Elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite died on Easter Monday at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos. The second son of the deceased, Olumide Braithwaite, said his late father suffered a stroke and heart failure. Older Nigerians could regal you the role he played in Nigerian history but can younger do the same? According to renowned novelist, Michael Crichton, if you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree and George Orwell says the most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” INFORMATION NIGERIA brings you 10 very interesting things about Mr. Braithwaite some of you might not know…
– He was a lawyer, activist, politician and social critic who was never afraid to say his mind at any given time and on any issue.
– An earlier member of his family, Reverend I. Braithwaite led the first Anglican Missionary Expedition that opened up the Ijebu Province of Western Nigeria to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In 1894, he built the first church in Epe, St. Michael’s, having accumulated a large congregation. St. Michael’s Epe is still in existence today and has been joined by a second Anglican church – the Reverend Braithwaite Memorial Anglican Church, Papa Epe.
– Tunji Braithwaite was born in 1933, the youngest son of eight children. He was educated at the prestigious C.M.S Grammar School, entering the school’s Preparatory Section in 1946 and completing his education there in 1953. He proceeded to sit for his A Levels at the London University at Kennington College in 1955 and enrolled in 1957/58 as a Law student at the Council of Legal Education, London. He was admitted into Lincoln’s Inn that same year and graduated as a barrister in 1960.
– He married his childhood sweetheart; Grace S. Falade in 1956 while they were undergraduates. They have 5 children and many grandchildren.
– At barely 27, he was one of the legal team that defended former premier of Western Region, the late Obafemi Awolowo in the celebrated treasonable felony case brought against him by the Federal Government. He also represented the late Afrobeat icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, and his brother, Beko Kuti in the famous unknown soldier saga in 1977. In the case to seek redress against the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, who had detained the duo, Braithwaite fought through the High Court to the Supreme Court.
– Braithwaite was a member of the 2014 National Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan to fashion out solutions to some of the problems confronting the nation. Until his death, he was in the vanguard for the implementation of the report of that conference.
Life well lived uh???