PROFESSOR Imran Oluwole Smith SAN is a Professor of Law of the prestigious University of Lagos, a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (U.K) and also a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He is currently Professorial Associate, School of African and Oriented Studies of the University of London and a member of the inner Bar, otherwise described with the accolade “Senior Advocate of Nigeria “.
He is the President of Eko Foundation, an organization at the forefront of determination to ensure that the indigenous people of Lagos State are accorded due respect within their political space and treated fairly by non indigenes who have described the state as “No Man’s Land”, because of its cosmopolitan nature and the dexterity and magnanimity of its indigenous people and their social exposure. Everyone agrees that no other indigene is better suited with the accolade “Omo Eko Pataki” than the illustrious Imran Oluwole Smith.
As a Professor of Law in the University of Lagos, he taught Property Law, Law of Secured Credit Transactions, Environmental / Planning Law, Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration. He was the Director, Law Centre, Lagos State University (LASU) (1994-1996); Dean, Faculty of Law, Lagos State University (2004-2006); Member, Postgraduate School Board, University of Lagos (2006-2008); Chairman, Postgraduate School Disciplinary Committee (2006-2008); Head, Department of Private and Public Law, University of Lagos (2002-2004) & (2007-2008).
Professor Imran Smith SAN was engaged as a Consultant for four United Kingdom Law firms of Solicitors to give expert advice on various areas of English Law, including Property and Commercial Law; Corporation Law and International Commercial Arbitration from 1995 to 2006. He was a member Council of Legal Education, Nigeria (2004-2006); Member, Committee of Reform of Legal Education in Nigeria (2006-2007);
Member, Committee of the National Assembly to Draft ‘An Act For Protection Of Persons With Disability In Nigeria ‘.
As a renowned scholar and prolific writer, he has written and published several books, which includes, “Taslim Olawale Elias: A Jurist Of Distinction.”; “Enforcement Of Judgements In Possession Matters: A Critical Appraisal Of The Strange Procedure In Lagos State.”; “Selected Essays On The Nigerian Law of Landlord And Tenant.”; “Liability Of Tenant Holding Over: Mesne Profits Or Compensation For Use And Occupation.”; “Sustainable Development And Environmental Diplomacy: Reconciling Economic Growth With Environmental Protection By Year 2000 And Beyond.”; “Rights In Real Security And Creditors Protection In Nigeria.”; “Globalization Of Security: Problems And Prospects.”; “The Certificate Of Occupancy: Nature And Value.”; “Resource Control In A Federation: The Nigerian Experience.” In addition to this intimidating long lists, he has also published several articles on property law in Nigeria, delivered several seminar papers at local, national and international fora, and served as coordinator, editor, editor-in-chief of law books, Law reports and journals.
As the incumbent President of Eko Foundation, the learned Professor of Law has steered the organization ably and competently that it has become the cacophony and resonating voice of the indigenous people of Lagos State against oppression, marginalization, neglect and totalitarianism of a cabal that has consistently, more particularly since the last two decades to impoverish the people politically and deprive them of actively participating in shaping their future and destinies.
In 1983, as a budding and vibrant young man, he met the beautiful and charming Miss Islamia Adefunke Jaiyeola, a princess of Ijebu-Mushin, Ogun State in Abeokuta. He broke all barriers to win her over and magnetized his heartthrob. No Ijebu man could stop him and he indigenized and got married to her in 1986 and they are blessed with children. According to Princess, Professor, “As a husband, he is everything to me. He is a father, mentor and best friend. I have complete trust in him and he has never and will never betray me. He fears Allah and is an excellent father to his children.” I opine that theirs is a love story resplendent of Shakespeare’s trilogy of Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, implying that love knows no bounds and conquers all obstacles. Imran and Ismaila till date are inseparable love birds.
As the learned Professor attains and celebrates his 60th Birthday, he is best suited to bear the accolade of “Omo Eko Pataki”. He is the Generalissimo of his people and the Kakanfo of his time within the context of their struggle. He is a very humble, modest but highly principled and disciplined person. As a leader, he exemplifies the good and admirable qualities of leadership. He is a quintessential and indefatigable Lagosian. May Almighty Allah (SWT) grant him long life in good health. Olorun Oba a je ki ose opolopo Odun l’aiye pelu ayo ati alafia. Amin.
Mr. Kunle Uthman, Jagunmolu of Ibesheland is General secretary, Eko Foundation