President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed his sadness at the news of the death of Professor Femi Odekunle on Tuesday.
Professor Odekunle, aged 77, was a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) headed by Prof Itself Sagay. He was reported to have died at the COVID-19 Isolation Centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja on Tuesday evening.
Lawan described Professor Odekunle’s death as a great loss to the academic community and to Nigeria.
The Senate President said Odekunle, the first Professor of Criminology in Nigeria, was a reputable scholar and an academic giant who imparted knowledge to his numerous students and served his country with his expertise in a discipline in which he was an authority.
Lawan recalled his immense contributions as a member of PACAC, condoling with the family of the departed professor.
He also commiserated with the Government and people of Osun State and the entire academic community over the irreparable loss and prayed for the sweet repose of his great soul and for God to grant his loved ones the fortitude to bear his loss.
Professor Odekunle, a graduate of the University of Ibadan in 1968, got his PhD in Sociology and Social Psychiatry from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States, in 1974. He lectured at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Kaduna, and other universities.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier expressed shock at the demise of the professor in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.
He described Odekunle as a valued friend and a towering intellectual giant with an impeccable knowledge of his chosen academic field.
“His death is very saddening. His lasting contributions as well as his charisma, wit and sense of humor will be sorely missed by all of us, his friends and associates. May the Almighty repose his soul,” he said.