Prior to his gruesome murder in the hands of his 21-year-old son Tolani, a 300-level undergraduate of the Department of History and International Relations at Redeemer University, RCCG Camp, Ogun State, last week, the name Charles Ajayi (SAN) was relatively unknown even among some of his colleagues in the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) circles, who claimed his name did not ring a bell.
Not too surprising as his death, despite the shock waves it generated across the country, did not elicit the same type of response that greeted the passing away of another prominent lawyer and rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, during the week, despite the fact the latter was not a SAN.
The late Ajayi’s lack of recognition among his colleagues in the legal profession where he was said to have risen to the peak of his career, came to the fore when attempts by Sunday Sun to do a special report on his contributions to the legal profession met a brick wall.
Most senior lawyers claimed not to know him or even heard about him until his death.
Not even the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) could come out to identify him as a SAN.
When contacted, the president of the association, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) had this to say;
“Honestly, I have not come across him or heard of his name before. There is nobody I have asked that seemed to know him. I think we need to check the records because I don’t know him personally and you know the number of SANs in Nigeria is not much. But we can’t come to conclusion because sometimes if you are not active on the Bar, not many people will know you”.
Also speaking, Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) said; “No, I don’t know him. Frankly speaking, I can’t figure out his name, but call me back in two hours, maybe I may find something about him”.
Chief Chris Uche (SAN) said, “I don’t know him and have not come across him or heard about him until the sad news of his death. I will find out about him and call you back”.
Also speaking on the issue, another Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a national delegate to the on-going National Conference, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) had this to say; “In fact, I don’t even know him. I have never heard about him before now. You know the clan of SAN is small, I never heard of a name like that as SAN. He could be a lawyer, but certainly not a SAN”.
Efforts to reach the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Sunday Olorundahunsi for clarification on the matter were not successful.
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