Chief Oluwole Oladapo Olanipekun, SAN is a distinguished and outstanding jurisprudential pontiff, a world-acclaimed legal luminary and a statesman of great foresight.
Born on 18th November, 1951 at Ikere-Ekiti, he attended Amoye Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti, Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa, the University of Lagos and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos.
Early in life, he was a precocious, gifted and assiduous young man and this pedestalled his selection as the Senior Prefect of Amoye Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti in 1969. In 1971, he was also elected a school prefect, as well as the Chairman of the Students’ Representative Committee (Parliament) of Ilesa Grammar School. He was also the Editor-In-Chief of the School’s magazine, (The Spike), as well as the President of the Dramatic Society in 1971. He was elected the Secretary-General, University of Lagos Students’ Union between 1973 and 1974.
While he was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1976, he was conferred with the prestigious rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in July 1991 in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the advancement of the Legal Profession in Nigeria. By then, he was the youngest of all the Senior Advocates in Nigeria. He has also been a Notary Public since 1987.
Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN became the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in 2002. He displayed quintessential characteristics and took the Association to an enviable height. He exuded brilliancy, diligence, enthusiasm, industry, probity, conscientiousness and unparalleled patriotism to the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). Under him, NBA identified and stood for justice, rule of law, constitutionalism and with courage, opposed all forms of oppression, repression, brutality, ruthlessness and injustice. It was then the NBA became the conscience of the Nation and most Nigerians looked up to the Association for leadership and direction. As the President of the NBA, he personally led the legal team that defended the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) against the actions filed against the Congress by the Federal Government in the wake of the National resistance to the frequent fuel price increase by the Government. It was also during his time as the President of the NBA that the Association, for first time in history, established and inaugurated the new popular, widely accepted and acclaimed Business Law Section and the Section on Legal Practice.
Between 1991and 1993, he was appointed the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the then Ondo State. The highest body responsible for the governance of the Legal Profession, Body of Benchers appointed him a Life Bencher in January 2007. At various times, he has been a member of the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary the Chairman, Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (1999-2002), National Judicial Council Committee (1999-2002), National Judicial Council (2004-2006). He is also a member of the International Bar Association, where he served as a member of Council between 2002 and 2004, Commonwealth Layers’ Association (CLA), where he was appointed as a member of Council between 2004 and 2006. In 2003, he was appointed the vice President of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU).
He is the Principal Partner of the Law firm of Messrs Wole Olanipekun & Co., with the offices at Lagos, Abuja, Ilorin and Akure. His Legal Practice cuts across nearly all fields and areas of Law with particular emphasis on Constitutional Law, Banking, Business/Commercial Law, Land and Chieftaincy, Election and Electoral matters, Oil and Gas, Environmental Law, Arbitration, Maritime, Telecommunications, etc. He also engages in Transborder practice. He belongs to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
He practices and appears in Courts in nearly all the States of Nigeria. He also constantly appears in all the Divisions of the Court of Appeal in Nigeria, particularly Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Ilorin, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Abuja and Jos. He has been regularly appearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 1985.
Within the past seven years, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN has delivered more than 120 papers on Law, Economics, Politics, Literature and Corporate Governance in and out of the country and within and without several universities. He is always being bombarded with invitations from Universities, other higher institutions, corporate bodies, public institutions, governments at all tiers etc to deliver lectures on contemporary Legal, Political, Educational, Economic, Corporate and Social issues.
Recently, he spent about N7.5 million on indigent students of Ekiti State. From primary school to the University level, Olanipekun gave out money to assist the poor students in their academic pursuit.
He is presently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the university of Ibadan, the first Nigerian University. In further demonstration of his selflessness and altruism, Olanipekun has never collected a dime as sitting allowance as the chairman of UI governing council since his appointment in 2009. He has promised to use the money for scholarship for indigent but brilliant students of Medicine, Law and Computer Science. How else does a man show a concern for other people?
Those who know him intimately say he is a gift from God to humanity. Those who have been reading about him describe him as an epitome of kindness and humility. Yet some are still in search of appropriate epithets to capture his legendary positivism.
He is happily married and blessed with two boys and two girls, three of whom are Lawyers.
#Walking in the footsteps of Giants with Gbenga Asaolu~Eagleolu# Wole Olanipekun_May 4
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