Friends and relatives recently turned up in large numbers as foremost female lawyer, Mrs.Hairat Aderinsola Balogun, OON, formally presented her law memoirs,To Serve in Truth & Justice.
The book, according to her publisher, Mrs. Habiba Balogun, CEO, Habiba Balogun Consulting Ltd., started off as the author’s autobiography but ended up as her law memoirs.
In his review at the launch in Lagos, Mr. Steven Kola-Balogun described the book as an informative insight into the author’s memorable years at the Bar and legal practice in general, right from the beginnings till the present day, especially as she approaches her 70th birthday, later this year.
He said the book will be of interest to legal practitioners, academic researchers and all others interested in knowing more about the structure of the legal profession in the country.
Kola-Balogun noted that one of the merits of the book was its several allusions by way of speeches and opinions to the past and present leaders of the legal profession, thereby giving the reader an understanding of the thoughts and decisions taken by the various leaders of the legal profession over a time.
Extolling the author, Chairman on the occasion, Prof. Ade Elebute, said, “Truth is a very difficult thing to define, but when you see it demonstrated, you recognise it. I have seen Labake virtually devastate people by telling the truth. Labake recorded two opposing victories in her encounter with the military government while she was working with the military government in Lagos State. She also led a fight against the government when it made an attempt to sell off the Law School building and move the school somewhere else.”
Former Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan, who was a classmate of the author at the Nigerian Law School 48 years ago, said, “Hairat has not changed a bit from the day we left the Law School. She does not spare anything at all! She believes very much in excellence and is a very great fighter for justice. She was often one of those students in the forefront of fighting all manner of injustice in the Law School.”
Also singing Mrs.Hairat Balogun’s praises, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr.Lawal Pedro, recalled that as an Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, she was a public officer of courage.
“I have learnt courage from her and that still helps me till date. Unlike many Africans, she is also strict about punctuality. She frowns greatly at what we all call ‘African time’. Truly, I also believe that until we all start putting value to time, we may never get the desired result we wish for in this country”, he stressed.
The author, Mrs.Hairat Balogun(nee Alatishe), in her brief remark, stated that her main reason for writing the book was to put the records straight from her own perspective, as the actor. She added that the title of the book was inspired by the Quran.
The launch, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the author’s call to the Lincoln Inn Bar and the 48th anniversary of her call to the Nigerian Bar, also afforded her some celebration with her former Law School classmates which included Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Prince Bola Ajibola, SAN and Chief Akin Delano, amongst others.