The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi has revealed how he was attracted to legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola.
According to Oba Adeyemi, in a recent interview, senior advocate who is the proprietor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, has been his solicitor and bosom friend of more than 40 years.
The monarch revealed how the legal titan, who he installed the Aare Bamofin of Yorubaland, “has over the years been in the legal trenches together with me from one litigation to another and recorded success in all of them. Are Babalola is a high chieftaincy title holder of Oyo. He bears the title so well and has taken it to greater heights in terms of popularity and recognition. It was actually bestowed on him in recognition of his gargantuan stature as a lawyer and his solid credentials as a Yoruba and Omoluabi.
“He is one of the best lawyers that have given the Yoruba people that leverage over other ethnic groups in the entire world. He is a first class legal luminary whose life is all about law. When you engage him in intellectual discussions, you would see how deep he is. He knows all that needs to be known in law. His confidence is boosted by his competence,” extolled.
Recalling one of the major cases he handled for him, he explained: “When I wanted to install the late Aare Ona Kakanfo, Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola in 1988, before then I had announced that whoever felt he deserved it more than Abiola, a philanthropist of note, should come forward. Nobody came forward but the government of the day, the military with their power was not comfortable. The matter became a subject of litigation. Are Afe Babalola swung into action. It was at six in the evening of the day preceding the installation that the court ruled in favour of the installation. It is difficult for anyone to ignore Are Babalola’s academic distinction and contribution to the phenomenal expansion of access to higher education through the establishment of and proprietorship of the fastest growing private university in sub-Saharan Africa, the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti. He is a public intellectual par excellence and I cannot claim to know his subject more than he does.
“Are Afe Babalola is a diligent and brilliant scholar of law, a hardworking jurist, a living encyclopedia of rules of court and master of the techniques of legal rigmarole. He is indeed a first class practitioner of his jurisprudential and philosophical thought on law and education respectively, he added.