The maiden edition of Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu Annual Lecture which held on 18 July, 2017 at Prof. Ade Ajayi Auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has thrown open a window of opportunity for professorial candidates seeking scholarship or endowment for research in Pharmacy and Obstetrics/Gynaecology.
It would be recalled that the Board of Trustees for the annual lecture in Pharmacy was inaugurated by UNILAG’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrahamon Bello, on 2 June, 2016, in accordance with the instruction of the executors/trustees of the Estate of Chief (Mrs) Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele.
The late Mrs Omololu-Mulele is said to have provided, in her last will and testament dated 19 June, 2005, the sum of N36 million for the endowment of two professorial chairs at the University of Lagos in the fields of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pharmacy.
Reacting to the news, Mrs Ibironke Salaam, director of advancement, University of Lagos, noted that Omololu-Mulele was the first person in the history of the institution to bequeath an endowment, under legacy-giving, to it.
Corroborating this, the institution’s vice-chancellor stated in his speech that “legacy-giving is a rare occurrence in this part of the world; thus the late Mrs Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele should be highly commended.”
Bello also lauded the executors of the deceased’s will, particularly Mrs Hairat Ade-Balogun and Mrs Laide Sasegbon for their steadfast support.
He further narrated that when it was clear that the total amount available for the two chairs would not be enough to sustain them in perpetuity, a decision was taken to have it changed to annual lectures to boost the two areas of study in perpetuity.
The annual lecture which was held in conjunction with Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos attracted several pharmacy students, pharmacists and academic staff of the university.
Also in attendance were Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, keynote speaker and president, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm); Prof. Cecilia Igwilo, Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Prof Ebenezer Ogunlana, former PSN president; Pharm. Gbenga Olubowale, immediate past chairman, Lagos PSN; Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, vice president, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm) and Prof Fola Tayo, Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
Others were Prof. Bola Silva, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy; Prof. Oluwole Familoni, chairman, Board of Trustee, Annual Lecture; Prof. Shade Ogunsola, deputy vice chancellor (Development Services), UNILAG; Emeritus Prof. Taiwo da Rocha-Afodu, professor of surgery, UNILAG College of Medicine; Mrs Modupe Oluwole, former chief pharmacist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and Mrs Angela O. Branco, head of da Rocha-Afodu clan.
The late Mrs Frederica Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele was born to Fredrick Ladipo Mobolaji Benson. Her father did not like to have any English name and this made him to later change his name to Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu; this was in the youth movement era. He was born in Lagos to a father who hailed from Ikorodu, Lagos State, while his mother belonged to the Suenu Chieftaincy Family of Lagos at Isale Eko. Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu was a pharmacist, a member and founder of the Lagos Cricket CIub.
During the 2nd World War in 1940, her father’s boat was torpedoed by the German Submarine U.2 off the Coast of Iceland and all those in the ship perished. He was buried in London. Her mother, Mrs Candida Adenike Afodu was the youngest child of Chief Candido Joa da Rocha.
After the death of her father, her grandfather, da Rocha, took over the upbringing and education of Abimbola and her five siblings from primary school to the University. Da Rocha was a businessman, property and land owner and financier; he lived in the historic Water House, No. 12 Kakawa Street, Lagos. Her siblings are lLate Dr O. da Rocha-Afodu; Mrs A. O. Branco, who is the current head of the da Rocha-Afodu clan; Mr C. O. da Rocha-Afodu; Prof. John Taiwo da Rocha-Afodu, an Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University of Lagos; and Mrs Cecilia Kehinde Somolu.
Abimbola had her early education at the Nursery School of Queens College, Onikan, Lagos; as well as Baptist Academy, Broad Street, Lagos. She then moved on to St. Thomas Catholic Secondary School, Broad Street, Lagos. Mrs Omololu-Mulele attended Trinity College, Dublin and was the first Nigerian female graduate in Law. She was a member of Middle Temple Inn, London.
Abimbola started her career in the civil service as a Crown Counsel. She got married to a career diplomat and judge, late Justice Olusanya Omololu who was a Deputy High Commissioner in the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom. She later bowed to her husband’s wish and resigned her appointment.
In order to satisfy her passion as an educationist, she established ADRAO International School (Abimbola da Rocha Afodu Omololu). Mrs Omololu-Mulele started the school in one of the government houses given to officials at the Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi. She started on 1 July, 1963, with three pupils, one of whom was a member of the family. The school relocated to the present location on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island in 1964. The formal opening was performed by the late Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa in April 1964.
Many years after the death of her husband, Justice Omololu, Omololu-Mulele married General Guiome Mulele. Her philanthropic spirit was demonstrated in the endowment of thirty-six million naira each for the Late Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu Memorial Lecture in Pharmacy and the Abimbola Omololu-Mulele Memorial Lecture in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of Lagos. She made similar endowments to the Obafemi Awolowo University lIe-lfe, Osun State University, a Catholic Seminary and Catholic University, Abuja.
The endowment of Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun Afodu Memorial Lecture in Pharmacy is in honour of her late father and her commitment to advance the frontiers of knowledge in Pharmacy.