OPINION: Ghalib Chambers @30: Yusuf Ali Electrifies Kwara By Akogun

Date: 2024-05-27

The City of Ilorin will be agog this Saturday, June 1, 2024, as several pillars of the legal profession, from the bar and the bench, as well as political leaders from the federal and states, converge on the State of Harmony to honour one of their own, Mallam (Professor) Yusuf Olaolu Ali, SAN, as he rolls out the drums in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his Law Firm, Ghalib Chambers.

Check out the roll call: Vice President Kashim Shettima; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN; Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbbdulRazaq; Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari; former Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN; Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Registrar, Prof. Is’haq Oloyede; and several other men of timbre and calibre from the academia, business, and the professions, as well as religious and political leaders.

A major highlight of the 30th anniversary celebration is a special lecture, titled “Presidential or Parliamentary System of Government: Where is tie Convergence? The lecture will be delivered by the former Governor of Lagos State, Raji Fashola, SAN.

To be sure, the Principal Partner of Ghalib Chambers, Professor Ali, is a man of many parts. A quintessential man of the people, this legal icon relates well and freely with persons of different creeds and tribes, and across social strata. He is at home with both the influential personalities and the downtrodden alike. He is clearly a rare breed both in his social outlook and philosophical worldview, an attribute that makes people of diverse backgrounds to easily warm up to him.

Even though his major turf is the legal profession, his influence and impacts of the legal icon transcend legal advocacy. He is a social advocate, a human rights advocate, a humanitarian advocate, a philanthropy advocate, a green revolution advocate, as well as an advocate of religious piety and moral rectitude! He is also an erudite scholar of not just the theoretical Law pontification genre but also the practical application of the nitty-gritty of legal studies. He is an Associate Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, who recently bagged the professorship of Law Practice at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE).

Professor Ali established his law firm, Ghalib Chambers in 1994, after 11 years stint with the firm of Adegboyega Awomolo & Co. His legal practice opened windows of opportunities to fulfill his people-oriented ambition and humanitarian services engagements.

The establishment of his Yusuf Olaolu Ali (YOA) Foundation in 2009 invariably became the linchpin for his philanthropic service to humanity. Dedicated to the development of humanity, the Foundation has, since inception, supported disparate human needs to improve the quality of life of Nigerians. Its interventions in several areas of human needs have contributed to quality lives of beneficiaries, given required infrastructural facelifts to several public institutions of higher learning, saved many lives of poor medical patients and generally touched many lives positively within Nigeria and even outside.

Professor Ali’s passionate love for all-round educational development, even when he was not directly involved with the academia, is second to none, as he had single-handedly initiated and funded several infrastructural masterpieces in several tertiary educational and ancillary institutions across the country.

At the University of Ilorin, for instance, he has several buildings including student hostels, and lecture halls to his name apart from other donations, financial and material, to Faculties, Centres, and Units in the University. He is a major patron of the UNILORIN 89.3 FM with his consistent sponsorship of an annual Ramadan programme on the campus radio station.

In the same vein, the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) has also benefitted substantially from his vast generosity. At the federal government-owned tertiary health institution, the legal icon has a very big medical facility, the Advanced Trauma Centre, to his name.

Among his various other philanthropic interventions across the country, are, hostel building at the Osun State University, Osogbo; a well-equipped ICT Centre, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; the College of Law Building at Crescent University, Abeokuta; and a well-equipped ICT Centre at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.

Others include donation of a brand new Kia Rio to the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan; donation of a brand new bus to the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin; award of scholarships to thousands of tertiary institution students within and outside the country; provision of medical financial assistance to hundreds of patients within and outside the country; as well as donation of a well-equipped patrol van and several motorcycles to the Kwara State Police Command to boost crime control.

A passionate advocate of green revolution and food sufficiency, Professor Ali also made his presence conspicuously felt in mechanized agriculture, with his Yalim Farms in the Afon area of Kwara State. The Farm is not only contributing to Nigeria’s food self-sufficiency dream, it also generates employment for scores of Nigerian citizens thereby also contributing to the reduction of the nation’s unemployment rate.

So, why won’t such a juggernaut of many sectors pull a crowd from all corners and all comers?

*Akogun is the Director, Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin

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