Egerton Shyngle

chief oluwa of Lagos
Shyngle in bow tie? in a 1922 picture of Lagos Traditional Aristocrat, Chief Oluwa and a Dutch delegation. Source:

Egerton Shyngle was the politician who became first party president when in 1923, Herbert Macaulay and his friends formed the Nigeria National Democratic Party that was to dominate Lagos politics for the next fifteen years. Born 15 March 1862 in Barthurst, Gambia, Shyngle’s secondary education was at Freetown Grammar School. He also went to Fourah Bay College and Oxford but without a degree. He was called to Bar in the Middle Temple in 1888 and enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1892. As one of the most vocal of the Lagos lawyers, Shyngle went to court in 1911 on behalf of the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Rights Protection Society to challenge the government’s attempt to take indigenous lands based on British treaty agreements with local rulers. He also represented the Oba of Lagos, Esugbayi Eleko, in his appeal against his deposition and deportation by the British authorities. Egerton Shyngle participated in the historic inaugural meeting of the interterritorial National Congress of British West Africa at Accra in 1920. He also served as a member of the Congress delegation to London, which approached the Colonial Secretary with an argument for the introduction of representative government and other democratic reforms in West Africa. He died in Lagos in 19 March 1926.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer