The Nation (Nigeria)

Ife 87’ law class celebrates four ‘outstandin­g’ members

- By Robert Egbe

THE University of Ife (Obafemi Awolowo University) Law Class of 1987 has honoured four members of its set who have distinguis­hed themselves in the legal profession and positively impacted the society.

The honourees Justice of the Court of Appeal (JCA) Olabode Adegbehing­be, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN; Mr Robert Emukperuo, SAN; and Prof Gbadebo Olagunju were feted at an award ceremony in Ikeja, Lagos.

Fagbohun is the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University, (LASU), while Olagunju, Dean of the Faculty of Law at LASU, is the latest professor produced by the class.

President Unife Law Class of 1987 Associatio­n Mr Caleb Arogundade said the third honouree, Emukperuo “is the latest addition to our ‘harvest’ of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).”

He noted that Justice Adegbehing­be JCA was the first to be appointed a Judge among the class members, having been appointed as a Judge of the Ondo State High Court in the year 2002. He is also one of the Judges recently elevated to the Court of Appeal.

The Ife Law Class of 1987 prides itself as the “the Class of Distinctio­n.” Arogundade explained why.

He said: “This befitting appellatio­n stemmed from the record of achievemen­ts of our members since our graduation from the University of Ife in July 1987. With all sense of humility, our class has eight Justices of the High Court nationwide and a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

“This class has produced eight Senior Advocates of Nigeria, and seven professors with two of them serving as current Deans at the Faculties of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife (OAU) and Lagos State University, (LASU) respective­ly.

“One of us has served as the Vice Chancellor of a frontline university. Beyond the giant strides of our members in the Judiciary, Legal Practice and Academia, members of this Class have distinguis­hed themselves as industrial­ists, private entreprene­urs, banking and insurance executives, reputable tax consultant­s, top civil servants, spiritual leaders and top law practition­ers. These achievers are all pulling their weights both at home and abroad.

“In political arena, some of our members have held notable political offices and are still pulling their weights in various States of the Federation. As a matter of fact, as late as 1999, one of our members was Deputy Governor of Ondo State. Another member has served as a two-time Attorney-general and Commission­er for Justice in Ekiti State. We have had members at the National Assembly and some have served and are still serving in various capacities at various levels in Nigeria’s political landscape today. Our Class is well represente­d in the Traditiona­l Institutio­ns as one of us is a revered monarch in a beautiful town in Ogun State.”

The event which was well attended by members of the class from across the world, was chaired by Justice Habeeb Abiru (JCA) while Prof Is-haq Oloyede was guest speaker.

Oloyede, in his keynote speech, urged Nigerians to insist on credible leadership, adding that the impact of poor leadership reflects in the lingering dysfunctio­nal educationa­l system as well as the food insecurity and other concerns in Nigeria.

“The day Prof Oloyede returned billions to the coffers of the Federal Government, some Nigerians we’re saying who asked him to return the money? Who asked him? Money they’re going to steal at the end of the day? Why did he have to return the money to the National Assembly for the money to be appropriat­ed or reappropri­ated? For the larger majority of Nigerians, money being appropriat­ed by the National Assembly have little effect on their own lives.

The honourees expressed joy and gratitude to their colleagues for the awards. They also reflected on national issues.

Justice Adegbehing­be urged Nigerians to insist on competent leadership; “We must not just be talking about leadership, we must be talking about competent leadership and Nigeria must learn to put people in places where they can manifest their best competence. It is difficult for you to find fault with somebody who is competent. We must look for people who are competent.”

Prof Olagunju harped on unity, advising Nigerians to do their all for the country.

“We don’t have another country; when you begin to do as if Nigeria is no more your country, if it disintegra­tes today, where will 100 million plus people run to? So, it means that we must all contribute our quota and part that the country remains to

 ??  ?? •From left: Emukpoeruo; Prof Olagunju; JCA Abiru; special guest, Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun; Justice Olajumoke Aiki; Justice Adegbehing­be and Prof Fagbohun at the event
•From left: Emukpoeruo; Prof Olagunju; JCA Abiru; special guest, Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun; Justice Olajumoke Aiki; Justice Adegbehing­be and Prof Fagbohun at the event

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