By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Acclaimed oldest Nigeria lawyer, Pa Tunji Fortunatus Gomez died Tuesday night.
According to report, the death of Pa Gomez was officially announced by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Lagos branch through its Chairman, Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom.
Vanguard gathered that Pa Gomez as he was popularly called marked his 90th birthday some months back with pomp and pageantry.
Announcing the lawyer’s passing away, the Lagos NBA branch chairman simply stated : “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Pa Tunji Gomez. Pa Gomez was until his death yesterday night, the oldest practising lawyer in Nigeria and a deeply loved member of the Premier Bar.
“The Branch had, in recognition of his excellent service and uncommon devotion to the Branch, celebrated his 90th birthday in style a few months ago. Our deepest condolences go to his immediate family. We will greatly miss Pa Gomez and pray that his soul will rest in perfect peace.
We will make further announcements in due course.”
Pa Gomez was born in 1928 and enrolled into King’s College, Lagos in 1944. His activism manifested early in his eventful life, as he is reputed to have led the 1948 strike at the College which significantly turned around the fortunes of the students.
Pa Gomez was part of the legal team that defended late Chief Obafemi Awolowo during his celebrated treason trial in 1962. He is also reputed as the first lawyer to sue the Military Government in Nigeria in the celebrated case of Madam Shapara vs. Lagos State Government.
An avid yoga practitioner, Pa Gomez is a long-standing advocate for the welfare especially of young lawyers. He is the author of the book: Guide to Happy Marriage.
There were reactions to the death of Pa Gomez. Life Bencher, Lady Debbie Obodoukwu wrote: “Adieu great legal luminary. May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.”