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20th Memorial Anniversary Symposium of Bankole Olumide Aluko (SAN)

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Aliko Dangote and other dignitaries pay tribute to Bankole Olumide Aluko (SAN) at 20th Memorial Anniversary Symposium

Delegates of the Nigerian Bar Association, business leaders and other legal luminaries assembled at Harbour Point, Victoria Island in Lagos for the 20th Memorial Anniversary Symposium of Bankole Olumide Aluko (SAN) who died on 18th February, 2002. The Theme of the Symposium was “Administration of Justice: The Ideal Standard, The Nigerian Reality and our Potential.”

The memorial was organized by Aluko & Oyebode, a top law firm of which the late Bankole Olumide Aluko (SAN), was a co-founder.

In his opening remarks, Gbenga Oyebode co-founder of Aluko and Oyebode, expressed his profound gratitude to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for honoring the memory of the late Bankole Olumide Aluko by gracing the occasion with his presence. Oyebode described Bankole as one who had respect for ethical standards and a particular love for his profession. ‘’Bankole is a man of many parts but the sum total of all these parts was that he was a devoted husband, father and family man; he was a great advocate and litigator who reached the pinnacle of the profession in 1997 by getting admitted to the inner bar; he was a great footballer, a lover of the game and also, a true and loyal friend to those he considered friends and he stood by them all the time.’’

The symposium focused on the administration of justice in Nigeria and discussed the Nigerian potential to realise an equitable justice system.  In his keynote address, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, showered encomiums on the late Bankole. He enthused ’’Every once in a while, a truly iconic figure comes by this way, usually one who excels in the accumulation of unique talent who we would describe as an icon. But not often is it the case that the icon is multi-talented and gifted in several ways. We had one of such icons 20 years ago; Bankole Olumide Aluko (SAN).”

Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) also gave conditions for the maintenance of law and order as well as governance. In his words, ‘’the administration of the justice system is the foundation of law and order, commerce as well as democracy. When the system of administration of justice fails, these pillars of governance and orderly society also collapse.’’ He went on to bemoan the delay in the delivery of justice as one of the cankerworms eating up the judicial system invariably blocking investors from entering into the sector. ‘’Investor hesitancy or reluctance is also a reflection of the inefficiency and lack of confidence in the integrity of the commercial dispute resolution process, delay is disastrous.’’

The plenary session discussed the possibility of Nigeria’s system of justice rising to become one of Africa’s international litigation powerhouses. One of the panelists, A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), strongly emphasized the need to establish a strong regulatory framework that would elicit the appropriate values and culture among lawyers in the judicial system.

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