CHIEF OLALEKAN YUSUF SAN, Principal Partner and founder of Olalekan Yusuf, SAN & Co., passed on last Thursday. Described as “the go-to Counsel for complex legal matters, particularly in the area of land law, law of secured credit transactions and Commercial Law,” Yusuf took silk in 2013.

He was a former Chairman (2000-2002) and Vice Chairman (1998-2000) of Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, a member of the General Council of the Bar and the International Bar Association (IBA).

In this article, law teacher and fiery Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor Wahab Shittu SAN pays tribute to his memory.

Adieu AbdulFatai Olalekan Yusuf SAN.

This morning l woke up to the sad reality that our olalekan AbdulFatai Yusuf SAN is no more. It sounds unbelievable, but it is a sad reality.

We were close right from our SBS days between 81- 82 where we cultivated friendship and brotherhood. It was not like we saw each other often, even if our law firms are not too far from each other. Our hearts always bonded.

A strong friendship doesn’t need daily conversations, doesn’t always need togetherness. As long as the relationship lives in the heart, true friends will never part.

And so it pains to know that our friend and brother is no more, at least in the land of the living.

It pains. However every pain teaches a lesson. Every lesson changes a person.

The lesson here for me and everyone else, is that as mortals, we cannot live forever. For each and everyone of us, one day it will be over.

This ought to teach us all that we need to embrace Good deeds, and try to move closer to God, because one day for you and l , it will be over.

When that day comes, and no matter how long, how will you and l like to be remembered?

Myself and the departed Olalekan Yusuf SAN renewed contacts
and togetherness as students of the Faculty of law, University of Lagos between 1983- 86 and subsequently attended law school together in 1987.

And from that vantage point of knowledge, l now share testimonial about the departed learned silk.

The departed was married to Bimpe, a director of the National Library, a relationship that started from Ojoku Grammar school and blossomed at SBS Ilorin. Both were inseparable and remain so till death separated them this morning. At SBS ilorin , both always clung to each other like Romeo and Juliet. To my knowledge, both never cut corners. The relationship may have shown the departed as one committed to relationships. Learned silk was fiercely loyal. I never saw the departed learned silk in any other intimate relationship with any other woman other than Bimpe throughout his life. What a devoted man he was.

The relationship blossomed and was blessed with successful children including a medical surgeon and legal practitioner, amongst others. The departed believed in quality education and gave all his children his best in terms of care and commitment to quality education.

In terms of commitment to relationships, l reference the departed’s closeness to our colleague, our late Ade olowomoran. Both of them forged friendships until Ade olomoran’s last hours, and Yusuf remained committed to his friend even after his sudden death after our service years in Kano. The departed never betrayed his friends.

One of my wife’s sisters is married to the learned silk’s Elder brother. I can confirm from the testimonial of my wife’s sister, that the departed silk was responsible for the upkeep and educational training of all his Elder brother’s children up to the University level and also supported the extended family with required resources. Such was his depth of humanity. My wife’s sister remain inconsolable with tears this morning as we called to offer our condolences.

I recall sharing the departed’s commitment to community services with the world at his last birthday. Singlehandedly, the departed impacted his native Ojoku community. He built a befitting police post for the community which he handed over to the Nigerian police force. Such was his devotion to community services.

The late departed ran a stellar and professionalised legal practice. His law chambers along Allen Avenue remain a delight in terms of organisation, architecture and library services. A delight and reference point for any professional.

Many will attest to the departed’s excellent taste and dress sense. He was always well turned out either in immaculate suits or native wears. He made such a huge impression such that the body of Senior Advocate accorded him the hosting rights in one of the body’s special functions.

Always reserved with admirable presence, the departed silk chose carefully his circle of friends. One of his closest friends that l know is Hakeem Ogunniran, the celebrated business lawyers who reigned as the CEO of one of the blue- chip companies in Nigeria. Both remain close friends, until death snatched our departed friend away this morning.

I can go on and on about the departed silk, including my last physical contact with him in his office, when he reiterated the professionalism of his practice and his determination never to pervert the course of justice by not offering bribes to any judicial officer for any favours whatsoever.

And so our AbdulFatai Olalekan Yusuf SAN, the expert property/ commercial lawyer and litigator is no more.

He bade Farewell to the world this morning, and we mourn.
I mourn.

May Allah receive his gentle soul peacefully in Aljannah firdaus.

And to Bimpe ( the only woman in his life), his children, family, immediate and extended, his Ojoku community, his in- laws in my native Offa community, his colleagues and cycle of friends including the body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria and his retinue of clients including the estate of his rich client (Estate of renowned chief Ayodele Ayoku), l say Farewell.

Farewell, Farewell, Farewell to our brother and friend, AbdulFatai olalekan Yusuf SAN as his body is interred at a solemn burial rites according to Muslim customs this evening.

Farewell my brother,
Farewell our friend
Farewell my friend

Wahab Shittu SAN

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