Ex-AGF, Ojo advocates mentoring at UNILAG law awards
Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN) has urged lawyers to eschew corruption and other vices in their dealings in order to engender national growth and development.
Speaking at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos “Law Alumni and Friends Gala & Award Evening” held at Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, Ojo stated that alumni associations have a major role to play in ensuring that their members remain good citizens, adding that the alumni could apply pressure on their peers to behave ethically.
Ojo whose dinner speech was titled “The role of alumni associations in engendering national rebirth,” stated that the various alumni platforms in Nigeria “could also be harnessed as a check on members who are saddled with the responsibility of managing public offices to conduct themselves with discipline in line with the established traditions of their alma maters.”
According to the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president, such members could be influenced positively by pressures from their associations not to become bad testimony and black spots on their roots, noting that it “has over the years served as a melting pot of the nation’s diversity given the spread of the ethnic nationalities that have passed through the learning halls.”
The former justice minister urged each graduating set to support the proposed N2.5 Billion law faculty building “which is planned to be the best faculty edifice in the world,” adding that a set could “take it upon itself to fund the construction of a lecture hall” while other sets take up other aspects of the building.
Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN) who chaired the occasion said: “All alumni of the faculty have a duty to give back to our university, and more particularly our faculty, the faculty that produced each and every one of us – the best of all faculties of law. The government cannot do all.”
Dean of Law, Prof. Akin Ibidapo-Obe said the 10-storey state-of-the-art edifice is designed to provide a world class environment for the training of the nation’s future lawyers, adding that the faculty must be reckoned as a centre of excellence both in its products and learning environment.
The chief host and vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Rahaman Bello said the university was “very proud” of its law faculty alumni, noting that when the Federal Government attempted to change the name of the university, “it was the products of this great faculty led by our chairman of the day, Chief Wole Olanipekun and other SANs produced by the faculty that came to the rescue” to ensure that the university retained its famous name.
At the event, awards were given to deserving alumni and friends of the faculty.The faculty has produced some of the brightest and best lawyers in Nigeria, including incumbent Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (GCON, SAN). It also boasts of having produced the greatest number of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), many distinguished judges, leading solicitors, corporate titans and foremost company secretaries among others.
Aside from the staff of the faculty and top management of the university, other dignitaries who attended the event included Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN); Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN); Dr. Dapo Olanipekun (SAN); Mr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN); former managing director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Dan Abia; Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Idowu Alakija; Mr. Guy Murray Bruce, ace musician, Mr. Shina Peters who gave a rousing performance and host of others.