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First Female SAN in Nigeria

Posted by Timige, On 30 Mar, 2022 | Updated On 30 Mar, 2022 No Comments »


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Olufolake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), CON, and distinguished lady of many firsts

Chief Folake Solanke was born 29 March 1932. She is a Nigerian lawyer, administrator, and social critic. She is the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

She a lady of “many firsts”

Folake Solanke is the first Nigerian female lawyer to wear the silk gown as Senior Counsel.

She is the first Commissioner of Western State and is a former Chairperson of the Western Nigeria Television Broadcasting Corporation (WNTBC)

She was the 42nd and the first African International President of Zonta International, an international service organization that focus primarily on advancing the status of women. The 43rd International President was also African.

Solanke was born on 29 March 1932 in the family of late Pa. J.S Odulate at Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State in southwestern Nigeria.

From 1937 to 1939, Solanke attended Ago Oko primary school. From 1940 to 1944, she attended Emo Girls School in Abeokuta. From 1945 to 1949, she attended Methodist Girls’ High School Lagos, where she took first prize in English and Mathematics consistently.

In 1949, Solanke obtained the West African School Certificate, became School Prefect and Games Captain, and at the West Africa School Certificate Examinations she became the first student of the school to obtain grade one certificate.

She spent a year at Queen’s College, Lagos before she proceeded to Newcastle University (then University of Durham), England, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (2nd Division) degree in Latin and Mathematics in 1954.

In 1955, Solanke received a diploma certificate in education (2nd Division) and joined the faculty of Pipers Corner School, Great Kingshill, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, where she taught Latin and mathematics for 2 years. In October 1956, she married Toriola Solanke.

In 1957, she joined the faculty of St Monica’s High School, Essex, where she taught the same subjects for one year.

In 1960, Solanke was admitted into Gray’s Inn, London to read for a degree in law. In 1962, she returned to Nigeria to practice law.

Mama Folake Solanke at 90

First Female Nigerian SAN at 90

On March 29, 2022 President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, joined the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the National Judicial Council (NJC), in celebrating with Chief Olufolake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), CON, and distinguished “lady of many firsts’’ on her 90th birthday.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday, the President shared the auspicious and historic occasion with Chief Solanke, rejoicing with family, friends and professional associates as they honour the renowned “Matriarch of the Bar’’, whose pedigree of virtue and excellence continues to awe and inspire, within and outside the legal profession.

The President prayed that the Almighty God will sustain Chief Solanke in good health, grace and wisdom.

Source: Nigeria World Today

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