|From left, chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Aare Afe Babalola and his wife, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Segun Mimiko and ex-governor of Ekiti Segun Oni|
Yesterday in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State; notable Nigerians showered encomiums on Chief Afe Bablola, (SAN) a legal icon and founder of Afe Babalola University, (ABUA) situated at Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State describing him as an epitome of excellence. It was at the event marking the 50th anniversary of Babalola’s legal practice in Nigeria.
Those who rained the encomium on the legal luminary include: former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, his Ekiti and Ondo States counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Olusegun Mimiko, traditional rulers and others. The occasion featured the formal inauguration of Emmanuel Chambers, the corporate headquarters of Afe Babalola’s law firm and a lecture delivered by former Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola at the Bar Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
President Goodluck Jonathan was also represented at the ceremony by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed Yola. The President noted that the legal luminary had served the country well as a legal practitioner and had thus become a living legend through his contributions to national development, especially his contributions to the evolution of the rule of law. According to the president, “Chief Afe Babalola has remained a pillar of support and inspiration to governance in Nigeria. He has left a legacy for posterity, especially through the instrumentality of education.”
Former President Obasanjo described Babalola as a legal icon who had also contributed immensely to the development of education in Nigeria. Governor Ajimobi lauded the contributions of Chief Babalola to the development of education and the legal profession saying, “he stands for excellence, perfection, affection, hard work, tenacity and he is a leader and fisher of good men. Those who you have produced as lawyers are now internationally-acclaimed legal practitioners,”
Both Governors Fayemi and Mimiko also described Chief Babalola as a hardworking personality who had succeeded in virtually everything he laid his hands one, particularly law and education.
They lauded his sense of accommodation, philanthropy and commitment to the well-being of the less privileged through his God-given endowment and resources.