Kemi Pinheiro and Wahab Shittu
How do you pay tribute to a man with too many at-tributes? Man of multiple firsts, double professional, Pharmacist and Lawyer. A pioneer student at the department of Pharmacy, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University); pioneer President of the Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy; Founder and Chairman of the first indigenously promoted company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange; a Founding and distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors (DFIoD) (Nigeria); the first District Governor of Rotary District 911, Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, mni has navigated the waters of several endeavours and has excelled in ‘no less than all’.
“Regal, resplendent, rich and riveting sum up his personae. Gracious in goodness, generous in giving, he signposts the essence of philanthropy. As he comes out of his automobile, unannounced, unheralded, he takes a few graceful steps in a characteristic gait of many decades. Age hasn’t removed the spring in his steps. In flowing white attire, a flash of a smile and an aura of permanence, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi comes into the picture. A champion of the good life and a campaigner for the downtrodden, the world-famous pharmacist and philanthropist occupies a space few mortals can dream just some months short of clocking 80…”
The above indeed captures the essence and persona of the celebrant as ably described by Funke Olaode and fully adopted in this tribute.
Against this background, what else does one say about a widely acknowledged individual institutional figure, a persona who is undoubtedly the epitome of core values, a man of excellent manners, a man who subscribes to the highest ethical and professional standards, a man of letters and acknowledged public speaker, a man of excellent taste, culture and tradition, a man of high quality and excellence?
How does one begin to describe a man of sterling integrity and zero tolerance for corruption or capture the lifestyle of a man with flawless skin and attractive looks, or comment about his brilliance and admirable sense of comportment and table manners?
The celebrant is a distinguished Advocate, an accomplished Solicitor, an accomplished public speaker, an astute administrator, an international public personality and a man of unquestionable integrity.
It was therefore our privilege to have had in our midst as classmate a very important personality whose reputation preceded him. Did the celebrant relate with the rest of us based on this intimidating profile? A well renowned Pharmacist, an accomplished Board Room personality and Corporate player and a Prince? Certainly not! Indeed, he brought himself to everyone’s level and took his lectures just like every other ordinary student, without airs and without insisting on being accorded any special privileges or preferential treatment during our days at the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, 2006 to 2007.
Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi is the current Chairman of the Board of MTN Foundation but prior to his chairmanship of the MTN Board, has achieved several feats, too many to mention.
Born on August 2, 1940, Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi’s impactful professional life began at the then University of Ife where he studied Pharmacy and graduated in 1965. Whilst excelling at the University, he was also a youth leader at the local, national and international levels. He served as Vice-President for International Affairs of the National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS) in 1964. At the international level, he was elected in 1965 by student organizations worldwide during their Annual Conference at Christ Church, New Zealand and became the Secretary-General of the world student body, the International Students Conference (ISC) with headquarters in Leiden, Holland.
Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi wears the insignia of leadership with admirable pride as he championed too many causes, building in the process Students’ Union organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe and America. During this epoch, he visited 143 countries and became multilingual. History records that Uncle Juli (as most of us call him) led a seventeen-nation delegation to Nigeria during the Nigerian civil war for advocacy and peaceful resolution of the conflict. The delegation visited the war front and the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon who in a special letter commended him for youth service to the nation.
After his mission in Holland, Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi, aged about 28, returned to Nigeria in 1968 to contribute his mark to the Nigerian pharmaceutical evolvement. He achieved another ‘first’ founding JULI PLC (formerly Juli Pharmacy Ltd) in 1970, the first indigenously promoted company to be quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1986.
Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi’s knack for high ethical standards in business and professions earned him various clarion calls and national positions at the highest level. He was Nigeria’s Minister of Health and Social Services and ex-group Chairman of Oodua Investment Conglomerate, an organization coordinating the economic and cultural legacy of the Yoruba nation.
Prince is a fellow (and pioneer President) of the Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy. He is also a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, past President and Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN) and the West African Pharmaceutical Postgraduate College (FWAPPC). He received the national awards MFR in 1986 and OFR in 2002. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the MTN Foundation and has since his appointment invested enormously in education, health and economic empowerment of disadvantaged persons and communities positively affecting the lives of millions of Nigerians. As many would agree with unhesitant unanimity, Uncle Juli is a Philanthropist par excellence.
Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi joined and has served as the President of the Rotary Club of Ikeja, Nigeria. He was elected as District Governor-elect for District 210 covering West Africa in 1980 and by 1982 when Nigeria was carved out of District 210 and named District 911; Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi became the first District Governor of Rotary District 911 covering the whole of Nigeria for the 1982/83 year. In this capacity, he laid a solid foundation for the growth of Rotary in Nigeria.
As we all know, Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi studied Law at the University of Lagos where he graduated in 1986 where he had the priviledge and honour of being taught by the current Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) (one of the many other good Lecturers of the time).
Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, (a man with 3 A’s out of 4 names) was at the Nigerian Law School in 1987 and needless to say that he emerged as the best graduating student in the Nigerian Law School (NLS) Class of 1987, carting away numerous prizes including the prestigious Chief FRA Williams, QC, SAN Best Graduating Student Prize (Male). Though committed to Pharmacy, Uncle Juli went ahead to practise law and he was a member of the Black Table of the Chambers of Chief F.R.A Williams, QC, SAN. He has been in pro bono legal practice promoting free legal aid to prisoners and the underprivileged for many years.
Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi is a fantastic family man. He has been married to his wife, Mrs. Juliana Adelusi-Adeluyi, for about 50 years and blessed with lovely and adorable children. For almost five decades and still counting, Uncle Juli and his wife (please permit us to call you, Auntie Juli) have been able to keep the Juli Pharmacy brand. This is historical in this clime.
Uncle Juli is a man of phenomenal success, business virtuoso, ‘white attire’ is the synecdoche for ‘Mr. Ethics’, as he is also fondly called.
This is the sterling profile of a man who would quietly enter the classroom, sit down un-noticed throughout the lectures, comport himself with dignity, candour, decency while according due respect and courtesies to his fellow classmates.
The high esteem for which the celebrant is held generally by all those who were and remain in contact with him, particularly Class ’87 of the Nigerian Law School is underscored by the quality of personage proudly associated with him and who took out an advert on July 28, 2020, in THISDAY Newspaper in celebration of his 80th. Some of these highly distinguished personalities include:
• Rickey M. Tarfa SAN
• Adetunji Oyeyipo SAN
• ‘Kemi Pinheiro SAN
• Wale Akoni SAN
• Olasupo Shasore SAN
• Chief Benbella Anachebe SAN
• Sunday I. Ameh SAN
• Samuel Ologunorisa SAN
• Hassan Liman SAN
• Oluseye Opasanya SAN
• Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume SAN
• Tawo E. Tawo SAN
• Ibrahim Bawa SAN
• Samuel Zibiri SAN
• Wale Adesokan SAN
• Nasir Abdu Dangiri SAN
• Sir Steve Adehi SAN
• Professor Isa Chiroma SAN
• Ike Ekweremadu, Ph.D, CFR
• Chief Emeka Wogu, Ph.D, CON
• Mulikat Thomas
• Ronke Omorodion
• Nini Agoro Bashar
• Kemi M. Ashiru
• Kate Ajayi Daramola
• Chief Gbola Akinola
• Anozie Obi, mni
• Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
• Chief Oseloka Godwin Osuigwe
• Edwards Dauda Kabir
• Wahab Shittu
• Chief (Dr.) Richard Oma Ahonaruogho
Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi OFR, mni, is easily classified as one of the doyens of his generation, celebrated only in part, and the Nigerian Law School Class of 1987 takes pride in being associated with this man of many excellent descriptions and accomplishments.
Happy 80th birthday to our dear Uncle Juli.
The word ‘Octogenarian’ sounds younger with you.
––Written for and on Behalf of The Nigerian Law School (Nls) Class of 1987 By ‘Kemi Pinheiro SAN, FCIARB, FIOD & Wahab Shittu, Llm, Mpia.