By Onoriode Etatsemi
The Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State, Hon. Peter Mrakpor, Esq ( FICMC, FCISM) has described the late Dafe Akpedeye SAN, OFR former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State as a philanthropist per excellence, gifted with the largest of hearts.
Hon Mrakpor who delivered a speech on behalf of the bodies of Attorneys ‘-General of Delta at the valedictory court session in Honour of Late Akpedeye which held at the high Court of Justice, Effurun, Delta State, said, the departed silk was a great mentor to his protégés and all who passed through his portals.
The Attorney general who lamented the passing on to glory of their erudite colleague said “with deep and painful sense of loss, we are gathered here today to pay our last respect to one of our own, a learned Silk, Dafe Akpedeye, SAN, OFR, C. Arb, KSM, whose pilgrimage on planet came to an abrupt end on the 5th day of October, 2020 after a protracted illness ”
The amiable and gentle looking Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice while extolling the outstanding qualities, x-rayed the biological and educational background of the late legal icon, Dafe Akpedeye, while explaining further that their departed brother in the temple of justice hails from Uwheru in Ughelli North local Government Area of Delta State, and born to the family of Chief Abel O. Akpedeye.
He added that while on earth, “Dafe was never given to hypocrisy, pretence, dishonesty and Dafe wore his true nature and character like a badge.”
He gave an accurate account on how Dafe as a brilliant child and second in the home of seven children started his sojourn on earth at Roman Catholic Mission Primary school, Warri where he excelled in his classes consequently until he passed through the struggle and became a full blown lawyer unpon completion of his law programme here in Nigeria and at the prestigious and revered Harvard University in the United States of America where he obtained a master degree in law.
He remarked that the young Dafe “attained the highest water mark of his achievements when in 2014, he was conferred with the prestigious honour-officer of the order of the Federal Republic (OFN) by President Goodluck Jonathan. He was also an ardent devout Catholic and a 2nd degree Knight of St Mulumba ”
“In 2007, he was appointed as the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Delta State, an office where he made landmark achievements and initiating lasting reforms which others after him have built on. Among his notable achievements is the codification of the laws of Delta State, launched in 2017 with its first ever annotated laws of Delta which he gave freely to law officers in the ministry of Justice to boost their practice and performance in court”
“He would also be remembered for purchasing official vehicles for Directors in the ministry of justice, which was unprecedented. It is also noteworthy that for the first time in the annals of the ministry, he instituted reward and presentations of prices to outstanding legal officers across the departments and zones to serve as motivation for improvements performance and service delivery.”
He concluded as he prayed, “May Gracious and compassionate God, Absolute one to whom the whole universe is subservient to His will, most knowing, most Beneficent grant the Akpedeye ‘s the fortitude to bear the loss and also grant the gentle soul of Dafe Akpedeye eternal repose in sure and certain hope of resurrection ”
The Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Effurun branch Mr Jonathan Ekperusi, Esq, who also delivered his speech at the event, said, “Today, we celebrate the life of Dafe Akpedeye SAN. For us in Effurun Branch of the NBA, we celebrate a pillar of pride, an anchor of hope, a rallying point. ”
He said the move for the creation of the Effurun branch was met with stiff resistance but Akpedeye waded into the matter and it was resolved amiably, adding that the departed lawyer deeply enriched the practice of law within and beyond Effurun Branch.
He summed up as he said, “Dafe Akpedeye, is survived by his amiable wife (Engr. Nnoli Akpedeye, FNSE, FNICE, PMP, FMP, Past President of the association of professional Women Engineers of Nigeria APWEN, (children among whom is Emokiniovo Dafe-Akpedeye, Esq, a legal practitioner, an aged mother, siblings, other relations and colleagues ”
The minister of the gospel of christ, Most Rev DrJohn Oke Okeoghene Afareha who preached in a brief sermon at the funeral mass of Dafe Akpedeye at St Jude Catholic Church Effurun, explained that, “Dafe was a jolly good fellow. He was very steadfast in all that he does and in his Christian doctrine.”
He added that Dafe was equally generous to everyone who demanded his assistance and very supportive to the cause of humanity.” He was a very great and strong senior advocate of Nigeria whose birth is a reality and blessings to mankind.”
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