This genial and highly urbane personality, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, Esq, SAN, took his first fresh breath of life, through Reverend J. Ola Akeredolu of Akeredolu family in Owo and Lady Evangelist Grace B. Akeredolu of Aderoyiju family of Igbotu, Ese Odo, on the 21st July, 1956 in Owo, Ondo, State of Nigeria.
The then young Rotimi, now fondly called Aketi by his colleagues, friends and admirers, started his primary education at Government School, Owo. He proceeded to Aquinas College, Akure, Loyola Colege, Ibadan and Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, for his secondary school education and Higher School Certificate, respectively.
Aketi attended the most beautiful university on the African Continent, the great University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, in Ile Ife, Osun State, where he obtained his LLB degree in 1977 and the B.L from the Nigerian Law School in 1978. His leadership traits soon came to the fore with his election as the Vice President, Students’ Union, University Of Ife, for the 1975-1976 academic session.
His record of service spans almost three decades.
He served the Nigerian Bar Association in various capacities at both the branch and national levels meritoriously. His record of service spans almost three decades. Aketi was the Secretary General of Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan branch, 1985 to 1986. He has been a member of National Executive Council of the Association from 1985 till date. He served as the Publicity Secretary during the regime of the late Alao Aka Bashorun, a period considered as the golden era of the Bar, 1988-1989. He was also a member of Legal Aid Council of Nigeria from 1989 to 1991. He became the Vice Chairman of the Ibadan branch in 1991 and subsequently the Chairman between 1992 and 1994. His thirst for service compelled him to accept to serve the Old Boys’ Association of one of his secondary schools, Loyola College, Ibadan, as the Secretary General from 1995-1999.
He became the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State between 1997 and 1999 serving at the same time as a member of the Ondo State Judicial Service Commission. He embarked on far reaching reforms as the AG of the state. Some of his achievements are still visible in the state judiciary today. He was also a member of the Council of Legal Education during this period by virtue of his position as the AG. He first became a member of Body of Benchers at the same time, 1997-1999, and was subsequently re-appointed in 2006. He remains a member till date. He was the Chairman of the Legal Aid Council from 2005 to 2006. He was conferred with the prestigious title of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1998.
The essential Aketi became a brand for principled resistance to all manner of obnoxious practices, including brazen thievery, in the polity.
Perhaps what stands out as his highest point of achievement at the Bar was his election unopposed as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association. Aketi forced himself into the consciousness of the whole country and beyond through what has become his trade mark unyielding opposition to bad governance. The essential Aketi became a brand for principled resistance to all manner of obnoxious practices, including brazen thievery, in the polity. It took the bold challenge of Aketi as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, and a few other Nigerians to rein in the excesses of some members of the government of the late President, Umar Yar Adua.
He was a member of the Governing Council, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies between 2008 and 2010, a member of Council of Legal Education, a member of Council, International Bar Association and Pan African Lawyers Union during the same period. He currently serves as NBA representative in the National Judicial Council. A devout Christian, he is the Chancellor of the Anglican Church, Owo Diocese.
Aketi has been the recipient of many distinguished awards from reputable organisations both at home and abroad. These include the OAU Alumni Association Merit Award, 1995, NBA Award of recognition on the conferment of the SAN title in 1998, Loyola College Old boys’ Association Merit Award, 1995, Sports Writers Association Merit Award as the Legal Adviser, 1995, Sports Writers Association Merit Award as the Patron, 1998, Qatari Bar Association Award, among others numerous to mention.
He married Betty Chioma Anyanwu-Akeredolu of Emeabiam, Owerri Local Government. The marriage is blessed with four kids, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Jnr), Dr Teniola Akeredolu, Miss Ayomofe Akeredolu and Babajide Akeredolu.