Posted in TALL TALES

MARIO 15 – TRUST

Read the full episodes here

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.”

 

Self discovery Mario
source: nacministers.info

I feel like a contortionist. I have been squeezing my body at different angles just to be comfortable in this miserable airport chair. A snort snaps me out of my fitful dozing. I resist the urge to glare at the child laughing at me. I guess I looked funny with my head hanging at an awkward angle while nodding in my fitful sleep. I ask the woman sitting opposite me to help me watch my hand luggage as I was going to visit the rest room. The cleaner looks at me with disdain. I roll my eyes at her. I know why. I look like a “runs girl*”. First, my braids are blonde at the tip, and they are just below my buttocks – that long. I have multiple piercing on my ears and I am wearing my ankle chain and my toe rings. Toe rings are not obvious as I am wearing shoes. My skin is bleached – well, I don’t think I am ready to stop soon. And I have a tattoo on my ring  finger (as per Emilia Clarke for “Me before You”) – tattoos on bleached skin are very obvious. I fixed my eyelashes and my nails. What else? Oh, my fingers are covered in knuckle rings, and my wrists are buried under my bracelets.

I have roughly one hour before my flight. I look at the mirror and take a deep breath. I notice the cleaner still eyeing me. I tell her, ‘Jesus loves you’ and see disbelief slip into her eyes. I throw my head back in laughter as I exit the rest room. When I get back, the child who was laughing at me was in my seat. She catches a glimpse of my tattoo, but not before her mother drags her away from me. I settle in my seat and continue with my “Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers. I never mentioned that I was addicted to romance novels. I used to do erotica heavily. I have read fifty shades for the umpteenth time. But they were an impediment to maintaining my self-imposed chastity so I had to let them go. Then, the problem with romance novels is that they affect the way you see real life romance. And I had a problem because I began to compare my real life male friends to the standard  in those books, and they fell short each time, but I couldn’t stop. So I am replacing my secular romance with Christian fiction and romance books. I am so hooked on Francine Rivers and “Atonemment Child” is deep. But it is not keeping me awake in this airport. I throw the book into my bag in frustration, relax on my seat and try to fall sleep. That child snickers and I pretend to glare at her. Her mother shoots me daggers.

The announcement from the speaker interrupts my sleep. I change my position, without opening my eyes, and continue sleeping. The announcer repeats the announcement. For God’s sake, can I sleep? I reach out for my bag to take out my ear muffs. I feel nothing. That’s when I open my eyes, and see Philip looking intently at me. I tell myself loudly, ‘this is not real, Mario. This is just an image of Philip. This is  not really Philip’. The image of Philip laughs and when he takes my callused and ugly hands into his soft palms, I know that it is real. Unaided, the tears begin to fall out of my eyes. Continue reading “MARIO 15 – TRUST”

Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘YOU ONLY HAVE TO IMPRESS THE EXAMINER’.

#MyBarFinalsTestimony is brought to you by the MCQ APP in conjunction with Ekaete Hunter. 

Name: Kadiri Ayodele Ashiata

Campus: Abuja Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students; Sir Adetokunbo Ademola K.B.E, G.C.O.N Prize for the Best Student of the Year; Dr Taslim Elias G.C.O.N Prize for the Best Student of the Year; Justice Atanda Fatayi-Williams, G.C.O.N Prize for the Best Student of the Year; Nigerian Bar Association Prize for the Best Female Student; Council of Legal Education Star Prize Winner of the Year; National Association of Women Judges Prize for the Best Female Student of the Year; Justice Kayode Esho, C.F.R, 1st Prize in Professional Ethics and Skills; Prince Bola Ajibola, C.F.R., K.B.E, SAN Third Prize in Civil Litigation; the Stephenson Harwood Prize (6 weeks internship) for the Best Graduating Student; The Boinime Jackson Lott Foundation Prize for the Best Over-all Female Student of the Year.

University: University of Lagos  (Second Class Upper)

About: Ayodele is a lawyer and a writer. She loves reading and meeting new people. She can be reached at kadiriayodele@gmail.com

AYODELE KADIRI
SOURCE: AYODELE KADIRI

First and foremost, I would like to say that I take no credit for my outstanding performance in the Nigerian Law School. That is the undiluted truth. God did it all. He singlehandedly made it happen. However, I would just briefly explain what my routine/strategy (or whatever you would like to call it) was like. I would be borrowing heavily from an article that had been written earlier by Ekaete Hunter and Seyi Mafolabomi. You can read that here.

Here it goes:

  •  There is nothing to be afraid of

It took me a while to discover this. I was really really scared – I didn’t find my rhythm early enough, I was seriously sleeping in class, I had not even completed my first reading when some other people were on the third, my notes were taking forever to come together, and I was easily frustrated. Nothing was making sense. Very early during the externship, I read King Hezekiah’s story – Isaiah 35 to 37, and I found myself in tears in the place of prayer asking God to help me deal with my fears. And God heard me. I drew inspiration from Daniel – whom God gave wisdom to interpret a dream he didn’t even know. I learned to trust God, believe in myself, enjoy the companionship of those around me, and also remain optimistic even if I wasn’t able to finish my drafts, even if I was forgetting my principles, or I didn’t score too well in my private practice of the MCQs. Continue reading “#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘YOU ONLY HAVE TO IMPRESS THE EXAMINER’.”

Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘THE RED SCROLL IS FOR EVERYBODY.’

#MyBarFinalsTestimony is brought to you by the MCQ APP in conjunction with Ekaete Hunter. 

Name: Geoffrey Chiwetalu Adonu

Campus: Lagos Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students; Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello G.C.O.N Prize for the 2nd Over-All Best Student; Mallam Yusuf Alli, S.A.N Prize for the Best Male Student; and the Nigerian Bar Association Prize for the Best Male Student

University: Babcock University (First Class )

About: Geoffrey Chiwetalu Adonu, graduated with a First Class from the Nigerian Law School and was the Second Over-All Best graduating Student of the 2015/2016 Academic Session. He won several prizes at the Call to Ceremony held on 30th Novermber, 2016. He also graduated with a First Class from Babcock University Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State.

Dubbed Mr. Genuis by the Dean of Law at Babcock University, Emeritus Professor I.O Agbede, Geoffrey is considered a hardworking and humble lad by his peers. He represented the faculty in many competitions including the 2nd Eyitayo Jegede Moot/Debate Competition held at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State, where the Faculty was placed second.

Geoffrey is passionate about helping young people realize their dreams and make positive impact in the society. He can be contacted through adonu.geoffrey@gmail.com or on LinkedIn

GEOFFREY CHIWETALU ADONU
SOURCE: GEOFFREY ADONU

Choosing a Career in Law

As a young boy, I was not particular about what I wanted to become but I know I admired the prestige that the few Doctors and Lawyers had in the village. However, my motivation to study law came after my mum told me of how my father wanted to be a lawyer but death could not allow him. My father had died after concluding plans to enroll for the law programme at the University of Nigeria. That discussion ignited my interest in Law. I became determined to realize that dream that my Dad was not able to achieve. Finally, when it was time to write JAMB, I naturally filled in Law and here I am today. I know my Dad will be happy and proud wherever he is now.

What was the greatest challenge you faced?

The greatest challenge I faced was paying my way through school. Yes, I had lost my Dad and to the dismay of everybody around me, I decided to go to Babcock University to study law notwithstanding the cost. For some of my relatives and those that were close to me in my Village, it was the most unwise decision anybody could ever make. Thus, they stood by the side waiting for the day I would return to the village as a failure. But I thank God for my mum and her junior brother that believed in my dreams. I was determined to finish my studies at Babcock. I had to beg and do all kinds of menial jobs to raise my school fees. In fact, as student in Babcock, I was a Student-Worker in the Cafeteria, where I served my fellow students food, washed plates and mobbed the floor, just to raise my school fees.

I also worked in construction sites on campus and in the University farm, just to get some money for my fees and upkeep. It came to a point when my fellow students and even my lecturers had to contribute money every semester to keep me in school. Coming to Law School was almost impossible. I was about waiting for next set to go to law school when a firm I had interned with agreed to pay my law school fees. At the law school, feeding was almost impossible, if not for the good friends that God quickly mobilized for me. Despite all these travails, I was determined to traverse. I was determined to rise above my challenges and to the glory of God it paid off. It was a big surprise when I checked my result and saw that I had attained the Red Scroll and even more surprising when I learnt I had finished as the Second Over-All Best graduating Student and the Best Male. I could never had imagined any of these.

Before coming to the Nigerian Law School, what was your opinion about the school?

Prior to this time, I thought of the Nigerian Law School as a place where everybody is a saddist and irrespective of how hard you work, you will be marked down deliberately by the examiners. This came argely from the pictures painted about the Law School and its staff after the abysmal performance of the 2014 set. However, I must say I have a different opinion now, which is positive and optimistic.

From what you know now about the NLS, what would you have told yourself by this time last year?

I would have told myself “go there and enjoy yourself, have fun learning the law”. To be honest I had fun on a daily basis in the Law School, from the Class room, to group meetings, in the study room and the hostel, I had fun all the way. Yes, the environment is tense and serious because of the work load. But I was my normal self and created fun from engaging in the activities at the Law School. I did not allow the pressure to change me, rather I brought the pressure under my control.

What attributes do you think can help a student attain excellent performance in the Bar Exams?

There are no specific attributes that guarantee success at the Bar Part II Exams. However, I will state that with the following attributes, you will not get it wrong. These include determination, commitment, conviction, consistency, humility, patience and prayer. These attributes I have observed in every red scroll holder I have interacted with. Determination, commitment, conviction, consistency, humility and patience all count towards the effort and hard work you must put in while prayer attracts the grace needed to take you to the top. Thus, neither side of the divide is more important than the other. They are two sides of a coin. Faith without work is the passport to failure and vice versa.

GEOFFREY ADONU
SOURCE; GEOFFREY CHIWETALU ADONU

From what you know now, what do you think you would have done better? Continue reading “#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘THE RED SCROLL IS FOR EVERYBODY.’”

Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘I GAVE UP THE DESIRE TO MAKE A FIRST CLASS.’

Name: Falade Faith Olayinka

Campus: Lagos Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students; Third Best Overall Student of the Year Prize; and Sir Darnley Alexander’s Prize for the Best Student in Property Law Practice

University: Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (Second Class Upper Division)

About: Faith Olayinka Falade hails from Afo in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State. She was born to the family of Mr and Mrs Justus Falade, a chartered accountant. She had her secondary education at St. Louis Girls Secondary School, Akure, Ondo State. She was to later attend the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko for her Bachelor of Laws Degree in 2010, where she graduated in 2015 with a Second Class Upper Division with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.34. She thus graduated as the third overall best student in the 2014/2015 academic session.

Faith thereafter proceeded to the Nigerian Law School for the one year mandatory professional training in November 2015 where she bagged a First Class Honours. By this, she became the Second student and the first female graduate of the Adekunle Ajasin University Faculty of Law to graduate with a First Class at the Nigerian Law School. At the formal Call to Bar Ceremony held on 30 November 2016, she was awarded the third best overall student of the year prize and the best student in property law practice prize.

Faith was involved in social and political functions at different levels while in School. She was elected the Faculty of Law Caucus Leader at the Level of the Student Representative Council of the Students’ Union Government in the 2014/2015 session and was appointed the Chamber Head Kayode Esho Chamber 2014/2015, a public Chamber in the Faculty of Law. She is currently a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the Junior Chamber International. She can be reached at falade.faith.ff@gmail.com.

FALADE FAITH
SOURCE: FALADE FAITH

Before I resumed at the law school, I encouraged myself that I wanted to make a first class, my belief was that  those who made it in the past had no two heads, however on attending the lectures for the first  two weeks, that faith started shaking , fear set in and I was losing believe in myself because of the treats from class, the examples, the way questions were asked and I didn’t know the answers or inside me I had an answer but the way the lecturer answered it just seemed too difficult with the authorities and the expected mode of answering. So at the early stage I gave up the desire to make a first class.

I also resumed law school with the mindset that one must form notes in order to succeed at the law school, I had heard several times the statement, ‘if you want to pass law school well, you must form your notes’ which personally I was never used to. I remember going to eat at the cafeteria one day where I met a senior and we got talking, he mentioned forming notes to me, to which I was quick to respond that it was not my thing, but he advised and insisted I did in order to make a good grade. As a result of the advice I started forming notes for about four weeks, the first snap test came and I discovered I knew almost nothing. I had wasted my time forming notes and I was not reading. From that day I stopped forming notes and I had to stick to my method of reading textbooks, but at the later part of law school I formed the habit of reading my laws directly, which turned out to be the best method for me and I wished I had started earlier.

After my desire to make a first class dropped, two incidents awakened my desire.  First, a lecturer (Mrs James of property law practice, Lagos campus) started calling numbers to answer a particular question centred on drafting a complete deed which seemed difficult at that time because it was just the third class on property,  It got to my number and I didn’t know how it happened but I answered it. I never knew I had it inside me. That day the  lecturer took notice of me and encouraged me and right there and then I encouraged myself too, told myself that maybe the things I thought were too difficult to learn were not so difficult after all if I put in more effort and was consistent with my reading over time.

FALADE FAITH
SOURCE: FALADE FAITH

 The other experience was the snap test. The results were not the best, but I knew they could be better and that law school was not as difficult as we were made to believe, looking at the sorts of questions asked, particularly that I was not prepared for them, prior to the time my readings were just free style, I was writing more than reading, and the little reading I did was just to have a grasp of the topic before class, and I never picked after class to revise. Continue reading “#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘I GAVE UP THE DESIRE TO MAKE A FIRST CLASS.’”

Posted in PERFECTLY LEGAL, STRICTLY BLACK AND WHITE

#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘I FEARED THAT I WASN’T GOING THROUGH LAW SCHOOL THE WAY EVERYONE ELSE SEEMED TO.”

#MyBarFinalsTestimony is brought to you by the MCQ APP in conjunction with Ekaete Hunter. 

Name: Onifade Hannah Oluwatunmise

Campus: Abuja Campus (First Class); Director General’s Prize for First Class Students; Sir Lionel Brett K.B.E and Babatunde Sbiodun Ibironke SAN Prizes for the Overall Best Student in Criminal Law Practice; Mrs. Oluwatoyin Doherty’s Prize for the Overall Best Female Student in Criminal Litigation; Chief J.K Gadzama OFR, MFR SAN Prize for the Best Female Student in Civil and Criminal Litigation.

University: Obafemi Awolowo University (Second Class Upper)

About: Hannah is a young lawyer/serial entrepreneur steadily learning to love God more daily. She is an alumnus of the great, prestigious and superbly awesome Obafemi Awolowo University and hails from Osun State.  She enjoys writing, sleeping and is an absolute foodie. Hannah is currently undergoing her mandatory Youth Service in Lagos and can be reached at hannah.onifade@yahoo.com.

HNNAH ONIFADE
SOURCE: HANNAH ONIFADE

I hesitated for a long time to share this story. I have followed the stories of my other colleagues and it really did not feel like I had a valid story to tell. After all, I am the girl so notorious for sleeping in class that someone once told me that I was wasting my parents’ money in law school. Anyway, I have finally realized that my story is my story, and if this story encourages another person who like me really likes to sleep and so cannot wake up at 3 am daily to read; who hates mental stress and “cannot comman goan die because of law school”, then I would be glad.

I resumed at Abuja law school a week after lectures started. Before resumption, I had spoken with a lot of people about what to expect from law school and what to do to succeed at law school. People told me a lot of stuff from read every day to never skip a class, draft everyday, make notes. It all sounded very easy at first. I mean it was just one year of my life. However, soon after my resumption, I found that this was impossible. Classes were long, and there was always too much information to learn and absorb. It seemed like there was not enough time to get everything done. I had a few out of school activities with firm deadlines that required my attention. Many nights, I would find myself awake, trying my best to meet up with my deadlines and spending the day napping in class and not paying attention because I was too tired. And the classes were boring too. It didn’t take long for me to realize that all the well meaning advice that I got would not work for me. I read many books by previous first class students who I had hoped to replicate their methods. It just wasn’t working. I tried to wake up early everyday but it didn’t work out. Turned out I liked sleep way too much. I tried to draft everyday but I was having enough trouble keeping up with the principles to add drafts on top of that. And at that moment, I realized that the first class arrangement that I had with God would require a change of strategy. I asked God for help and he directed me to my church, where I learnt a lot more about being a Christian and enjoying a deep relationship with God. And that was the turning point for me. I had daily assurances from God that He who had brought me this far would see me through. So, yes, I won’t say I read everyday and drafted every day, because that would be a lie. What I did was to make sure I understood most of the principles to the best of my ability. Sometimes it would require pre-class or post-class reading. Sometimes, it would require weekend reading. I made sure the timetable that I followed was only mine and not what law school thought was good for me. I realized that following the law school timetable of reading, group discussion and attending classes would give me hypertension if I tried to keep it up. So, I charted my own course and did what was best for me. I slept when I was tired and ate when I was hungry. And I went out every weekend with my friends to hang out and unwind. I feared that I wasn’t going through law school the way everyone else seemed to. I felt like I wasn’t reading enough, drafting enough, going to group meetings enough, but I just wasn’t comfortable enough doing those things at a level higher than what I was currently operating at. During one of my prayer sessions, I received a word that I should get my provisions ready, and he will give me victory. Continue reading “#DEARASPIRANTTOTHEBAR, ‘I FEARED THAT I WASN’T GOING THROUGH LAW SCHOOL THE WAY EVERYONE ELSE SEEMED TO.””