‘Pupilage’ll empower young lawyer to reach peak in law’

Oludare Onakoya is an alumnus of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State. Onakoya was called to Bar on 30th November, 2016. In this interview with JOHN CHIKEZIE, Onakoya shares his law journey


Background My name is Oludare Onakoya, an indigene of Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State. I am from a family of five.


I had my primary school education at Olabisi Onabanjo University Primary School, Secondary education at Christ the King Catholic College and my tertiary education at Olabisi Onabanjo University before concluding my professional qualification at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja campus in 2016.


I was called to the Nigerian Bar on 30th November, 2016. Career Like some of colleagues, my desire to study law came from the fact that I had always loved logic and arguments, and when  I found out I had no affinity for Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry, Law became my choice for a career.


Pupilage My experience so far in practice has been quite rewarding. I have been fortunate to work  in top-tier law firms and as such, I have been exposed to various areas of law, which has enriched my knowledge and helped me begin to narrow down on possible areas of specialisation.


Specialisation I’m particularly interested in finance as the intricacies of financing structures pose constant challenge which keeps me on my toes.


Nigerian’s justice system There’s still room for improvement, particularly with respect to the interplay between the police and the court. In addition, the timeline for conclusion of trial needs to be significantly reduced as well.


This simply means that there are several challenges bedeviling the Nigerian justice system.


These challenges range from overcrowded dockets to overworked Judges.



This, negatively, impacts the timelines for the dispensation of justice and whilst the government is taking steps to reduce the number of cases in court, such as encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution and the introduction of a small claims court, the impact is yet to be felt.


Sexual harassment bill Anybody who has passed through a tertiary institution is aware of the menace that is sexual harassment. In that regard, the Bill is a welcome development.


However, given that sexual harassment is not restricted to tertiary institutions, it is unclear why we need a specific law for that area, when sexual harassment unfortunately still occurs across many spheres of human interaction, even in the work place.


A general law would have applied to tertiary institutions as well, so this move is quite curious.


EFCC and Magu


Well, he’s innocent until proven guilty by the courts, so I guess we just have to wait and see how the case unfurls. I am unable to make a judgment either way, solely based on information on the media.


Senate and the bill for repentant Boko Haram members I haven’t had the privilege of reading this bill, but it is unclear why this law is specific to Boko Haram members, given that our justice system aims to be reformative in the first place.


The same opportunity being made open to the repentant Boko Haram members should be made open to every person who has been found guilty of a crime in Nigeria.


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