FESTSCHRIFT: UNILAG HONOURS OYEBODE AT 71

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) will on Tuesday turn to a mecca of sorts as jurists and scholars storm the famous citadel of learning to honour renowned professor of international law and jurisprudence, Prof. Akin Oyebode. The learned scholar turns 71 same day.Organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, the event is tagged, “A FESTSCHRIFT in honour of Professor Akin Oyebode.” A festschrift is a volume of scholarly articles contributed by many authors to honour a senior colleague or renowned scholar, usually on the occasion of the honoree’s birthday.

Scheduled to hold at 11 a. m. at the Jelili Omotola Hall C, UNILAG Multipurpose Hall, Akoka, the high-profile event will also witness the public presentation of the book, “Criss-crossing law and jurisprudence.”

Born on December 9, 1947 to the Oyebode family of Ikole-Ekiti, Ekiti State, the renowned scholar is famous for his uncommon erudition and unblemished integrity. Christened Akindele Babatunde by his parents, Chief Zacheaus Oladipo Oyebode and Madam Janet Olarewaju Oyebode, his academic brilliance shone early at Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti where he had his secondary education from 1960 to 1966. A tribute published during his 70th birthday records that Oyebode’s character “earned him a place among the school prefects in his senior class.”

Unsurprisingly, he passed out with grade one in his West African School Certificate Examination. A product of Harvard Law School (1974 – 1975), Oyebode holds a Master of Laws degree with Highest Distinction (Otlichnik) from Kiev State University, Kiev, Ukraine (1973) and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada (1988).

“His scholarship, prizes and fellowship include JFK Essay Competition School Level Winner in 1966, Soviet Institute of World Economy and International Relations Scholarship in 1967, Harvard University Tuition Fellowship in 1974, Ford Foundation/International Legal Center Fellowship in 1974 and York University Graduate Assistantship 1981.

“The professor started his academic career at University of Lagos in 1973 as an Assistant Lecturer. He became Lecturer Grade II in 1976, Lecturer Grade I in 1978 and Senior Lecturer in 1981. In 1992, he became professor and dean, faculty of law, Ondo State University now Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti. Some of his administrative activities included being a member of the university governing council in 1994 to 1997, member of finance and general purposes committee in 1994 to 1997, member of development committee in 1992 to 1997, member of committee of deans in 1992 to 1997, member of Senate in 1992 to 1997, member of appointments and promotions committee in 1992 to 1997, member of senior staff disciplinary committee in 1994 to 1997, member of housing loans committee in 1992 to 1994, member of joint committee for the appointment of Vice-Chancellor in 1993, chairman, security committee in 1994 to 1997, chairman of committee of inquiry into the missing dumpy level in 1994, chairman of committee on financing a functional university health centre in 1994 to 1995, chairman of committee on merger of the physical planning unit with the department of works and services in 1995, member of sub-committee on planning unit structure in 1993 and chairman of committee on excess workload in 1995 to 1996. He held appointment as the Head of Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Lagos and the Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti-State University in 2002-2004.

“At the University of Lagos, his exposure to administrative duties included being a member of appointments and promotions committee in 1999 to 2000 & 2006, member of Senate Honours Committee 2006, member of selection committee for the appointment of University Registrar in 2005, Head of Department in 2004, member of the board of school of postgraduate studies in 2004 to 2006, member of academic programmes committee, school of postgraduate studies in 2004 to 2006, chairman of postgraduate students’ disciplinary committee in 2005, chairman of International School Management Board in 2000, member of central research committee in 1999 to 2000, chairman of faculty research committee in 1999 to 2000, co-ordinator of the faculty LL.M. programme in1989 to 1990, member of 5-year LL.B. curriculum committee in 1990, the faculty/departmental representative at post-graduate board of studies in 1986 to 1990, member of post-graduate school admissions committee in 1989/90, member of university publications committee in 1988 to1990, member of committee on sexual harassment in 1990, member of selection committee for the appointment of university registrar in 1988/89, member of advisory committee on students’ feeding in 1988/89, member of Senate of the University of Lagos in 1988 to 1990 and 1998 to 2017, chairman of ad-hoc panel of investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Master S. A. Ogundubore at the University of Lagos swimming pool in 1998, member of ad-hoc panel of investigation into the constitutional controversy within the university students’ union in 1989, chairman of the faculty committee on admission requirements in 1989, member of committee of inquiry to investigate alleged activities of proscribed students’ societies on campus in 1984, member of university library committee in 1981 to 1983, Assistant Warden, New Hall, Phase III in 1980 to 1982, member of the faculty admissions committee in 1979 to 1981, member of faculty departmentalization committee in 1978, member of LL.B. (evening) regulations committee in 1977 and faculty examination officer in 1978/1979.”

Some of his travel grants and awards were:
* First Foreign Graduate to be inducted into the Permanent Roll of Honour of Kiev State University in 1973
* UN Travel Grant for the International Law Commission Seminar, Geneva in 1976
* UN Travel Grant for the Seminar on the New International Economic Order, Geneva in 1977
* French Government Travel Grant for the Colloquium on the Life of the Law in Africa, Centre d’Etudes Jurisdiques Comparative, University of Paris 1, Sorbonne 1977
* Travel Grant to attend the Joint Annual Convention of the British International Studies Association and the International Studies Association, London in 1980
* Juche Academy of Science Study Tour of North Korea in1989
* National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADL) Distinguished Jurist Award, 2002
* Nigerian Association of Law Teachers Long Service Award in 2004
* Outstanding Law Teacher Award, Justice Chambers, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2005
* Best Lecturer Award, Final-Year Students, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos in 2005, 2006
“He is a member of front-line learned societies and leading professional associations, such as Nigerian Society of International Law, American Society of International Law, International Law Association, Nigerian Association of Law Teachers, Nigerian Bar Association and Nigerian Institute of Management. He has over 31 books and monographs, over 82 journal articles as well as many research works and numerous unpublished major conference and seminar papers to his credit

“The other activities of Oyebode include being a guest lecturer in public international law, law of the sea and outer space at Foreign Service Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lagos; member of board of directors of African and African-American Foundation on Science, Education and Economic Development Inc., New York; chairman and editor-in-chief, Nigerian Journal of Contemporary Law; member of editorial board, Lagos State University Law Journal; member of editorial board, University of Jos Law Journal; member of editorial board, Journal of Human Rights Law and Practice; member of editorial advisory council, The News; contributing editor, Environment Network; expert consultant, National Boundary Commission; consultant, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO); member, advisory board, Centre for Human Rights and Development; consultant, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna; Chair, International Advisory Board, Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; chair, board of governors, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre; member of board of Trustees, National Association of Democratic Lawyers; member of board of directors, Centre for Advanced Social Science; editorial consultant, The Guardian; chairman, Catholic secretariat of Nigeria think-tank; member of advisory board of Leadership Watch; and member of the Board of Trustees, Ekitipanupo Community Development Association.

“The international jurist and an academic of note is an exemplary family man. God in His faithfulness blessed his marriage to Chief Morenike Abosede Oyebode, who retired as a senior official of West African Examinations Council; with successful children: Akintunde, Akindeji and Olajumoke. To the glory of God, he is a grandfather.

“Oyebode is indeed a blessing to Nigeria having produced many qualified lawyers in the country that have occupied and still occupying strategic positions in government at states and federal level. Naturally, he is a pride of Ekiti people which unequivocally earned him the position of pioneer leadership of Ekitipanupo Forum, the preeminent indigenous intellectual roundtable for Ekiti people at home and in Diaspora. He represented Ekiti State in the last national conference during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.”

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