Tribute: J.B Majiyagbe, a man of uncommon stature, pedigree

Ogunsakin Mustapha
4 Min Read
Late J.B Majiyagbe SAN

By Wahab Shittu SAN

The passage on Saturday May 27, 2023 of Chief J. B. Majiyagbe SAN, extraordinary lawyer, Elderstateman and former president World Rotary International, indeed is our collective loss, and heaven’s gain.

As the Quintessential Gentleman reunites with the saints, we mourn. In Kano state where he held sway and indeed in the entirety of Northern states of Nigeria, the dominant name on every lips was “Majiyagbe”. He was every lawyer ‘s delight-decent, carriage, eloquent, organised, urbane, friendly, accessible, elegant, classy, style and Quintessential. He ran perhaps the best organised law Chambers in the entire Northern states. On No. 1, Club Road, there was no mistaken the towering Chambers, and close to the edifice is his residence, also built to excellent taste. He would simply stroll into his Chambers from his residence with such air of simplicity, magnificence and uncommon style.

A visitor or client to the Chambers will not fail to notice the small inscription at the entrance. It reads
“THANKS” is such a little word. Not bigger than a minute, but there is a world of meaning and appreciation in it”. This reflected the worldview of the departed extraordinary lawyer as a man of gratitude and appreciation.

Late J.B Majiyagbe SAN

He treated all with uncommon courtesies. Indeed he mentored a number of prominent lawyers, some of whom are renowned Senior Advocates of Nigeria today. I can mention names; Chief Emmanuel Ayodele SAN, Yemi Candide-Johnson SAN, Soji Oyeleke SAN, and yours sincerely since l also served internship at his sprawling Chambers at some point in my career, and many others. I may have lost count.

The departed lawyer was a mentor par excellence. What of the late lawyer’s impeccable dress sense? Whether in immaculate suits or flowing Agbada, the late elder statesman lawyer was a delight in decency and carriage. He was a man of style and panache. Really quintessential and decent. He treats and spoke to all with uncommon courtesies. He was a real human being. Rotary International worldwide will miss its former lnternational President.

He devoted his life to service in the finest traditions of Rotarians.
His worldview was consistent with the Rotarian four-way test, thus: Is it the truth?
Is it beneficial to all concerned? Will it bring goodwill and peaceful co-existence to all concerned? etc.
These ROTARY’s four- way tests defined the life of the departed extraordinary lawyer.

A highly detribalized Nigerian, JB, as he was fondly called was at home with all tribes- Hausa, Yoruba, lbo, Fulani, Efik, Edo and all, and he related and dealt with all without discrimination. You will find all as employees in his flourishing members.

Late JB Majiyagbe spoke almost all languages in Nigeria and was as fluent in Hausa as in the Yoruba language . The elder statesman courted the local and the international community, widely travelled with extensive networks. He was an international figure.

He left behind worthy legacies including his only son, John Majiyagbe SAN (jnr)- a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. A man of extraordinary taste, finesse and excellent manners, the likes of the departed quintessential lawyer are not made like that anymore.
Indeed, it can be said in honour of the eminent silk, quintessential gentleman and Elder statesman that
“Life levels all men, Death reveals the Eminent”

Adieu, Chief JB Majiyagbe SAN, a towering international figure of uncommon stature and pedigree.

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