Lagos Lawyer: Moronfolu Abayomi

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A Lagos Lawyer, Moronfolu Abayomi was shot dead in a Lagos courthouse at the Tinubu Square, on August 25, 1923, three months and 15 days after his wedding day.

Abayomi’s killer was a popular Lagos entrepreneur and “big boy”, Duro Delphonso, from the renowned Delphonso family.

Delphonso was having a legal battle with his Insurance Company and the case was taken to court. The Insurance Company then hired a young and vibrant lawyer, Barrister Moronfolu Abayomi.

As the case proceeded, the young barrister was able to prove clearly that Delphonso committed arson on his home and business in order to defraud the Insurance Company.

On August 25, 1923, when Delphonso was being led out of the court to begin his prison sentence, the convict shot Abayomi with a revolver and turned the same gun and shot himself.

Barrister Moronfolu Abayomi died from excess blood loss while he was in transit to the hospital. The bullet had penetrated his lungs.

Delphonso himself was hospitalised, but the Lagos “big boy” refused to be treated and died six days later on August 31, 1923.

The Barrister’s young widow, Oyinkansola was devastated and refused to love any man again until six years later, in 1929, when a young doctor, Kofoworola John showed her a love greater than her late husband’s and asked for her hand in marriage.

Oyinkansola would agree to get married only on one condition: that Kofoworola John bore the name of her late husband, that is Abayomi, and relinquish his own name – John. Surprisingly, he agreed and they got married the next year in 1930.

They would be married for the next 48 years until Sir Kofoworola Abayomi’s death on January 1, 1979. He was 82. Lady Oyinkansola Abayomi would live to the ripe old age of 93.

The Kofo Abayomi Street in Victoria Island, Lagos, is named in his honour.

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