Afe Babalola marks six decades at the Bar

Kayode Lawal, Abuja

It promises to be an august gathering of icons in the legal profession as legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola, a senior advocate of Nigeria, marks 60 years of his Call to Bar on Monday.

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto State, Bishop Matthew Kukah, will on July 10 at Ado-Ekiti, deliver the anniversary lecture
titled: “The future of constitutional democracy in Nigeria: Imperative of a new constitutional order.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is billed to Chaiir the event while the Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola and the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III are expected to attend.

Also expected at the event are the immediate past Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN; Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Yakubu Maikyau.

Many other distinguished persons are also expected from across the country and from abroad.

Babalola, a legal icon and founder of the Afe Babalola University, was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales on July 9, 1963.

Chairman, Organizing Committee, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN said the event being put together by Aare Babalola’s mentees, admirers and beneficiaries, will hold at the Alfa Belgore Hall, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Ogunwumiju added that the event will also feature testimonials and goodwill messages from friends, admirers and associates of Aare Afe Babalola, and a book launch, to feature Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, CON, as Chief Launcher and Wema Bank, Fidelity Bank, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank, Polaris Bank, among others as launchers.

Ogunwumiju stated that the money realized from the book launch would be channeled towards the construction of the ABUAD museum.

“The upbeat event will be witnessed by the crème-de-la-crème of the society, made up of members of the Bar and the Bench, legal academics, the royalty, the clergy, delegates from the University of London, delegates from King’s College London, and captains of industries as well as members of the diplomatic community.

“An advocate par excellence, Aare Afe Babalola has made outstanding contributions to Nigerian law and Jurisprudence, through his excellent advocacy in court and by authoring several law books.

“He was, at some point the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria. He has been invited by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on several occasions as amicus curiae.

“He has also trained over 1,000 lawyers, produced 25 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (the largest by any law firm in the country), including several Attorneys-General at the Federal and State Levels as well as judges up to the appellate courts.

“Aare Afe Babalola is a committed educationist and a two-term Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council of the University of Lagos, (UNILAG) where he won the Best Pro-Chancellor Award twice, one-time Chairman of the Committee of Pro Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, ” said Ogunwumiju.

Babalola’s foremost legacy is the establishment of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, recently ranked by the highly respected Times Higher Education Impact Rankings as the Number 1 University out of the 221 universities in Nigeria and Number 321 globally.

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