By Victor Ahiuma-Young
THE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), said yesterday that Nigeria has lost an icon in the death of Chief Gani Fawehinmi, describing him as â€œthe lion of Nigerian law, an indisputable colossus of humanism whose deeds and contributions to the struggle against oppression and for the emancipation of the masses are indelible.â€
TUC in a statement by its President-General and Secretary-General, Comrade Peter Esele and Chief John Kolawole, respectively,Â said: â€œThe death of Chief Fawehinmi our irrepressible friend and defender of the masses means that we have lost an icon who even with great pains still had the courage and zeal to fight unpopular policies of government and other social vices.
“We remember how he represented the rejected, dejected, suppressed, oppressed and dehumanised underclass everywhere in the world and how he was imprisoned and detained severally for his uncompromising stance.
“After Gani departure from this world, his works that include the Nigeria Weekly Law Reports, and times would continually inspire scholarly and revolutionary writings.
Understandably, he provoked extremes of passion in people depending on their perspectives or their positions in the economy. Whether Gani is seen as a gadfly, an irritant, conscience of the nation or a social crusader, even his most uncharitable critic would admit that he is a militant with a cause and a militant that is at once irresistible and unforgettable.â€
â€œTUC notes with pride his prowess in the practice of law and his indelible footprints which will stand the test of time. He democratised the practice of law by commencing in 1985 the publication of his authoritative Nigerian Weekly Law Reports.”
Hitherto, judgments of the superior courts, particularly those of the Supreme Court, were treated as an exclusive property of one or two influential lawyers. As litigant or as counsel, he fought and won many landmark cases thus helping to advance the countryâ€™s jurisprudence.
Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi, the lion of Nigerian law, was an indisputable colossus of humanism whose deeds and contributions to the struggle against oppression and for the emancipation of the masses are indelible.Â We will all miss his fearless and tireless torment of those who imposed themselves as rulers on the hapless people of Nigeria.â€
...colossal loss to the legal profession â€” Usman
KANO â€” A constitutional lawyer, AbdulMumuni Yakubu Usman, has described the death of human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, as a colossal loss to the legal profession.
Usman told Vanguard that Fawehinmiâ€™s work had assisted the growth and development of the profession, adding that his weekly law reports remain unrivaled in Africa.
In his words: â€œHis intellectual contribution to law benefits every judge, lawyer, law teacher and their students in Nigeria. His weekly law report is the best in Africa. We will miss him.â€