Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN, the eldest son of the late retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Bolarinwa Babalakin, on Monday recounted how his late father reconciled the immediate past Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, and Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran.
The Chairman, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, while speaking at the third-day prayers for his father who died on Saturday, said the late jurist was always involved in the settlement of disputes.
He said, “There was a day I called Baba early in the morning and I asked what he planned doing for the day. He told me that he was reconciling Ooni Sijuade and Oba Adekunle Aromolaran. I told him their fight started, even while someone like me was very young. He told me not to say that. He said God would do it.
“Two weeks later, he called and said ‘didn’t I tell you? The matter has been resolved.’ He said when circumstances are known, blame may become pity, because both of them eventually realised that the cause of the disagreement was non-existent.
“He concluded by saying that the monarchs would be coming over to his house to wine and dine. I told him to make sure that he took pictures of the event. Kabiyesi (Olufi of Gbongan) was the master of ceremony, while his wife, was the chief caterer for the event that ended the fight.”
He also recollected how his father, upon retirement in 1991, declared that he was not going to do any work for the sake of earning money again because he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing charity.
In an attempt to test his father’s resolution, Babalakin said he one day told him of a big arbitration in his office and he told him that, “everyone has suggested that you have the calibre to be one of the arbitrators.
“I asked if he would do it, but Baba kept to his word of not doing anything for money again. I went on pestering him that $250,000 is the amount that would be paid to such person. I also mentioned one of his bosses and friend who is the second arbitrator, but he didn’t accept the offer. Baba was totally contented with life.”
Babalakin said, he resolved not to leave the country in the last six months because of his dad’s ill-health, saying he chose to travel when he noticed that the late jurist’s health was improving, only to be informed during his trip to Germany that his dad has passed on.