13th February, 2022
By Oladapo Udom
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has praised the array of distinguished alumni of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG) for their contributions to the development of the country.
Osinbajo gave the commendation at the UNILAG Law Alumni Dinner, themed: ‘The Great Homecoming’ which was held on Saturday at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos.
“The reputation and goodwill of the alumni is the rationale for the prestige of the school.
“We must all be proud of the remarkable array of alumni and their great achievements not just in Law but practically in all fields of human endeavour.
“It is time to boast about the weight of the UNILAG, the Faculty of Law and its contributions to the development of the society and country at large,” he said.
According to Osinbajo, the quality of alumni from the prestigious university had led precedence in defining legal practice in the country.
“At the apex of the Nigerian judiciary is our Honourable Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, last year she was joined by Justice Helen Ogunwunmiju, both alumni of the UNILAG Faculty of Law.
“At the Court of Appeal, we have so many such as Justice Patricia Mahmoud who served as Ag. Chief Judge of Kano State.
“Also the immediate past Chief Judge of Edo, Justice Esther Edigin, who was my classmate and the current Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba is also a proud alumnus,” he said.
Osinbajo also listed Justice Oyebiola Oyewunmi of the Industrial Court as a proud alumnus.
“In the Lagos State Judiciary alone, we have so many justices such as Justice Yetunde Adesanya, Justice Adenike Coker, Justice Atinuke Oluyemi, Justice Adedayo Akintoye, Justice Idowu Alakija among others.
“In the private bar, we have Mr Wole Olanipekun, and possibly the wealthiest of lawyers in the country,”.
“So many alumni had formed law firms of great reputation and recognition of their contributions to society, he added.
“For example, we have the late Bankole Aluko, SAN, who co-founded one of the leading law firms in Nigeria today, Aluko and Oyebode.
“Then there is also Femi Olubanwo, co-founder of Banwo and Ighodalo who recently won the Nigerian Law firm of the year award,” he said.
Osinbajo added that he as the vice president of the country and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, were both alumni of the great institution.
“We also have had several former governors such as Gov. David Jemibewon of Oyo State and Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue State.
“Also, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Ade Ipaye and the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole are alumni.
“Both were former students and lecturers in the Faculty of Law, UNILAG and Oduwole is the holder of the Prince Claus Chair from 2013 to 2015,” he said.
The VP said that traditional rulers were not also left out of the UNILAG Faculty of Law alumni mentioning the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, former AIG.
Osinbajo said that the institution had also produced several attorney generals such as the likes of Mr Kanu Agabi, Mr Christopher Ojo, Mr Adetokunbo Kayode and Mr Odein Ajumogobia.
“Many SANs have excelled in different ways such as Mr Fidelis Oditah who is possibly the only one of us who is both Queen’s Counsel and SAN,” he said.
The VP also recalled when Adokie Amiesimaka during his days as an undergraduate played for the Sharks FC, Rivers and also won gold at the 1980 African Cup of Nations.
He also said that the entertainment industry and fashion industry had not been spared against the creative disruption made by their alumni especially the ladies who are making brilliant contributions to the industries.
“Our own Bolanle Austin-Peters, founded Nigeria’s first privately owned theatre, Terra Kulture; her film on the Ebola outbreak, ’93 Days’ is the highest nominated film in the 2017 African Movie Academy Awards.
“In the fashion world, Omoyemi Akinrele is raising the Nigerian flag high. She is the initiator of the Lagos Fashion Week.
“So our people are everywhere and I can keep on bragging about them forever,” Osinbajo said.
Also, Mr Ajumogobia who served respectively as the minister of foreign affairs and minister of petroleum praised the multiple roles played by alumni in the country and beyond.
“We have achieved immeasurable successes in careers as diverse as our country,” he said.