Prof David Olu Olagoke: Exit of incorruptible Judge & The Iroko Man and The Wood Carver

Professor David Olu Olagoke: The exit of “The incorruptible Judge” and ” The Iroko Man and The Wood Carver”

By: Gbenga Olowoyo fcia fipma JP.

“All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”

  • Shakespeare

William Shakespeare actually captured the world at its best with the above quotation and likened it to the life of our cerebral, teacher of teachers, builder of many generations of intellectuals late Professor David Olu Olagoke , a man so much cherished by all of us that passed through him as university students of various years of admission.

He was seen as a father , more than a lecturer, a role model, a builder, .soft spoken , quiet, easy going, very complete embodiment of God sent person to impact positively to the lives of humanity through capacity building and preaching the gospel of good character and egalitarian society as exemplified in his book “the incorruptible judge”.

Professor David Olu Olagoke was a complete Ekiti man and pan Nigerianist who showed greatness that he was endowed with in his very early life, he utilized the academic opportunity without any regret, measuring his greatness in academic foray , a beautiful bride and academic joggernaut, first Professor of English Language from Ekiti State.

Since the demise of Baba D. O Olagoke was announced on Saturday 29th October,2022 many tributes have been showered on him by many of his students dateback to many years ago appreciating his goodness and fatherly pet talk to his students who he regarded as his children.

The 1997 set of English Language which l belong, will quickly remember his encouraging words to us; “just make sure you write beautiful nonsense” (i.e flawless English) the fear among us then was that, what were we will going to write to impress a Professor of English and literature , the likes of Baba Adejumo
and Baba W.O.K (that was the plate number on his car then) , these two were Baba D O Olagoke’s contemporaries.

Drawing uncountable tributes from his students, attested to the fact that he was an encourager, many of us read his book “The incorruptible Judge” at both the primary and secondary school levels, coming to university to meet a Professor who took us a course at formative level was a challenge to us but he gave us the lifeline of encouragement; his “beautiful nonsense” theory of writing flawless English, to the point of being a good father and lecturer was a soft landing for us, we were encouraged to meet up quickly in our academic sojourn.

Baba Olagoke as being fondly called, was actually incorruptible with his simple life, like many of our lecturers, who he might have impacted positively in their lives, we mourn you and celebrate you so dearly our role model.

According to the words of Samuel Akomolafe “Prof.Olu Olagoke was my English supervisor way back in 1997 where he scored me ‘B’ wich was very rare of him.His spoken English was excellent just as he was equally a literary guru.Baba had a kind soul towards human capacity development.He will long be remembered for his great play entitled’lroko Man and the Wood Carver’.May the gentle soul of this walking phonetics continue to rest peacefully.”

Other tributes from class 1997 members are:

“It was from baba that many of us then learnt about double standard margin. Tear a sheet of paper, rule double standard margin on it, baba would instruct the students .Many asked, what is double standard margin? All has become history now .
Let’s thank God that baba died at a ripe age and had accomplished his mission on earth. Death is inevitable. Ki ojo ji na si ra. May his gentle soul rest in peace.”

“Wow! A glorious and fulfilled life of a kind and humane personality. A literary genre and iconic scholar. Amiable and mien. May his gentle soul rest in the bosom of our Lord in Jesus name. Amen🙏 Adieu!”

“A Colossus is gone . May the soul of The Incorruptible Judge rest in perfect peace”

“PA Olagoke, a multi-linguist who was able to speak Nigerian English, Briton English, American English, Latin couple with our Yoruba language during his lifetime. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”

As a good community leader, this was attested to by the family of late OBA Michael Adelusi Ogunsulade; by Prince Oluremi Ogunsulade

“On behalf of late 0ba Michael Adelusi Ogunsunlade, the family and children commiserate with the family of our Icon , late Professor Olu Olagoke, we cannot forget easily his cordial relationship with our late father and the family. May God grant your soul eternal rest. All sons and daughters of Ayegbaju Ekiti will miss your assistance and mentoring, sleep on our father .Prince Oluremi Ogunsunlade for the family”

Many other students from many years of graduation poured in their tributes “Good night, our dear father, Professor and leader. May his loving soul rest in perfect peace with the Almighty God, amen. Baba lived a fulfilled life, worthy of emulation. A vacuum, that will be difficult to full, has been created in Ayegbaju Ekiti, in particular and Ekiti State in general. Professor D. O. Olagoke will be remembered for his gentleness, integrity, kindness and godliness.”

” Baba Olagoke. “Disciplinarian”
You have created an indelible mark in educational growth of Nigeria” Rest In Perfect Peace Prof.
Please Professor David Olu Olagoke, don’t forget to formally present the comprehensive report of The ASUU and FEDERAL GOVERNMENT case before the creator of heaven and earth for Divine Interventions to revive the educational standard of our country Nigeria.”

Another copious account of a psychology student many years ago
“It was my second day on campus, I was walking in the corridor of staff offices for the Art faculty, I had with me a copy of a novel I was reading, ‘The Incorruptible Judge’, then I noticed on the door, the name ‘Olusola D. Olagoke’, it drew my attention, I looked at the book in my hand, it has the same name as I was seeing on the door. I moved a step backward and two steps forward and I knocked on the door. A voice commanded me to come in. I walked in and greeted him, he noticed the book in my hand and he asked me, yes what do want?


I told him I was a fresher and I was walking past, when I saw his name on the door, so I walked in to tell him that I love his book and style of writing. He smiled and asked me of my department, I told him Psychology. He asked me why not English? I told him that JAMB offered me Psychology, and that I wanted to read Law or International Relations. He asked, who recommended the book for me and I explained that, I used in secondary school and still loved the storyline so I am reading it a second time for the pleasure of reading it.
We became friends, not minding that I was not even his faculty, I had access to him. He was a father with listening ears. His acceptance of me, encouraged me to meet with and build great rapport with several other lecturers on campus. Several years after I left the university, I visited him at home in his house somewhere in Sululere and he was so happy to welcome me.

Baba D O Olagoke was a bridge builder , lover of humanity , Pan Nigerianist and Pan Africanist.

Professor David Olu Olagoke was the real man that lowered the British flag and mounted the Nigerian flag for the first time before the Queen on the independence Day 1st October, 1960.

The Federal Government of Nigeria should honour this Great hero posthumously , it is never too late, Ekiti State Government should celebrate this Great Man of honour by immortalizing him in whatever way possible. Honour should not be for politicians alone.

He used his book “The incorruptibles Judge” to advocate for equality, egalitarian society and merit for opportunities but this was jettisoned by our leaders at various political stages in Nigeria, very unfortunate .

Many lecturers have celebrated late Professor David Olu Olagoke with kind words and reminiscent of their cordial working relationship with him and had positively impacted in their own lives.

President and Members of OSUA ELSA class of 1989 Mrs Adeola Fasuba went to Aiyegbaju Ekiti during his lifetime to pay a visit to Prof. D O Olagoke, author of several books including the ‘Incorruptible Jugde’. Prof. Olagoke he was described as a beacon of integrity and honor for members of the class and they wanted to reciprocate by honouring him in his lifetime.

“Members in Nigeria and the diaspora mobilized resources together to have a hand made card, other gifts, and a reception in Aiyegbaju Ekiti where they visited the retired professor and his family and presented him with gifts.”

Also, a jointly signed message on the card presented to Olagoke during the visit reads:

“Our Dear Professor Sir,

“You touched so many lives in great ways leaving indelible marks.

“We are part of the numerous huge success stories that history will forever attach to your name

Professor David Olu Olagoke was born in January 22nd, 1934, at Alabukan’s House, Ayegbaju Ekiti, Ekiti State , he was married to his jewel of inestimable value, Patricia Olajumoke Ayeni in 1960, and the marriage was blessed with three sons,two daughters, Professor was Educated at Methodist Boys’ High School, Lagos, 1945-50, University College, Ibadan, 1954-57, Institute of Education, University of London, 1957-58, University of Colchester, Essex, 1967-68; University of London, 1983-85; he was Appointed Education officer at King’s College, Lagos, 1958-60; Principal Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta, 1961-68;

The renowned author who wrote the famous play, The Incorruptible Judge obtained his Ph.D in Applied Linguistics from the Prestigious University of London.

He became Lecturer II/I, University of Lagos, 1968-76; Senior Lecturer, 1976-84; Associate Professor of English University of Lagos, 1984-87; Professor of English and Dean of Arts, Ondo State University, November 1987; Longman Research Fellow, University College, London University, 1973-74; First Nigerian Cadet Officer, King’s College, Lagos, 1958-60,

He Published “The Incorruptible Judge by Longman, Evans in 1962; Irokoman and the Woodcaver, London, Evans, in 1963; Hakimu Nwadilifu, A Swahili translation of the Incorruptible Judge, Evans; Death in the Forest, University Press, Ibadan, 1983; Baba D O Olagoke loved reading, writing plays, walking and church music.

Professor David Olu Olagoke was at a time appointed to head the UNAD(EKSU) Centre for Research and Development, located at Adebayo estate, Ado Ekiti, he performed excellently well at the centre, even, l, as an undergraduate, covered one of their events, as a budding journalist with former sketch press limited, Professor David Olu Olagoke was able to break many new grounds of researches despite the fact that he was not a scientist .

Retired Professor of English and English Literature and Former Dean of Faculty of Arts, Prof David Olagoke passed away on Saturday ,29th October, 2022 at his Ayegbaju Ekiti ,county home at the ripe age of 88.

May the soul of Professor David Olu Olagoke rest in perfect peace

Comrade Gbenga Olowoyo fcia fipma JP
Trade Unionist and industrial relations practitioner gbengaolowoyo3@gmail.com 0803357338