Described by his colleague and friend Honorable Justice Adewale Thomson as “the most brilliant junior of our time”, a frontline lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Chief Frank Akinrele passed away on Tuesday, aged 88.
Akinrele was one of the most prominent lawyers and criminal law barristers in Nigeria. His contributions to the legal field and community transcended the borders of his country, yielding international accomplishments for which the late lawyer was highly decorated.
Long before Akinrele became a household name in his profession, he obtained LLB and LLM from the University of Hull in 1953 and 1954, respectively. A pioneer since a young age, Akinrele was the first student to enroll in and graduate from the University of Hull LLM program.
A year after graduating from law school, Akinrele was admitted to the Nigerian Bar and Middle Temple Bar. He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1980 and was then a Solicitor of Supreme Court of Federal Republic of Nigeria for over 60 years.
Akinrele practiced law in association with the partnership law firm of Thomas, Williams & Kayode for several years before founding his own law firm F.O. Akinrele & Co in 1962. He was also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
From his first award, the Andrew Marvell Prize for the best graduating law student at the University of Hull, to the Service Award by the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Frank Akinrele continued to break grounds of the legal field and produce new successful lawyers.
He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.