Human rights lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, dies at 49


One of Nigeria’s foremost human rights lawyers, Bamidele Aturu, is dead.AturuMr. Aturu, who is known to champion human rights and constitutionalism, died in a Lagos hospital on Wednesday evening after a brief illness.

He founded Bamidele Aturu & Co which specialises in human rights law, labour law and general litigation.

A friend of the deceased and leading civil society member, Olanrewaju Suraju, confirmed the death to PREMIUM TIMES.

Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Debo Adeniran, also confirmed the development.

An indigene of Ondo State, the late Aturu was born on October 16, 1964 and studied law at the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1995.

But the late Aturu shot into national prominence in 1988 during his passing out parade of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) when he refused to shake hands with the then Military Governor of Niger State, Col. Lawan Gwadabe, having emerged as the He had cited the military as having caused great harm to the democratic aspirations of Nigerians as the reason for his action.

Upon the completion of his mandatory NYSC, Aturu joined other to establish a pressure group, the Democratic Alternative (DA), to pursue what the members termed “deep-rooted democratic principles.”

The late activist was nominated as a member of the ongoing National Conference to represent the civil society, but he rejected his membership, arguing that the conference as designed cannot meet the expectation of Nigerians.