Peter Ekavwo studied law at the University of Benin, Edo State, graduating in 2013. He was called to Bar in 2014. He shares his pupilage experience, embarrassing moment, among others with AKEEM NAFIU
“I am Peter Ekavwo from Delta State. I had my primary education at Ovarien Primary School, Oviri-Olomu and rounded off at Eghereka Primary School, Ewu-Urhobo in 1991; both schools are domiciled in Ughelli South Local Government area of Delta State.
For my Secondary education, I attended the Holy Martyrs of Uganda Minor Seminary, Effurun-Warri. In the year 2008, I was admitted into the Faculty of Law at the University of Benin, Edo State and graduated with a Second Class Upper Division in the year 2013. I thereafter proceeded to the Abuja campus of the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar on November 21, 2014. I am currently a legal practitioner at the law firm of Adegboruwa & Company.
My choice of law as a vocation springs from my belief and it is the fact after all that law is an instrument for foisting social cohesion, order, rule of law and which can ignite justice to flow like springs of living water. For me, the lawyer as ‘advocare- populis’ (advocate), is ‘called’ to take the pains of his client, analyse same vis-a-vis the laws of the land and canvass his case before the temple of justice, with a view to putting smiles on his face when justice is eventually dispensed.
In a broader context, I opted for this profession of social engineering, as it gives you a better understanding of society and places an onus on you, to speak out against all anti-democratic tendencies, oppression of the populace especially the weak and defenseless poor, proletariats and all antics which tends to point society back to the hobessian state, where might is right.
First day in court
My first day in court was both exciting and tensed. Luckily for me the matter was listed for hearing of motions. I had earlier on been exposed to how motions were moved during our court attachment, wherein the learned Justice Ebiowei Tobi ‘compelled’ all of us to move motions in open court and we got good lunch in return. Therefore moving the said motion was not too difficult; but even at that, my heart was beating like the sound of a bulldozer as I fought within myself on how to start and end the proceedings. It all ended well eventually thanks to the presiding judge who is known for his lenient disposition towards new wigs.
My most embarrassing moment in my early days of practice in court was the day I was to move a motion with a defective affidavit. It was defective to the extent that it offended Section 115(3) and (4) of the Evidence Act, 2011, which provides that “when a person deposes to his belief in all matter of fact, and his belief is derived from any source other than his own personal knowledge, he shall set forth explicitly the facts and circumstances forming the ground of his belief, and sub. 4 provides that “when such belief is derived from information received from another person, the name of his informant shall be stated and reasonable particulars shall be given respecting the informant and the time, place and circumstance of the information”. I had no choice than to withdraw the motion and the court awarded cost against us in the presence of my client. I was pained.
I have had so much pleasurable moments in the profession, too many to be able to pick one. It plays out anytime I am able to deploy the knowledge of law, to wipe tears from someone’s eyes. However, the most exciting apart from my day of call to Bar, was the day a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was for the claimant in a case, gave me thumbs up after my adumbration during adoption of a final written address on behalf of the defendant. It was a novel area of law that borders on intellectual property law.
I have been blessed with the places and people with whom I have been tutored. I had a brief but rewarding pupilage with the office of S.O Mariere & Associates, where I was exposed to the rudimentary aspect of legal practice under the then head of Chambers Ayo-Okhiria and I was given free hand to dine and swim with my case with minimal supervision, which helped to build my confidence in court appearances. The feeling of vavavoom in the practice of law became more real whilst I worked with the learned silk, Milton Paul Ohwovoriole (SAN), who took the pupilage to a different level and for the first time exposed me to the happenings in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Luck again smiled on me, when I was offered another privilege to pupil under a cerebral, quintessential and human right lawyer, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa, a prodigy of the famous Gani Fawenhimi, who has taken it upon himself to constantly mentor younger lawyers, bringing the best out of them. Although the experience can be tough, every young lawyer cannot but be thankful for the spirit of mentorship herein.
Judiciary of my dream
I wish to see a digitalized Nigerian judiciary that responds to the judicial needs of the citizenry in a more efficient and expeditious manner. A judiciary whose process of appointment is more transparent, competitive and strictly based on merit. A non-corrupt and independent judiciary that can elicit the confidence of the Nigerian people and that can continually sustain the ethos of democracy.
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