G.S. Sowemimo

George Sodeinde Sowemimo was the Chief Justice of Nigeria from 1983-85, and judge for 32 years. Born in 1920, Sowmemimo grew up in the north, from Zaria to Kano where he attended Holy Trinity School. Moving down south, he went to C.M.S. Grammar School, Lagos, and worked briefly with the National Railway Corporation before travelling to the United Kingdom for higher studies. Sowemimo trained in law at the Bristol University between 1944 and 1948. In the year that followed he moved on to the Middle Temple before enacting a legal practice in his home country of Nigeria.

Sowemimo became known when he presided over the Treasonable Felony trial of Awolowo and some of his followers and convicted nineteen of them to different jail terms. He was one of the youngest judges and he gained notoriety for his judgment, which he had given sober, and which Awolowo had anticipated in an historical stoicism, “blessed be your verdict, I say in advance, blessed be the sentence which your lordship may pass on me.”