Many Nigerians have made Nigeria proud both at home and in the Diaspora for their industry, tenacity, and impact in their chosen fields, erasing the notion that the African man has to be kept by the sidelines because many are believed not to have any positive contribution to offer in today’s world. One such is Chief Bukola Adetula, a man who though made exploits and blazed the trail in the legal profession in the United States never felt comfortable staying away from his country and people.
There’s no gainsaying that Bukie, as he is warmly called by friends and associates has done Nigeria and the Black race proud; he is a man that stands tall with an unblemished character and record of integrity, a maestro in his career and a wizard of law who early in his career was described as a “Star in the Horizon” by an African magazine domiciled in the United States in recognition of his indefatigable feats in the American Law courts.
The Star-Ledger, New Jersey in 2011 while talking about him said he has over the decades been an African lawyer with a penchant for the dramatic that has a long record of judicial prowess and success. This has been said to be an understatement, many Nigerian citizens caught in the web of the US law were beneficiaries of his marksmanship. He represented and let many off the hook of what would have earned them decades behind bars.
This is no hyperbole, considering that Bukie has won no less than 200 cases in the State and Federal courts of America. Till date, he walks tall as one of the most respected and most brilliant lawyers in America, with more than three decades post-qualification experience and is the first Nigerian to establish a law firm in the State of New Jersey where irrespective of class, race or caste, he represented clients in diverse cases of varying degrees, ranging from immigration to matrimony, personal injury and a host of others. His brilliance and doggedness in defending murder, kidnapping, drug-related matters, carjacking, and other serious criminal charges, however, earned him his reputation of a high-profile lawyer, one who was “recognized in courtrooms from Brooklyn to Trenton.
This is the portrait of a man in high standing, not only because of his intimidating height, imposing presence or baritone voice but also his perspicacious character coupled with razor-sharp intelligence, a warm, ebullient personality and vivacious demeanour which often contrasts with his gentle mien and endears him instantly to people. His humility and generous spirit, which he wears impeccably, are true reflections of his inner man and outward spirit.
His enviable resume, however, comes as no surprise for a man who received qualitative upbringing and formal education, home and abroad. He has in his academic coffers a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Criminal Justice, a degree he obtained simultaneously with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1981 at the State University of New York College of Buffalo, Buffalo State. His academic thirst insatiate, he began his Masters Degree in 1982 at the University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut but had to suspend this when he was given a place in the Law programme at the State of New Jersey- Rutgers Law School in September 1983.
In May 1986, he emerged with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in Law. With the Law degree in the bag, he resuscitated his Masters program and bagged an M.A in Political Science at the University of Bridgeport in May 1987. After which Chief Bukola Adetula (Esq) kicked off his career with a solo practice firm in Bayonne, New Jersey, followed quickly by a year as a Litigation Specialist with the American International Adjustment Company, (AIAC) a subsidiary of AIG, the insurance conglomerate.
Adetula is also renowned for his compassion which is evident in the huge numbers that have accomplished greatness through him both abroad and in Nigeria especially in Owo, his hometown. This selfless man has taught many to fish, irrespective of tribe or class. In fact, he is credited to have assisted innumerable Nigerians to get qualitative education, home and in the United States through sponsorship and scholarship schemes. In the area of health, employment, empowerment and migration and settling in the United States, he has made a mark as he believes that any nation that craves development must have surplus food, have access to free healthcare, be literate and educated and be an open society that can attract foreign investments.
The length of years he lived in America did not erode his love and allegiance to his fatherland. He never forgot his home or culture and his dressing all the time shows his rich culture as a Yoruba man. He is known to drape a muffler, known as “asigbo”, permissible for only the male descendants of the Sasere dynasty in Owo.
His efforts at making life better for others earned him a chieftaincy title in 2014 when the Ooni of Ife conferred on him and his wife, Dr. (Mrs) Christiana Olanrewaju Adetula, an indigene of Ipoti-Ekiti and a doctor of chiropractic medicine, the chieftaincy titles of Akingbayi and Yeye Akingbayi of the Source, respectively.
As he clocks 58 today, I celebrate a man whose sojourn abroad never made him forget his home and he has made his stately family mansion, Zoka Castle, a centre of activities aimed at empowering people and making sure the sun can rise for Ondo State again.
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