President Bola Tinubu on Sunday condoled with the Ogunbanjo family and the Ijebu-Ode community on the passing of their patriarch, elder statesman and foremost corporate lawyer, Dr Christopher Ogunbanjo, 99, passed away on Saturday, October 7, 2023, two months before his 100th birthday.
Ogunbanjo, 99, passed away on Saturday, October 7, 2023, two months before his 100th birthday.
Announcing his passing via a statement, his family said, “Papa was an unwavering beacon of reassurance, courage and moral integrity for the entire family, truly embodying dedication and service to his country.”
In his condolence message, the President said, “Chief Chris Ogunbanjo will be remembered for his extraordinary life of service to his community and the promotion of best business practices as a corporate lawyer of untarnished repute. His contributions to the economic development of Nigeria and commercial law practice in our country will endure.”
Tinubu’s message was contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.
In the statement titled ‘President Tinubu mourns prominent corporate lawyer, Chris Ogunbanjo,” the Nigerian leader described the traditional leader as a distinguished figure in Nigeria’s legal and business communities.
He said Ogunbanjo’s multifaceted roles as an industrialist, corporate lawyer and philanthropist had left indelible impressions in these important fields as he empowered and mentored numerous professionals from Nigeria and beyond.
As an honoured recipient of several prestigious chieftaincy titles, such as the Olotu of Ijebuland, Larinja of Egbaland, Gbadero of Lagos, Lerinja of Egbaland, Baba Oba of Ijebu Imusin, and Baba Oba of Erunwon Ijebu, the President paid tribute to Pa Ogunbanjo for consistently dedicating himself to championing causes close to his heart, including grassroots community development and advocacy for peaceful co-existence between Nigerians from diverse backgrounds.
He urged all who are mourning the elder statesman to reflect on the extensive contributions he had made to the progress of humanity and to carry forward the ideals he lived for.
Also, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, described Ogunbanjo’s death as a great loss to the state, Nigeria and humanity.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, in Abeokuta on Sunday, noted that Ogunbanjo distinguished himself as a very cerebral lawyer who combined the knowledge of law with entrepreneurial shrewdness.
Ogunbajo was born in the Erunwon-ljebu area in Ogun into the Christian family of Daniel Ogunbanjo and Madam Towobola on December 14, 1923.
He attended St. Phillips primary school, Aiyetoro, Ile-lfe before proceeding to Oduduwa College, Ife in 1936 for his secondary education.
In 1938, he was transferred to Igbobi College in Lagos where he completed his secondary education.
In 1949, Ogunbanjo obtained a law degree from the University of London and was called to the bar a year later.
He kicked off his legal practice in 1950 as a partner in the law firm of Samuel, Chris & Michael, with Ladoke Akintola and Michael Odesanya as the other partners.
When the partnership dissolved a decade later, he established Chris Ogunbanjo & Co., a commercial law firm that soon became a boot camp for many successful legal practitioners in Nigeria.
Ogunbajo was married to Hilda Ladipo until her death in August 2004.
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