Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, then Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria,was
an illustrious son of an illustrious father. His father was the late Alake (
Paramount ruler ) of Egbaland in Western Nigeria (1920-62 ) , Sir ladapo Ademola.
Sir Adetokunbo is among the most distinguished and most respected Nigerians.
He had a brilliant career and over the years he built himself an International
reputation, being a member of several world bodies.
Born on September 1, 1906, at Abeokuta, capital city of Egbaland, Sir Adetokunbo
studied law between 1928-31 at Cambridge University, obtaining a BA degree.
He received his MA. later. He was called to the bar (Middle Temple ) in London
in 1934, and later became the only African ever appointed a bencher of the Inn.
Back in Nigeria, Sir Adetokunbo worked from 1934-35 as crown counsel at the
then Attorney- General's Office, then for a year as assistant secretary at the
southern secretariat in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria. From 1936, Sir Adetokunbo practiced
until 1939, when he was appointed Magistrate of the protectorate Court.
In 1949 he became the third Nigerian to be appointed a Pusine Judge. In 1948
he served as a member of the commission for the revision of court legislation.
In 1955, a year before western Nigeria became internally self-governing, Sir
Adetokunbo was appointed Chief Justice for Western Nigeria, thus becoming the
first Nigerian head of the judiciary anywhere in Nigeria. Sir Adetokunbo's string
of 'firsts' continued when, three years later, he became the first Nigerian
Chief Justice of the entire Federation of Nigeria.
He was knighted in January, 1957, and in 1963 was appointed one of Queen Elizabeth's
Privy Councilors. Later that year, the Queen awarded him a KBE.
He married Miss Kofo Moore, the first West African woman graduate- she took
a BA at Oxford- and daughter of the late Eric Moore, first Lagos member of the
United nations committee of experts advising on labor conventions and regulations.
He was also a member of the United Nations International Public Service Advisory
Board, member of the International commission of Jurists, executive member of
World peace through Law, vice president of the world Association Jurists, president
of the Nigerian Red Cross Association, chairman of Nigeria Cheshire homes, member
of the International Olympic committee, member of the Nigerian Institute of
International Affairs and president of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.
Sir Adetokunbo is also one of the founders and chairman of the Metropolitan
Club, a founder member of the Island Club and vice patron of the Yoruba Club.
Sir Adetokunbo was in the forefront of several peace moves in Nigeria