Monday, 30 January 2017

130-year-old Harvard Law Review Elects Nigerian As First Black Woman President

Nigeria’s Imelme Umana has been elected President of the Harvard Law Review (HLR) .

Imelme, a doctorate candidate at the Harvard Law School, becomes the First Black Woman to be elected President.

The Harvard Law Review is a student-run organization with the primary purpose of publishing  a journal of legal scholarship. The Review comes out monthly from November through June and has roughly 2,500 pages per volume. The organization is formally independent of the Harvard Law School and student editors make all editorial and organizational decisions together with a professional business staff of three do carry out day-to-day operations.

Imelme Umana joins former US President Barack Obama who got elected back in 1990 as the First Black Man to become President of the Harvard Law Review (HLR). Both of them enjoy a unique position in the history of the African Presidency of the Harvard Law Review (HLR).

Saturday, 28 January 2017

94 UNN graduates make first class

Ninety four out of the 10,425 graduating students of University Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), bagged first class honour, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, the Vice-Chancellor announced Friday.

Ozumba made this known in Nsukka during the 46th convocation ceremony of the university.

He urged the new graduates to use knowledge acquired from the university to make significant imprints on the country and the world.

“Out of 10494 graduating students, I announced to you that 94 bagged first class honours, 3,098 made second class upper division, 5,145 got second lower class, 1,653 made third class while 93 are given diplomas and 314 get the university certificates

“We urge the graduates to be good ambassadors of the university wherever they find themselves,” he said.

He said his administration has completed some infrastructure projects as well as improved water and electricity supply in the university.

“Electricity and water supply services have improved tremendously which both students and staff can attest to.

“Our online distance learning programme is ready and awaiting commission by the National University Commission (NUC).

“The University of Nigeria will continue to improve welfare of its staff and students,” he said.

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the institution, Mr Emmanuel Ucla (SAN), while congratulating the graduates, said their hard work and toil had come to fruition.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the university named Mr Ifeanyichukwu Eke, from the Deparment of Macrobiology, as the best graduating student.

Butcher’s son now Nigeria’s best medical graduate

The newly inducted doctor who is believed to be the Nigerian best Medical graduating student this year, spoke with Vanguard extensively on his achievements, ambition and challenges. 


Who is Saheed Alabi ? I am Dr. Alabi Olugbenga Saheed, a medical graduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. I attended Ritlad Nursery and Primary School, Meiran, Lagos as well as Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School, Osiele Abeokuta, for my secondary education. I was born in Lagos to parents who are traders. My mum sells herbs and dad, a butcher. I hail from the gateway state (Ogun State).

What made you choose medicine? I chose medicine because it has always been my passion to be a doctor of repute right from the early days.

What was the experience like in secondary school and what was your result in WAEC? Secondary school was fun. From having good teachers who mentored me both spiritually and academically to going for competition… I enjoyed those days. I wrote my WAEC in Salaat Abiola Comprehensive High School and passed with eight distinctions and a credit.

Who asked you to go for medicine? I chose medicine myself. Most of my teachers thought I will be better with engineering but for me, medicine is what I want.

What informed the choice of OOU? Wow, it’s a long story. My secondary school principal then said I should choose OOU but I declined. After attending about two higher institutions, though leaving with good grades, I wrote another JAMB and chose OOU, a choice I’m glad I made. The name of that principal is Mr. Adegboyega Adepegba.

Experience of your admission? Of course, I chose OAU for my first JAMB, but I think I was offered Biochemistry, 2nd JAMB, UI gave me Zoology (I started, but left after 100 level) and the third, I chose the best state university, OOU.

What was your experience at OOUTH? My experience at the teaching hospital has been awesome. From the teaching and the non-teaching staff. Our consultants do not only teach medicine, they teach morals and discipline which are attributes of the noble profession.

How did you fund the course? Funding is a major hindrance to success especially a course like medicine. Textbooks and online presence are important in the academic journey. My parents are a major foundation when it comes to funding. Also, in 200 level, I got MTN foundation scholarships once. I also got the Federal Government Scholarship as a scholar for five years, an award I got after passing my Part 1 MBChB professional exams.

Your reading culture? Strike iron when it is hottest. It’s best to read when you assimilate best. So one has to devise own timetable. I don’t read at night, after I have observed that I assimilate and read faster during the day.

Do you socialize? Socialize? Yes. No holds barred except in haram (unlawful act)

What was your ambition when you were going for medicine and now with your sterling result, what is your ambition? Ambition. It is to be at the peak in both academic and clinical specialty I choose

In how many courses did you score distinction? I graduated with MBChB with Honours. That is the first in the history of the university’s medical school. I made distinctions in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology and surgery.

How do you handle female fans? I am a Muslim and there are guidelines when it comes to relating with the opposite sex. All I need is just to adhere to it. But it’s been Allah’s grace.

Your expectation from government? The government can assist me most importantly in my postgraduate studies and research.

What is your next step? House job is next and then post graduate studies both academic and clinical speciality. I wish for the favour of God will thou deny? It is all for His RAMAH (grace)

If you did not study medicine what would you have studied? If not medicine, I would have studied law or mass communication/journalism. I love the men of the Press.

Beneficiaries of Lagos Trust Fund Get N1billion From Governor Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday presented cheques worth over N1billion to 705 beneficiaries of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (ETF) pilot scheme, charging them to utilise the funds responsibly to grow their businesses, create jobs for the unemployed youths and contribute to the growth of the Lagos economy.

Governor Ambode, who made the presentation at the LTV Blue Roof, Ikeja, Lagos, said his administration identified unemployment as a major socio-economic challenge facing Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole in the course of the electoral campaign, and thus prioritised job creation.

He said the setting up of the ETF was a direct response to address the challenge of unemployment as well as provide support to the youths, entrepreneurs, artisans and other unemployed residents of the State.

“We have kept our word. We created a dedicated Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, whose mission is to promote and sustain entrepreneurship and employment,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode, while commending the Board and Management of the Fund for embarking on a comprehensive review of the business environment and developing a strategic framework and operating guidelines to ensure the sustainable and successful management of these funds, said the successful disbursement was a product of the painstaking effort.

He said the funds are targeted at small and medium scale businesses and individuals including carpenters, hairdressers, electricians, automobile parts repairers, block makers, bakers, fashion designers, cake makers, food sellers, kerosene retailers, mobile money agents, painters, plumbers, photographers and light manufacturers of liquid soaps and water among others.

“These beneficiaries are making history as the first set of beneficiaries of this Employment Trust Fund, and my charge to you is simple: You must use these funds responsibly, grow your businesses, create jobs for our unemployed youths and contribute to the growth of the Lagos State GDP. The idea is that for every N1million we disburse, we should create a minimum of five jobs around that business value chain.

“These loans have been provided at a very affordable rate of 5% per annum, far cheaper than the prevailing bank interest of 25% per annum. This is our modest way of reflating the Lagos economy, creating jobs and getting our youths gainfully occupied. Those of you here today, the first beneficiaries of this initiative, will be the agents through which our country can overcome its current economic challenges,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor also enjoined market women and female artisans to take advantage of the opportunity as his administration was particularly interested in supporting women in business.

“I also implore the Employment Trust Fund to pay special attention to the Entertainment Industry and the Tech Hubs in Sabo, Yaba area. These are new areas with huge potential for growth and job creation,” he said.

Governor Ambode also expressed optimism that the target by the Board to empower at least 100,000 micro, small and medium enterprises in due course was achievable and that the multiplier effect would be the creation of over 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs by 2019.

In her opening remarks, Chairman, Board of ETF, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru said the presentation of cheques to beneficiaries was in fulfillment of the promise made by Governor Ambode during the electioneering and a confirmation of many to come.

She recalled that while canvassing for votes, the need to provide jobs was clearly on the mind of the Governor, and according to her, he wasted no time in setting up the ETF Board made up of people with proven track record, as well as transferring N6.25billion for the initiative to kick off, while the Board ensured that the process was fair and transparent with no favour as to party, religion, tribe or faith, and covered all the 57 Councils in the State.

“While we were trying to come up with the necessary procedures, Governor Ambode kept telling us to hurry up to start disbursing the loans to residents which signified his good intention and he has also given us the mandate to make the disbursement a monthly affair to make the fund get to as many residents as possible,” Omoigui-Okauru said.

Responding on behalf of others, one of the beneficiaries, Ahmed Ojikutu thanked Governor Ambode for the initiative, saying that it was gratifying to note that the process was very transparent.

He said: “This is indeed a promise kept by the Governor. When next the Governor tells us anything, we will believe him and I want to sincerely thank him on behalf of all the beneficiaries.”

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Jollof Rice Made Me Go To UNN – Pastor Adeboye

The general overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, has said that jollof rice and chicken being enjoyed by the students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, way back in 1962, made him to choose the UNN as a university where he would do his first degree.

Adeboye who was awarded with an honorarily doctorate degree of Doctor of Divinity, DD by the University on Tuesday, said that he developed interest in the University when he went with his fellow students on an excursion to UNN in 1962 and saw students eating jollof rice with half a chicken.

Adeboye The cleric said that when he saw the way the students were enjoying then, he decided that he God permitted, he would come to UNN to study and lucky enough, the following year, 1963, he gained admission into the prestigious University.

Carried by what he saw, Adeboye said that, “I took a pebble from the ground asked God to make me come to the University. The following year, 1963, God answered my prayers.”

Adeboye however regretted that he could not graduate from the University as he left in 1966 without a degree. He expressed joy, however, that sixty years later, he has now been awarded a doctorate degree from the same University and professors call him, ‘daddy.’ “I left UNN in 1966 without a degree. Sixty years later, I have gotten a degree from UNN, now not as a first degree but a doctorate degree. That is why I feel elated. I am overwhelmed,” he said. Speaking at the occasion, Pro-chancellor of the University, Mr. Emmanuel Ukala, said that Adeboye deserved the honourary degree because he was a man of achievement.

“It is necessary to point out, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, that the University of Nigeria places high premium on positive, and the road to the attainment of its honourary degree is quite tight indeed. “As a result, anyone that successfully moves through the tight rope deserves our honour and veneration.

I, therefore congratulate Pastor E. A Adeboye for his selection for the award of the honourary degree of the University. Welcome on board as a significant member of the den of lions and lionesses,” Ukala represented by the vice chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba said.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

How I became a lecturer at law school – 24-year-old Okwor

Only 24, Kenneth Okwor is an adjunct lecturer of Corporate Law and Practice at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus, and a Templars Law Firm Associate. In this interview, he tells KEMI LANRE-AREMU, about his love for the legal profession and some of his career milestones

What schools did you attend?

I attended the University of Jos where I obtained a Bachelor of Law degree; and for my vocational and professional training, I attended the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus. I graduated with a Second Class Upper Honours from the University of Jos, and First Class Honours from the Nigerian Law School. I graduated top of my class at the Nigerian Law School, winning several awards and prizes.

What is your work history?
Presently, I am employed as an Associate at Templars and I am also an Adjunct Lecturer of Corporate Law and Practice at the Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School.

What are your job responsibilities?

At Templars, I sit primarily in the finance practice area and we basically advise clients on matters relating to banking, capital markets, mergers, acquisitions and other forms of external and internal restructuring options, project finance and other financing and refinancing structures, and general advisory services on corporate and finance matters.

At the Law School, I teach Corporate Law and Practice.

Did you set out to become a lawyer or you had other professions in mind?

I actually wanted to study Literature in English. However, when it was time to fill the form that would enable me sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, Law was the first choice.

Why the sudden change of mind?

I do not think the decision was actuated by any altruistic feeling or by a desire to define a path for my life. Honestly, it was really about gaining admission to the university to study a prestigious course. However, when I began to study Law, I saw that I could be more and I could do more. The study of Law exposed me to deeper issues that have gone a long way in defining who I am today and what I represent.

What are your areas of speciality?

I am specialising in corporate law and finance as my core areas. For me, these areas are niche areas of practice both in Nigeria and across the world and I believe that on account of my love for corporate law and all that concerns it, I would be able to learn, grow, and contribute my quota in developing the jurisprudence in these areas.

You graduated with second class upper honours from the University of Jos and a first class from the Nigerian Law School. How did you achieve these feats?

Like I always say, it was all a function of God’s grace and hard work. Studies at the university are quite different from studies at the Law School. The approach is very different as the university emphasises substantive law and it is usually very theoretical, while the Law School teaches practical law. Even though the Law School keeps an eye out for substantive law, its emphasis is on the practical application of these laws. Therefore, if properly utilised, the knowledge gained from the university can play a key role in facilitating success at the Bar Exams.

At the university, I was diligent and hard-working, and only missed classes when they conflicted with mock trials. Why I placed more emphasis on the mock trials was because they taught me to contextualise the knowledge gained in class and taught me how they would operate in practical reality.

At the Law School, I was also diligent and hard-working. The Law School’s calendar was, and still is, properly structured such that it was perfectly possible to actively participate in the law clinic and the mock trials without missing any class, and this contributed in making the difference.

Can you recollect your first time in court?

Of course I can. It was June 6 this year. My superiors at Templars insisted that I go alone.  I was scared and spent the entire weekend studying the file and rehearsing the court’s language in front of my mirror. It was a defamation suit and we were the counsel representing the claimant. In court that morning, I was nervous but the longer I waited, the more relaxed I became because I noticed that the court’s procedure was not significantly different from the mock trials I had experienced in my undergraduate and Law School days. When my matter was called, I got up and successfully did the needful.

Who and what have impacted your legal career so far?

I am an academic and a practitioner and I have mentors in both aspects of my professional life.

Albert Einstein is reputed to have observed that he saw far only because he had the privilege of standing on the shoulders of giants. My case is not different from his. My life and my story is a product of mentorship, with my parents being my first and foremost mentors. They inspire me and consistently encourage me to do more. After my parents, Mrs. Adetoun Adebiyi, the Deputy Director General and Head of Lagos Campus of the Nigerian Law School is one woman who believes that there is nothing I cannot achieve. Next on the list are my academic fathers and mentors: His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Prof. Nnamdi Aduba, Prof. Epiphany Azinge SAN (the one I watch from a distance), Prof.Dakas CJ Dakas SAN, Prof. Joash Amupitan SAN, Prof. Shaakaa, Mr. Alimi, Mrs.Odukoya, Mrs. Egbe, Mr.Ogbuanya, Mr. Sam Oguche, Mr.Udemezue, Mrs. James, and my best friend as far as international law is concerned – Mr. Matthias Zechariah. These persons have, whether actively or passively, consistently spurred me to aim for more.

As a practitioner, Mr. Chike Obianwu tops the list of those I work hard to be like and I learn from him daily. Working with him and Desmond Ogba has made me commercially aware, has changed the way I think, and given me deeper insights into the practical application of legal principles and the provision of ‘A’ grade services to clients.

All these persons have had positive impacts on my legal career and have contributed in pushing me this far in my very young career. I mean, I only became a year old at the Bar on December 16, 2016.

What key skills and qualities must one possess to become a successful solicitor/barrister?

Humility, hard work, diligence, high moral and ethical standards, commercial awareness, reliability, a sound knowledge of the law, continuous professional development, and of course, paying clients!

What do you think are the most important characteristics and abilities for any person’s success?

At the risk of sounding ecclesiastic, grace is a necessary tool for success in whatever we do. In addition to grace, anyone who wants to attain success must merge humility with hard work, smart work, diligent work, and excellent work. Having said that, I must state that I would typically not advice anyone to pursue success alone. I advocate excellence and if I am permitted to quote Ranchoddas of the 3 Idiots, “pursue excellence and success will pursue you pants down.”

How did you arrive at the decision to become an Adjunct Lecturer at the Nigerian Law School?

I have always wanted to teach and I developed that dream while I was a sophomore at the University of Jos. However, the opportunity to teach came when I least expected it and at a level that is best left to imagination. In my eyes, the Law School is a sacred institution reserved only for superior legal minds and I did not permit myself to dream of teaching at the Law School because I did not know that I had the requisite superior mind. Consequently, when Mrs. Adebiyi invited me to be her adjunct lecturer, I was overwhelmed with joy and disbelief.

How do you relate with your students considering your young age?

That has been a challenge – a major challenge actually. I started out by being very friendly with them, but trust students, they started abusing it. Then I switched and became strict, and they said I was proud. Even elderly students consistently try to use the age factor against me. But by and large, God has kept me through. I try to be very friendly with them, but I draw lines where necessary.

What is your ultimate career goal?

To develop the jurisprudence in the theory and practice of corporate law and finance in Nigeria as a scholar and as a practitioner, to fight for a vibrant Nigerian Bar that is made up of lawyers who are driven by a positive sense of ethics and high professional conduct, to fight for the protection of human rights (particularly the rights of internally displaced persons), to make positive impacts on legal education pre-call and mandatory continuing professional development post-call. These are at the vanguard of the career I am building.

In between all that you do, what other things interest you?

Classical music! They always bring peace with them. I also love to watch law-related television series. Arts and nature also interest me. Besides these, I lead a very boring life!

How do you achieve a work life balance?

Truthfully, I do not. In between church, Templars, the Law School, and my personal efforts towards self-development, I have no extra time to myself. Right now, the prospects of a work life balance for me is utopian.


Zahra Buhari and Ahmed Indimi's Wedding Celebration

The long awaited wedding finally came and from the pictures you can tell it was successful . 

Happy married life latest couple. May Allah continue to guide and protect your family . 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed Is The New UN Deputy Secretary-General

New UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday announced Nigeria’s Environment minister, Amina Mohammed as his Deputy Secretary-General. Guterres made the announcement through the spokesman of the Secretary-General, Mr Stephane Dujarric. 

The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, reports that Guterres also announced the duo of Ms. Maria Viotti of Brazil and Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea into high-profile positions at the UN. “I am pleased to announce that I will be appointing Ms. Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria as my Deputy Secretary-General, and Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil as my Chef De Cabinet. “I also intend to create the position of Special Advisor on Policy, and to appoint Ms. Kyung-wha Kang of the Republic of Korea to this new role. “I am happy to count on the efforts of these three highly competent women, whom I have chosen for their strong backgrounds in global affairs, development, diplomacy, human rights and humanitarian action. “These appointments are the foundations of my team, which I will continue to build, respecting my pledges on gender parity and geographical diversity,” Guterres said.

Amina Mohammed Mohammed, the current Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, served as UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning. She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Before joining the UN, Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Adviser on the Millennium Development Goals. She provided advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating poverty reduction interventions. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and serves on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Others include the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, and the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is also the UN Secretary-General’s Global Sustainability Panel, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project. Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Mohammed is married and has six children.

Guterres had hinted on Monday after he took the oath of office that gender parity would be top of his agenda as the UN scribe. “I think that one very important element of the agenda would be to give a clear signal that gender parity is a must and so in the appointments I will be making. “And the first ones would be announced soon. You’ll see that gender parity will become a clear priority from top to bottom in the UN and it will have to be respected by all.” “This is a very ambitious agenda, an agenda that must be for both woman and man, and that is why parity is so important in our reform perspectives. “That is also why the empowerment of women is so important in everything the UN will be doing around the world,” the incoming UN scribe said.

Guterres, succeeds outgoing secretary-general Ban, who bows out on Dec. 31, 2016 after a decade of two terms, while the new secretary-general assumes office on Jan. 1, 2017, for the next five years.

Nigeria Men

Meet Pius Ojemolon, a graduate of medicine who recently won 19 awards during his convocation at University of Benin.


Nigeria Women

Meet Nigerian Mbah Uzoamaka, the 2016 Overall Best Graduating Student of FUTO, Owerri. She defied all odds by earning a CGPA of 4.85.

Congratulations Mbah!

Nigeria Women

Meet Nigerian Lawyer Sandie Okoro who was recently appointed as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of World Bank Group.