Rafiu Olawale Bello

Overview And Experience

Rafiu is regarded by Judges and clients as ‘very thorough, diligent and vast in knowledge of law’. He has a broad experience in diverse areas of law and adequate experience in both litigation and corporate commercial practice. He has handled several complex civil and criminal cases at trial and appellate courts across Nigeria and worked with lawyers in America and Europe on international civil and criminal litigations.

His advocacy skill and written brief craftsmanship are judicially recognised- the Court of Appeal commended his arguments in a judgment delivered on the 9th of December, 2013 in a high-profile case where he represented a former Managing Director of Bank PHB Plc (now Keystone Bank) against the Federal Government of Nigeria. Rafiu was also counsel in multi-billion Naira company ownership litigation where the client, due to the high stakes, got another firm to do a neutral review of Rafiu’s work in the litigation. The client sent the report of the review with the following commendation: ‘’Mr. Rafiu, Well done for the great job.  Here is the summary of the review’’.  The matter was concluded in a settlement acceptable to the client. Rafiu acted as counsel to Marek Zmyslowski, co-founder of Jumia Travel, in his international civil and criminal litigation. Rafiu’s success in the litigation was acknowledged by the client in his bestselling book ‘’Chasing Black Unicorns’’. Rafiu acts for high net worth clients, banks, oil and gas companies, IT companies, real estate companies, government departments et cetera.

Rafiu does pro-bono legal services and has concluded several pro-bono cases for indigent clients including two acquittals secured in some of the criminal cases done pro-bono. Rafiu has also contributed several articles on legal issues in journals and Newspapers. He was appointed Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the 18th of September, 2018. His over 13 years practice has seen Rafiu advocated for clients in the Nigerian States’ High Courts, Federal High Courts, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in diverse areas of law including but not limited to product liability Torts and Medicine ( acted co-counsel to the U.S. pharmaceutical giant in one of the biggest litigation in Africa regarding various suits in relation to the alleged use of unapproved vaccine to combat meningitis in Kano, aviation (acted as co-counsel to Sosoliso Airlines on legal issues in respect of the accident of 2005, amongst other aviation matters and transactions for both Nigerian and foreign clients), Banking (acted as co-counsel to 3 (three) former managing directors of Nigerian Banks in various litigations (civil and criminal) at the High Courts, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court following CBN’s intervention in the banks in 2009, Employment and labour law (acted as counsel to employees and employers in over 10 litigation matters at the National Industrial Court), family law (acted as counsel to both Petitioner and Respondent in over 6 matrimonial matters), copyright, real Estate, Insurance, oil and gas et cetera

Rafiu is an alumnus of two prominent law firms PUNUKA Attorneys and Solicitors and Animashaun, Animashaun & Associates, having practised with both firms for five years and a year respectively. Born and raised in Lagos. Rafiu obtained his LL.B from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University and Nigerian Law School, Lagos, posting Second Class (Upper Degree) at both schools. He was the best student in the law of evidence in his set at Zaria scoring an unprecedented 80+% grade in the course. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, pioneer member and Director of Construction and Infrastructure Chamber of Nigeria

Rafiu has completed many professional training programmes including business recovery and insolvency, Infrastructure Law and practice, business law, Public-private partnerships, construction, case management for dispute resolution systems et cetera


LL.B., 2002 – 2007, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Status : Second Class Honors (Upper Division) – Rated Best in the law of Evidence in his set.) – Nigerian Law School, 2007 – 2008, (Status : Second Class Upper Division)


Protracted detention cases call for state of emergency (The PUNCH, 23rd June, 2014)

Suspension in Labour Relations and the Law (The Guardian, 6th May, 2014)

Oath System and realities of international Litigation (first part) (The PUNCH, 3rd March, 2014)

Civilization, homosexuality and Nigerian Laws (The PUNCH, 27th January, 2014)

Rafiu Olawale Bello

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