PROFILE: Meet New KWASU VC – Prof. Akanbi

By Daniel Ayantoye

Born to the family of late Hon. Justice Muhammed Mustapha Adebayo Ajao Akanbi and late Hajia Munfaatu Aduke Akanbi, Professor Muhammed Mustapha Olaroungbe Aremu Akanbi, hails from the Ile magaji Kemberi, Awodi, Gambari Quarters, Ilorin East, Kwara State of Nigeria.

He attended various primary and secondary schools which cut across Kano, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Imo State.

In 1993, Prof. Akanbi obtained a Bachelor’s degree in law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife where he graduated in the second class division. He then attended the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island Lagos, where he also bagged the second class upper division. He was called to bar in 1995.

During his service year in 1995 – 1996, Akanbi served the nation as a legal assistant in the legal unit of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos.

Between March 1996 and 1998, he practised as a junior in the law firms of Wole Bamgbala & Co, Lagos, Olawoyin and Olawoyin, Lagos and Ayodele, ‘Gafar & Co, Ilorin respectively.

Furthermore, Prof Akanbi, bagged a master’s degree in law (LLM) in 1998 from University of Lagos, Akoka. Between 2004 and 2006, he attended the prestigious Kings College, University of London, United Kingdom for his doctorate degree in law (Ph.D) which he bagged in a record time of 2 years.

Also, during his doctorate programme, Prof Akanbi earned a Graduate Certificate (Non-award Route) in Academic Practice (GCAP), from the same university in 2005.

In August 1998, Akanbi joined the service of University of Ilorin as a lecturer 2 in the Department of Business law, faculty of law of the University. Following his principles of hard work, diligence and perseverance, he rose through the ranks and was appointed a Professor of Law in the Department of Business Law in October 2012.

In the same vein, he was appointed an adjunct professor of law at the Kings University College, Accra, Ghana in 2014 which last for a period of one year.

In over two decades’ career period at the University of Ilorin, Professor M.M. Akanbi held several administrative positions, among which are: Sub-dean of the faculty of law, Head of Business Law Department, Faculty of Law, Postgraduate Representative, Senate Member, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Deputy Director, Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT) and Director, School of Preliminary Studies, Fufu, University of Ilorin.

He has over 60 national and International publications in reputable peer-review journals with a bias in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Arbitration Law. Other research areas include conflict resolution laws, corporate management law and practice.

Prof. Akanbi, in 2017 completed a BADEA-UNITAR Online Course on Private Sector Development (2017) with specialisation on Ease of Doing Business in Africa and was awarded a Certificate of Completion by Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (BADEA-UNITAR).

He has a number of cutting-edge and trans-disciplinary research projects and consultancy to his credit, some of which include: Lead researcher (2016- 2017), ‘Developing Interventions: Understanding Prosecutors’ Routine and Pretrial Practices’. (A research project involving 6 countries: USA, Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, Poland and Nigeria) commissioned by the Open Society Justice Initiatives, New York.

Also, he was a member – Technical Working Committee (TWG) (2013), on ‘An Independent Review of Evidence of Gross violation of the Rights to Participation in Government and Fair Trial through the Election Petition Process in Nigeria 2003 – 2011’ commissioned by National Human Right Commission, Abuja, OSIWA and the Ford Foundation.Consultant/ Member, Technical Working Committee (TWG) (2012), on a research on the Legal framework on Citizenship and Religion as it affects National Integration in Nigeria’ commissioned by International Development Law Organization (IDLO) Rome, Italy.

Prof. Akanbi has attended and presented papers at several national and international conferences, workshops, retreats and seminars. He has over the years supervised to completion many postgraduate students in law and peace studies at master and doctorate levels.

He serves as professorial assessor, postgraduate and external examiner to more than 20 reputable universities within and outside Nigeria. He also serves on the editorial board of several reputable journals and law reports of public and private institutions.

Talking about his professional field, Akanbi wasn’t a back bencher as He served as Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin Branch between 2007 and 2009. Similarly, he served as member of the Council of Legal Education in Nigeria between 2007 – 2011.

Also he was a former member, NBA Committee on Electoral reforms. Former member, Executive Committee of the Academic Forum of the NBA. Former Member, Constitutional Review and Electoral Reform Process, NBA.Chairman, Technical Committee on the Establishment of the Kwara State Multidoor Courthouse.

Professor Akanbi was an external Examiner, Nigerian Law School, an ex-member, Board of Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Chairman, 2014 Biennial Law Week Committee – NBA Ilorin. Member, NBA Ilorin Caretaker Committee.

He is the Principal partner, Forum Conveniens Consult, a legal consultancy firm of Solicitors and arbitrators in Ilorin- Kwara State 2012 to date. The Current Chairman, Disciplinary Committee, NBA Ilorin (2018- 2020) Member, Law Reform Committee, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration (ICSAN), Head of Legal Research Division (sabbatical leave), National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, 2019 – 2020.

In acknowledgement of his outstanding leadership qualities, Professor M.M Akanbi was nominated by the American government to be part of the International Visitor’s Leadership Programme (IVLP) in the United State of America (USA) in 2016.

In 2015, Professor M.M. Akanbi SAN founded the MMGIVIT Charity Initiative. The Initiative takes care of the less privilege through redistribution of wealth programmes, organising educational activities including poetry competitions and career counselling for secondary schools in Kwara State. In addition the Initiative organises health tests and counselling for less privileged members of the society.

In recognition of his contribution to the development of law and legal profession in Nigeria, Prof Akanbi, was conferred with the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) (The highest distinction in the legal profession in Nigeria) on the 24th of September, 2018.

Professor Akanbi (SAN) is a member of several professional bodies including the Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Association of Law Teachers’ Society, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom and Nigeria as well as Institute for Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Nigeria.

Professor M.M. Akanbi SAN who was appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Kwara State University, Malete is married to Hajia Shakirat Folake Akanbi (also a lawyer by profession) and they are blessed with wonderful kids.

Professor Akanbi, was announced on Wednesday 1st April, 2020 as the 2nd Vice Chancellor of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete.

Also Read: Kwara Gov. appoints Unilorin Don as KWASU VC

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