EX NBA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ARTHUR OBI-OKAFOR LOSES MUM

A former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate, Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor SAN has lost his mother, Iyom Roseline Chika Ijenwa Okafor (DMA).

Iyom Okafor reportedly died on March 24, 2021. A native of Enu Ogbu, Ogbu Abatete in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Iyom Okafor was until her death a prominent community leader who also held several positions in the church.

A recipient of the “Diocesan Merit Award” of the Anglican Church of the Niger Diocese, Iyom Okafor was a member of the Niger Diocesan Board of the Niger Diocese of the Anglican Church. She also served as the Treasurer of St. Christopher’s Church, Onitsha and President of Abatete Anglican Church Women (home and abroad) among other positions.

She will be buried on May 21, 2021 at Abatete, Anambra State. She is survived by children, grand-children, sister, cousins, brother-in-law, sister-in-laws and other relations among whom is her eldest Son, Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor (SAN, FCIArb).

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ENCOMIUMS, AS ODUBELA IS BURIED WEDNESDAY

• BOSAN, AMOSUN, DINO MELAYE, OTHERS MOURN HIM
• VALEDICTORY COURT SESSION HOLDS TODAY

Leading lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. John Olusegun Odubela who died last Monday will be buried on Wednesday at his Ikenne, Ogun State country home. He was aged 55 years.

Meanwhile, a Valedictory Court Session organised by the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) will be held today at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja by 2 pm in honour of the deceased. The hybrid event will be beamed to a global audience via ZOOM. The Meeting ID is 821 1756 0781 while Passcode is 337059.

While the Service of Songs holds tomorrow in Lagos at 5 pm (Meeting ID: 889 3896 7924; Passcode: 459997; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeL_EiiPuJg), the burial service holds on Wednesday at 11 am at the Methodist Church, Ikenne, Ogun State (Meeting ID: 847 7681 6053; Passcode: 138208; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbEG-1AGY7U).

Several jurists and politicians have also been extolling the virtues of the senior lawyer since his passing. Odubela was until his death the longstanding Head of Chambers at the leading law firm of Rickey Tarfa & Co. A former Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Ogun State, Odubela took silk in 2017.

According to THE PUNCH, “Odubela was lawyer to several VIPs, such as former Kogi-West lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio; and the All Progressives Congress candidate in the last Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.” He was pivotal to the electoral petition victory of former Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole among several others. He was the Director-General of Prince Dapo Abiodun Governorship Campaign Committee.

Odubela graduated from Ogun State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. He also received a Master of Laws degree from the University of Lagos in 1995. A Notary Public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the seasoned jurist was an active member of the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Odubela was survived by a wife and three daughters.

Tributes have been pouring in celebration of the late senior lawyer who many describe as a humane and excellent lawyer and gentleman. Below are some of the tributes.

BODY OF SENIOR ADVOCATES OF NIGERIA (BOSAN)
‘Kindly be informed that the Valedictory Session in honour of Late Mr. John Olusegun Odubela SAN is scheduled for Monday, March 22, 2021 at 2 pm prompt at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja.

The esteemed presence of the distinguished members of the Inner Bar will be highly appreciated’, the statement reads in part.

The Late Mr. Olusegun Odubela, SAN, served as the head of chambers/Managing Partner in the law firm of Messrs Ricky Tarfa & Co. He was also a Notary Public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mr. Odubela graduated from Ogun State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990, He obtained a Masters of Law degree from the University of Lagos, in 1995.

He was a member of the International Bar Association and Nigerian Bar Association.

EDO STATE GOVERNOR, MR. GODWIN OBASEKI
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and brother, John Olusegun Odubela, SAN, a great compatriot, who toiled till his last days in defence of justice and truth.

“Odubela was a fine gentleman, intelligent and committed to the fine ethos of democracy, working earnestly to defend the people against the excesses of their oppressors.”

“He was a brilliant lawyer, who was always on the path of justice and honour. Since 2007, Odubela has been active in the fight to protect the people’s right to choose their leaders. When circumstances caused a reenactment of the same battle, he threw his legal prowess into the ring to ensure that this legacy is upheld. He remains a shinning light in efforts at consolidating democracy in our dear state.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Edo State, I send heart-felt condolences to his immediate family; the people of Ogun State, who he served as Commissioner; his friends and associates and pray that God will grant us all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

SENATOR IBIKUNLE AMOSUN
Former Ogun State Governor

“As a Commissioner for Education in Ogun State, Barrister Odubela gave a good account of himself as a brilliant, hardworking, dependable and highly resourceful person. He exuded an unparalleled passion for the progress of Ogun State and Nigeria, and most particularly at the bar where he had an accomplished career and attained the prestigious rank of SAN,” Amosun stressed.

“Odubela, my dear Odubela. How can I be writing about my Commissioner One, our Commissioner One, the Commissioner One of the Ogun State Executive Council Class of 2011-2015 in the past tense?

“Excellency, I will go to court, let me challenge that in court” – this was your usual phrase. Who will now be going to court on our behalf? How could the cold hands of death snatch Odubela away so suddenly and in such a cruel way.

“Alas, at around 10.32pm on Monday night, 15th March 2021, I was informed that the worst had happened, Segun Odubela had gone to his creator.

“It saddens my heart that his life, dreams and blossoming legal career had to end abruptly at this time. J.O. Odubela, as he was fondly called, was a dutiful, loyal, ever joyful and smiling, and above all, an embodiment of what we called “Ogun Standard”. He will be sorely missed by all of us in Ogun State and beyond.

“As painful as his death could be, I enjoin the Odubela family, the Ogun State Executive Council Class of 2011-2015, members of the inner bar, the people of Ikenne and indeed Ogun State to take solace in the fact that Barrister Olusegun Odubela lived a fulfilled life and left behind enduring legacies. I pray that Almighty God will grant him eternal rest and give all of us the fortitude to bear the pain of his loss.

“Adieu Segun Odubela, my dear Commissioner One!”

SENATOR DINO MELAYE
In his tribute, Melaye wrote: “I am saddened and pained to hear the demise of my beloved friend and lawyer, John Olusegun Odubela, SAN. Someone I can call a brother and friend any time, any day. Though I know that death is inevitable as the Holy Bible tells me, but, why must it be you, my friend? I am yet to come to terms that you are no more. Oh death! What have you done?

John Olusegun Odubela, SAN was one of those who championed my cause and was there for me in almost all my legal battles. A man who truly believed that where there is a wrong, there is a remedy. A man who would not be bought or sold, who in his innermost soul is true and honest and will stand for what is right though the heaven falls. A fine and brilliant senior advocate per excellent. His death is indeed a great and devastating loss to me, the legal profession, Ogun State and our dear nation.

My friend, I will sorely miss you for your exemplary life of service and strong commitment to the course of justice, good conscience and equity. It is very dishearten that your dreams, aspirations and good life had to end unexpectedly without any formal notice. Nevertheless, with a great sense of gratitude to God for the good life you lived and the lives of so many you touched and imparted. There is no doubt that the rich memories of official and humanitarian services to the legal profession, Ogun State and our nation would keep endearing you for a remarkable reckoning.

I’m also sending my condolences to Ricky Tarfa, SAN who mentored John Olusegun Odubela, SAN and was before his death, the Managing Partner and Head of Chambers of Ricky Tarfa & Co.

I pray God Almighty to grant those you left behind the fortitude to bear this loss, fill the gaping hole your demise had left in our hearts and grant you eternal rest. Amen.

Adieu my Friend.

ODUBELA_1

ODUBELA_2

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