he was educated at Dekina primary school and the Government College, Okcne between 1951 and 1957.
He went to the Officer Cadet Training School at Teshie in Accra, Ghana in 1958, followed by the officer cadet school at Aldershot in 1959 and Sandhurst in 1960-1, where he showed himself to be an ambitious and determined cadet.
His first exposure to the politics of the ancien regime was in 1962 when he was the military ADC to the Governor of Eastern Nigeria for one year. He then went on to the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, India in 1964-5, returning to become Adjutant General in the Nigerian army from 1965 to 1966. During'the war he rose fast. He was brigade commander in Lagos in 1967 until appointed Commander of the 3rd Marine Commando in the same year.
He began active operations in the Mid-west, clearing many of the creek areas and Warri (now the oilmen’s town). Next he captured Calabar in the extreme south-east on October 18, leading a seaborne assault, and on May 19, 1968, the town of Port Harcourt.
From here he pressed north into Biafra proper making more progress on the southern front in late 1967 and early 1968 than the other commanders in the north and west.
Aba fell at the end of August and Owerri a few months later. This was the high-water mark of Adekunle's Biafran campaign. The major Biafran counter attack came in October 1968, when Owerri was surrounded and finally retaken on April 25, 1969.
Before the loss of Owerri, Adekunle's forces had been bogged down for half a year. In June 1969, he, together with all the other divisional commanders, was withdrawn from the front line. He was made Director of Training and Planning at the Supreme Military Headquarters in Lagos.
In May 1970 when postwar congestion at Lagos port reached unbelievable proportions, with ships waiting out at sea for up to three weeks at a stretch, he was put in charge of clearing up the port. He cut through the red tape and within a couple of months had the port running as efficiently as an army unit.
After the war he was made Director of Training and Planning of the Nigerian army and also found time to devote himself to extensive and varied business interests.