Wednesday, 13 September 2017

“You Must Write About How June 12 Election was Annulled!” – Aare Afe Babalola, SAN



Aare Afe Babalola, SAN


“Hello Onigegewura! Please hold on for Aare Afe Babalola.”

My first thought was that it must be a prank call. Then I heard the voice. It was clear. It was crisp. It was cultured. It was the voice of the Legend himself.

“Onigegewura! My son! You are a gifted writer!”

The phone nearly dropped from my trembling hand. “Kara O le, Sir. I am humbled, Sir.”

“It was my daughter, Bolanle Austen-Peters, who forwarded the excellent piece you wrote on MKO Abiola to me. From the first paragraph, I was hooked. Your imagination is so vivid. Your prose is fluid and effortless. You captured everything that happened in that case accurately and graphically. Senior lawyers have been calling to congratulate me all over again!”

This must be a dream. And Iya Agba had warned me about the effect of eating pounded yam late in the day. “You must come and see me” Aare continued. “I haven’t read a refreshing piece like that in a long while.”

Well, if it was a dream, it was a very long one. I arrived at Afe Babalola University campus in Ado-Ekiti still expecting to wake up from my dream. Mr. Tunde Olofintila was waiting for me. He hugged me like a long lost brother.

“Onigegewura! Aare has been looking all over the world for you. He’s waiting for you.”

Aare Afe Babalola waiting for me? I knew sooner or later the pounded-yam induced dream would end.

“Aare, your son is here. This is Onigegewura!”

“ONIGEGEWURA! I have to stand up to greet you.” And the strangest thing I have ever witnessed happened. The Aare Bamofin of Yorubaland, Commander of the Order of the Niger, the Fiwajoye of Ado-Ekiti, the legendary Senior Advocate of Nigeria stood up and hugged me. “You will excel in life. You will succeed.”

I was speechless. I was lost for words. I was dumbfounded.

What followed was surreal. People were coming in and going out as we were talking. With every new visitor, Aare would pause and ask them if they knew me. “That’s Onigegewura. He’s brilliant and talented. His research is impeccable!” A traditional ruler entered. A medical doctor came in. A professor of law popped in. It was the same effusive introduction.

Justice Mustapha Akanbi - The Incorruptible Judge
“You are doing a great job. You have just started. You still have more history to document. Don’t you think your readers and the future generation should know about how June 12 Election was annulled on the day I was in court for MKO Abiola? Justice Akanbi was determined to hear the case. And you know Justice Akanbi is incorruptible and fearless I will tell you the brilliant thing His Lordship did. That was a sad day indeed. You need to write that story in your vintage Onigegewura style. Let me show you something.”

Aare brought out a volume and asked me to read what he had written about the episode. It was a gripping account. I was already seeing the courtroom scene in my mind. Ìrókò ti wo si ile agbédó. Isé di sise. When Iroko tree falls into the compound of a carver, the carver has his work cut out for him.   

At this point, I was certain it was not a dream. I was actually in the presence of the first Aare Bamofin of Yorubaland. Baba went on to regale me with stories  upon stories of cases I had only read in Law Reports. I was soaking everything in. It was like being in the presence of an encyclopedia.

“Aare, Onigegewura’s readers are asking me about the story of the Most Suspicious Woman in the World. I titled it From the Other Room To the Court Room (https://onigegewura.blogspot.com.ng/2017/07/from-other-room-to-courtroom-true-story.html) They thought it was incredible.”

“You have written that one too? Ha! It was an incredible story. It is a story every couple should read.”
Aare as a young man

Like Oliver Twist, I continued to ask for more. Aare was very patient with me. He answered every question. Every response was backed up with facts and authorities. What a prodigious memory! I was in the presence of History!

And the time came for me to leave. “Thank you, Onigegewura. You must come here more often.” Aare thanking me? I should be the one to express my profound appreciation for this opportunity to learn at the feet of the Master who had trained more than 2,500 lawyers, including 15 Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
ABUAD Library

Then I remembered something. “Aare, I read something you wrote about 14 years ago, Sir. You concluded the piece by narrating the story of a young lawyer who was taught everything by his master and still failed to make it…”

“Onigegewura! You read that piece?” Aare was beaming with happiness. It is the same feeling I have every time I meet an Onigegewura Family Member.

The Teaching Hospital
Aare went on: “I remember the story. The young lawyer failed to make it because his master taught him everything but the master didn’t wish him luck. He later became a successful lawyer after his master wished him luck.”

I was smiling. Aare instinctively understood what Onigegewura wanted. Baba smiled.

“I will wish you luck. I will wish you the best of luck. I will also pray for you”. And Aare Afe Babalola wished me the best of luck and prayed for me. It was a moving prayer. It was heartfelt. Aare hugged me again. “You will be great. You will excel. You will be successful.” Amen!


College of Law
Baba then called Khalid to show me around the expansive campus of Afe Babalola University. I wanted to walk. “If we walk, we won’t come back before nightfall.” Khalid told me. He was not joking. We went to the Teaching Hospital. It was state of the art. We saw the College of Law, I felt at home. We moved to the College of Engineering. I told Khalid I wanted to see the Library. University Library or College Library? He told me that every College had its own Library apart from the University Library. From College to College, from Library to Library, from Cafeteria to Cafeteria, I was seeing the power of one man’s vision...

ABUAD Mango
Then we moved on to Afe Babalola University Farm. You have to visit the farm to appreciate what I saw. It was an audacious experiment. It was not a farm. What I saw was an integrated agricultural village, a marriage of technology and agriculture.  I saw mango being harvested and processed. I visited the sawmill. I saw the Furniture section where all the institution’s furniture needs were being met. I saw Moringa factory where soap and cream were being produced. We moved to where honey was being processed. I saw mushroom being grown for the first time on an industrial scale! Fishery? Piggery? Of course!
Students Hostel


Khalid was calling me to come and see something. I checked the time. Not today.

As I drove off, I remembered an expression I read a long time ago in the autobiography of Oba Adedapo Tejuosho, the Osile of Oke-Ona. Ohun a ko ni tun se, a ko ni fowo kan. He touches nothing which he does not adorn. This is an expression that aptly describes Aare Afe Babalola. Here is a man who excels in everything he touches. As a legal practitioner, he excels. As a farmer, he is successful. As an educationist, he has become the reference point. What a man! What a Legend!

To commemorate my visit to Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, I will be giving a copy of Baba’s autobiography to one of our readers. Trust me, the book is unputdownable! To win the book, please answer these two questions in the comment section:

1.              Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of………….
2.              When was Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti established?

Onigegewura will pick the winner from the correct entries. The book will be sent by registered post to the winner anywhere in Nigeria.

With my best wishes,

Onigegewura©

41 comments:

  1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke
    The University was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke.

    2. 2009

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1) Mayegun of Modakeke
    2) ABU was established in 2009

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1) Chief Mayegun of Modakeke
    2) ABUAD was established in the year 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Babatunde Ogungbamila(Babs Mila)13 September 2017 at 02:04

    Mayegun of Modakeke
    The University was founded in 2009

    ReplyDelete
  6. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke, in Ile-Ife

    2. Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mayegun of Modakeke
    ABU was established in 2009

    ReplyDelete
  8. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke
    2. Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti was established in 2009.

    Adebiyi Adewale A.
    Lagos
    Walebiyi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke. I read it in the story you wrote about how MKO became the Are Onakakanfo and Bashorun
    2. Are Babalola University, Ado Ekiti was established in the Year 2009


    Aka Oluwafemi
    Lagos
    aka.phemmy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke. I read it in the story you wrote about how MKO became the Are Onakakanfo and Bashorun
    2. Are Babalola University, Ado Ekiti was established in the Year 2009


    Aka Oluwafemi
    Lagos
    aka.phemmy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mayegun of Modakeke. ABUAD was established 2009.thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke, Osun State

    2. Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti was established in the year 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mayegun of modakeke, Osun state. And. 2 2009 was when Afe Babalola. University was established

    ReplyDelete
  14. 1.Mayegun of modakękę,ifę
    2.It was established in 2009

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oluwatosin Adeniyi13 September 2017 at 07:18

    1.Maiyegun of Modakeke.
    2.The university was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke
    2. Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  17. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke.
    2. When was Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti established? In 2009

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aare is the Mayegun of Modakeke.
    ABUAD was established in 2009 in Ado Ekiti.

    ReplyDelete
  19. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke, Ile-Ife.
    2. ABUAD was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke, Ile-Ife.
    2. ABUAD was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Akinboade Oyinlola13 September 2017 at 15:30

    1) Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke.
    2) Afe Babalola university Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti was founded in 2009.
    Can I just be the lucky winner already. I will be highly honoured

    ReplyDelete
  22. 1.Chief Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke in Osun State.
    2.Afe Babalola University, ABUAD was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke in Osun State.
    2. Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) was established in 2009 by Aare Afe Babalola.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke, a town near Ile Ife in Osun State.
    2. Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) was established in 2009 by Aare Afe Babalola.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Being with Are Afe Babalola is like steel clutching to the magnet. You will not want to leave the man. He is exceptional. The first time I met him was 2009, the same year his university was established. Academic session had not commenced then. Despite the fact that the School was not even up to one year old then, the kind of massive structures I saw during the tour was out of this world - masterpiece. We were conducted round the School by a very senior Professor who was then in charge.

    The second time I met Aare Afe was in 2010, right in his office, He kept to time and we were well entertained by his motivational speech. He encouraged me to go do my masters and that by the time I'm through with my PhD, I should see him for a special gift. (Pursuant to his urge, I started my masters in Unilag the following year but haven't started the PhD yet).

    The last time I saw Chief physically was in his house in Ibadan in 2010 where we were treated to a big breakfast. One thing you will notice in Chief's house is that most of the food taken in the House are grown in the Compound. Onigegewura, you need to see Baba's garden where fresh vegetable, pepper, tomatoes, maize, yam etc were grown. It was beautiful.

    One more thing about Aare Afe Babalola, no one will visit him and come out empty-handed. Baba will give you gift no matter whom you are. I still keep some of the souvenirs he gave me in 2010, what of the money he gave me? Haba! This is 2017, nina lowo - money is meant to be spent.

    May God continue to bless our Aare Afe Babalola, the gift that continues giving. ONIGEGEWURA, when you visiting Baba at ABUAD again, tell me to accompany you, it's been 8 years I saw that School last. God bless you.

    As to your questions, here are my answers:

    1. Aare Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke, Osun State Nigeria.
    2. When was Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti established? The School was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. 1. Aare Afe Babalola SAN is the Mayegun of Modakeke, Osun State.
    2. Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State (ABUAD) was established in 2009.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Will like to buy the autobiography. Where can one pick it up (online or in store)

    ReplyDelete
  29. 1. Mayegun of Modakeke Osun State
    2. 2009
    Lanre Balogun
    Mkbalogun@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. 1. Chief Aare Afe Babalola is the Majegun of Modakeke also hold the title of Balogun of mobaland and Aare Bamofin of Oyo Empire.
    2. Afe Babalola University was founded in 2009, The Federal Government granted the University license to operate as a private university in November 11, 2009. After the NUC visited in May, 2009. But academic resumption did not take place until January 04, 2010. And Matriculation of 240 students to 3 colleges (Law, Science, and Social/Management ) took place at Bimbo Owolabi Hall in March 10, 2010. By May 19, 2010 the university was deem to be the fastest growing university in Africa.

    ReplyDelete
  31. 1. MAYEGUN OF MODAKEKE -IFE STATE OF OSUN
    2. 2009

    ReplyDelete
  32. 1. MAYEGUN OF MODAKEKE -IFE STATE OF OSUN
    2. 2009

    ReplyDelete
  33. 1. MAYEGUN of MODAKEKE kingdom in ile IFE State of OSUN
    2. 2009

    ReplyDelete
  34. 1. Chief Afe Babalola is the Mayegun of Modakeke in Ife, Osun state.

    2. Afe Babalola University was established in 2009.


    Once again nice piece Onigegewuru. May the foutain of creativity keep flowing.

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  35. Interesting. Keep the good works, truly a man's gift will open great doors unto him...
    -Taiwo

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