The late former governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, CON, SAN, known affectionately as “Aketi,” was laid to rest on Friday after a week of funeral ceremonies. Akeredolu, who also served as president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), passed away in December 2023 at the age of 67.

The funeral events culminated on Friday with a lying-in-state and burial service. The week-long activities were attended by dignitaries from across Nigeria, including the Vice President of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, and NBA-ICLE Chairman Tobenna Erojikwe. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Tobenna Erojikwe eulogised Akeredolu’s fearless leadership of the NBA.

“As NBA president, Aketi exemplified courage and steadfastness in the face of adversity,” Erojikwe said in his remarks. “He remained unbowed and resolute while championing reforms and upholding professional ethics and standards within the legal profession.”

Other notable Nigerians who paid respects during the ceremonies included former NBA president Augustine Alegeh, current Ondo State Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke, and other prominent figures from across the country.

The funeral service on Friday was attended by thousands of mourners in Akeredolu’s hometown of Owo. In his homily, the presiding Anglican priest remembered Akeredolu as a devout Christian and family man whose passion for service led him from the legal profession to the governor’s office.

Governor Akeredolu was known as a progressive, anti-corruption crusader during his four-year term from 2017 to 2021. He bolstered infrastructure development in Ondo State and worked to diversify the economy beyond oil production. His legacy and contributions to Nigeria’s legal community will live on through the many lives he impacted.

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