Justice Isiaka Ishola Oluwa was, first and foremost a fine gentleman, loving husband and a doting father. He was adored by all those who came into contact with him.My deepest sympathy and condolences to his loving family, friends, acquaintances and professional colleagues. He will surely be missed by all of them.
Justice Oluwa was also one of Nigeria’s most important jurists. Where others may have lost their beacon, he remained a shining example for the legal profession. He was a man of principle and remained true to his convictions throughout his life. Where others may have gone silent, Justice Oluwa stood up and was counted and fought for the cause of Lagos State. He made vital contributions to not only the state judiciary but also in other spheres of life. As Pro-Chancellor of Lagos State University and Chairman of the Governing Board, he worked assiduously for the advancement of education in the state.
Justice Oluwa stood, always, for what was right and good and eschewed the bad and immoral practices that would so have tempted a weaker and less honourable man.
From humble beginnings Justice Oluwa rose, through hard work and single-minded dedication, to the pinnacle of the legal profession, distinguishing himself at every stage of his meteoric rise through the ranks of the profession. His reputation for fairness and incorruptibility led to him being assigned some of the most high-profile and difficult cases ever to come before a Nigerian court. Always ready, he proved himself up to the task, and his legacies as a judge will be celebrated by present and future generations of legal luminaries for many years to come.
Justice Oluwa’s many judgments showed him to be an impartial and highly disciplined jurist. Many of his landmark judgments became judicial precedents that have shaped many other judgements. As all good judges, he based his decisions entirely on the available evidence and full application of the law. One case often cited and which demonstrated his excellentjudicial qualities was that between the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution and Lagos industrialist and socialite, JimohIshola alias Ejigbadero, in the murder of a farmer, Raji Oba, at Alimosho, Lagos in 1975. He delivered his judgement courageously and dispassionately.
His example taught those that came after how not to allow sentiment, fame or fortune becloud their judgment. He refused to pervert the course of justice and always followed the law without fear or favour. His many achievements on the bench and in retirement stand as testament to his supreme character, integrity, courage, candourand dedication to the protection of the common man and the advancement of the Nigerian state.
Justice Oluwa was a pillar of his community and a never-ending font of wise and good counsel for later generations of legal scholars and political leaders including my own. He was a fearless and did not compromise on his beliefs.
Justice Oluwa has been a wonderful ambassador for Nigeria. A great man, he will be missed by all who knew him and many who did not. I commiserate with Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, the government and people of Lagos State for they have lost an illustrious man. I hope and pray that they sustain his legacies in the state particularly in the judiciary.
May the wonderful soul of Justice Oluwa find rest in the bosom of the Almighty.
ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU