16th January, 2014
Justice Marcellus Idowu Awokulehin, the judge who gave former Delta State Governor, Onanefe James Ibori clean bill of health in the corruption charges file against him, has retired. He retired Thursday.
In a well attended valedictory service held in Lagos in his honour by judges, lawyers, past chief judges of the Court Justice, Awokulehin thanked the judges and offered his gratitude to the late Bola Ige who recommended him for the post of a judge.
On 17 December, 2009, Justice Awokulehin in his ruling quashed all the 170-count criminal charges filed against Ibori by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Ibori was however extradited to the United Kingdom where he was convicted and jailed for the same offence Wokulehin set him free in Nigeria.
Justice Awokulehin was born 16 January, 1949, in Otan Aiyegbaju in Boluwaduro Local Government Area of Osun State. He started his early education at Holy Cross Primary School, Lagos from 1955-1960 and St.Mary’s Primary School, Lokoja from 1960-1962. From there he gained admission into St. Thomas’s School Kano from 1962-1964.
He later continued his secondary education at the Hussey College, Warri from 1964-1968.
Awokulehin was admitted into the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos as part time student from 1971-1973 and full time student from1973-1975 .
He later proceeded to the City of London Polytechnic from 1975-1978 for his Modular Law and from1978-1979 and obtained his Master’s degree having completed a post graduate course in business law. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in1982.
He did his National Youth Service with the Federal Ministry of Justice from 1982-1983. He was later made permanent staff from1985-1987.
Between 1987 and1993, he was Senior State Counsel, Legal Adviser to the Department of Customs and Excise, Chief Legal Adviser Department of public prosecution, Marina, Lagos from August 1998-March 1999.
Awokulehin was the Lead Counsel to the Oputa panel during its sitting in Lagos in 2001
He was appointed as Federal High Court Judge on 7 January, 2004 and served five divisions of the court, namely Asaba, Benin, Lagos, Lafia and Kaduna.
In a well attended valedectory service held in his honour by judges, lawyers, past chief judges of the Court Justice, Awokulehin thanked the judges and offered his gratitude to the late Bola Ige who recommended him for the post of a judge.