Office of Hon. Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi.
- He was called to the Nigeria Bar on 15th of January 1965 and established his own Law Practice in Lagos same year.
- He became a holder of the highest national legal title in September 2001 as the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
- Gani Fawehinmi has 14 children from 2 wives and one out of wedlock.
- His 2 wives are Mrs. Ganiat Bukun Fawehinmi and Mrs. Abike Fawehinmi.
- His children are Muhammed Fawehinmi, Basirat Fawehinmi Biobaku, Kudirat Fawehinmi, Rabiat Fawehinmi, Aminat Fawehinmi, Mubarak Fawehinmi, Saheed Fawehinmi, Dr Hafusat Fawehinmi Oni, Simbiat Fawehinmi Osho, Rukayat Fawehinmi, Yusuf Fawehinmi, Taju Fawehinmi, Idiat Fawehinmi and Aishat Fawehinmi.
- Gani’s biography is said to be the most voluminous for any Nigerian living or dead, containing over 4,300 pages.
- Gani Fawehinmi was a strict human rights activist and hater of bad governance. His hatred for bad governance earned him enemies in politics, especially the military government.
- During Abacha’s regime, Gani was deported from Port Harcourt back to Lagos. This made him the first person to be deported from another state to his home state within the country.
- His international passport had been seized 7 times by security agents because of his anti-corruption crusade.
- Gani has been detained 40 times or more by security agents.
- Gani was an only son of out of six children born to his mother. He was the first child in the family.
- Gani Fawehinmi was the only person who on sympathizing with President Olusegun Obasanjo on Stella’s death and blamed him at the same time stating that the poor state of Nigeria’s health system was the cause of her death.
- Chief Gani Fawehinmi was awarded the Senior Advocate of Masses OAU in 1988, Biennial Bruno Kreisky Prize in 1993, International Bar Association’s Bernard Simmons Award in 1994 and American Bar Association Award 1996; etc.
- In 2003, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and some other notable Nigerians formed the National Conscience Party of Nigeria under which he contested the presidential election same year.
– AZEEZAT KAREEM