Taslim Olawale Elias (11 November 1914 â€“ 14 August 1991) was a Nigerian jurist. He was Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Nigeria and a judge and President of the International Court of Justice. He was a scholar who modernised and extensively revised the laws of Nigeria.
Youth and studies
Elias was born into the traditional aristocracy of Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria, on 11 November 1914. He received his secondary education at the Church Missionary Society Grammar School and Igbobi College in Lagos. He married Ganiat Yetunde Fowosere, and the couple would have five children together (three sons, two daughters). After passing the Cambridge School Certificate examination, he worked as an assistant in the Government Audit Department . In 1935 he joined the Nigerian Railway and served in the Chief Accountant's Office for nine years. While working at the Nigerian Railway, Elias became an external student of London University, and later he passed the intermediate examinations for the B.A. and LL.B degrees. He left Nigeria for the United Kingdom in 1944 and was admitted to University College London. As this was during World War II, with London the target of frequent bomb attacks, he spent some time at Cambridge's Trinity College. He graduated with a B.A. the year he entered University College London and two years later received the LL.B. In 1947 he was called to the bar at the Inner Temple, where he was a Yarborough Anderson Scholar, and in the same year received his LL.M degree. He continued his graduate education and became the first African to earn a PhD in law from the University of London in 1949. In 1951 Elias was awarded a UNESCO Fellowship to undertake research into the legal, economic, and social problems of Africa. Later that year he had his first academic appointment, the Simon Senior Research Fellow at Manchester University. There he was an instructor in law and social anthropology. It was also in 1951 that he published his first book, Nigerian Land Law and Custom.
Elias died on 14 August 1991 , in Lagos, Nigeria. The names of his five children are Gbolahan, Olusoji, Olufemi, Yeside and Olufolake Elias.
Through his niece, Joy Elias-Rilwan, he is related by marriage to the Hon. James Lascelles of the Earls of Harewood. Lascelles is a first cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth II and is in the line of succession to the British throne.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 708
Category:1914 births Category:Yoruba legal professionals Category:Lawyers from Lagos Category:Chief Justices of Nigeria Category:International Court of Justice judges Category:Igbobi College alumni Category:Academics of SOAS University of London Category:University of Lagos faculty Category:Alumni of University College London Category:Nigerian academics Category:Academics of the Victoria University of Manchester Category:Supreme Court of Nigeria justices Category:Presidents of the International Court of Justice Category:1991 deaths Category:Yoruba academics Category:20th-century Nigerian people Category:CMS Grammar School, Lagos alumni Category:Nigerian Muslims Category:20th-century Nigerian lawyers Category:Attorneys General of Nigeria Category:People of colonial Nigeria Category:Educators from Lagos Category:Recipients of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award Category:Nigerian judges of United Nations courts and tribunals