Omotunde Ilori

Omotunde Ilori; Justice and former Chief Judge of Lagos state, Nigeria. Ilori showed interest in litigation and adjudication during his legal career which began in 1964. In his position as the Chief Judge, Ilori introduced automatic stenographic recording machines and the computerisation of operational system into the machinery of justice in Nigeria.


Places of Growth

Omotunde Ilori was born on 5 January 1934 in llesa, Osun State and grew up as a child of the neighbourhood in a carrying embrace of the town. His primary education at the Holy Trinity Primary School in Omo-Oge, llesa. His parents, not wanting him to go beyond llesa made him  teach in a village. There were only two teachers in the whole school in Tiemba village where he worked.

Ilori suffered setback as a child due to his inability to go to the secondary school though he displayed rare brilliance, and was offered admission into renowned schools in Ado-Ekiti and Benin simultaneously. He went for further training as a Grade II teacher. After about two years, he went on to teach as a pioneer staff at Iponda, where he had the opportunity to build the community school in the town.

Ilori sailed to England for further studies after his adventure as village tutor, taking ordinary level and advanced level courses in England. He returned to Nigeria in 1964 and immediately began practicing law after attending Law School.

Ilori is the chancellor of the Ilesha South West African Church.



Ilori read Law at the University of Leeds and started his postgraduate studies in the same school before the commencement of the Nigerian Law School which he rushed down to attend.



Together with the late Hon. Justice Idowu Agoro, Justice. T. Jinadu and Justice Obadina, llori formed the core of the Lagos State Legal Service department.


He took over the chambers of Prince Awogboro his cousin. With the creation of Lagos State in 1967, he was transferred alongside others to the state’s legal department. His service saw him move through many positions and responsibilities, culminating in his being the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice in 1978[i].
[i] The News November 23, 2009

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer