CAMPUS CHAMPION I waited eight years before I secured university admission –Adewumi, UNIJOS first-class graduate
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I went to the law school for the compulsory one year programme, and since I finished the programme in 2017, I have been working in a law firm.
Do you recall what attracted you to law back then?
While I was young, I wanted to be a lot of things. I thought of being a medical doctor, then an accountant and then a footballer, to which I dedicated some time and efforts, thinking I would follow through in that direction. At some point, I also nursed the ambition of being a lawyer, but I dropped it. So, coming back to it, I must say, was divine. A lot of people, including my parents, always said that there would be no better course of study for me other than law, perhaps due to what they saw. Eventually, I decided to settle for law before I was done with high school, and ever since then, there has been no looking back. I also love the activism that is associated with the profession. I have always hated injustice especially as perpetrated by security and other state agencies, so I felt that being a part of this profession would afford me the opportunity to be able to effectively fight injustice in whatever form. I have started this in my own little way, even before I became a lawyer.
Since you started working, is there anything you would have loved to see in Nigeria’s legal system that is missing at the moment?
Yes, we need speedy dispensation of justice. Although Lagos State is doing well in this aspect, every other state has to follow suit so we could have it across the federation. That would restore people’s confidence in the judicial sector, and according to the popular saying, ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’ The executive, especially governors, must adequately fund the judiciary. Another issue of concern is compliance with court judgments, especially by the government, which needs to be improved upon.
Having learnt a lot about law, what excites you most about it?
The critical thinking it exposes one to is something I like so much. No matter what aspect of law you function in; litigation, corporate law, soliciting or whatever, critical thinking and adequate preparation are always necessary to be successful and respected.
How easy or challenging was it to graduate with a first class?
It wasn’t easy at all, considering the fact that the Faculty of Law, University of Jos, had not produced a first class for the past 26 years before I did. It’s easy to imagine how difficult it would have been. Our lecturers were not generous with marks and I guess that was why it took this long to produce a first class. And in general, UNIJOS does not produce a lot of first-class graduates. For instance, at its combined convocation in 2013, there were only nine first-class graduates. So, it took a lot of persistence, hard work and prayers to have made it.
Was making first class a plan you had at the outset or it was just hard work that paid off?
I didn’t really have such a plan, so I think hard work simply paid off, although, a lot of people, including members of my family, had always expressed the belief that I could make a first class. On one occasion, one of my lecturers, who doubled as our level coordinator, called me after a class and said that if I stepped up my game, I stood a very good chance of making first class, by his assessment. I guess that was one of the events that awoke my consciousness to the fact that I really could make it. Already, my first year CGPA almost hit the first class grade, but I didn’t make first class until my final year result was released.