Federal Republic of Nigeria


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Hon. Justice Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola, CON was born on October 27, 1933 at Ilesha, Osun State and attended Temidire Model School from 1939 to 1943 for his primary education and Ilesha Grammar School from 1944 to 1950 for his secondary education. He studied as an external student of the University of London and was a full-time undergraduate at Oxford University London from 1957 to 1959.

He obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree, LLB, from the University of London in 1957 and the Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford with Honours in Jurisprudence. In May 1957 he passed the Bar Final Examination of the Council of Legal Education, London and was called to the English Bar at the Lincoln’s Inn, London, on 25th November 1958. He was admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the 4th of September 1959 and started private legal practice the same year. He was a partner in the firm of Ayoola Brothers (Barristers and Solicitors) from 1962 to 1967 and from 1967 to 1972 was the principal of the firm of legal practitioners of Ayoola & Co. It was during that period that he was retained by the University of Ibadan from 1972 to 1976.

He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Nigerian Bar Journal, in 1971, and also a member of the Editorial Board of the now defunct Nigeria Monthly Law Reports (NMLR) from 1964 to 1977. He compiled the Law Reports of the Gambia and authored the Seychelles Law Digest.

Hon. Justice Ayoola was appointed a judge of the High Court in the defunct Western Nigeria on 1st February 1976. Three months later, he became a judge of the High Court of Oyo State following the creation of 19 States by the then Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s Administration.

He was seconded by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Gambia in 1980, as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Gambia. In 1983 he became the Chief Justice of the Gambia, a position he occupied until 1992 when his secondment to that country ended after 12 years of meritorious service that earned him the Gambian “National Honour of the Commander of the National Order of the Republic of the Gambia” (CRG) in 1990. Hon. Justice Ayoola retired to Nigeria in 1992 and was appointed a Justice of the Court of Appeal on 8th July 1992.

Whilst a Justice of the Court of Appeal, Honourable Justice Ayoola was appointed a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Seychelles in November, 1992. In 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee for the Revision of Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 and on 2nd August 2002, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi A. Annan appointed him as one of the Judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone to sit on appeal coming from Special Trial Court for Sierra Leone. He has been elected as the Vice-president of the Special Appeal Court.

He was elevated to The Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1998 and retired in October 2003, having attained the mandatory retirement age of 70.

He was the National Human Rights Commission Chairman, and also Chairman, ICPC in 2005 after he retired from the nation’s Apex Court.

He is a Member of Council and he is happily married with children.