Photograph (left to right): Mrs. Yetunde Abatan, Executive Secretary; Mr. Olusegun Fabunmi, SAN; Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Kassim Alogba; Dr. (Chief) Fassy Yusuf, 1st Vice President of Unilag Alumni Association and leader of the delegation; Chief Adebisi Ogundipe, National Secretary; and Dr. Kayode Owolabi.
THE National Executive Committee of the University of Lagos (UNILAG)Alumni Association visited the Chief Judge of Lagos State, The Honourable Justice Kazeem Alogba to commend his “unquantifiable contributions” to the development of legal jurisprudence and justice administration in Lagos State since becoming the Chief Judge of the state and to seek for his involvement in the activities of the alumni association.
The courtesy visit held in the Chief Judge’s Conference Room at the High Court of Lagos State complex, Ikeja witnessed the attendance of judges who are alumni and alumnae of the citadel of knowledge.
Justice Alogba assured the association that judges and magistrates of the Lagos State judiciary would henceforth participate in Moot Court Trials of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos . Justice Alogba said: “we would be ready to supply our judges and magistrates who would come to assist in moot court trials of law students whenever they are needed”, adding that members of the bench would be glad to contribute to the improvement and development of Law Faculty of the institution.
He pledged his support and that of other judges who are also alumni and alumnae of the institution towards the development of the institution..
Judges present during the visit and inducted by association included Justice Toyin Ipaye, Justice Adenike Coker, Justice Jumoke Pedro, Justice Atinuke Oluyemi, Justice Adedayo Akintoye and Justice (Dr) R. O. Olukolu.
The UNILAG alumni team was led by the First Vice President, Dr (Chief) Fassy Yusuf, and included Olusegun Fabunmi (SAN); Chief Adebisi Ogundipe, National Secretary; Dr Kayode Owolabi; Yetunde Abatan, Executive Secretary; Otunba Seun Badejo; and Jeremiah Olatinwo.
The Chief judge promised that he would arrange a visitation to the library of the Faculty of Law along with some other judges to determine the level of assistance to be offered particularly in upgrading facilities of the Law Faculty of the institution.
Justice Alogba and Justice Ipaye recalled that despite that UNILAG was not the premier university, it succeeded in building a very high and enviable standard in law education such that some African countries sent their students on scholarship to study law at the institution.
He said: “We must ensure that the standard of law education does not fall. The alumni must team up to ensure we do all that is necessary to retain standards.
He charged the alumni association to focus on infrastructural development and remain cohesive for the benefit of students coming behind. “I assure you of the support of my learned brothers on the bench and I promised that we would find more time to engage in the activities of the association even within our busy schedule, even if such would be at a representative level.”
Earlier, Dr Yusuf had told the Chief Judge that the UNILAG alumni association needed his support and compassion and that of his colleagues on the bench of the state judiciary who graduated from the institution “to give something back to their root.” According to him, “I am a biographer, I love reading and writing. I want to look back and when writing on your biography for instance, one day, I want to quote you as an alumnus that took his alma to the next level, and that whatever you achieved, the foundation was laid at UNILAG. “We want to use this platform to encourage those who graduated from UNILAG to join us and come to Macedonia to help. There is a lot to be done. Anybody who graduated from UNILAG must be proud of our heritage.
“When alumni and alumnae and the younger ones see the likes of the Chief Judge and the other judges being involved in our alumni association activities, they would be spurred and more strengthened to join and give back to the university”, he added.
Both the Chief judge and Dr Yusuf shared experiences and roles played during the nationwide students’ demonstrations tagged “Ali Must Go” days, and the “Akintunde and other students massacre” of the 1970s.
“Ali Must Go’ days was a turbulent experience. It was a period when people stood for their rights”, the Chief judge recalled.
In her own remark, Justice Ipaye said: “UNILAG is the incubator, engine room and factory where leaders of Nigeria were baked. I was graduated at UNILAG. I was a foundation lecturer at Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan in 1983. But I went back to UNILAG and rose to become a senior research fellow before my elevation to the Lagos State judiciary bench” Justice Jumoke Pedro said: “it was a good experience for me. It laid the foundation for what I am today. I am sure Unilag would continue to maintain its pride of place among universities in Nigeria.” Justice Coker said: “I am a proud alumna.”
Mrs. Yetunde Abatan in her vote of thanks, thanked the Chief judge for hosting the alumni association.
“I am thrilled to see the array of judges here present. They are women and men who have broken barriers to get to this level. It is a thing of joy we have so much ambassadors on the Lagos bench”, she said.
Souvenirs were later exchanged between the delegation and the judges present.