Tribute to Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR

Recently, the co-founding Partner of one of the oldest law firms in Nigeria, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR (January 28, 1946 – April 20, 2024) passed away. Together with Senator Oladipo Odunjinrin, MFR, they founded Odunjinrin & Adefulu, a law firm that has endured for over five decades. Past Chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section of Business Law (NBA-SBL), here pay tribute to Prince Adefulu, whose son, Dr Adeoye Adefulu, is the current Chairman of the NBA-SBL

A Heartfelt Tribute to Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR 


he news of the passing of Prince Adeyemi Adefulu came as a shock, as all who knew him will remember his vibrancy, health, and engaging personality. His contributions to the growth and development of legal practice in Nigeria have been truly remarkable, leaving a profound impact that will be deeply felt.

Prince Adefulu’s legacy is firmly established through the co-founding of the law firm of Odujinrin and Adefulu in 1973, a partnership forged with his lifelong friend, Senator Oladipo Odujiinrin. This enduring partnership stands as a testament to their remarkable vision and dedication, becoming one of the longest-serving partnerships in the Nigerian legal profession.

Personally, my own legal journey echoes the path of his partner, Senator Odujirin. Following in his footsteps, my legal foundation was built at Chris Ogunbanjo & Co., and the invaluable lessons learned about developing commercial law practice in Nigeria stemmed from these shared origins. The Firm, under their leadership, has become a beacon of excellence in the commercial law space, serving as an inspiration for generations of legal practitioners.

Prince Adefulu’s commitment to public service, is also noteworthy. He served with distinction in the cabinet of the late Chief Olabisi Onabanjo in Ogun State, as one of the youngest Commissioners appointed at the time. While his tenure was truncated by the 1983 military coup, his dedication to his country remained unwavering. The harrowing experience of being detained for simply serving his nation, did not deter him from his unwavering commitment to the legal profession.

Beyond his own practice, Prince Adefulu’s dedication to the legal community extended to his involvement with LexisNexis Nigeria. Serving on the Board of the company was a privilege which enabled my witnessing firsthand, his and Senator Odujinrin’s enduring passion for improving access to legal materials and judicial precedents across the country. Their tireless efforts to support the well-being of the profession, will not be forgotten.

My deepest condolences go out to his son, Adeoye, of whom Prince was incredibly proud. Seeing Adeoye become Chair of the esteemed Nigerian Bar Association – Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), must have been extremely fulfilling. I also extend my sincerest sympathies to his entire family, and the partners and law firm of Odujirin and Adefulu.

May Prince Adeyemi Adefulu’s memory be a lasting inspiration for all who strive for excellence in the Nigerian legal profession, and may his gentle soul rest in eternal peace.

George Etomi

Our Very Dear Chairman, Dr Deoye, Accept My Condolences

There is never a right time to lose a father. It is particularly painful when it happens at a time one is young, and abruptly has to assume the mantle of leadership. Your Father was a quintessential debonair gentleman with a constant pleasant demeanour, and a towering figure in the legal profession. You have admirably demonstrated your capacity in the legal profession in multiple roles, including your stewardship of the NBA Section on Business Law as the Chair, and your father lived to witness your growth. That was a blessing. Please, find comfort and consolation in the beautiful memories of the years you had him with you. In the midst of your grief, you will have cause to smile as those recollections flash through your mind. Our prayers are with you, your Mother, siblings and the entire Adefulu family. May God grant you the courage, wisdom and grace to navigate the journey ahead of you to the glory of God and late Prince Adeyemi Adefulu.

Mfon Ekong Usoro

Tribute to Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR

The photograph accompanying this succinct tribute, says it all. This was sometime in August 2022. I had the distinct privilege of being presented with a Certificate in the form of a plaque, on my admission as an Honorary Life Member of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-SBL).  That was less than 2 years ago. I recall stating then that, for too many reasons to get into, it was a special moment for me to have such an honour bestowed on me by Prince Yemi Adefulu, MFR. I also recall saying to his son and my dear brother, Dr Adeoye Adefulu, that he was blessed to have his father witness his sterling accomplishments and should savour every moment.  I’m sure he did, and continued to appreciate the privilege until Uncle’s transition.  Prince Adefulu has already been lauded by many for his brilliance, law savvy, philanthropy, suave, and sense of duty, etc., etc. Simply put however, to me, he was a dear Uncle whom I admired. Uncle, rest in eternal peace.  Amen.

Seni Adio, SAN

 My Sincere Condolences to Dr Adeoye Adefulu 

(Chairman,  NBA-SBL, his Mother, siblings and the larger Adefulu family, on the passing of your father, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR)

It is an honour to write a tribute to your father, who was an icon in the Nigerian legal profession. He lived an impactful life, charting a historic course for the legal profession when he set up a partnership along with Chief Oladipo Odujinrin, MFR, a long time before partnerships became standard.

The firm of Odujinrin & Adefulu became the forerunner of Law Firm Partnerships, that many of us emulated. I was privileged to have spent time at the firm in my early years, and the experience was invaluable and indelible.

Prince Adefulu remained active in legal practice over many decades, and his wisdom was brought to bear on many significant corporate transactions over the years. He served his State and country, enduring unjust incarceration in the process; yet, remaining resilient and overcoming. He was also a prolific writer.

He touched several lives and has left a great legacy, equipping you and your siblings to step into his great shoes and preserve his legacy. He will be missed, and his contributions to the legal profession and public service will always be remembered.

My deepest sympathies are with your family, and the larger legal community and the SBL family.

Gbenga Oyebode, MFR

Tribute to Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR

I knew he had been ill for a few months, but each time we spoke his voice was very strong, and he remained very upbeat and calm. He didn’t want to dwell on or talk about himself; he focused on our usual discussion/banter topics; the state of our country (what must be done to achieve a  more humane and better developed country); our profession; our families; our Club, the Metropolitan Club. And, then, there was the issue he had been discussing with me for many months, both of us seeking a path to resolve…..

Prince, was brilliant! The youngest Commissioner in the country in his time, and the best Law of Evidence student in school. A great leader of men, consensus builder and focused mobiliser, who together with his partner Chief Dipo Odujinrin blazed the trail for  the young and determined, to venture into and succeed superbly in the rarefied, secluded and specialised world of corporate and commercial law practice. Within a few years of establishing their Firm, they were known in legal and corporate circles as the  “The Broad Street Millionaires”. Their attention to detail was impeccable, the quality of their work was first class, and they tread where others feared.

Prince, Sir, I will miss you sorely. Your calm voice and strong advice on every issue, including my latest venture, continues to inspire and fortify.  

Go in peace into the bosom of the Lord, you ran your race excellently well. May the good Lord continue to console and uphold my Aunty and the family……..”

Asue Ighodalo

Celebrating the Life and Legacies of a Pioneer and Trailblazer 

A Heartfelt Farewell To Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR

Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR, was a legal titan whose legacy towers over the Nigerian legal profession. With profound sadness, I mourn his passing at the age of 78 years, leaving behind an unfillable void. Prince Adefulu’s brilliance as a Lawyer was matched only by his unwavering commitment to integrity, diligence, and professional excellence. He approached the law as a noble calling – a pillar of society that demanded an unbending pursuit of justice and truth. His insight and knowledge, was awe-inspiring.

A true trailblazer, Prince Adefulu co-founded the firm Odunjinrin & Adefulu alongside his dear friend, Senator Oladipo Odunjinrin, MFR, over 50 years ago. That their pioneering partnership flourished and continues to flourish for over half a century, at a time when such endeavours were and are still rare in Nigeria, speaks volumes about the mutual vision and respect, binding these two legal giants together. As corporate law titans, Prince Adefulu and Senator Odunjinrin were an inspiration to many of us, who decided to follow the same career path. 

On a personal note, I had the honour of knowing Prince Adefulu, first as a member of the Kings College Old Boys Association (KCOBA). The late Prince Adefulu and Senator Odunjinrin are both old boys of Kings College, Lagos, and I share with them a special love for our alma mater.

Later on, I got to know him better through his son, my dear friend and brother, the renowned oil and gas law expert, Dr Adeoye Adefulu.

Deoye, as we fondly call him, now chairs the NBA Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), upholding his family’s reputation for shaping commercial jurisprudence. This solidifies the Adefulu family’s place, among legal royalty.

As we mourn this profound loss, I celebrate Prince Adeyemi Adefulu’s life of excellence, integrity, and service to the cause of justice. His impact on the legal profession will continue to inspire generations to come.

To my dear friend, Deoye, the Adefulu family, Senator Odunjinrin, and the entire Odunjinrin and Adefulu family, please, accept my deepest condolences. We grieve alongside you at the passing of this true titan.

Sun re o, my dear Prince. You will be forever cherished, and terribly missed.

Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata, Past President of the Nigerian Bar Association

Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR: A Trailblazer in Many Regards

Prince Adefulu will go down in history as a co-founder of one of the oldest law firms in Nigeria – Odujinrin and Adefulu. He is also one of the first law firm founders in Nigeria, to successfully midwife a family law firm succession at Odujinrin and Adefulu. Prince Adefulu also blazed the trail with law practice publications which he championed, in partnership with well acclaimed UK Publishers, Butterworths. Every personal encounter I had with Prince Adefulu was insightful, and laced with words of encouragement for me. He was a true Prince, in his mien and carriage. He surely left his footprints in the sands of time, and I am grateful to have known him.

Ayuli Jemide

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