She will be 10 years at the Bar in November. Olusola Akinjola, an alumnus of the Kogi State University, speaks on rising tide of injustice, challenges confronting female lawyers, among others. AKEEM NAFIU met her
Olusola Akinjola is an expert in corporate and commercial law practice. She was called to the Bar on November 18, 2008. She shared her experience in the legal profession with New Telegraph this way:
“My name is Olusola Akinjola (nee Olagoke). I am a legal practitioner who specializes in corporate and commercial law. I had my primary education at Sunny Day Private School, Kano state and secondary school education at Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Ogun state. I later proceeded to Kogi State University to study Law. I was called to the Nigerian Bar on November 18, 2008.
My desire to study law was driven by the need to curb the upsurge in the level of injustice in our society. I studied law to be in the right position to deliver fairness and integrity to all. I need to give my own quota by giving the helpless a voice and to stand for those who have been cheated and deprived of their own benefits. I am currently achieving this in my own little way.
As a woman lawyer, the legal profession recognizes all females as ‘men in skirts’. There is no assumed gender difference as we are all men in the profession. However, the reality that reflects in a little light as a challenge is the expectation that a female lawyer should be gentle, restricted and not proactive because she is a woman. This implies that we are expected to be easily controlled and deceived. However, we are changing the trend by putting in more hard work, professionalism and exhibiting better confidence to meet our client’s needs. The truth is that you don’t have to be a shouting and aggressive lawyer to be successful in legal practice. If you visit law firms, the female lawyers are the most hardworking individuals around. We are changing people’s perception about female lawyers, for them to believe in us. No doubt, a female lawyer can no longer be relegated to the background in today’s legal profession.
First day in court
Shortly after my call to Bar, I returned to work and my boss asked me to go to the magistrate’s court to move a bail application. It was my first appearance and I was nervous but eventually, it went well.
My most embarrassing moment was the day I appeared before a judge and while addressing the court, my wig kept falling off my head. The judge asked why my wig wasn’t sitting well. I couldn’t give a valid answer.
I have had fond memories. One of such is the day I was called to the Bar. The other one I also cherished happened to be in a particular matter on a recovery of debt, where I succeeded in helping a client recover all her money and she was able to start a business that is striving immensely today. I find that really fulfilling.
The judiciary of my dream is one that is void of corruption and injustice; a judiciary that would deliver justice with all sense of equality, fairness and integrity. The judiciary in Nigeria should not be an extension of any political party. It should be impartial and non-partisan in all its dealings. How will justice prevail when a judge is exchanging banters with other arms of government? The judiciary in Nigeria should be impartial and independent.
Independence implies it should not be biased in its decision making, it should not be affiliated to any political party and all its duties must not be tainted with corruption. In conclusion, he who comes into equity must come in with clean hands.
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