Legal Luminary Profile – Chief Wole Olanipekun, OFR, SAN

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Wole Olaonipekun

“Woe betides any lawyer that would tell a client, ‘give me some money to give a judge.’ I cannot say I have not heard it; but it is alien to our practice in my chambers. A lawyer must be sure-footed and creative. He must be a doctor, a psychologist; he must be the melting pot of all the professions. Above all, he must be close to God and always ask for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. If God gives you wisdom, your opponents and adversaries will say you are cutting corners of using juju.” Wole Olanipekun SAN

His gait is respectable, his carriage magisterial. He is a wordsmith and prolific essayist at the same time. What he lacks in his Spartan   physique he ampfully gains in his gargantuan brain and incisive intellectual acumen.

Chief  Wole Olanipekun SAN literally eats, drinks, swallows, digests, dreams and romances law, with the passion with which a butterfly hogs flowers’ nectar. As a social critic, he fights executive impunity. He loathes oppression and repression. He battles court cases frontally, like an incensed bulldog. He is dreaded by opposing counsel, respected by judges and adulated by clients. A towering, iconic legal prodigy, this detribalized pan-Nigerian is a legal and jurisprudential phenomenon.

Chief Olanipekun SAN obtained his LLB from the University of Lagos. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School for his BL and thereafter was called to the Nigerian Bar.

He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1991 at the age of 39 years old, the youngest in his confirmation year. He has held and still hold several key positions and plays very significant roles in the legal profession in Nigeria and beyond. He is a Life Bencher in Nigeria and was the 20th National President of the Nigerian Bar Association between 2002 to  2004. Chief Olanipekun was former Attorney General of Ondo State and Vice President (West Africa) of the Pan African Law Union.

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He has, amongst others, at different times been a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, Council of Legal Education, General Council of the Bar, Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, Council of both the International Bar Association and Commonwealth Lawyers Association and served on different Committees for the reform of the Legal Profession in Nigeria.

Over the last three decades, Chief Olanipekun has been involved as lead counsel in many high profile cases across various sectors of the Nigerian economy as well as landmark constitutional and statutory enforcement cases including acting as lead Counsel to three Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is a much sought after speaker at various legal and non-legal fora, such that he has accepted speaking engagements with presentations on topical issues totaling a number in three digits. At the celebration of two decades of his attainment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a compilation of a selection of some of his presentations and speeches was published in two volumes.

Chief Olanipekun was Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Ibadan (the first University to be established in Nigeria) and is presently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Ajayi Crowther University. He was formerly a member of the Governing Council of the University of Ado, Ekiti State, Nigeria and is an Associate Law lecturer in a few Universities in Nigeria. He holds the National Honour of Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and has been awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Ibadan.

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He is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has been invited severally by the Supreme Court of Nigeria as Amicus Curiae in respect of complex issues of law.

Appreciation:

Mike Ozekhome OFR SAN

Wole Olanipekun & Co.

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