I know that Anselm and Audu are in close contact for many common and shared experiences, but I paused and recalled that Anselm considered the information important to me because in a manner of speaking he was almost there at the beginning of my relationship with the Maikoris and in particular Mallam Adamu Maikori their Patriarch.
It was circa 1989/1990, I had resigned from my job at the Bank and set up an office in Victoria Island. To prepare for the hustling ahead as a practicing attorney I had fortified my wardrobe with some suits and shoes so as to appear a bit prosperous as I went about notifying prospective clients that I had set up my Law Practice. I received many cold shoulders as the attitude was, “why did you leave your bank job to come and start disturbing us?”
My borrowed office also looked impressive so “juniors” also were applying for employment. One of them was Anselm Chidi Odinkalu and I candidly told him I would employ him once I got my first “real brief “.
I had met Mallam Adamu Maikori when he was coopted into the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association by our great leader Alao Aka-Bashorun. He was the Executive Director/Legal Adviser of North-South Bank, he was also Company Secretary. He appeared to like me and invited me to his office, ordinarily I would have jumped at the invitation, but I had been so serially disappointed by persons I thought were my friends that I was simply tired of being disappointed so I didn’t respond to his invitation. Until one day he bumped into me on Broad Street and said “young man I have been asking you to come and see me, oya let us go to my office” that was how Mr. Maikori took me to his office, from there he drove me to my office in Victoria Island from there to his house for Lunch, and he introduced me to his family, Audu, Rhoda, Amina and Mommy, Mr. Maikori was the angel God sent to give me my “first brief” and I became the major external Solicitor to North-South Bank, I could now offer Anselm a job.
So I got my “first brief” from Mr. Makori and my first junior started work.
The Bible admonishes us not to forget or look down on days of humble beginnings so I will forever be grateful to Mallam Adamu Makori my benefactor and friend for helping me stabilize in those early days of uncertainty and doubt.
Mr. Makori was a brilliant, jovial, cerebral, very hardworking and industrious gentleman. In a manner of speaking he was a jack of all trade and master of all. He was a banker and a lawyer, he was a farmer and a trader, he knew the going price for all manner of commodities from ginger, to chilli pepper to gum Arabic, he was a politician and a social crusader, he was a Christian and he was a family man.
He was a man of passion who relied on instincts, whenever I appreciated him he would wonder what it was he did for me. In latter years when Audu founded Chocolate City and also became probably the nation’s leading showbiz and sports Lawyer and he visited me, I prayed for him and told him God will continue to bless his generations as his father had been a blessing to so many.
So I say Adieu my friend and benefactor, I pray Almighty God will bless your family and give them the fortitude to bear this loss. I particularly appreciate mommy, Mrs. Maikori for her care during the period of his illness. God will renew and refresh you.
Omezimba Chibuzo N. Ziggy Azike, Ksc is a Life Bencher