It was a moment of outpouring of accolades and encomiums as Barrister Matthew Dada Adeleye Ojo took a bow at the Lagos office of the Nigerian Copyright Commission recently after attaining the mandatory age of 60 years.
His fellow staff were joined by family, friends and well-wishers who took their turns at the auspicious occasion to say beautiful things about the Ekiti State born lawyer and copyright ambassador.
It was a moment to recount and recall fond memories of Ojo’s management expertise and skill as to office relationship, how he handled the staff and the affairs of the organisation.
The celebrant who came in as a senior officer left the commission gloriously as a director, and among the challenging tasks handled by him was the supervision and enforcement of copyright laws among local traders and merchants of copyright works like books, recorded albums in audio and video films.
The commission was represented by no less person than the Director General, Mr. John Asein, and some of his directors, his towns men and women were also there in their number as well as his fellow alumni members and professional colleagues.
In their various tributes and commendations, Barrister Ojo was variously described as a focused and amiable person, a mentor in his own class and a worker with dedication and strong commitment to his duties.
Major events of the day included, a prayer and thanksgiving session, Bible reading, and prayers. The sermon was delivered by Evangelist Asifat, who commended the celebrant as a man with the fear of the Lord who showed love to his friends, and neighbours. The testimonies mentioned were part of what Ojo was known for. He prayed for him for good life, sound health and victory over ‘the battle of next of kin’.
He therefore prayed for good health, sound mind as well as long life to reap and enjoy the fruits of his labour.
Other groups represented included the Retirees and fellow Elders in the house, representatives of the music and movie industries, book industry as well as friends and neighbours.
The high point of the day was when he was led in the Ceremonial Pen’s Down by fellow colleagues and senior members in the congregation.
Other items on the programme of the day were the cutting of his 60th birthday cake, taking of photographs, and dancing with friends and well-wishers.
Among the distinguished audience of the day were Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, the CEO of Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, (MCSN), Akeem Afobaje, Mrs. Agnes Abayomi who read the citation, Hon. Justice Safari and his better half, Alhaji Obasekore, Olusola Amure, the Eze Ndigbo of Mushin, Eze Peter Umeh.
Barrister Matthew Ojo was on 23rd July, 1963 from Oye Ekiti State. He attended St. Augustine’s Comprehensive High School where he proceeded to Oyo State College of Arts and Science, Ile Ife, attended, University of Lagos before the Nigerian Law School where he was called to the bar in 1990.
He joined Nigerian Copyright Commission on 3rd October, 1994 as a Senior Copyright officer on Grade Level 10, he served in Enforcement department, served in Abuja, Bauchi and Benin where he was transferred back to Lagos in 2011 where he was transferred to Enforcement department in 2018 to fight piracy and encourage creative industry in Nigeria.
He was said to have changed the narrative in the copyright commission. He embraced the culture of changing copyright narratives and work towards achieving the set goals of the commission. On several occasions he risked his life to ensure credibility of the commission and sanity in the creative industry. His contributions to the newly enacted copyright act were also of note.
To his fellow staff and subordinates, he was a jolly man to work with in his office in his unique way of managing staff on horizontal and vertical levels. He was said to be approachable, accommodating and friendly, and excellent in crisis management. He was a mentor and a wonderful boss to his fellow staff.
To the members of the film industry, the celebrant was seen as a diligent and trusted officer without any known shady deal as a respected public officer who would never complain at his duty post, recommending others to emulate him.
To Mr. Ayilaran, Mr. Ojo was a cheerful public servant who has been a consistent and relevant officer who though retiring as a public servant, yet remain not tired.
His Unilag 1989 set, were there to celebrate one of their own. The spokesperson for the set described Barrister Ojo as a back bencher in school yet remained a very consistent member of their set, and somebody that could be relied on.
The representative of Oloye of Oye Ekiti the traditional ruler of Ojo’s home town was there to appreciate their illustrious son. He was represented by one of his chiefs. He came to appreciate the celebrant as a proud son of Oye land.
In his vote of thanks the host expressed his appreciation to all that came around to celebrate him, restating that he would never forget his working experience and activities at the Copyright Commission of Nigeria.
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