Jones Peter hails from Odukpani Local Government Area in Cross River State. Peter, who obtained his LL.B at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife and attended the Augustine Nnamani Law School Campus in Enugu, was called to Bar in 2018. He told JOHN CHIKEZIE how his journey into the law profession began
My name is Effiong Jones Peter, fondly called Jones Peter. I am an alumnus of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. I obtained my Senior Secondary School Certificate from Saint Francis Catholic College in Oyo State.
I am from Odukpani Local Government Area in Cross River State. I attended the Augustine Nnamani Law School Campus at Agbani, Enugu and was called to the Bar in 2018. I am a practicing Lawyer who is very proactive and has a zeal for constant learning.
The quest for knowledge has always been a part of me and since childhood I have always yearned to know more. I grew up in a family where everyone was an educationist; my maternal grandfather was a retired teacher, my mum and elder sister was a teacher and I was supposed to go into the teaching line too, but I resisted that urge of being a teacher.
My resistance was to the dismay of my dad at that time, but later I won his full support.
Immediately I was called to the Bar, I proceeded for my mandatory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), where I was posted to work at the Uyo Local Government Council, Akwa-Ibom State. At the Council, there was little or no legal matters to attend to.
So, when I completed my service year, I travelled almost the same day to Lagos, where I got a job at the chambers of Ubong Akpan.
This law firm was a firm established by Mr. Ubong Akpan, who is a very successful lawyer and well known for his expertise in election petition. The chambers was more of a training ground for young lawyers.
The office is made up of well experienced senior lawyers in various areas of legal practice and these senior lawyers assist, train and groom young lawyers with little or no field experience.
Impact of law school experience
My law school experience was more of a sober one. I went to law school at a time when I wasn’t really sure if law was what I wanted to do. I just wanted to be done with my education and move on to other things in my life. It was at a point in law school that I decided I was going to practice. During my time in law school, I made so many friends from different parts of the country and some of them has impacted my practice of law positively.
Interests in law/specialization
Law, as a profession, is very wide, and to be a successful lawyer in this 21st century, one has to be very versatile. However, it is important to specialise in one aspect.
The area of law that interests me is the aspect of international laws and diplomacy. I take my time to study various aspect of international laws especially when it concerns trades between nations.
Evaluation of the judiciary
The Judiciary is the third arm of government after the Executive and Legislative arms. The idea of the Judiciary being an arm is to provide effective checks and balances to the other arms. However, the idea of checks and balances in Nigeria has become more of an aberration. Corruption has eaten deep into the system of appointment of judges by the Executives. Hence, most newly appointed judge can’t dispense justice without fear or favour.
Strike Action by JUSUN workers
I believe that for the judiciary to be seen as independent, then, the government must grant them financial autonomy. However, I don’t feel that the indefinite strike action by Judiciary workers, under the umbrella of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), would compel the Federal government to comply with their demands of achieving financial autonomy.
I believe that there ought to be a much better way or approach of settling this dispute.
The strike is negatively affecting many inmates, who are awaiting trial in different prison custody. We should always remember that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers or bears the consequences.
I aspire to remain relevant in the practice of law, and to have the privilege of being conferred with the title of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. I know it’s going to take hard work but I am certain that God’s grace will prevail