LEGAL LUMINARY OF THE YEARFor the Year 2017, DNL Legal and Style has celebrated Legal Luminaries. We present to you all the Lawyers we have celbrated this year. At the end of the year, we would in our special way, celebrate the Lawyer who is considered "Legal Luminary of The Year".
She had her primary school education in Zaria, and obtained her GCE ‘O’ Levels at Rossholme School for Girls in East Brent, Somerset England in 1962. She went on to Gibson & Welder Law School where she graduated in 1966 and was called to the English Bar, Middle Temple the same year, and to the Nigeria Bar in 1967.
Honourable Justice Aloma Mukhtar joined the Northern Nigeria Ministry of Justice as a Pupil State Counsel and later became Magistrate Grade 1, between 1969 and 1973. She returned to Kano State in 1973 to assume duties as Chief Registrar of the State Judiciary and in 1977, was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Kano State.
Justice Aloma Mukhtar was nominated as Justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria in 1987, where she spent 17 years, twelve of which she served as President. She was later elevated to the Supreme Court of Nigeria in June 2005, and reached the apogee of the legal profession when she was appointed to the exalted position of Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN] in July 2012, a position she held for about two years.
Her speech when she appeared before the Senate screening, gave a clear direction of her tenure as CJN, she said “Corruption is in every system of our society and I cannot pretend that it is not in the Judiciary. I intend to lead by example and to hope and pray that others will follow. I will encourage internal cleansing based on petition and as much as possible ensure that bad eggs are removed, so that the confidence reposed in the judiciary will be restored once again” . Indeed, this she pursued vigorously until her retirement in 2014 after a meritorious career spanning nearly five decades.
Described as an “independent, transparent, courageous, fearless yet humble and a fair-minded Jurist” by her colleagues and legal practitioners alike. During her distinguished career, Honourable Justice Aloma Mukhtar scored quite a number of significant ‘Firsts’. In June 1967, she became the first female lawyer in Northern Nigeria [covering 19 States], and subsequently its pioneer female Magistrate in the Northern region. She was the first female Chief Registrar of the Kano State Judiciary, the first female Judge of the High Court in Kano State, and the first woman jurist to be appointed to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In July 2012, she became the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN].
Since leaving office as CJN, she has joined Nigeria’s highest advisory body, the National Council of State as its first female permanent member.
A Life Bencher; Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, HonourableJustice Aloma Mukhtar has been recognized nationally and internationally for her value-added contributions to the growth and development of the judiciary. She has the rare distinction of being the recipient of three of the highest Nigerian National Honours, namely: Commander of the Order of the Niger [CON], Commander of the Federal Republic [CFR] and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger [GCON].
Among others, she has also been honoured by the International Federation of Women Lawyers [FIDA], and with the Life-Membership of the International Association of Women Judges; Gold Merit award of the Kano State Government, Vice President, International Association Of Women Judges, Foundation President, Nigerian Association of Women Judges; Induction into The Nigerian Women Hall of Fame; and Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Abuja.
Professor Dakas began his primary school at L.G.E.D. in Katul, Plateau State where he obtained his Primary School Certificate. He proceeded to Boys Secondary School Gindiri for his “O” Level and finished as the Best Graduating Student of the Year 1986. He proceeded to the University of Jos for his LLB and graduated with a First Class honour in law earning for himself the Prize for the Best Student in Law in 1990. He was called to the Nigerian Bar. He also obtained his LLM from both University of Jos and the New York University and his Ph.D from the University of Jos. Professor. Daka was conferred with the prestigious professional rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), September 2012.
He rose from lecturing at the Faculty of Law, University of Jos, to the rank of Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence in October 2010. He is a visiting Professor (International Human Rights Law), Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada where he has taught “Human Rights in Africa” through a virtual classroom which involves interface via video conferencing between Canadian and Nigerian students and faculty.
Professor Dakas SAN is a legal luminary of many outstanding firsts. He was one of only two First Class Honours law degree holders from the University of Jos since its establishment in the mid-1970s; the first, and so far the only, academic to be appointed Attorney-General of Plateau State; the youngest person to hold the office of Attorney-General of Plateau State; the youngest Nigerian professor to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); In a rare feat, he was conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) at his very first, and only, attempt; the fourth professor of law from the entire northern region of Nigeria to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); the first, and so far the only, professor of law from Plateau State to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); the second legal practitioner from Plateau State conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); the youngest academic to occupy a Distinguished Professor of Law Chair in a Nigerian tertiary institution; One of only four Nigerian professors of Law to hold the office of Attorney-General and to be conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
He has served, at different times, in several administrative and related capacities, at the University of Jos. He has also been as an External Examiner (Post Graduate School) and External Assessor (Professorial Rank) to several institutions and has served as external Assessor/Editorial Consultant to several local and international journals.
Professor Daka is the author of Dakas, International Law on Trial: Bakassi and the Eurocentricity of International Law (Jos: St. Stephen BookHouse Inc., 2003); “From Constitutions to Constitutionalism: A Constitutional Imperative in Nigeria”, being the 2013 Ben Nwabueze Distinguished Professor of Law Lecture, November 18, 2013;
He has edited several books and contributed chapters in over fifty books. He has published in numerous journals both locally and internationally and presented over 100 papers at workshops, roundtables, seminars and conferences, organized by several governmental and non-governmental organizations/institutions in Nigeria and abroad
Prof. Daka is a member of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN); International Association of Law Schools (IALS), Washington DC, USA; Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT); Nigerian Society of International Law(NSIL) and Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
On community service, Prof. Daka SAN is a member of several community development association as well as NGOs
Professor Father Ezike has authored over forty scholarly publications, many in academic journals of international and national repute (see the link on Publications). He has taught in various institutions, such as St. Paul’s Seminary Secondary School, Ukpor, 1974 – 1975 (Latin and English); All Hallows Seminary Secondary School, Onitsha, 1975 – 1976 (Latin and English); School of Midwifery, Waterside, Onitsha, 1983 – 1986 (Medical Jurisprudence); Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, 1994 – 1996 (Philosophy of Law); and Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, 1997 – till date (Law of Contract).
He has served the University of Nigeria as chairman and member of various committees and boards among which are: member of University Senate (2006 to 2008; 2011 to 2013 and 2016 till date); member UNN Senate Committee on Curriculum (2012 to 2015); member UNN Senate Advisory Board on General Studies (1997 to 2004); member University Examination Malpractice Committee (1998 to 2001); chairman Electricity Committee of Enugu Campus (2008 till date); chairman ICT Committee, Faculty of Law, UNEC (1996 till date) and in many others too numerous to mention. On the national level, he was the Facilitator for the South East Zone of the Presidential Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (organised a Workshop for the Debate on the Review of the 1999 Constitution at Enugu Campus of University of Nigeria, for the five States in the South East Zone, 18 and 19 January 2001).
Professor Father Ezike is a dedicated and excellent law teacher who is not just a teacher but a mentor and father to his students. He devotes his time entirely to the service of the University and the students without admixture of law practice or other business pursuits. He is among the very first to embrace ICT method in research and law teaching in Nigeria (since 1995) and he oversaw the computerization of the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, in areas like Virtual Library, Internet Connectivity, Starboard Projectors in all the classes, etc. He is a stickler for order, hard work and discipline and has strived over the years to instill these virtues in his students.
Professor Father Ezike has attended many international and national conferences. He has successfully supervised several Doctoral Theses and Master’s Dissertations in law. Professor Ezike is currently the Head of the Department of Customary and Indigenous Law where he is nurturing the newly established department.
Prof Ezike’s Publications here
Born in Ekiti State South Western Nigeria in 1929, he attended Emmanuel Primary school and did not have the opportunity of having a secondary school education due to lack of funds. Through private study, Afe Babalola SAN obtained the Cambridge School Certificate, GCE, Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificate of London University; B.Sc. (Economics) of London University and LL.B (Hons) of London University.
Aare Emmanuel Afe Babalola was called to bar in England in 1963 and became a member of Lincoln’s Inn London, a registered member of the Bar of England and Wales and a most distinguished member of the Nigerian Bar the same year.
Aare Afe Babalola cut his teeth in Legal practice in the chamber of Olu Ayoola & Co from where he established his own firm of Aare Afe Babalola & Co (Emmanuel Chambers) two years after in 1965. Afe Babalola & Co is reputed as one of the Leading law firms in Nigeria. He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1987 and was in active Legal practice for over 47 years
He has received several awards, distinctions, fellowships and honours from all over the world. Aare Afe Babalola is an Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), and Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, Nigeria; former Chairman of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, winner of the Best Pro-Chancellor award in 2005 and 2006, winner of Queen Victoria Commemorative Award at Socrates Award of European Business Assembly in Oxford UK; member of the Rector of Europe, October, 2007; Vice President, Rector of Europe, 2010; and Honorary Professor of International University. He won the African Award in Education 2011, African Man of the Year in Food Security, 2014. He was conferred with the Congressional Commendation of the US Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and inducted into the African Hall of Fame by the Advisory Board of the African Leadership Development Foundation, Inc. USA, and African Leadership (UK) Limited in 2016.
He has about eleven honorary degrees from several universities including the Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) of the University of London in 2015, (the first African to be conferred with the award).
Afe is an active member of the International Bar Association; Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria.
He has made outstanding contributions to the development of Nigeria Law and Jurisprudence through eclectic advocacy in court evident from the numerous celebrated cases which he had handled and the notable personalities who are his clients. He has also authored over 500 articles in several books and law journals and has delivered brilliant and diverse lectures at various events.
Through Emmanuel Chambers Aare Afe Babalola has assisted over 2000 lawyers in numerous ways and has trained over 1,500 lawyers and produced over 15 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (the largest from any chamber in Nigeria) 4 of whom became Attorneys General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Aare Emmanuel Afe Babalola is a philanthropist of exceptional calling. His passion for development, in general, is matchless as exemplified in his service to the community through several donations to several institutions in Nigeria including; Ekiti state University, University of Lagos, Nigeria Labour Congress Ado Ekiti, Nigeria Bar Association (Ekiti and Oyo State), University College Hospital, Ibadan and Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti to mention a little
He is the Founder and Proprietor of one of the fastest growing private University in Africa; Afe Babalola University, which has been described by NUC as the best thing to have happened to Education in this part of the world and a benchmark for other universities.
Aare Afe Babalola is indeed an accomplished frontline Lawyer, an astute administrator, a big time farmer, a matchless philanthropist and a leading educationist in Nigeria.
“By the standard of living in Ekiti (then a part of the present Ondo State) in the 50s, his father was well to do and he therefore could have lived comfortably even without activism. But the passion to defend the less privileged was too strong for him to resist; it is the way he wants to live his life. And though he once contemplated it, he decided to opt out of the opportunity to take an oath of celibacy as a Catholic priest, coupled with the fact that he could not watch other people suffer where he lived; this led him to ‘marry the Law”… Success digest online
Femi Falana SAN popular Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist was born on 20th May, 1958. A native of Ilawe, Ekiti state, Nigeria, he attended St. Michael’s Primary School, Ilawe, between 1963 and 1968 and Sacred Heart Catholic Seminary between 1971 and 1975. He studied Law at the University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University between 1977 and 1981. He was called to the bar a year after.
Femi Falana SAN worked with the Oyo State Public Complaints Commission between 1982 and 1983. He proceeded to the Firm of Alao Aka –Bashorun & CO where he worked between 1983 and 1991. In 1991 he set up Falana and Falana Chambers (Formerly Femi Falana) and became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2012.
Falana is renowned for providing free legal services to the poor and disadvantaged and had suffered long spells in detention under Nigeria’s past military dictators. His activism began during his days as a student leader in the university. He stood his ground against oppression from successive military governments. Barely a year after his call to bar; during his National Youth Service, he succeeded in securing the bail of 7 University of Ibadan students who were arrested and unlawfully remanded in prison custody for protesting for their rights.
The above incident led to his not being issued a discharge certificate by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) after his one year mandatory national service. It was in July 2001, 18 years after, that Falana petitioned the Justice Oputa led Human Rights Panel (set up by the then Obasanjo administration) over the withheld certificate that same was subsequently released to him on live television at the commission’s sitting.
Falana SAN is also known for providing free legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. He has been detained numerous times by the security services for his activism and he has won numerous awards locally and internationally for his activism.
He has presented numerous papers on diverse legal issues and published several articles in both local and international journals as well as books on contemporary legal issues including: Fundamental Rights Enforcement, Legal and Policy Framework of Occupational Health and Safety in Nigeria and Working In Danger.
Falana SAN is a member of the West African Bar Association; Nigerian Bar Association, Pan African Lawyers Union and International Bar Association.
Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN established an iconic and stellar reputation in the field of human rights in Africa and Nigeria. In 1987, he co-foundered the Civil Liberties Organization of Nigeria (CLO), one of Africa’s largest human rights organizations. In 1997, Dr. Agbakoba founded HURILAWS, a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to advancing human rights through organized and consistent public interest litigation. He is also co-founder of AFRONET, the Inter-African Network for Human Rights and Development, one of the strongest Pan-African organizations seeking to develop the African human rights movement.
During the dreaded regime of General Sani Abacha as military president in Nigeria, Dr. Agbakoba SAN convened the United Action for Democracy (UAD), Nigeria’s largest coalition of human rights groups that fought and opposed late General Abacha’s attempt to rule Nigeria indefinitely. On 3rd March, 1998, the UAD organized a 5 million-person march to oppose a staged Government rally that was calling on Gen. Abacha to continue in office. Dr. Agbakoba was tear-gassed, badly bruised, beaten, detained and arrested by the Police. On May 1, 1998, the UAD also led a 20-city strike against continued Military rule in Nigeria. Apparently in fear of what Agbakoba might organize next, General Abacha had him (Agbakoba) arrested and detained in prison. While in prison, Agbakoba narrowly escaped assassination, and was only released on June 25, 1998, following the surprising death of General Abacha. The UAD was acknowledged as one of the major leading opponents to General Abacha in his days in office.
Born in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria on May 29, 1953, Dr. Agbakoba is an old student of Christ the Kings College, Onitsha, Immaculate Conception College, Enugu and later Government College, Ughelli, Delta State. He is an alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, from where he graduated with LL.B (Hons) in 1977. In 1980 he proceeded to the London School of Economics and obtained the Master’s degree of Law, LL.M. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978 and was conferred with the lawyers’ rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1997. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Institute of Directors and Officer of the Order of Nigeria.
Aside from human rights, his work in law especially in the area of maritime law in Nigeria has been profound. Among his major publications are Federal High Court Practice Manual (published by LexisNexis, South Africa) Maritime Newsletter Volumes one and two; Manual on Election Petition in Nigeria; Maritime Cabotage in Nigeria; Bankruptcy Proceedings in Nigeria; Development Law Books (in three volumes; Towards A People Constitution in Nigeria; Transcending the Wall: A manual for Prisoners Reform. Others are: The Legal basis of the organization of African Unity Force in the Chad; Journal of International Law, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs 1981; Journal of Human Rights Law and Practice: Nigeria’s State Security (detention of persons) Decree No 2 of 1984; Exposing the Myth of Judicial Impotence with Tunde Fagbohunlu (1991), Incursions into the Legal Profession, the way out speech given at the conference on the reform of civil adjudication, Lagos, December 1995; The Statute of Limitation in Admiralty Proceedings: A Case for Fresh Initiatives in Maritime Laws and Reforms in Marine Insurance Law, among many others.
Olisa Agbakoba SAN is the Senior Partner of Olisa Agbakoba Legal (formerly Olisa Agbakoba & Associates) He is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association (former president of the NBA from 2006 to 2008); International Bar Association and affiliated to many international organizations.
He has won several international human rights prizes for his work in promoting and defending human rights.
Born in Abeokuta in Ogun state on 29th March 1932, her father was the well-known J.S Odulate, founder/ proprietor of Alabukun medicine store Abeokuta while her mother was Late Madam Sekumade Abiodun Odulate.
She attended Ago Oko primary school Abeokuta from 1937-1939, Emo Girls School Abeokuta from 1940-1944 and Methodist Girls High School Yaba Lagos from 1945-1949. Her young formative years did indeed point to a bright future as her natural brilliance and talents were copiously displayed through out her career in MGHS, she consistently took the first prize in English and mathematics. She became the first student of the school to obtain grade one at the West Africa School Certificate Examinations. In 1950, she did a one year higher course in Queens’ College then in Onikan Lagos before proceeding to England for her post basic education. In 1951, she entered the King’s College in the University of Durham, now the University of Newcastle in England where she obtained her BA (2nd Division) Latin and mathematics in 1954. She joined Pipers Corner School, Great Kingshill, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England where she taught Latin and mathematics from 1955-1957. Later she moved to St. Monica’s school, England to teach the same subjects from 1957 -1958. In 1960, she was admitted into Gray’s Inn London for her professional training and was called to bar in 1962.
Upon returning to Nigeria from England in 1962, Chief Folake Solanke joined the chambers of MA Odesanya in Lagos from August 1962 – May 1963 from where she moved to the chambers of Chief FRA Williams in Ibadan as Junior council in 1963. Following her conferment with Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1981, Chief Solanke was installed the Yeyemofin of Ife by the Ooni Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olabuse II.
She has held many positions in various institutions and associations covering a wide spectrum of activities. In 1972, she was appointed commissioner, Western State of Nigeria. Chairman, Western Government broadcasting corporation television and radio network service. On the international scene, Chief Folake Solanke became a source of pride not only for Nigeria and the Nigerian woman but also for Africa and the black world as a whole. On July 21st 1994 she became the 42nd president of Zonta International. This made her the first non – Caucasian to be elected and to hold the position of Zonta International President since Zonta was founded in 1919.
Chief Solanke SAN was awarded the 2012 IBA Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award at the IBA 5th World Women Lawyers’ Conference in London in recognition of her professional excellence and contribution to the advancement of women within the legal profession.
She has published two books, “Reaching for the Stars (2007)” and “A Compendium of Selected Lectures and Papers (2012)”. She has written numerous papers and publications covering vast areas including law, women’s rights, Zonta and Christian topics.
Chief Olufolake Solanke, SAN, Yeyemofin of Ife, former president of Zonta, Internationally acclaimed Outstanding Woman Lawyer is brilliant, hardworking and focused.
She is truly an inspiration to humanity and a Legal Luminary!
Prof. Osinbajo attended Corona School Lagos for his primary education and Igbobi College, Yaba for his secondary education. Thereafter, he obtained his LLB from the University of Lagos in 1978 where he graduated with a Second Class Upper Degree in Law. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School in 1979, and was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of Nigeria’s Supreme Court afterwards. In 1980, he attended the London School of Economics & Political Science, where he obtained a Master in Law.
Prof. Osinbajo participated in the one-year youth service Programme as a Legal Officer with Bendel Development and Planning Authority (BDPA), in the now defunct Bendel State, Nigeria in 1980. In 1981,he joined the University of Lagos, as a Lecturer. He was appointed as an Adviser (Legal Advice and Litigation), to the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, KBE.
In 1994, he became a Professor of Law following which he was appointed Head of Department of Public Law, University of Lagos. Between 1999 and 2007, Prof. Osinbajo was a member of Cabinet of the Lagos State Government where he served as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
Prof. Osinbajo returned to the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos and lectured from 2007 to 2013 in the Department of Public Law, In 2007, Osinbajo became Senior Partner at SimmonsCooper Partners, Nigeria ( a commercial law practice) with head office in Lagos State.
He is a member of the International Bar Association and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and has served on the Nigerian Bar Body of Benchers and the Council of Legal Education. He was also an independent director of CitiBank Nigeria and an ethics adviser to the board of the Africa Development Bank (ADB). He has authored several books.
While in public office as Attorney General, Lagos, Prof. Osinbajo is credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reform in Lagos State, addressing critical areas as judges’ recruitment, remuneration, training and discipline. In addition, he addressed access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC).
He founded the Orderly Society Trust (OST) involved in an Excel literacy Programme that aims to provide children in public primary schools with the same level of training in English as is available to their counterparts in private schools . Prof. Osinbajo also co-founded Justice Research Institute, a justice sector think tank as well as the Convention On Business Integrity.
As a spiritual leader, Prof. Osinbajo has organized various initiatives that work towards social justice. He organizes the Liberty Schools Project that provides free primary school education with free school lunches to poor children. This Project has three sites in poor communities in Obanikoro, Ikota and Makoko, all in Lagos. Other initiatives include free health care facilities, free legal services, social rehabilitation, skills acquisition for the very poor, a regular soup kitchen service, and free shelter for young people without accommodation.
He is an Emeritus Ambassador for the Environment in Lagos.
Professor I.O Smith obtained his LLB from the University of Lagos in 1982 and his BL from the Nigerian Law School in 1983. He subsequently obtained his LLM from the University of Lagos in 1985. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, he is a Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (U.K) , and Fellow, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He is the author of two authoritative law texts namely: “Practical Approach to Law of Real Property in Nigeria” and “Nigerian Law of Secured Credit” often cited by legal practitioners and courts in Nigeria, including the Supreme Court.
He joined the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos as a Senior Lecturer in 1999, and rose to become a Professor of Law in October 2003. He left University of Lagos to become the Dean of Faculty of Law Lagos State University between 2004 and 2006. He subsequently returned to the University of Lagos where he is currently the Head of Department Private and Property Law. He teaches Land Law, Conveyancing, and Environmental Law at the undergraduate level; and Law of Secured Credit Transactions, Law of Landlord and Tenant and Planning Law at the postgraduate level.
Professor I.O Smith has edited numerous legal works which include: The Land Use Act: Twenty Five Years After; Secured Credit in a Global Economy; Law and Development in Nigeria’ and Law and Land Rights in Nigeria. He is the current editor of the Journal of Private and Property Law, and the Federation Weekly Law Reports, amongst others. He has numerous articles in learned journals to his credit.
He is also Principal Partner and Head-of-Chambers of Wole Smith and Co, a law firm with head office in Lagos. He was engaged as a Consultant to four UK firms of solicitors to give expert advice on various areas of English Law including Property and Commercial Law; Corporate Law; and International Commercial Arbitration between 1995 and 2006. He has consulted both at home and abroad on Private and Property Law cases; running of in-house training programs for firms of Solicitors in International Commercial Arbitration.
He has been in active practice in the areas of International Commercial Arbitration and general ADR and has Participated in over eighteen (18) different International Commercial Arbitration proceedings as Counsel.
Professor smith is married with children.
“Woe betides any lawyer that would tell a client, ‘give me some money to give a judge.’ I cannot say I have not heard it; but it is alien to our practice in my chambers. A lawyer must be sure-footed and creative. He must be a doctor, a psychologist; he must be the melting pot of all the professions. Above all, he must be close to God and always ask for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. If God gives you wisdom, your opponents and adversaries will say you are cutting corners of using juju.” Wole Olanipekun SAN
His gait is respectable, his carriage magisterial. He is a wordsmith and prolific essayist at the same time. What he lacks in his Spartan physique he ampfully gains in his gargantuan brain and incisive intellectual acumen.
Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN literally eats, drinks, swallows, digests, dreams and romances law, with the passion with which a butterfly hogs flowers’ nectar. As a social critic, he fights executive impunity. He loathes oppression and repression. He battles court cases frontally, like an incensed bulldog. He is dreaded by opposing counsel, respected by judges and adulated by clients. A towering, iconic legal prodigy, this detribalized pan-Nigerian is a legal and jurisprudential phenomenon.
Chief Olanipekun SAN obtained his LLB from the University of Lagos. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School for his BL and thereafter was called to the Nigerian Bar.
He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1991 at the age of 39 years old, the youngest in his confirmation year. He has held and still hold several key positions and plays very significant roles in the legal profession in Nigeria and beyond. He is a Life Bencher in Nigeria and was the 20th National President of the Nigerian Bar Association between 2002 to 2004. Chief Olanipekun was former Attorney General of Ondo State and Vice President (West Africa) of the Pan African Law Union.
He has, amongst others, at different times been a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, Council of Legal Education, General Council of the Bar, Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, Council of both the International Bar Association and Commonwealth Lawyers Association and served on different Committees for the reform of the Legal Profession in Nigeria.
Over the last three decades, Chief Olanipekun has been involved as lead counsel in many high profile cases across various sectors of the Nigerian economy as well as landmark constitutional and statutory enforcement cases including acting as lead Counsel to three Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is a much sought after speaker at various legal and non-legal fora, such that he has accepted speaking engagements with presentations on topical issues totaling a number in three digits. At the celebration of two decades of his attainment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a compilation of a selection of some of his presentations and speeches was published in two volumes.
Chief Olanipekun was Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Ibadan (the first University to be established in Nigeria) and is presently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Ajayi Crowther University. He was formerly a member of the Governing Council of the University of Ado, Ekiti State, Nigeria and is an Associate Law lecturer in a few Universities in Nigeria. He holds the National Honour of Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and has been awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Ibadan.
He is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has been invited severally by the Supreme Court of Nigeria as Amicus Curiae in respect of complex issues of law.
Hairat Balogun is the founder and senior partner at Libra Law. She has a distinguished legal career spanning well over 50 years in various practice areas.
Called to the English Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1963, Hairat was appointed the first female Attorney General of Lagos State, the first female General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association and first female Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Nigeria.
Hairat is a life Bencher of the Body of Benchers, a former National Executive Member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), an Assessor, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Disciplinary Tribunal and Investigating Panel and was a Member of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission. She was also a Member of the Governing Council of Lagos State University, and she has been a Member of the Council of the Section on General Practice of the International Bar Association (IBA).
She has an impressive ability to adapt to societal and legal changes both nationally and internationally; and over the years her work has been recognised internationally.
A holder of the Officer of the Order of the Niger, (a national honour), Hairat is also member and life member of various associations and has authored two books.
She is a legal luminary!
Jonathan Babatunde Majiyagbe, S.A.N, OFRis the Principal Partner of JB Majiyagbe & Co a law firm with offices in Kano and Abuja. He has practiced law for over 30 years.
JB Majiagba SAN obtained his law degree from the University of London. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales (Honourable Society of the Middle Temple) and a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1980.
Majiyagbe SAN is a former member of the Body of Benchers; Past Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association; member of the International Bar Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also a former member of the Interim Judicial Service Committee, Kano State and the Editorial board of the Journal of Nigeria Law.
In 2003, Majiagbe SAN made history by becoming the first African to be appointed the Worldwide President of Rotary International, a one-hundred years old humanitarian service organization with over 1.2 million members and in 2008 made history again by being appointed the Chairman of its Board of Trustees.
He is a former Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Kano, the Chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Kano Branch, a Notary Public and Coroner for Kano State.
In 2008, Jonathan was awarded national honours – Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Jonathan is a very experienced and highly regarded lawyer.
Professor Fidelis Oditah QC, SAN has practiced law in the last two decades. He was called to both the English and Nigerian Bars and practices in a broad range of areas. He is the Principal Partner of Fidelis Oditah & Co.
Professor Oditah QC, SAN was Born in Nigeria on 27 March, 1964, the son of a Head Teacher. He attended Federal Government College Warri, where he graduated with a distinction. In 1984, at the age of 20 he graduated from the University of Lagos with a first-class in law and won 12 of the 13 prize awards. The following year he graduated with the highest first-class honours awarded by the Nigerian Law School. He won a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at Magdalene College, Oxford University. At Oxford, Professor Oditah obtained a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1987 and a Doctor of Philosophy of Law in 1989, completing his thesis in two years. Professor Oditah was admitted to the famous Lincoln Inn in 1992. He was awarded a QC, Queen’s Counsel by the English Bar in 2003, and subsequently became a, Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2004. He is also a Professor of Law at Oxford University.
.Professor Oditah’s career began in 1985 when he undertook his National Youth Service Scheme at the Nigerian Law School where he worked as a lecturer until August 1986. He taught corporate finance, corporate insolvency, company law, contracts and trusts for many years in Oxford University, England before going into full time commercial practice. He has an extensive legal practice in Nigeria and UK. His practice area includes Company Law, Capital Markets, Corporate Finance, Asset-based financing, Projects, Financial Services, Banking and Commercial Arbitration. He has acted and/or advised on virtually all major corporate insolvencies in the UK . In Nigeria, his practice encompasses energy, projects, corporate and general commercial law. He has advised and acted for the Federal Government of Nigeria in a number of the most significant energy and power matters, and for many large and medium sized companies.
Professor Oditah was a Fellow and Tutor in Law at Merton College, Oxford and Travers Smith Braithwaite Lecturer in Corporate Finance Law at Oxford from 1989 until 1997.
He has authored many books and learned articles in periodical journals, but his best known publication is probably Legal Aspects of Receivables Financing, published in 1991, a leading text in its field, which is an expanded version of his doctoral thesis. He was also the founding editor of Company, Financial and Insolvency Law Review.
Professor Oditah is a man of many attributes, his contribution toward academic empowerment per excellence accounted for Oditah Foundation at Oxford University. He was also given the award of the best achieving student based on his outstanding professional achievements and the precision with which he went about it by the University of Lagos.
He was the founding editor of Company, Financial and Insolvency Law Review. He is the President of the Nigerian Branch of the International Law Association.
He also served as a consultant to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law from 1995 until 1999 and was the President of the African Users Council of The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), a member of court (governing council) of the LCIA, a member of the Board of Trustees of Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy (FIAA).
He is a member of the Editorial Board of Insolvency Lawyer, a member of the Chancery and Commercial Bar Associations and was a member of the Financial Law Panel Working Group on E-Commerce between 1999 and 2002.
Professor Oditah is married with four children.
Chief (Mrs.) A. J. Offiah, SAN is a legal luminary of over 38 years experience in legal practice. She is the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria from the south-east and a member of the body of benchers, Chief Mrs. Offiah has demonstrated remarkable degree of hard work, honesty and integrity in the legal profession.
She obtained her Senior School Certificate from Queens College Enugu and proceeded to the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu Campus where she obtained her LLB in 1977. She attended the Nigerian Law School Lagos and was called to bar in 1978. After her call to bar, she proceeded to Akure, Ondo State for her Youth Service Corps Programme. In 2003, she was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and remains the only female SAN from the South Eastern Nigerian. In 2006 she was made a member of the body of benches.
Chief Mrs. Offiah SAN she has over 38 years of experience in legal practice. She began her career in 1979 during her service year in Ondo state where she worked with the Ondo State Ministry of Justice. After her service, she returned to Enugu to set up her private practice. She has consistently served Nigeria in various ways and under various appointments and positions. She was a member of the Anambra State Law Reporting Committee and Chairman of the Anambra State Local Government Election Tribunal, Onitsha Zone. In 1994 she became the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Enugu State under the Military regime. In 1989 She was made Chairman of the State Local Government Election Tribunal Enugu Zone.
In the year 2007 to 2015, Chief Mrs. Offiah SAN facilitated the Enugu State Justice Reform team, aimed at delivering transparent, affordable and Independent Justice System in the state. She further advocated the electronification of judicial adjudication, and building of better chambers in the state to fast track judicial administration. In July 2014, Chief Mrs. Offiah commissioned the Witness Support Unit at the Enugu High Court.
She was a member of the committee on Revision of Enugu State High Court Rules and chaired the Enugu State Chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), from 1998-2002. She is a founding member of the Happy Home Foundation. She is an Honourary Member of the Women’s Board – Educational Cooperation Society. A passionate advocate for the protection of women with regards to law and culture and has presented several papers on the right of women.
Chief (Mrs.) A. J. Offiah, SAN, belongs to a number of learned and professional bodies both national and international. She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and a former Branch Chairman of NBA. member International Bar Association (IBA); Nigerian representative of the committee coordinating the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA). Chairperson, Audit Committee of the NBA and the Chairperson of the NBA Disciplinary Committee of Enugu State. She is also the first vice Chairperson of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL).
Chief Mrs. Offiah is happily married with Children
She is an excellent Legal Luminary!
Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun is a Professor of Environmental Law and the Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU). Until his appointment, he was the Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, (NIALS) University of Lagos and the Principal Partner of RouQ and Company Legal Advisory Services a thriving law firm in Ikoyi Lagos.
Professor Fagbohun was born in Akesan, Alimosho, Local government area of Lagos State, southwestern Nigeria. He is the son of the Alakesan of Akesan, Oba Gbadewolu Ogedengbe Abayomi Fagbohun and the crown prince of Akesan. He had his early formal education at the Local Authority Primary School Agege and proceeded to Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi, Lagos where he obtained the West African Senior School Certificate. Thereafter, he attended the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University where he obtained his LL.B degree in 1987. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School where he obtained his B.L and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1988. He later proceeded to the University of Lagos where he earned a master’s degree in law and later returned to Obafemi Awolowo University where he received a doctorate degree in law. During his doctoral program, he received a Postgraduate diploma in International Tax Law from Robert Kennedy College, Switzerland.
Professor Fagbohun joined the Faculty of Law of the Lagos State University (LASU) as an Assistant Lecturer in January 1991. He rose through the ranks and by the year 2004, he was appointed Associate Professor. As a resourceful and diligent faculty member in LASU, he taught various courses including Commercial Law, Law of Insurance and Environmental Law at the undergraduate level, and International Economic law, Law and Economic Development and Environmental Law and Policy at the postgraduate level. Professor Fagbohun, was one of those whose untiring efforts led to research activities in, and the development of the curriculum for the teaching of environmental law as a young discipline in many Nigerian Universities.
At different times, he served as a member of Senate of the Lagos State University; Head of Department of Business Law and later Department of Private and Property Law; Coordinator, Law Centre; Coordinator of the Department of Environmental Law and Allied Disciplines of the Centre for Environment and Science Education of the Lagos State University, and was, for several years, the Editor-in-Chief of the LASU Law Journal. Professor Fagbohun also served on various committees of the Faculty of Law, the University, and the University Senate. Following his satisfactory Annual Performance Report for 2007/2008 Session, and the report of the Appointments and Promotions (Academic) Committee, the Lagos State University appointed him a Professor in 2010, Professor Fagbohun joined the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) following a head-hunt. At NIALS, he taught Advanced Environmental Law and Policy, and Advanced Legal Methods and Research to postgraduates students. He also served in various capacities including: Editor, the Nigerian Current Law Review; Editor, NIALS Journal of Environmental Law; Head of Department of the Postgraduate School; Member, Academic Board of the Postgraduate School; Chairman Convocation Planning Committee; Chairman, Review of Conditions and Scheme of Service; Member of Management; Director of Studies, and Director of Research (the position he held before his appointment as Vice-Chancellor). He has also served as member and Chairman of different committees. In November 2012, Professor Fagbohun on account of his significant contribution to scholarship and research in environmental law was awarded the Chike Idigbe Distinguished Professor of Law Chair by NIALS.
Professor Fagbohun has provided leadership in different capacities at state, federal and international levels. He served at different times as Project Facilitator and Resource Person to the Nigerian Bar Association; British Council; Committee on Ecology and Environment of the House of Representatives and Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; United Nations Development Programme; National Judicial Council; and several Non-Governmental Organisations. He was a member of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) Technical Advisory Committee on Environmental Management and Control(Downstream Oil and Gas Sector); formerly member, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission; Member, Expert Group for Development of Climate Change Policy and Legislation for the Federal Republic of Nigeria; National Consultant, Law and Policy for the Establishment of Project Baseline in Relation to Conservation of Globally Important Biodiversity in Nigeria; and formerly Chairman, Lagos State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal.
Professor Fagbohun is currently the Vice- Chairman, African Regional Forum of the International Bar Association (IBA); Regional Representative, Africa, Environment Health and Safety Committee of the IBA; Member, Regional Academic Network on IT policies with base at the American University, Cairo; member, Environmental Law Lecturers in African Universities; and member, Board of Trustee, Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership. He was a member of the IBA 18-man Special Expert Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights. The Task Force is currently working on implementing the recommendations contained in the 185-page strategic report which it put together over a period of two years. Professor Fagbohun serves as a member of the editorial board of various journals and also chairs a number of editorial advisory boards.
Professor Fagbohun has served as external examiner of Master’s and Doctoral theses for a number of Universities both in and outside Nigeria including the Nelson R. Mandela School, University of Fort Hare in South Africa; and the Netherlands, and University of Amsterdam. He has also served as external assessor for a number of universities in Nigeria in relation to appointment of candidates into the Professorial cadre. He has acted in the United Kingdom and United States of America as expert adviser on Nigerian Law; and also served as Law and Policy Expert, Think 20 Summit/Global Policy Dialogue Platform Conference on Sustainable Development.
Professor Fagbohun’s research efforts has produced numerous publications which in the last 20 years has focused on issues of sustainable development, sustainable livelihood, environmental protection, law and governance, and the environmental rights of indigenous groups. In addition to his extensive publications in peer reviewed (local and International) journals, he has co-edited 8 books and wholly authored a book titled “The Law of Oil Pollution and Environmental Restoration: A Comparative Review”. He has delivered more than fifty-five (55) invited/commissioned papers at different meetings within and outside Nigeria. His research projects have attracted both domestic and foreign funding from State Governments; the Federal Government; the South African Government through the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville Campus; the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme; the World Bank; the United Nations Development Programme, the UK Department for International Development; the Global Environment Facility; the International Bar Association; and the private sector in Nigeria.
Professor Fagbohun is a member of several academic and professional bodies, and a fellow of a number of national and international institutions. He is a member of the Association of Law Teachers; Member Nigerian Bar Association; Member International Bar Association; Member Nigerian Environmental Law Society; Member Association of International Petroleum Negotiators; Fellow Salzburg Global Seminar Australia; Member African Academy on Legal Theory Namibia.
He has been honoured with several awards including distinguished personality awards; distinguished speaker awards; distinguished achievements and excellence in the field of environmental law awards; distinguished teacher and mentor awards; and dedicated service to humanity awards among others.
Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun is married and blessed with three children
Professor Fagbohun is an exceptional Legal Luminary!
DNL Legal and Style Luminary Profile; Celebrating Legal Icons
PROFESSOR FABIAN IKENNA AJOGWU, SAN, FCIARB LL.B (HONS.), B.L., LL.M, MBA, PH.D. (LAW) (ABERDEEN)
Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN has practiced law for over two decades and is currently a professor of Corporate Governance at Lagos Business School and has authored several books and numerous papers published in professional Journals.
Professor Ajogwu, SAN was born to Dr. Michael Ezeugwu Ajogwu, SAN and Mrs. Caroline Ajogwu on 23rd June, 1970. He attended the University of Nigeria Primary School, Nsukka, St. Louis School, Kano and Federal Government College, Kano. He obtained his first degree in Law (LL.B) from the University of Nigeria, his BL from the Nigerian Law School and was called to bar in 1991. He has a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M) from the University of Lagos, an MBA from IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain, and a Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) from University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is an Alumnus of the Said Business School of Oxford University, and an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School. He is a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria at the age of 39.
Professor Ajogwu SAN is the founding Partner of the law firm of Kenna Partners. He has well over two decades of law practice experience in the field of Foreign Direct Investments and Corporate Restructuring in the Financial Services sector, and Natural Resources sector; including Litigation and Arbitration in related fields. He has been lead Counsel to the Federal Government of Nigeria in several cases of national importance with emphasis on banking and financial services; and energy sectors among others. Professor Ajogwu has numerous landmark cases to his credit He chairs a number of companies including ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited, Novare entities in Nigeria, and previously chaired the Board of LEAP Africa (a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people). He has served as Honorary Counsel to the State of Israel in Nigeria, Venezuela, and the Republic of South Africa in Nigeria. Professor Ajogwu assisted the Securities and Exchange Commission in drafting Nigeria’s pioneer Code of Corporate Governance. He chaired the Nigerian Communications Commission Committee on Corporate Governance that produced the 2014 NCC Code of Corporate Governance for the Telecommunications Sector and had been involved in advocacy in matters related to Corporate Governance Regulation. He was a member of the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Police.
Professor Ajogwu SAN is a member of the General Council of the Bar (a creation of statute) of Nigeria, and a member of the Council of Legal Education (Nigerian Law School) as the distinguished legal author nominee. He is a member of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, Lagos Court of Arbitration, a member of the London Court of International Arbitration, a member of the Legal Research Society, School of Law, University of Aberdeen. He is also one of the Vice Presidents of the Lagos Court of Arbitration.
Professor Fabian Ajogwu SAN has written over 15 books, published numerous articles in peer-reviewed academicand professional journals, and developed case studies and technical notes used at a number of School’s programs. His current research interests include professional ethics, mergers and acquisitions, and arbitration of commercial disputes. He teaches Business Law at the Lagos Business School, and also a Senior Instructor at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria, where he chairs the Professional Training & Examination. Professor His latest book ‘Ship Acquisition & Finance: Law & Practice’ is set to be publish sometime in June, 2017.
Professor Ajogwu is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, and chairs the Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch. He is fellow, African Leadership Initiative West Africa, Henry Crown Global Leadership Fellowship, Aspen Institute; Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria; Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria; Center for Commercial Law Development, Nigeria; Member, Nigerian Institute of Management and Nigerian Society for International Law. He has the Hon. Justice Kayode Eso award for Excellence, Nigerian Institute of Arbitrators award; Lagos Business School Alumni Association President’s award; Lagos Business School Alumni Association President’s award.
Member, Committee on Decorum, Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria; Founding Director, Nigerian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce; Founding Director, Nigerian-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce; Secretary, Governing Council, Pan-African University; Board Secretary, African Development Foundation; Advisory Board Member, Enterprises Development Centre (EDC); Founder, Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria; Formerly Chairman, LEAP Africa; Director, AIFA Reading Society; Member, Oxford Business Alumni Network, Said Business School, Oxford University; Member, University of Aberdeen Alumni Association; Member, Lagos Business School Alumni Association; Member, University of Lagos Alumni Association and Member, University of Nigeria Alumni Association.
Professor Ajogwu SAN is married and blessed with three adorable sons
Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN is an exceptional Legal Luminary!
89 years old Pa Tunji Gomez (aka It’s a Matter of Conscience) is a Bar Leader, Veteran Activist and Life Bencher who has practiced law for 56 years.
Pa Gomez was born in 1928 to the Doherty and Gomez family of Lagos State. He was raised in Lagos and attended CMS Grammar School, Abeokuta Grammar school and entered Kings College Lagos in 1944. He led the 1948 strike at Kings College which turned around the fortunes and prestige of the school. It was in the process of defended the case filed against the students who led the strike action in Kings College that he was influenced to study law by the European lawyer, Mr. Alex Taylor who represented the students of Kings college in court pro bono.
Pa Gomez was called to bar in England in 1961. Upon his return from England, he joined the Firm of M. A Odesanya & Co where he had his pupilage with the likes of Simon Olakunle SAN and Fola Shasegbon before setting up his own practice. As a junior, Gomez was in the team of lawyers that defended late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in his trial in the celebrated treasonable felony case of 1962.
Pa Gomez has been an activist and a very outspoken lawyer. He was the first lawyer to ever take the military Government to court in the famous case of Madam Shapara vs. Lagos State Government.
He is the Chairman and lead protagonist of the group “Movement for the Abolition of SAN”. In August 2009 during the Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference, held in Lagos, Pa Tunji Gomez moved a motion, for the abolishment of the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in the legal profession a motion which raised and has continued to raise divergent opinion in the profession. He eventually went to court seeking an order of court to declare as null and void, section 5.1 of the Legal Practitioners Act and the Legal Practitioners Rules which established and regulates the award of SAN.
In 2013 he represented about 5 lawyers against the NBA over the alleged increase in lawyers’ practicing fee. He is also among those agitating for a better welfare for young lawyers.
Pa Gomez is a yoga expert and has remained very active and strong even at his age.
Gentlemen, Pa Gomez is a Veteran Luminary!!!!
Mrs. Anthonia Titilola Akinlawon SAN is a consummate advocate of great repute and one of the few female senior advocates of Nigeria
Mrs. Akinlawon SAN was born in Lagos. She had her Primary Education at the African Church Princess Girls School at Abule-Oja, Yaba, Lagos from 1965-1970. She proceeded from the said Primary School to Egbado College in Ilaro, Ogun State for her Secondary Education from 1971-1975. Later, she moved to Methodist Girls High School from 1975-1977 where she obtained her Higher School Certificate. She obtained her LLB from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos from 1977-1980 and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School for her bar qualifying exams in the same year and was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 11th of July, 1981. She obtained her Masters Degree (LLM) from the University of Lagos in September 1983 and was elevated to the rank of a Senior Advocate in August, 2011 (although backdated to 2010)
Titi began her career as a lecturer in Law at the Kwara State College of Technology where she was deployed for her one year compulsory National Youth Service. She was also a Pupil Counsel in the firm of Wole Olanipekun & Co between 1981 and 1982. In June 1982 she joined the Law Firm of M.I. Jegede & Co as an associate and rose to become a Partner in the Firm in 1997. Mrs. Akinlawon SAN disengaged from the law firm of M.I Jegede & Co in March 2001 to set up the Law Firm of Akinlawon & Ajomo in partnership with Mr. Ibukunoluwa Ajomo. The law firm is specialized in Litigation firm,
As a specialist in Litigation she has handled matters in various areas of law ranging from Labour Law to International Law, Family Law, Commercial Law, Taxation, Contract, Land Law and Election Petition in various court hierarchy in Nigeria .
Mr. Akinlawon SAN is a Member of the Nigerian Bar Association; Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) and International Bar Association (IBA). She is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN).
She has presented several papers at several Nigeria Bar Association Conferences from “Rights of Women and Children” to “Future of Legal practice in Nigeria in the 21st Century”, “Review of Adoption Laws in Nigeria”, “Legalism of same sex marriage” etc.
She also has some publications to her credit which include:-
Divorce Law in Nigeria, A Legal Practitioner’s Viewpoint’ being a chapter in the book ‘Right of Women and Children in Divorce’ Edited by Ajayi & Toyin Ipaye and published by (Friedrich Ebert Foundation) in September 1996.
Supreme Court Conundrum: Review of the Supreme Court Decision in Owena Bank V. SCC/NSC;” Published in Quarterly Review of Politics Economics & Society Vol. 1 No 2 in December 1997.
Taxing Powers in Nigeria – Time for a new approach, Modern Practice Journal of Finance & Investment Law – April 1999.
Synopsis of a Public Lecture on Wills and Succession Titled: “Speaking from the Grave” – May 2010.
Mrs. Akinlawon SAN is married to Mr. Anthony Akinlawon and they are married with children
Gentlemen, Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon SAN is a formidable Legal Luminary!!!!
Professor Taiwo Adetayo Ibitola Osipitan is learned Professor of Law and erudite Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He combines lecturing and active legal practice.
Prof Osipitan started his formal education at Olivet Baptist High School Oyo, in Oyo State and later enrolled for a 2year A-level Programme after his GCE. He obtained his Bachelors of Law and Letters (LL.B. (HONS)) between 1977 to 1980 from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State and attended the Nigerian Law School in 1981, where he distinguished himself by winning the Justice Somolu Memorial Prize for the best Student in Civil Procedure. He obtained a Masters of Law degree, with Distinction from the London School of Economics & Political Science, London, England in 1982 and became a Professor of Public Law in October 1998 at the University of Lagos Akoka Lagos Nigeria. In 2002, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In 1983, Professor Osipitan was appointed Lecturer II at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos and has lectured there for over 34 years. He was at various times a Part-time Lecturer at the Lagos State University, Ojo, where he taught Insurance Law and Law of Evidence as well as at the Faculty of Law, Ogun State University, where he lectured in Law of Evidence.
Professor Osipitan is seasoned litigator and has special interest in Commercial and Civil Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Mediation and Negotiation. He leads Bayo Osipitan & Co, a law firm with office in Lagos State and has successfully handled several high profile cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Professor Osipitan, SAN, was also the Special Adviser on Legal and Constitutional Matters to the Chief of General Staff and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from July 1988 up till May 1999. He is the Chairman of UNILAG Consult Management Board (UCMB). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria.
Prof. Osipitan’s inaugural Lecture delivered in 2004 on the topic ‘An Autochthonous Constitution for Nigeria; Myth or Reality’ remains a leading authority in decided precedents in constitution making in Nigeria. As a renowned Scholar Professor Osipitan has written several articles and papers which have been published in various books and (law) journals. He has more than 50 scholarly publications to his credit.
Prof. Osipitan was born to Chief Bayo Osipitan and late Mrs. Modupe Olayinka Osipitan. Prof. has a twin sister Prof. (Mrs.) Kehinde Olayinka a Professor of Analytical/ Environmental Chemistry at University of Lagos. He is married to Mrs. Peju Osipitan and they are blessed with three children ‘Sola, ‘Konyin and ‘Yerni Osipitan.
Gentlemen, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan is a humble and formidable Legal Luminary!!!!
Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali, SAN was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983 and has has been in active legal practice for over three decades.
He started his early education in a local Quranic school before proceeding to a formal school in 1960. He obtained his School Certificate with Grade1 from Boys High School, Ibadan and proceeded to study law at the University of Ife where he graduated with 2nd Class Upper Division in 1982. He was winner of the prestigious Federal Merit Award for undergraduates and a University Scholar while an undergraduate at Ife. He attended the Nigerian Law School, where he also passed with a 2nd Class Upper Division. About a decade after graduation, precisely in 1991, he obtained an LLM from his alma mater. In 1989 he became a Notary Public and in 1997 he was conferred with the prestigious title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Yusuf Ali worked briefly as a clerical officer in the old Oyo Sate Ministry of Finance as a tax officer posted to Igboora in 1977 shortly before he gained admission to the higher institution. After his call to bar, he joined the law Firm of Adegboyega Awomolo & Co in 1983 and rose to become a partner in the firm. In June 1994 he left the firm to establish his own law firm. He is the Principal Partner of Yusuf O. Ali & Co, Ghalib Chambers, a law firm with head office in Ilorin and branches in Lagos and Abuja.
Yusuf Ali, SAN is a member of Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association; among others. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (FCIArb) (UK); Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) (Nigeria); Member Chartered Institute of Taxation Nigeria (CITN); Fellow Society for Peace Studies and Practice (FSPSP); Fellow Dispute Resolution Institute (F. DRI)
Yusuf Ali SAN has also served and is still serving on boards of many Companies and Institutions. He was the Chairman Kwara State Law Reform Committee. He is a member of the Board of Trustee of Al-Hikmah University Ilorin. He is the Chairman Council of Public Defenders Kwara state. He is the Chairman Board of Directors Apex Microfinance Bank Ltd.
He held and still holds many professional offices including: Sole Judge of the Kwara State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal 1996; Member Kwara State Local Government Election Appeal Tribunal 1997; Life Member, Body of Benchers; Member National Executive Committee, Nigerian Bar Association; Former Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Nigerian Bar Journal; Former Chairman of the NBA Committee on the Rule Of Law; Pioneer Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Legal Practice (SLP); Pioneer Chairman of the NBA Anti-corruption Commission; News Letter Editor International Bar Association Committee on Damages and Negligence; Member of Council, Commonwealth Lawyers Association; Member Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers; He is the Vice Chairman of the International Bar Association committee on Damages and Negligence; He is a member of the NBA Ilorin Council of Elders; He was co-opted into the Council of the University of Ilorin in 1995 to probe the bursary of that university; He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the ILORIN Central Mosque and Chairman Alanu Trust Fund of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.
Mr. Yusuf Ali SAN is an Associate Lecturer, at the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin. He has delivered more than Two Hundred papers on different topics at various forums, including; the International Bar Association Conferences, Commonwealth Law Association conferences , Annual Conferences of the Nigerian Bar Association, among others.
He has contributed more than 17 Chapters to various legal books and has to his credit more than 40 published learned articles in learned journals in the field of litigation, Commercial Law, jurisprudence , practice and procedure, constitutional law in local and international law journals. He has recently published the book “Anatomy of corruption in Nigeria”.
Yusuf Ali has been conferred with several honours within and outside of Nigeria. Some of his awards includes: Lifetime Achievement Award by the Governing Board of Editors of the American Biographical Institute; West Africa International Golden Award for Excellence in Enterprise; Award of Excellence as a Doyen of Legal Luminary in Nigeria by Nigerian Vogue; Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award of 2010 Africa Legal Icon by All Africa Students’ Union; Award by the NBA Women Forum for Immense Contribution and Activities to the Forum; Police Friendly Award 2009 by the KWARA State Police Command; Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award on Education Per Excellence/Icon of Societal Development by the West African Students’ Union; Commander of Great IFE , (COI) by the OBAFEMI Awolowo university national Alumni; Honorary Degree of Doctor Of Letters (Honoris Causa) of Al HIKMA University . Mallam Yusuf has over one hundred 100 awards.
Passionate about philanthropy, Yusuf Ali founded and is the sole financier of YUSUF ALI FOUNDATION. Through this foundation, he has contributed in many public institutions by donating: a Twin Dormitory to the University of Ilorin; an Eighty bed Hostel to the Osun State University; a Ten Bed Advanced Trauma Centre to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital; thirty unit ICT center to the Faculty of Law Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife; thirty unit ICT center to the College of Law, Crescent University Abeokuta Ogun State; endowment of the Crescent University College of Law Building; forty unit ICT center to the Kwara state polytechnic , Ilorin; A brand new Kia Rio 2014 Model to the University of Ibadan for the use of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the university.
He has also donated a well equipped patrol van and units of motorcycles to the Kwara State police command amongst other individual charities such as award of scholarships to indigent students in secondary and tertiary institutions both in Nigeria and outside, provision of wells and boreholes to communities, medical financial assistance to patients both within the country and outside and the development of literary awareness in secondary schools all over the country by entering into an annual sponsorship with the Association of Nigerian Authors.
Yusuf Ali SAN is a devout Muslim and a model father. He lost his wife in 2004 and has played the role of a father and mother well. He is blessed with four children and two grand children.
Gentlemen, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu SAN is a formidable Legal Luminary!!!!