INTRODUCTION Femi Falana is a popular Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist. He is the father of Falz, a popular Nigerian rapper, singer, online comedian and actor and husband to Nigerian women’s rights activist Funmi Falana.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Femi Falana was born on May 20, 1958. He is a native of Ilawe, Ekiti state, Nigeria. Femi Falana attended St. Michael’s Primary School, Ilawe, between 1963 and 1968. When he concluded his primary school, Femi attended Sacred Heart Catholic Seminary between 1971 and 1975.
Femi later gained admission into the University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University), where he studied law between 1977 and 1981. He was called to the bar a year after. In the year 1991, Femi Falana Floated his own Chambers which he then called Femi Falana but later changed to become Falana and Falana Chambers, having his wife Funmi as a partner a partner.
CAREER AND LIFE
Having excelled in his law practice, Femi Falana Became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the year 2012. Activism. Femi Falana is a known human right activist in Nigeria. Nothing can best describe his nature than an article written of him by http://successdigestonline.com/ which goes like this: “By the standard of living in Ekiti (then a part of the present Ondo State) in the 50s, his father was well to do and he therefore could have lived comfortably even without activism. But the passion to defend the less privileged was too strong for him to resist; it is the way he wants to live his life. And though he once contemplated it, he decided to opt out of the opportunity to take an oath of celibacy as a Catholic priest, coupled with the fact that he could not watch other people suffer where he lived; this led him to ‘marry the Law”. From there he took interest in Constitutional criticism with the intention of correcting the anomalies in the society. In the course of doing that, he had to go through hard times of arrests, detentions, charges of treason in the course of fighting for the masses. But mind you, it was this hard way that has led to his success and fulfilment today. Falana has always been like this: vocal, fighting for the cause of others.
Even as a student leader at the then University of Ile Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, he stood his ground against oppression from the successive military governments. He started his legal practice in 1982. Barely a year with that even as a youth corps member, he handled the case of 7 University of Ibadan students who were arrested for protesting for their rights.
He succeeded in securing their freedom and he became a human rights activist as early as 1983 when he took bail for the students who had been unlawfully remanded in prison custody. Falana revealed that this incident led to his not being issued a discharge certificate by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) after his one year mandatory national service. In July 2001, Falana petitioned the Justice Oputa led Human Rights Panel set up by the then Obasanjo administration over his withheld certificate but the NYSC denied that the certificate had been intentionally withheld and instead averred that it was Falana who had not requested for it.
The certificate was subsequently released to him on live television at the commission’s sitting in 2001. The certificate was released 18 years after the completion of his service. Even as an activist, Falana is also provides free legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. He has been detained numerous times by the security services for his activism and he has won numerous awards locally and internationally for his activism. He contested and lost the governorship election of Ekiti State in 2007 on the ticket of the National Conscience Party; as of 2011 he was the National Chairman of the party.”
SPEAKING ABOUT HIS SON AND FAMILY: Falana said that his wife initially struggled to accept the career choices of their children who chose to practise other professions aside from law. Falana, who was a guest speaker at a valedictory service and prize giving day ceremony of Crown Heights College, Ibadan, recently, shared his personal experience with parents at the event, urging them not to force any profession on their children. He said, “Don’t force any course on your children; don’t insist that they must be a doctor or a lawyer. My son Folarin, who was working in our chambers, came to inform me one day that he wanted to leave. I said I could find him a place in one of my friends’ chambers. But he said no, ‘I’m going to be a musician’. When I asked why, he convinced me but he couldn’t convince his mother because she’s also a lawyer. Today, he’s doing well as a musician and not as a lawyer. So let’s debate with our children to know what they want to do.” Falana also shared the story of the late Nigerian music legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who chose to study music against his parents’ wish for him to become a medical doctor. He urged the graduating students of the school to be focus and their parents to “develop interests in the affairs of their children.”