A former Chairman of the Nigeria Legal Aid Council, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, has paid glowing tribute to the late legal icon, Chief Olatunji Ayanlaja, SAN, who passed on Tuesday, 26th July 2022, at the age of 77.

Ayorinde in a statement described the late Ayalanja as a legal colossus, adding that he was among the best legal minds Nigeria has produced.

According to him, the late Ayanlaja was a hugely sought-after lawyer by many private individuals and corporate organisations within and outside Nigeria, who relied on his legal advice and counsel.

The statement reads, “Olatunji Ayalanja was a legal colossus, a giant among lawyers and easily one of the true giants of the profession in the mould of J.C. Taylor, Rotimi Williams QC, SAN, H. A Lardner, Molajo SAN (The Father of Tani Molajo SAN), Kehinde Sofola SAN (the Father of Kayode Sofola SAN) and his mentor, the indefatigable Chief G.O.K Ajayi SAN also of blessed memory.

“When the news of his passing broke, a friend remarked spontaneously “Oh dear, all that knowledge is gone”. Indeed, Tunji Ayanlaja was a foundation of Knowledge, He knew the law in its purest form. The library at Ayanlaja, Adesanya & Co where he practised his profession with his Partner Prince Bambo Adesanya SAN, and other colleagues for several decades remains a reference point for the profession.

“He was a “Life Force” and hugely sought after lawyer and many private individuals and corporate organizations within and outside Nigeria relied on his legal advice and counsel, Indeed he was a most successful lawyer, and he will be remembered not only for his sharp intellect but also for his impeccable appearance in and out of Court.

“I will miss not only a professional leader but a Social Captain whose life was worthy of emulation. Even though he passed on at the age of 77 years, his demise was still shocking and unexpected. His lifestyle was decent, and he lived a fulfilling family life. Myself and my dear wife, Adeola will miss his sincere counsel, but this will be incomparable to the vacuum created in his immediate family and my condolences go to his amiable wife and daughters who have lost a dear father.

“My condolences also extend to my senior brother and his Partner, Prince Bambo Adesanya SAN who has lost a brother and a friend, Olatunji Ayanlaja will be remembered as one of the best and finest legal minds that Nigeria has ever produced.”

Also, his Alma mater, the University of Lagos Alumni Association, described the exit of Ayanlaja as a great loss to the Association.

A statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Regina Chris-Ogbodo says ‘’It is with great sadness that we announce the passing to the greater glory of one of the ambassadors of our great Alma mater – Chief Olatunji Ayanlaja, SAN, a foremost lawyer who was regarded as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Nigeria in his lifetime.  

‘’Born on June 3, 1945, in Ijebu-Mushin, Ogun State, Chief Ayanlaja bade the world goodbye on July 26, 2022, at the age of 77 after a fulfilled life as a lawyer, academic, philanthropist, husband, father, and grandfather. He bagged a Law degree from the University of Lagos in 1970 and went on to build a sterling career in the temple of justice.  As a lawyer, we will end this message with a Latin maxim “requiescat in pace”, praying that his gentle soul Rest in peace.”

Meanwhile, the family has announced the burial arrangement for the late Tunji Ayanlaja. 

The late legal icon is survived by his wife, Mrs Georgina Adeyinka Yetunde Ayanlaja, Children, Oluwaseun Ayanlaja, Mr Ebunoluwa & Mrs Oluwatooni Akinkuotu, sister, cousins, nephews, nieces and a grandson, Oluwakorede Akinkuotu.

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