By Ifeanyi Nwoko
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has expressed grief over the death of a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, describing his demise as “a personal loss”.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late Akanbi as an indefatigable, honest and principled jurist who upheld the fine ethics of the judicial process till he breathed his last.
“I am sad that Baba (Akanbi) has left us. He was fearless, courageous and spoke truth to power during his lifetime,” Saraki said. “He was like a father to me. His death is a personal loss. Kwara State will miss him. Nigeria will miss him,” he said.
He stated that the late Justice Akanbi would be remembered for his unquenchable zeal to restore the principles of transparency and accountability in the country through his fight against corruption.
Saraki noted: “He was an anti-corruption czar who fought the malaise both when he was in and out of office. He never gave up. His untiring zeal to stamp out corruption from all facet of our national life never dimmed. He lived what he preached and you could see there was no pretense about him at all.
“He was an incorruptible jurist whose judgements could hardly be faulted while on the bench. During his stint as Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), he fought corruption with uncommon passion and courage.
“After leaving office as the ICPC boss, he again joined the board of the Justice and Law Enforcement Reformation Organization – a non-profit organization – to continue his anti-corruption crusade.
Besides, he later established the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation, in furtherance of his quest to strengthen the culture of transparency, accountability and good governance in the country,” Saraki stated.
He described Akanbi as a true son of Kwara State whose many contributions to the development of his immediate community, state in particular, and the country in general, will remain indelible in the hearts of the people.
The Senate President commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, the government and people of Kwara State, and urged them to emulate the virtues and values of integrity, selfless service and unparalleled patriotism of the late jurist.
While praying Almighty Allah to grant the soul of the departed a place among the righteous ones in Aljannah Firdaus, Saraki stated that he will continue to draw inspiration from the fact that late Justice Akanbi did not only live a worthy life, but was a great blessing to his generation.