Wale Babalakin

Wale Babalakin
Wale Babalakin. Photo: Daily Trust

Wale Babalakin is the entrepreneur son of a former Supreme Court Judge form Gbongan in Osun State, Bolarinwa Babalakin. Although Wale Babalakin studied law like his father, even acquiring the highest qualification attainable, he delved into property development, and is now the owner of Nigeria’s biggest construction firm, the Bi-Courtney.

Wale’s mother, Ramotu lbironke was a nurse. In his account, Babalakin was born into a disciplined family which placed emphasis on education and health. At the tender age of two years and six months, he was sent to nursery school. When he was barely ten he was already on the way to secondary school. Being so young without strict guidance at Government College Ibadan, he dipped in his academics but rebounced winning laurels and finishing high school in time.
Places of Growth

Wale Babalakin was born in Ibadan in July 1, 1960. At the Government College Ibadan boarding house where he found himself from the age of ten, he coped with the waking up before 6 a.m., go through half hour of grasscutting, and another of cleaning his dormitory without missing breakfast of 7a.m. When he became a member of the cadet unit he added jogging, which was compulsory for all cadets, to the morning chores. All these he had to do before breakfast time to avoid punishment or the loss of each meal.

Babalakin schooled briefly at The Polytechnic Ibadan before proceeding to study law at the University of Lagos. He completed the law degree in flying colours in 1981 and was called to the bar in 1982 at just 22 years of age. He continued with a Masters course through the Commonwealth scholarship at the University of Cambridge. Wale bagged a Ph.D in Law at the same university when he was only 26 years old.

Law & Bi-Courtney

Through the influence of an Austrian friend, Babalakin developed interest in business, selling his property in England to seal a deal which ultimately yielded profit. After this first experience, however, he continued in his law practice under Rotimi William’s prestigious firm, and obtained Nigeria’s highest professional honor in Law, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the year 2000.

With a firm understanding of Litigation, Arbitration, Real Estate law and Project Finance, Babalakin had prepared for a life in Real estate business, which began in 1989 with his involvement with Stabilini Visinoni, an Italian company whose controlling share he later bought in 1992. Seven years later, Babalakin became the chairman of the company. The Bi-Courtney owned by him constructed the new Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2. The same company won the contract for the concession of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and planned to build a world class expressway, before the revocation by President Jonathan’s government. Babalakin has also worked with Federal and several State Governments in conceptualizing transactions to support the development of infrastructure and investment in the country. He is being charged with using his company and other surrogates to transfer funds illegally.

Wale Babalakin chose to study Law out of admiration for Justice Yinka Ayoola, his father’s friend, in whom he saw a symbol of everything he wanted to be[i].
[i] Tell April 16, 2007

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer