…As Justice Odili rejects NBA’s candidate Adekoya over from Chief Olanipekun SAN
By Ise-Oluwa Ige
The Body of Benchers on Thursday unanimously endorsed a respected silk and life bencher, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN as Vice Chairman of the body as the outgoing Chairman, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) hands over to Justice Mary Odili, who was until today his Vice Chairman.
The endorsement of Chief Awomolo (SAN) followed the outright rejection of Chief Mrs Funke Adekoya SAN who was nominated by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) had in a letter dated March 27, nominated Mrs Adekoya for the post.
The letter which was read at the meeting of BoB reads: “I am delighted to inform you that the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-NEC), at its meeting held on 23 March 2023, in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, unanimously approved the nomination of Mrs Funke Adekoya, SAN (Life Bencher) as the NBA representative for the position of Vice Chairman of the Body of Benchers upon the exit of the current Chairman, Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, CFR, SAN. A copy of the NBA-NEC resolution is attached for your reference;
“The nomination is in recognition of her impeccable record, exemplary conduct, and contributions to the development of the legal profession in Nigeria.
“NBA-NEC acknowledged the invaluable role she has played as a quintessential Bar leader who is always committed to raising the standard of legal practice and uniting the Bar. A copy of her Curriculum Vitae is attached;
“Kindly bring this nomination to the attention of the Chairman and members of the Body”.
But contrary to NBA’s nomination, an impeccable source told Vanguard that BoB adheres strictly to the rule of seniority as to admission into the body. It does not permit contests, lobbying, or jumping the gun.
“Everyone is expected to strictly wait for his or her time.
“The register is arranged strictly on the basis of seniority and is not subject to change.
This arrangement, according to the source close to the operations of the body is in line with its conservative nature, and standard of orderliness, distinction, and reputation expected of every member of the body.
At the meeting, the members unanimously endorsed Awomolo as Vice Chairman to take over from Mrs Odili on March 30, 2024.
The next in line is Chief Albert Akpomudje SAN, followed by Mrs Adekoya, Dr Olisa Agbakoba SAN, and Chief J.B Daudu SAN in that order.
Born to Pa Jacob Dare and Mama Felicia Asimawu Awomolo on Friday, September 17, 1947 at Orile-Ilogun in Egba Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State, the legal luminary hails from Igbajo in Boluwaduro Local Government Area of Osun State.
A versatile and amiable gentleman, Awomolo had his early education at St. James’ Primary School, Orile-Ilogun, between 1955 and 1960, before proceeding to the Egba Odeda Anglican Secondary School (modern school) from 1961 to 1963.
He attended Bamiyowa Evening School, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, where he studied and obtained the University of London General Certificate of Education, both ordinary and advanced levels.
He studied Law at then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, between 1974 and 1977; and attended the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, in 1978. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978.
In addition to his legal education, Awomolo, a devout Christian and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, attended the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho, between 2003 and 2004, where he obtained a Diploma Certificate.
A Life Bencher, Church Usher, Life Member of Full Gospel Business Men Fellowship, Eminent Chapter, Gwarinpa, Abuja; and Volunteer Legal Adviser to the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Awomolo had a unique and diverse work experience.
He started his working life with a firm of civil engineers, builders and contractors, Abdullahi and Awomolo Nigeria Limited, between 1965 and 1967, where he served at various building locations, including the University of Ibadan, as site assistant, records and stock keeper, among others.
He enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force, Signals Section, in 1967 and served till 1972.
From there, he worked in several other places in Ibadan, Ijebu-Ode and Enugu, then in the East Central Region.
He had a stint with the CSS Bookshop Limited, Ibadan, between 1972 and 1974, as sales representative covering Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States respectively.
He did his National Youth Service with the Kwara State Ministry of Justice, Ilorin, between 1978 and 1979 as a State Counsel.
After National Service, he became a Prosecutor in the Office of the Public Prosecutor under the late Alhaji S.B.A. Laaro, and Alhaji Saka Yusuf, later the Honourable Judge of Kano State, and Chief Judge of Kwara State.
He also acted as counsel defending less privileged and indigent defendants in the Legal Aid Council, Kwara State, where he traversed Ilorin, Lokoja, Okene and New Busa Judicial Divisions.
Between 1979 and 1983, Asiwaju Awomolo worked in the esteemed law firm of Tunji Arosanyin and Company in Ilorin, and traversed several jurisdictions in several states of Nigeria.
He supervised the design and construction of Destiny Building on Wahab Folawiyo Road, Ilorin, and moved the Chambers into the new structure.
Always thirsty for new challenges, Awomolo would foray into the academia, working briefly as a lecturer at Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin. He would later be appointed a part-time lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin.
Finally, he opened his law chambers, Adegboyega Awomolo and Co (Mosaic Chambers) at the popular Owoniboys House, 159, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Ilorin.
The respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria was appointed Life Member, Body of Benchers, by then Chief Justice of the Federation, the Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello.
He has been Member, Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria since 1992.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria, and Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the Ilorin Branch of the NBA, in 2016, appointed Awomolo Member, Board of Trustees, Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, a position he holds till date.
A consummate family man, Asiwaju Awomolo is happily married to Chief Mrs. Victoria Olufunmilayo Awomolo SAN are blessed with four God-fearing children and grandchildren.
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