Law  

‘Working hard at Law School is non-negotiable

Adejoke Layi-Babatunde

Adejoke Layi-Babatunde

She is pretty and always smiling. An evidence that she has found fulfillment in her chosen career. Chocolate-skinned Mrs. Adejoke Layi-Babatunde can be described as a perfect fusion of beauty and brain. A hardworking and charming personality, Mrs. Adejoke dares where others dread. From the legal firmament to the home department where she provides support to her husband and friend for life, there is hardly any dull moments for her.

The legal Amazon has together with her learned husband has made tremendous impact in Nigeria’s jurisprudence through law reports.

Their law report, which publishes decisions of the Supreme Court of Nigeria is no doubt a reference point in case citations.

Interestingly, she had planned to study Medicine and become a medical doctor. This is the way she put it: “I had planned to study medicine, because I always got curious about the shape and composition of the human body and how it works.”

Eventually it didn’t materialise and she went in for law. Today, she’s happy for choosing the later.

As the Managing Editor, Judgments of Supreme Court of Nigeria (S.C Reports) and Deputy Executive Officer, Lawbreed Limited, specialized legal publications, she already has her hands full, night and day, as Supreme court’s judgment reports break.

Adejoke is vast on anything and everything in the legal professional. Her mastery of the English Language more than anything else distinguishes her from her contemporaries, even as her grace, carriage and devotion to her job add up to God’s extra and perfect work of human creation.
On growing up, she says: “I wanted to be so many things at the same time such that at a point, I also craved the arts and so, wanted to be an Artist.

“I had equally craved the teaching job, because of my strong passion for investing in young minds for a better future.

“But then, I’m so pleased and satisfied to have ended up being a member of the noble profession. I enjoy reading a lot but the several adjournments didn’t make litigation appealing to me.”

She stated that incessant adjournments could be very frustrating. She recalled how after burning the midnight candle and preparing for a case, she got to court and the matter was adjourned. That experience, Adejoke says, was the turning point in her life. “It was in 1994/95. I was expecting a
baby and was heavily pregnant and had excitedly and painstakingly prepared for a case”, she said.

Today, she is fulfilled superintending over the affairs of Lawbreed.

She graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and Nigerian Law School, Lagos where she obtained LLB (Hons). Born in Oyo State, she had her secondary education at the Federal Government Girls College Bida, Niger State. She believes that life is like a mirror, giving back what it gets from you.

Adejoke described life in College as the ‘great years.’ Her words: “People mingled freely unlike today where you find glaring decadence in values and divisions along ethnic and religious divides.

“It is one of the reasons my heart aches for The abducted Chibok girls. I pray they are eventually found, because human life can’t be joked with.”
Indeed, Adejoke is not only about the legal practice. She belongs to boards of several organizations and groups. She is a member, Board of Governors, Supreme Education Foundation; member, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and member, Nigerian Bar Association among others.

Her work experience traversed the Legal Department of the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), now Bank of Industry (BOI). A quintessential bookworm, Adejoke derives joy and so much pleasure in reading, traveling, writing, cooking and gardening; with her passion for the young people on a hyper drive.

A devout Christian, she also facilitates and have delivered papers at several seminars and training sessions. She is married to a man who shares same passion with her, Mr. Layi Babatunde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and members of the New Estate Baptist Church, Surulere.

She is humble and passionate about the Nigerian project.

She also has fond memories of her days in the tertiary institution. “It was at the University of Ife that I horned my reading and writing skills. I was awed by the magnificent structure housing the Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library and after my first visit, I became a regular visitor to the library whenever I was not found in the class room.

“I also enjoyed myself just so the university will also pass through me as I passed through it. Things have since change tremendously today. People no longer study. They no longer meaningfully engage themselves, except for things that offer worthless pleasure and leave them hollow in the head. This is the sad commentary of our times.

“We were all shell -shocked at the last year’s result of the Nigeria Law School. But truth remains that working hard at the Law school is non -negotiable. That’s the way it has always been and, perhaps, they could probably have developed a missing link and poor performance and result is what you get when such is the case”, she declared.

For young lawyers, Adejoke has this piece of advise for them: “There is no short cut to success; it just doesn’t show up without hard work. You have to painstakingly prepare for it, for, anything short, would not bring about success.

“What we are doing at Lawbreed publication is not cheap. Tough, but we are grateful that God has given us the privilege of his grace to sustain the publications on Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

Recalling the challenges when it all started, she revealed that with the epileptic power supply and steadily falling Naira value, little is left to the imagination what the Nigerian economy looks like for entrepreneurs.

“Suffice it to say that we remain the only publishing outfit that reports all the judgments of the Supreme court in spite of numerous challenges. We have so far published 488 editions and 23 indexes and still going.

We also have numerous law publications apart from the Law reports and we recently relaunched our online platform christened: My S.C online. We are so excited about this new product because it has a lot to offer and Law students can go online for research, in addition to other law books, statutes, laws, etc.

“The pages of the online law report is just as it is in the Law Reports and even offers much more”, she stated.

Lawbreed Limited are Publishers of S.C. Report (published on the authority of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The organization has edited and published Four Hundred and Eighty (480) Editions with Twenty Two (22) Indexes (including Reprint Editions) dating back to 1972); and other Law Books such as The Lawyer’s Companion, Hints on Land Documentation and Litigation in Nigeria.
Among others, they also publish a Handbook of Criminal Law and Procedure through Cases, and the Layi Babatunde Case Law Series. Indeed, in the words of the first Nigerian Lawyer Christopher Sapara Williams, the legal practitioner lives for the direction of his people and advancement of the cause of his country.

For Adejoke and Lawbreed, the several publications are simply launch-pads and provide footstool to start a certain march to greatness. Until then, Adejoke says, she remains a work in progress.

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