It was a day of glowing tributes as the Lagos State Judiciary held a honorary Valedictory Court Session for the ninth Chief Judge of the State, late Justice Samuel Ilori who died on October 12, 2021.
The late jurist was also the fourth Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution and the fifth Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.
He became the ninth Chief Judge of Lagos in 1997 and retired from the Bench on January 5, 1999 and was the first Chief Judge to introduce the electronic recording of courtroom proceedings in Nigeria.
Honouring Ilori, the former Governor of Lagos, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on May 12, 2015 named the Magistrate Court in Ogba after him.
He was the first former Chief Judge to be honoured by the Lagos State while still alive.
Speaking at the session held at the Ikeja High Court premises, the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba said that the late jurist would be sorely missed by the legal community especially past and present judges of the state.
Justice Alogba who was represented by Justice Toyin Oyekan-Abdullahi, the Admin Judge of the Lagos Division described the deceased as a reformer and a very good mentor to the judiciary.
The State Attorney-General, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Justice Ilori had a stellar career at the Ministry of Justice where he served for 11-years.
Mr. Onigbanjo who was represented by Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary of the State, also described Ilori’s meritorious service as a judge.
A retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour representing the Body of Benchers at the occasion said that the late Justice Ilori was an accomplished jurist.
“While his lordship was the Chief Judge, he was a respected jurist and administrator. One outstanding feature of his lordship when presiding was his calmness, patience, attention to detail of evidence and cases before him.
“The Lagos State Law Reports are replete with his judgments.Today we celebrate a life well spent,” Rhodes-Vivour said.
A representative of the Body of Senior of Nigeria, Mrs Abimbola Williams-Akinjide (SAN) described herself as former classmate of the deceased at the Nigerian Law School class of 1964.
She noted that Justice Ilori had a distinguished 30-year career in public and private service and was very active in legal practice after his retirement as a judge.
Responding to the tributes, a daughter of the deceased Ms Oluwakemi Ilori expressed gratitude on behalf of the family.
“He lived a life that he thoroughly enjoyed his life was an inspiration to us his children. My father would have succeeded in any profession that he chose. He was a very thorough, meticulous and brilliant.
“We miss him dearly, he instilled values in us that made us appreciate what it is to live a worthy life.We are mourning but we are so blessed to have such a fantastic man as our father,” she said.