President Buhari, Saraki, others mourn former ICPC Chairman

Timothy Chiji and Tunde Akanbi


Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to the Pioneer Chairman of the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi, describing him as a man whose greatest asset in life was his enviable integrity and incorruptibility.

The remains of the late Justice Mustapha Akanbi was on Sunday laid to rest at his residence in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The janaza prayer was led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammed Soliu Bashir and other notable Islamic scholars.

The President believes that Justice Akanbi will be long remembered for his enormous contributions in bringing credibility and respectability to the country’s judiciary.

According to the President, “being respected by the people for your honesty and patriotism is the best legacy a man can leave behind.”

“In a country where corruption is perceived as fashionable, Akanbi stood out as a remarkable man who put personal integrity and selflessness before the desire for money outside his legitimate income.”

“Great men like Akanbi didn’t believe in joining evil because it was popular or supported by the majority,” the President said.

President Buhari extended heartfelt condolences to Justice Akanbi’s family, the government and people of Kwara State and the entire Ilorin Emirate.

Meanwhile, well meaning Nigerians have also paid tribute to the late ICPC boss.
President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki in a condolence message via his twitter handle said;

The kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed in a condolence message said the state and indeed Nigeria has lost a rare gem, philanthropist and revivalist.

“Justice Akanbi’s years in the bench as an incorruptible judge, his stint at ICPC, struggle for good governance and involvement in community services would remain indelible in the history of Nigeria,” Dr Ahmed said.

The governor explained that his philanthropist gesture and investment in education, which is a key component of human capital development, will be greatly missed by all.

Also the speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad in a condolence message described the former President Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi as one of the best judges ever produced by the Nigeria judiciary.

He said the late jurist was an icon of Nigeria’s judiciary, stressing that his demise was a collosal loss to the nation.

“Late Justice Mustapha Akanbi was a source of inspiration to every Muslim, the Bar and the Bench. He was a big source of inspiration to baby lawyers in the legal profession and to a lot more people in community service. He was very religious. We can only pray Allah to forgive his shortcomings and grant him Al-janah Firdaos”, he said.

In a related development the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdulmalihi has also commiserated with the family of Justice Mustapha Akanbi.

Mallam Abdullahi described the late Akanbi as a man of peace, integrity and honour who, as a lawyer and judge, contributed greatly to the development of Nigeria’s legal system.

“His tenure as the first Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) provided a solid foundation for the organisation and recorded several cases of prosecution of corrupt persons.”

“The late Justice Akanbi was incorruptible, Spartan and fair to all. Though he had a pan Nigerian outlook, he was very passionate and committed to issues of development of Kwara State.”

“His death at this time when his fatherly insight is more needed than ever before is a painful one. May his soul rest in peace,’’ Abdullahi said.

Late Mustapha Akanbi was born on September 11, 1932 in Accra, Ghana.

He was appointed ICPC chairman by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo in year 2000 and served till 2005.

Aisha JM