The Center was honored and most pleased to enjoy the visit of Professor Akinola Ibidapo-Obe and his wife, Dolapo, to Provo during the 2016-2017 school year. Professor Ibidapo-Obe ("Professor Akin") is former dean of the Faculty of Law and former director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria. As a visiting scholar at BYU Law School Professor Akin was part of the teaching team for the advanced courses in International Protection of Religious Freedom and U.S. Church and State, taught by Professors Brett Scharffs and Cole Durham.
Professor Akin has been a key figure in several successful events sponsored by the Center in Nigeria over the past two years, beginning with his hosting, as Dean of the Faculty of Law at Lagos, an international conference "Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa" in February 2015, and including the conference "Law, Religion and Development in Africa", held at the University of Ilorin, and a Judicial Roundtable held in Abuja, both in June 2016.
As law dean at Lagos, Professor Akin pioneered Introduction of Law and Religion Studies as an approved course for the 2016–2017 session. He credits his involvement with the law and religion movement to his attendance at the 21st International Symposium on Law and Religion Studies in Provo in October 2014. Professor Akin and colleagues throughout Nigeria have formed the Nigeria Association for Law and Religion Studies and the West African Regional Centre for Law and Religion Studies to promote teaching and research on law and religion in Nigeria and the West Africa subregion.
Akin and Dolapo are the parents of two daughters and two sons, three of whom read law at university; the fourth is a botanist. The Center is grateful for the visit of these two good friends to Utah, and look forward to continuing associations in our shared endeavors.