Nigeria is reputed to have the highest number of billionaires in Africa. When the names of billionaires are being mentioned, the likes of Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga or Folorunsho Alakija top the chart.
True success they say is not always in the limelight sometimes, it is inconspicuous and subtle.
Some billionaires find comfort in staying off the limelight for modesty or other personal reasons. They however live their lives far from the eyes of the public to make themselves relatively unknown.
While growing up, there were usually three professions extolled by the average Nigerian parent. They either wanted their children to be doctors, engineers or lawyers.
Why a lawyer? The favorite reasons were and still are: money, power and the prestige that come with having a lawyer as a child. Apparently, there is money in the law profession.
Below are the background information on the wealthiest lawyers in country.
Tunde Folawiyo: Mr Tijani Babatunde Folawiyo popularly known as Tunde Folawiyo is a lawyer and a businessman. He is the managing director of Yinka Folawiyo Group and director of MTN Nigeria. According to Forbes, he has an estimated net worth of $650 million.
John Olatunde Ayeni: John Olatunde Ayeni is the chairman of Skye bank and worth millions of dollars. John Olatunde Ayeni was born on April 4, 1967. He is a Nigerian lawyer, investor and business magnate. He holds board positions on companies throughout Nigeria. In 2011, Ayeni became chairman of Skye Bank, which was formed in 2005 when five commercial banks merged to create a new entity with a balance sheet in excess of ₦1 trillion. He is currently worth about $600 million.
Adewumi Ogunsanya: Ogunsanya who is the chairman of Multichoice Nigeria is also on the board of Heritage Bank. Mr Ogunsanya is a managing partner in the law firm of Ogunsanya & Ogunsanya and he is one of the newest senior advocates in Nigeria. He is also the chairman of several companies like Smile Nigeria, Trocadero Group of Companies, Multichoice Nigeria and a host of others. Mr Ogunsanya who is a board member of Heritage Bank is reportedly worth over over $250 million.
Jimoh Ibrahim: Jimoh Ibrahim once contested for governor of Ondo state. He was born on February 24, 1967, same year as Mr Ayeni. He is a lawyer, politician, businessman, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Global Fleet Group, which controls such companies as Air Nigeria, NICON Insurance, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, NICON Luxury Hotel, formerly Le’ Meridien Hotel and about 8 others. He is reportedly worth about $200 million.
Aare Afe Babalola: Aare Afe Babalola is the founder of one of Nigeria’s most popular universities named after him. Afe Babalola SAN, OFR, CON, born 1929, is the founding partner of Afe Babalola & Co (Emmanuel Chambers), one of the largest law firms in Nigeria. He is also the founder of the popular Afe Babalola University. He has an estimated net worth of $150 million.
Wole Olanipekun: Wole Olanipekun was once the president of the Nigerian Bar association. Mr Wole Olanipekun SAN, is a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in 2002 and the managing partner of Wole Olanipekun & Co, a firm he founded. With litigation costs running into several millions of dollars, Mr. Olanipekun is worth an estimated $122 million.
Gbenga Oyebode: Gbenga Oyebode who holds a minority share in MTN is a media darling. Gbenga Oyebode is a founder and managing partner of Aluko & Oyebode who also owns a minority shareholding in MTN Nigeria, and sits on the company’s board. He has an estimated net worth of $120 million and was the former chairman of Access Bank PLC and the current chairman of Okomu Oil and Crusade Insurance.