Sir Ademola Adetokunbo

Born in 1906 into a royal family, Sir Adetokunbo was the longest serving Chief Justice in Nigeria’s history (14 years). He studied law as a member of Selwyn College in Cambridge and graduated in 1931. He was one of the leading figures in the early years of Nigeria’s independence and was a key player in preventing the disintegration of the country after the first military coup d’etat in 1966. He was appointed Chief Justice (the first indigenous Chief Justice) of the Nigerian Supreme Court in 1958 and had a significant impact in Nigeria’s judicial system. His many accomplishments include the establishment of the Nigerian Law School (1962), serving as the Chancellor of the University of Nigeria (1975), and Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation (1963), as well as a member of the United Nations International Public Service Advisory Board, and on the International Olympic Committee and many more. He was knighted in 1957, and a year later was conferred the title Grand Commander f the Order of Nigeria (GCON) by the Nigerian federal government.

In the UK, Sir Adetokunbo was an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple, and was the first African to be appointed to the position of Privy Counsellor in 1963. He died in 1993 in Lagos, Nigeria.

For more information, kindly refer to the following resources:

Encyclopaedia Britannica:

The Independent:


  • Victor Adedapo Kayode
  • Chief Frederick Rotimi Williams
  • Edmund Alexander Lanyuaye Bannerman

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