The history of Nigeria’s judiciary will not be complete without the elegant mention of Aare Afe Babalola, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He transversed the country’s judiciary like a colossus, exhibiting brilliance and versatility.
Born in 1929 in Ado-Ekiti, Babalola attended Emmanuel Anglican Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, obtaining his First School Leaving Certificate in 1945. His subsequent education – London GCE O’ Level and A’ Level, BSc economics (1959) and LL.B (1963) at the University of London – was by private studies.
He got his professional diploma in Law in London, where he enrolled as a Solicitor and Advocate at the prestigious Lincoln Inn (1963).
Babalola started his practice in the Chambers of Ayoola Brothers in Ibadan, then founded Emmanuel Chambers (1965). His legal portfolio is full of historic cases, involving historic figures, blue-chip companies, global institutions and governments. He became SAN in 1987. Currently, President, Nigerian Institute of Arbitrators; fellow, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, FNIALS, and member, Legal Privileges Committee, which appoints Senior Advocates of Nigeria. He was for years a lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos and the Centre for African Law Development, Lagos.
Appointed Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Lagos in 2001, he restored order, stability and prestige and won the University of Lagos (UNILAG) the country’s Best University. He became Chairman of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors and twice voted Best Pro Chancellor for his contributions to UNILAG.
Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, ABUAD, which he founded in 2010, is adjudged “Africa’s Fastest Growing Private University” and “the pride of university system in Nigeria.” He merits the pioneer winner of The Sun Education Entreprenuer of the year award for 2018.