Nigerian Lawyer And Politician Tunji Braithwaite Dies At 82


Prominent lawyer, activist, and politician Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, is dead. The lawyer died at St Nicholas Hospital in Lagos on Monday at the age of  82.

The second son of the deceased, Olumide Braithwaite, who confirmed the death, said he died after suffering a stroke and heart failure.

The late elder statesman spoke out against corruption, founded the now-defunct Nigerian Advance Party, NAP, and also petitioned for a new con-federal constitution to replace the 1999 constitution, which he argued encouraged corruption by granting immunity to governors and presidents.

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Dr. Tunji Braithwaite was Born in Lagos in 1933 into the popular Braithwaite family. Tunji, the last of eight children, was educated at C.M.S Grammar School from 1946 to 1953. He obtained his A’levels at London University at Kennington College in 1955.

In 1957, he enrolled at the Council of Legal Education, London. He was admitted into Lincoln’s Inn that same year and graduated as a barrister in 1960. Tunji got married to his childhood sweetheart, Grace, in 1956 and they are blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

Late Braithwaite was a presidential candidate in the 1983 elections, whose party, NAP, was the only one registered by the electoral commission to join the five existing ones approved by the military government in 1979.

Family, friends, political associates, etc. have thronged the Teslim Elias residence of the deceased activist to mourn with his family.

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who expressed sadness over the demise of the elder statesman, described him as a staunch advocate of a united and progressive Nigeria, whose seminal interventions helped  sharpen Nigeria’s moral orientation.

He added that Tunji will be missed by the nation as his death has left a vacuum in the political firmament of Nigeria.

“But though dead, he leaves  behind a robust political legacy and his vibrant intellectual contributions to the polity will remain relevant for a long time to come,” he said.

The governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode also expressed shock and sadness over the demise of the prominent lawyer, saying his demise was a great loss to both the state and the nation.

Ambode described him as a man of the people, a typical Nigerian, who was consistent in saying things the way they were and not caring whose ox was gourd.

The Nigerian National Summit Group (NNSG) also expressed their sadness on Monday as they mourned the death of Braithwaite, saying that the nation has lost a rare gem.

In the same vein, the founder of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasehun, described late Braithwaite as a “personal friend and a fellow democrat.”

“He was a legal luminary, human rights gladiator, constructive commentator and selfless philanthropist. He should not have died at this time of Nigeria’s political history, when the country is in need of patriots, zealots and visionaries like him,” Fashun said.

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, founder of Women Advocates Research and Documentation (WARDC) says Dr Braithwaite will forever be remembered for his contributions to the social economic and political development of the country, and that it is a call to the younger generation to emulate this great man by contributing several quota to the development of Nigeria.

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