Born on 19th
February, 1933. Alhaji Lateef Olufemi Okunnu attended Ansar-ud- Deen School,
Alakoro, Lagos (1938- 1947) and secondary education at Kingâ€™s College, Lagos (1948
â€“ 1953). He proceeded to University College, University of London where he
obtained his Bachelor of Law degree between 1956 to 1958. In order to obtain an
internal degree of the University, Alhaji Okunnu attended a course in English
and European History in his suspence year 1958/1959 at UCL. Grayâ€™s Inn, London,
1956-1960; Council of Legal Education, 1956-1960, and was called to
the English Bar and Nigeria Bar on 9th February and 16th September,
1960 respectively. On the 20th of July, 1992, he was admitted to the Inner Bar
as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Alhaji Okunnu started his professional career as a clerk at the Posts and Telegraphs Department from June to September 1953; Technical Assistant, Kingâ€™s College Lagos, where due to shortage of academic staff was deploy to full-time teaching (English & History and Civics) from October, 1953 to February, 1956. Alhaji Okunnu went into Private Legal Practice in the chambers of Fani-Kayode & Sowemimo from September 1960 to May 1967. He became Federal Commissioner (Minister) for Works and Housing, May, 1967 to December, 1974; Private Legal Practice as Principal Partner, Okunnu & Shomade January to July 1975; and Private Legal Practice, Femi Okunnu & Co., August 1975 till date.
Alhaji Okunnu had contributed immensely to the development of engineering in Nigeria. As the Federal Commissioner (Minister) for Works and Housing, he initiated the change-over from the British to the Metric System of Measurement in 1969. He granted charters to the professionals of Architecture (ARCON), Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Estate Surveying (ESVRSB), and Land & Building Technology, 1971-1974.
At the global stage, Alhaji Okunnu led the Federal Delegation to the Organization of African Unity Consultative Committee on Nigeria (Nigerian Peace Talks to end the Civil War) in Niamey, Republic of Niger, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Republic of Liberia; Special Emissary of the Nigerian Head of State on various occasions between 1967 and 1974 to the Heads of States and Governments of several countries in Africa (West, North, Central and East), Europe (Romania and Bulgaria) and the Caribbean.
In recognition of his contributions to education, he has been honoured with the Doctorate of Law degree (Honoris Causa) of the Lagos State University, 2008 and the Doctorate of Science, Public Administration (Honoris Causa) of the Crescent University, Abeokuta, 2009.
He holds the Fellowships of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State Polytechnic, the Nigerian Institute of Architects, the Nigerian Institute of Building and Honorary Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Engineering. He is a Member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos Branch), 2006, Member, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Member, Nigerian-Arab Association, President, Kingâ€™s College Old Boys Association (1995-1999). In 2001, Alhaji Okunnu was awarded the distinguished National honour of the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON).
- Engineering and Professional Policy Regulation and Control