Mr Olumide Braithwaite, son of late jurist Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, has eulogised late Chief Frank Akinrele, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), at his funeral service on Friday in Lagos.
Braithwaite, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), described Akinrele as a man who imparted lives effortlessly through his immense contributions to national and international law.
Braithwaite said late Akinrele played a key role in his legal career and other lawyers by constantly exposing them to administrative responsibilities.
“He was a reserved man, modest in his outward appearance but possessed something rather conservatively regal about him.
“It wasn’t until I started working in his law firm that I fully knew how professionally accomplished he was, especially in criminal law which was one of his specialties,” Braithwaite said, reliving memories of Akinrele.
“For example, a memory etched in my mind was of him and my father sitting side by side in our front lawn sometime around 1978 when the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti would come and give open air concert performances in Elias close.
“Fela was of course, my father’s client during that infamous Unknown Soldier case,” Braithwaite said.
He noted that Akinrele possessed an admirable trait, which was the ability to gain the loyalty and trust of his workforce both in the office and at home.
NAN reports that the late SAN began his legal career at Thomas, Williams & Kayode, a law firm established by Chief Bode Thomas, Chief F.R.A. Williams and Chief Fani Kayode.
Akinrele established his own law firm, F.O Akinrele & Co in 1962. He was a Barrister and Solicitor of Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for over 60- years.
He was a former President and Patron of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, a former President of Rotary Club International and Trustee of the Lagos Motor Boat Club.
He was also a member of the Council for the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), and former member of Nigerian Body of Benchers.
Akinrele died on Dec. 25, 2018 at the age of 88-years was interred at the Lagos Island Cemetery, Obalende.
By Moji Eniola