Aare Afe Babalola is a foremost legal luminary of outstanding brilliance, an exceptional thinker and a master planner, who rose from a very humble background to the pinnacle of his career. He was born on October 30th, 1929 in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state, Nigeria.
Babalola revealed that while growing up, he lost six of his siblings to poor maternal care. He attended Emmanuel Primary School, Ado-Ekiti, where he obtained his standard six certificate.
That was the end of his formal education. All the other educational qualifications listed against his name were obtained through private study because he could not afford school fees for secondary school. He later attended the University and obtained his degrees in both economics and law (LL.B).
He holds degrees from several Universities like Ekiti State University for the award of LL.D (hc) in 2002, LL.D of University of London, LL.D of University Lagos, LL.D University of Jos, LL.D of Federal University of Technology, Akure, LL.D, Kogi State University, among others.
Afe Babalola was at various times a pupil teacher, a secondary school teacher, secondary school vice principal, university lecturer, economist, auditor, administrator, farmer and educationist.
Today, he is a foremost legal icon of his generation not only on the African continent but in the world. After his studies, Afe was called to the Bar in England in 1963.
Babalola started his law practice at Olu Ayoola & Co, before starting his own Law Office, Emmanuel Chambers. Twenty-two years later, he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. It`s the highest rank in this Legal Profession.
In 2001, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as the Pro-Chancellor of University of Lagos. In 2009, he created his own Afe Babalola University.
His experience of dwindling qualities on standard of education in the University of Lagos where he was the Pro-Chancellor between 2002 and 2007 and other universities usually regarded as the best in the country, informed him of the urgent need to establish a first class university to serve as a benchmark for other universities.
He is a member of the Lincoln’s Inn, London, a registered member of the Bar of England and Wales and a distinguished member of the Nigerian Bar. He has been in practice for about 50 years and is an active uninterrupted member of the Nigeria Bar Association and International Bar Association (IBA).
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria, Fellow of the Leadership Institute of Nigeria, member of the Body of Benchers, the highest legal body in Nigeria. He was one time Chairman of the Committee of Pro Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
Chief Babalola is married to Yeye Aare Modupe Babalola. The marriage is blessed with two children who have excelled academically and professionally. They are Bolanle Austen-Peters and Michael Opeyemi Babalola. His net is said to be over $350 million.