The remains of the renowned and erudite first Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Lagos, Theophilus Oremade Orebamjo, will be laid to rest on Friday 21 April 2023 after a funeral service at St Christ Anglican Church Ogere – Remo in Ogun State of Nigeria.
A family source said there would be a wake keep service on Thursday 20 April 2023 at his residence No 5 Odofin Court in Ogere.
The accomplished intellectual whose brilliant contributions transcended above his colleagues in the academia and who had touched so many lives, is survived by his wife, Mrs Adunke Orebamjo ( nee Fayiga), children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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Professor Theophilus Oremade Orebamjo was born on 19th of May 1932 to the family of James Oso Orebamjo and Madam Dorcas Adebomeyin in Odofin Compound Ogere-Remo. He started school at the age of 13 at Christ Church School, Ogere. He had been eager to go to school and was learning at home because he was not permitted to start school until he was 13years old. He spent one year in the infant class and five years in primary. The last year (1950) at Yaba Methodist, where he met some of his classmates of 1955 form Five (MFFFF) of Igbobi College (They know themselves).
In 1950 when he was in Standard V, four pupils from that class passed the competitive entrance examination into Igbobi College, none of the four dropped out. They all passed out in 1955, with good grades. In 1956, he entered School of Agriculture Moor Plantation, Ibadan as Agriculture Assistant in Training. He did so well that he was selected to be trained for a higher post – Agricultural Superintendent. In less than a year of this course, he passed the competitive entrance examination into University College, Ibadan (UCI) for a degree course in agriculture. He was sponsored by Cocoa Marketing Board on recommendation from Igbobi College. This was the highest scholarship at that time. Ever since, until he retired from active service in 1992 his studies and travels were always sponsored.
He graduated with 1st Class Honors in Botany from University of London on 1st June 1962. His 1st Class result was announced in less than three hours after he sat for his last paper. This was the first time in the history of University of London that a sectional result was released only a few hours after completing a final examination. Usually, all results were released about three months later after passing through the University of London Senate, but an exception was made in this case by the external examiner, who was then also the University of London Senate President. His spectacular performance opened the doors to several opportunities for him.
1. Cambridge University Scholarship: Overseas scholarship to Cambridge to finish up, but it was decided that he should be allowed to ‘mature’ in the unique environment where he did so well.
2. Postgraduate Scholarship: UCI offered automatic postgraduate scholarships to their best students.
3. Nigeria Tobacco Company (NTC) NTC offered him a position as Plant Trader.
4. Moor Plantation: To his current position as Agricultural Officer he was on study leave at UCI. On completion of his studies, he returned to join the all-white agricultural officers. He was subsequently recommended to attend an interview to join the Federal Service Commission.
5. The then Head of Botany Department at UCI, Prof. Eni Njoku, who had just been appointed first Vice Chancellor of the newly founded University of Lagos. (UNILAG). Recommended and Appointed Theophilus Oremade Orebamjo as a Junior Research Fellow at the newly founded University of Lagos (UNILAG).