By Chief Richard Oma
This will be the shortest tribute ever written by me. The reason is obvious. I am pained by the death of a friend, brother and worthy associate, Mr. Samson Oluyemi Shoyoye, an outstanding legal mind, brilliant advocate, amiable and benign gentleman, in whom I reposed significant confidence.
Yemi, as I called him, became part of my life in 2005, when he joined our law firm, Ahonaruogho, Ahonaruogho & Co and stayed for seven good years, surpassed only, by Mrs. Chinyere Ogu (nee Alaribe), who was with our firm for nine years. We had such very good relationship, that even after he left to set up his own practice, I continued to rely heavily on his industry in many matters, to the extent that he had since he left handled in his own right, at least nine briefs from me at Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, as Lead Counsel, seven of which judgments had been delivered.
My wife, Mojisola and I chaired his wedding to Temitope and of course, we have been part of their family, seeing the birth of their son, Oluwabukunmi and daughter, Feyisayo. So you can imagine my agony when Temitope telephoned me at 6.14am on that faithful Monday 19th November, 2018, with a distraught voice to say, something close to the following – “Sir, I do not know what is happening. My husband is not moving, not breathing. I took him to the General Hospital, Ifako, and they refused to admit him.
I have called Dr. Gabriel. We are on our way back home”. I asked what happened, was he sick? She answered; he complained of feeling tired a few days back and called Dr. Gabriel who told him to run some tests. He has taken some of the tests. Sir, I don’t know what happened. Dr. Gabriel is my younger brother.
Yemi’s death is against the run of play. He should be the one writing tribute when I am gone, but who am I to question God’s judgment. I submit to the Majesty of God and in every sense of the word, AS GOD PLEASES!
Yet, I know that God is good. HE has taken Yemi from the corruption of this world to the celestial heavens. May HIS name be praised.
To Yemi’s elder brothers and elder sisters, and older relatives, we are in the same boat. May God grant us the fortitude to bear this great loss with equanimity, Amen. To Yemi’s younger brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces and other younger relatives, God will imbued you with longer life filled with even greater successes in all your endeavours. To his friends, both within and outside the Bar, and his Clients, I say that you for being there for your dear friend and Counsel. Your support no doubt will be needed in the days, months and years to come for his young family that he loved and cherished so much.
I must keep my promise, to make this short. To his darling wife, Temitope and his children, you will not know fear or want. God will meet you at the point of your every need and you shall live to far surpass the age of your father and his modest achievements. I am indeed happy to have had the pleasure to have Yemi as a worthy Associate.
I cannot end this short tribute, without eulogizing, all those that has made this day, the beauty that it is, even with the very short time available. You know yourselves and to add your names here is to make this longer than necessary, at this time. I say thank you and urge you to go ahead to publish judgments in all his cases as a worthy legacy for mankind. Yes, Yemi was a worthy Associate. Good night, my worthy Associate, Samson Oluyemi Shoyoye.
God bless your good soul. Amen.