Death is a debt we all owe and must pay someday somehow.
The stark reality of this fact has once again dawn on us all with the trans mutation of His Lordship, Hon. Justice Olatunde Oluborode (Rtd) from His Lordship’s finitely temporal existence to immortality. And anytime when a jurist or legal icon passes to the great beyond, it is the tradition of the Bar and the Bench to celebrate Him in the noble tradition of a valedictory court session as we here do today, having been one of us before his remains is passed over to his family for other final rites.
As that eminent author, Chaucer put in his book; “The Canterbury Tales”, thus: “This world is a thorough fare of woe, And we are pilgrims passing to and fro. Death is the end of any worldly sore”.
When the news of His Lordship’s demise was broken to me on the 1st July, 2015, I was shocked and surprised. My mind did a reflection of His Lordship’s presence with us during the celebration of the last legal year activities.
Neatly attired as usual, His Lordship’s youthful look, radiance and agility surpassed that of many who did not measure up to his length of days. I was also at His Lordship’s 80th Birthday Celebrated recently at Ilesa, on 7th March, 2015, His Lordship’s looks did not betray any sign that he was to soon succumb to the cold claws of death.
Today, my mind goes to the life and times of the eminent and very distinguished former Judge and Chief Judge of this state. His Lordship, Hon. Justice Olatunde Oluborode was a man of many parts. A frank, firm, fearless and courageous Judge, His Lordship was an epitome of the very best one could desire in a Judge. The polished and unique neatness of His Lordship, the imposing personality and ambience as well as the confidence exuded by him commanded instant respect even from the most brash of persons.
Equally, the dignity, elegance and finesse His Lordship had brought to bear on the discharge og his duty as an arbiter marked him out as a unique personality on the Bench.
The late Hon. Justice Oluborode (Rtd) was an honest and incorruptible Judge who had extreme aversion for injustice and the suppression of the rights of the under privileged. His Lordship was an enigma in terms of erudition and the display of uncommon brilliance in matters pertaining to Law; both adjectival and procedural.
The Judgments and decisions of His Lordship are landmarks and fountain of knowledge for the young and upwardly mobile legal practitioner.
Many may not also know that His Lordship, the departed jurist had great admiration for our native proverbs, wise sayings and analogies. Although His Lordship once confessed that he was not well versed in them, yet His Lordship’s respect for and deep interest in counsel who could properly utilized them as part of his tools of trade in His Lordship’s court is great.
The loss occasioned by the passing unto glory of His Lordship, the Honourable Justice Olatunde Oluborode is enormous, notwithstanding the fact that it came many years after His Lordship’s retirement from the High Court Bench of this State.
The late Hon. Justice Olatunde Oluborode (Rtd) was born on 5th of March, 1937. His Lordship, as an Ijesaman, had his elementary and secondary schools education at the Holy Trinity Primary School and Ilesa Grammar School respectively in Ilesa.
His Lordship studied at North West Polytechnic, London and the University of London, both in the United Kingdom between 1961 and 1964.
He obtained the Bachelors of Law degree of the University of London and was called to the English Bar at the Middle Temple in December, 1964. It was however in September 1965 that His Lordship was called to the Nigerian Bar.
The late jurist also studied International Comparative Law at the University of Texas, Dallas U.S.A.