Retired Chief Judge of Nigeria’s Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Esho is dead. He was 87. While announcing the death, his son Olumide his father died at Hammersmith Hospital, London, adding that Kayode was a wonderful father who committed his life to service of fatherland. Justice Bobakayode Eso was born on September 18, 1925 at Ilesa, in Osun State, Nigeria.
He attended Trinity College, Dublin where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law with Hons Degree in Legal Science in 1953 and a Masters in 1956. Justice Eso was celebrated for major landmark judgements which include the mystery gunman case, which is the trial of Wole Soyinka over his role in a broadcast which the government of the defunct western region of Nigeria termed offensive. Justice Eso returned a verdict of not guilty on Soyinka, and shortly after the judgement, he was transferred from Ibadan to Akure, then regarded as a rural station.
Others are the celebrated case involving the late Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo Vs Alhaji Shehu Shagari, in 1979 at the Supreme Court in deciding the law relating to election cases had by a majority of 6-1, affirmed the election of Alhaji Shagari as duly elected President. However, the courageous decision of Justice Eso in this case remains legendary. In his dissent opinion, Justice Eso held that at least two-third of 19 states could only be 13 and not 12 2/3. He received several Awards and among which is Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), LL.D honoris Causa, University of Ibadan: 1990, and University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2001.