By Akintola Abduljalal Abiola
On the first of April, 2021, the new Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Prof Hakeem Ijaiya, in the spirit of encouraging active student legal practice on campus, made his way to a division of the Law Students’ Society Court, holden at the Faculty of Law.
The LSS Court assumes jurisdiction on matters with respect to constitutional and civil causes. The Court proceeding which was presided over by the Chief Judge of the LSS Judiciary, Honourable Justice AbdulKareem AbdulRazaq Ketu, CJLSS was between one Mr Akanni Kamaldeen and Mr Okwara Lawrence against one Mr AbdulGafar Onikeke.
Advocates of the Union, who are basically student legal practitioners, representing both sides of the claimant and defendant were proferring arguments to the merits of their case when the Dean bowed before the Court and entered the Court premises.
The new Dean, Prof Ijaiya, had, on a previous occasion, promised to always support the LSS in all their activities, especially with regards to continuous legal education. His presence at the Court is no doubt a manifestation of his promise.
In an interview with the counsel to the claimant, Mr Okwara Lawrence disclosed that he was “very excited and motivated by the presence of the Dean.”
He added that, “Legal practice is an avenue to advertise our advocacy and knowledge of law for prospective clients who would be employing us in the nearest future.”
In a separate interview with the defendant’s counsel, Mr Onikeke noted that the Dean’s presence was a form of motivation. In his words, “the fact that there is someone watching over advocates will enhance their skills of legal debate and advocacy.”
He therefore advised “all dormant and would-be Advocates of the Union to take student legal practice seriously because the benefits are not for today, but tomorrow”