At 80, a renowned London-trained legal practitioner, Chief Bandele Adedeji Aiku, SAN, continues to be a man of many parts in Nigeria’s judicial administration by virtue of his membership of the International Bar Association and highest policy making body in the legal profession in Nigeria–the body of Benchers–since 1987. He is currently a life Bencher.
Aiku has been the Principal Partner of Bandele Aiku & Co. since 1964. He was called to the English Bar in May 1963, having earlier enrolled in the Inner Temple, London, in 1960, from where he was trained in the best traditions of the Bar.
A barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since the past 50 years, Aiku’s part in several landmark decisions, fundamental to the rule of law, earned him the honour of wearing the silk by the invitation to join the inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in July, 1990. Precisely, this highly meticulous legal icon is Number 73 on the prestigious Roll Call.
Chief Dele Aiku was born on Tuesday, August 18, 1936, in Ijebu-Jesa, headquarters of the present Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, to an osomaalo family. That was the breed of exceptional business men and women who introduced hire purchase system into the native Nigerian market place.
Young Bandele Aiku attended Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa, between 1952 and 1955. He thereafter commenced a working career in the government sub-treasury and the Barclays Bank, DCO (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) in 1956. Aiku discovered his potentialities early in life as he swiftly proceeded to the United Kingdom in 1960 in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece.
On successfully completing his law studies in the UK, he returned to Nigeria to start his private legal practice. Interestingly, his society recognised his potential for public good before his profession deed. Between 1975 and 1977, Aiku served his country in the then Western and old Oyo states of Nigeria as commissioner for lands and housing and later commissioner for works and housing; and between 1977 and 1979 as attorney-general and commissioner for justice.
The honour and integrity with which Chief Aiku performed his duties in the public service earned him the admiration of his people and the respect of his professional colleagues. He was rewarded with the chairmanship of the Ibadan Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) between 1984 and 1985 and has remained a member of the national executive committee of the Nigerian Bar Association since then. At the zonal level, Aiku is the leader of the influential South-west Lawyers Forum, otherwise called Egbe Amofin Yoruba. He is also a member of the International Bar Association.
Aiku has serves as a member of the highest policy making body in the legal profession in Nigeria – the body of Benchers – since 1987. He is now a life Bencher. He retains a seat as chairman of the disciplinary committee of the Nigerian Bar Association from 1998 to date.
Between 2004 and 2008, Aiku served as member of the National Judicial Council (a body constitutionally responsible for the appointment and discipline of judges of Superior Court in Nigeria).
And as a reward for his services as legal adviser, he was in 2005 awarded the Fellowship of the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS) at the 45th annual conference of the college held in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
On the home front, Chief Aiku has remarkably served as an agent of development in his Ijebu-Jesa community.
Prior to 1975, Ijebu-Jesa was among the areas of Ijesa land (notably Ijesa North and Ijesa South) classified as rural districts. Ilesa was classified as urban, attracting government activities and amenities. Chief Aiku, the then commissioner in western state and later old oyo State of Nigeria worked, almost single handedly, to uplift of Ijebu-Jesa into the urban status.
He also succeeded in positively influencing the location of the permanent headquarters of the then Ijesa North local government in Ijebu-Jesa.
Furthermore, Aiku is an active participant in virtually all the community self-help projects of the town, notably the Post Office, the royal palace, the Town Hall as well as the Insight Microfinance Bank where he is the chairman of the board of directors.
Aiku was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Jagun of Ijebu-Jesa in 1984 in recognition of his significant contributions to the development of the town. He is currently the President of The Ijebu-Jesa Group, a society of elders and the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Ijebu-Jesa Social Club (IJSC).
Aiku is a Christian of the Anglican Communion and former registrar of Ilesa Diocese. He is now the Chancellor of Ijesa North Missionary Diocese with its Cathedral in Ijebu-Jesa.
Chief Aiku, SAN, is richly blessed with children in the professions of law, medicine, pharmacy, computer science, mechanical engineering and accountancy.
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