Justice Mustapha Akanbi

Honesty and patriotism is the best legacy a man can leave behind, President Muhammadu Buhari said as he mourned the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi.

Justice Akanbi, who was also once be the President of the Court of Appeal, died today, Sunday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

In a condolence message, President Buhari described the deceased as a man whose greatest asset in life was his enviable integrity and incorruptibility, adding that he will be long remembered for his enormous contributions in bringing credibility and respectability to the country’s judiciary.

According to the President, “being respected by the people for your honesty and patriotism is the best legacy a man can leave behind.

“In a country where corruption is perceived as fashionable, Akanbi stood out as a remarkable man who put personal integrity and selflessness before the desire for money outside his legitimate income.”

Buhari said that Justice Akanbi’s greatest achievement was leaving the public service with his integrity intact and untainted, saying that throughout his distinguished  career in the judiciary and public service, he resisted the defeatist mindset that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.”

“Great men like Akanbi didn’t believe in joining evil because it was popular or supported by the majority,” the President said.

Also, the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu said that the death of Justice Akanbi was not just a loss to his family but to the nation.

Atiku said that the deceased was a renowned legal luminary, a highly respected judge and an elder statesman, adding that he was committed to the rule of law and social justice.

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“Justice Akanbi was one of the few incorruptible judges the nation has ever produced. He epitomises all that is good about the judiciary.

“On the bench, as President of the Court of Appeal, he distinguished himself and gave the profession a good name.

“As pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in 2000, serving till around 2005, Justice Akanbi put in place the structures and laid the foundation for the working of the agency.

“It is painful that his transition comes at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari has put the fight against corruption ‎at the front burner.

“His Lordship’s experience as a judge with a clean record had been quite useful for the country’s fight against corruption.

“The legal profession, which he served all his life, will miss him. Justice Akanbi will be particularly missed by lawyers, judges and other Nigerians whom he inspired through his exemplary leadership style and uprightness.

“I urge us all to seek solace in the fact that he lived a life of probity and was an inspiration to many citizens. My appeal is that we all emulate his sterling qualities.

“I commiserate with the family he left behind. I pray that God grant them the strength to bear this transition.

“I also pray that God grants his family and dependants the strength to bear his transition.”