Posted by News Express | 9 July 2014 | 4,782 times
Foremost human rights lawyer Bamidele Aturu is dead. He died this evening in a Lagos hospital after a brief illness.
News of Aturu’s death has sent shockwaves through the legal and human rights communities, as well as the media, all of which he counted among his constituencies.
“This is a very sad day for me. Am so so devastated,” lamented lawyer cumjournalist Richard Akinnola.
Another journalist, Friday Olokor, exclaimed: “Death! Why are you so wicked? RIP my great friend, Lawyer, friend of the masses and irredentist. I mean the man who used to edit my opinion (Newspaper) articles as far back as 1992 in Room 92 Adekunle Fajuyi Hall in Great Ife. Adieu, B.F. Aturu.”
On his part, Kote Onungwe Obe-Eleme said: “Aturu, I can’t forget him. The youth corps member that spoke to power in Niger State and never collected his NYSC certificate. I think he was the one that said he would not collect his certificate from the hands of a corrupt officer like Col. Lawan Gwadabe and NYSC penalised him for that. He returned to school and studied law and became one of Nigeria's greatest.”
News Express reports that Aturu, who founded and successfully ran the Lagos law firm Bamidele Aturu & Co., was a man who preferred to be counted on the side of the masses. His most famous victory came on March 19, 2013, when he got a Federal High Court in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, presided over by Justice M. Bello to declare the federal government’s policy of deregulation unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
The policy is the finger behind which the government hides to impose periodic furl price increases on Nigerians. The last of such increases sparked a protest that grounded parts of the country in January last year before President Goodluck Jonathan reduced the prices but not to the pre-increase level.
•Photo shows late Bamidele Aturu.
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