A LONE CANDLE THAT ILLUMINATES ENTIRE KINGDOM
Chief Oluwole Oladapo Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is undoubtedly one of the leading and most successful legal giants in Nigeria as at today without being immodest. Names like Rotimi Williams, Gani Fawehinmi, Philip Umeadi, Clement Akpamgbo, GOK Ajayi and Sofola all of blessed memory would readily come to mind as the icons of Nigeria legal space in the past. While other great legal minds like Richard Akinjide who has voluntarily retired from the bar on account of old age and Afe Babalola who has found a new love in his flourishing ABUAD University have both yielded space to Wole Olanipekun in the legal firmament of the nation.
The recorded successes of Chief Oluwole Olanipekun in legal profession reflect a doting support of Almighty God which now makes the evident material blessing of the Ikere-Ekiti born lawyer appears infinitum as his name connotes. Chief Olanipekun has done too well as a lawyer not only for himself and family, but for several people that had crossed his path and particularly for his Ikere-Ekiti place of birth. He has practically become a fountain of blessings from which thousands of people now get their material and financial thirsts quenched. Wole Olanipekun has devoted time and committed huge resources into making lasting infrastructural impression in his Ikere-Ekiti place of birth. Himself and the wife have contributed most immensely to the infrastructural and educational development of Ikere-Ekiti. The have donated state of the Art ICT facility and awarded scholarships to quite a number of indigent but brilliant students of Ikere-Ekiti. Donations of other facilities have so far been made by Chief Olanipekun and his wife to Ikere Kingdom. Financial contributions of Olanipekun towards the development of his place of birth has remained unmatched till today. Little wonder he was recently conferred with the most prestigious title of Asiwaju of Ikere-Ekiti while his wife was honoured with the title of Erelu of Ikere-Ekiti. The titles conferred on the Olanipekuns by the Paramount Ruler of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado, Agirilala Ogbenuotesoro II, the Ogoga of Ikere Kingdom in appreciation of their uncommon and unmatched contributions towards the development and upliftment of the Kingdom. The fact of past contributions of Chief Olanipekun to Ikere-Ekiti and humanity in general has not dissuaded him from doing more.
The founder and principal partner of Wole Olanipekun&Co is by every measure of judgement a monumental success in the legal profession going by his uncommon brilliance and dexterity so far displayed in the legal practice. He has successfully handled quite a number of landmark constitutional, electoral and corporate cases in Nigeria. He successfully defended the petition against the electoral victory of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua up to the Apex court and had also helped several governors to reclaim their mandates from the Court of Appeal and up to the Supreme Court. Olanipekun has established himself as a colossus of some sorts in the Nigeria legal landspace. The indelible marks of the giant strides of Wole Olanipekun on the sands of time will forever remain in our memories both in Bench and Bar for a long time. He is evidently very passionate about Nigeria and he has never relented in lending his voice to the emancipation of the downtrodden. He has always been showing great concern by making frantic efforts to sensitize his colleagues and friends on the need to discuss pressing issues that are plaguing the Nigerian nation.
The living legal legend of Nigeria is a very dynamic and a man that is given to extreme hard work. He has overtime developed a midas touch which makes virtually everything attributed to him a success story. Chief Olanipekun is an enviable example of moral uprightness, principle and commitment to the uplifting of the economically disadvantaged through his relentless philanthropic gestures. He has a track record of the struggle to uplift the moral standards of the nation and tireless crusade against the exploitation of the poor by the rich in the Nigerian society. Chief Olanipekun has also taken it upon himself to consistently champion a dogged opposition to anti-masses policies of any government in power.
The irrepressible Oluwole Oladapo Olanipekun was born on 18 th November, 1951 at Ikere, in present day Ekiti State. He attended Amoye
Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti and Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesa for his secondary school education. He proceeded to the University of Lagos where he studied and obtained Bachelors Degree in Law. Olanipekun later attended the Nigerian Law School in Lagos where he obtained LL.B in Law.
The uncommon brilliance, precocious nature and sense of hard work of Wole Olanipekun saw him being chosen as the Senior Prefect of Amoye Grammar School, Ikere-Ekiti in 1969. He was again made a school prefect In 1971 at Ilesha Grammer School when he was again made a school prefect as well as the Chairman of the Students’ Representative Committee (Parliament) of the School. He was likewise the Editor-In-Chief of the School’s magazine, The Spike. Olanipekun was made the President of the Dramatic Society of Ilesha Grammer School in 1971. His oratory and writing gifts was him elected as the Secretary-General, University of Lagos Students’ Union between 1973 and 1974. Chief Wole worked tirelessly to get conferred with the prestigious rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in July 1991some fifteen years after he was called to the Nigerian Bar in July, 1976. He was obviously decorated with the apex title of the Nigerian Bar in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the advancement of the legal profession in Nigeria. Olanipekun was the youngest of all the Senior Advocates in Nigeria at the time of being conferred with the title. He has equally been a Notary Public since 1987.
Chief Wole Olanipekun was elected the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in 2002. He displayed quintessential leadership abilities that channeled a clear sense of direction for the Association and took it to an enviable height. While in office as President of the NBA, Chief Olanipekun displayed industry, enthusiasm, probity, diligence, conscientiousness and unparalleled patriotism. During his time, NBA identified and stood for justice, rule of law, constitutionalism and with courage, the Association opposed all forms of oppression, repression, brutality, ruthlessness and injustice. At the time, the NBA became the conscience of the nation and most Nigerians looked up to the Association for leadership, vision and direction. As the President of the NBA, Chief Wole Olanipekun 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 popular, widely accepted and acclaimed Business Law Section and the Section on Legal Practice.
Chief as he is popularly called by his admirers and benefactors was appointed the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the then Ondo State from 1991 to 1993. He was appointed a Life Bencher in January 2007 by highest body responsible for the governance of the Legal Profession in Nigeria. At various times, Olanipekun has been a member of the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee and the Chairman of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee between 1999 and 2002. He was a member of National Judicial Council Committee from 1999 to 2002 and member National Judicial Council between 2004 and 2006. Olanipekun is also a member of the International Bar Association, where he had served as a member of Council between 2002 and 2004. He is also a member of Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (CLA), where he was appointed as a member of Council between 2004 and 2006. He was appointed the vice President of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) in 2003.
He legal firm of Wole Olanipekun&Co has offices in Lagos, Abuja, Ilorin and Akure. His interest in legal practice cuts across nearly all fields and areas of Law with particular emphasis on Constitutional Law, Banking Law, Business/Commercial Law, Land and Chieftaincy, Election and Electoral matters, Oil and Gas, Environmental Law, Arbitration, Maritime and Telecommunications. He also engages in Transborder legal practice and he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. Chief Wole Olanipekun practices and appears in Courts in nearly all the States of Nigeria. He constantly appears in all the Divisions of the Court of Appeal in Nigeria, notably in Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Ilorin, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Abuja and Jos. Also to his credit is regularly appearances before the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 1985.
The extremely cerebral Wole Olanipekun has had cause to assert his intellectual prowess by delivering over 120 papers on Law, Economics, Politics, Literature and Corporate Governance in and out of the country and within and outside of several universities across the globe. Chief gets inundated daily with invitations from higher institutions of learning, corporate bodies, public institutions, government institutions and at all tiers of government for lecture delivery on contemporary Legal, Political, Educational, Economic, Corporate and Social issues. Olanipekun is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the premier University of
Ibadan. He is the Asiwaju of Ikere-Ekiti while the wife is the Erelu of Ikere-Ekiti.
Chief Wole Olanipekun is a lover of nature, books of varied topics and art works. He loves to unwind by engaging in intellectual discourse and listening to music. The legal luminary is happily married to Princess Omolara Olanipekun who has proven to be not just a good wife, but a solid pillar of support for her husband on all fronts. Her quietness, humility and unassuming nature are qualities that have endeared her to lot of people. The world is indeed proud of this amazon of uncommon characters and enviable dispositions. The marriage of Chief Wole Olanipekun and Princess Omolara Olanipekun has been blessed with two male and two female children; three of whom are Lawyers, while one of them is already a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.