Chief Richard Akinjide was one of Nigeria’s foremost legal luminaries. He attended St Peter’s Primary School, Aremo, Ibadan, and Oduduwa College, Ile Ife. He obtained the First Grade in Senior Cambridge, December 1949, Oduduwa College Ile-Ife. He was exempted from London Matriculation after taking the first position at the Oduduwa College Senior Cambridge Exams Centre.
He graduated with LL.B (Hons) in London (1955) and was called to the English Bar, at The Inner Temple, London, (February 1956). He was called to the Nigerian Bar in March 1956; became President of the Nigerian Bar (1970-1973); called to the Inner Bar as SAN in January 1978 and was honoured as a Distinguished Fellow of The Nigerian Law School.
Chief Akinjide was a Co-Agent and a Counsel at The World Court, ICJ, The Hague, The Netherlands, in Cameroon v Nigeria international boundary dispute from Lake Chad to the Atlantic Ocean. He was Counsel for Nigeria in the matter for about eight years.
A member of The Gambian Bar, Chief Akinjide was the Most Senior Nigerian Barrister until he died on April 21, 2020. He was also a:
- Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of U.K in London WC1A 2 LP. Appeared sometimes as Counsel and sometimes as Arbitrator in many major domestic and/or international commercial arbitration disputes some of which are reported in many Law Reports in England.
- Fellow of the Babcock University Circle of Eminence (FCE), Nigeria.
- Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University of Jos 1976-1979.
- Past Chairman, Nigerian Body of Benchers, Nigerian Law School.
- Life Member of the Nigerian Body of Benchers.
- Member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations from Five Years in Geneva and New York.
- Member for Four Years of the Committee that drafted the Law of the Sea Convention – The Biggest Convention ever sponsored by the United Nations. The Law of the Sea is “The Constitution of The Sea.”
- Signed the Law of the Sea Convention and The Final Act on Behalf of Nigeria at Montego – Bay, Jamaica.
- Author of 2nd Edition of: “Africa and the Development of International Law” published by Martinus Nijhoff at The Hague, The Netherlands, and selling Worldwide. The First Edition was by Dr. T.O. Elias, past President of the World Court and Former Chief Justice of Nigeria.
- Member of Federal Parliament 1959 – 1966.
- Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria 1979-1983.
- Federal Minister of Education 1964 -1965 with responsibility for the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos.
- Past Member of the University of Ife Council.
- Founder Akinjide & Co