Thursday, 8 December 2016

Meet Nigeria’s Youngest Beautiful Female Lawyer and SAN to Be

As the clock ticks into seconds to form minutes of the hours of each day, we see lot more reasons why every individual in every nook and cranny of the globe should not yet loss hope in the project called Nigerian, the circumstances and vile vices bedevilling the nation notwithstanding. The yesterday of the nation Nigeria was known to have been great, but somewhere along the line and unfortunately too, the table turned, events became topsy-turvy making her lose her good reputation, glory and respect.
However, indications are that project Nigeria is kicking back to basics, not the last kicks of a dying horse, but the “full of life” kicks of a new born. This is constantly seen in the efforts and achievements a good number of her youths, their positive drive and their commitment to goodness. One of such persons is a young female lawyer who despite her very tender age, through hard work, recorded a smooth transition into the exalted dome of solicitors.
We sat over some pieces of smoked bush meat and kegs of palm wine with her as she lay to bare her inside; how she got to her present height and striking issues about Nigeria’s legal system. Her story inspires awe and will motivate the average global citizen. Hear her:

RealHart: Good morning, distinguished guest. I am Ekeledo Kelechi Hart, representing RealHart, and with me is Kanu Augustine Oluebubechi, representing KamReports.
Can we now formally meet you, please?
Barr Lekwa: My name is Nnoke,Maureen Lekwa.

KamReports: Lady Maureen, pretty much are yet to be known about you. Tell us, are you an African, Asian European... are you educated, and all what not.
Barr Lekwa: (Smiles) I'm a Nigerian from Abia state, precisely from Amaekpu Ohafia.I graduated from the faculty of law, Abia state university and obtained my qualifying certificate as a lawyer from the Nigerian Law School Enugu campus.

RealHart: Why did you choose the Law profession?
Barr Lekwa: Apart from the fact that it's a prestigious and noble discipline for both men and women, especially for women. I hate injustice. I don't like it when the less privileged and masses are unfairly prejudiced. The pains of people easily get to my heart. I saw 'law' as an opportunity to help the people and that was it, in I went.

KamReports: How do you see the law profession and its practice in the present day Nigeria?
Barr Lekwa: It's an avalanche of wonderful opportunities depending on how anyone views it. It gives anyone, a preview or access to what an ordinary man can't have. Simply put, it's limitless. Practice presently in Nigeria I would say is okay. The truth is, nothing can be completely bad and neither can it be completely good at the same time. Let me take you back a little, before anybody can be seen as successful at the bar exams conducted at the different law schools in Nigeria, you will first be graded based on your lowest score. That is, If you made an 'A' and equally made a 'C', in a different course, you're seen as a 'C' student, all in a bid to give the judicial system and our country the best breed of lawyers. Also, Nigerian judgements are greatly relied on, in and outside the country based on the quality of Reasoning, Analysis, Research and Jurisprudential Depth they exhibit. Truth be told, Respect and discipline reigns supreme in the legal profession. What I seem not to appreciate, is the delay in the dispensation of justice. Howbeit, efforts are being made to eradicate the challenge.

KamReports: There is this adage positing that a child never loathes the mother’s foods. Indications here seem to rely heavily on the possibility that you are seemingly seeing everything right in the system because you are a part of it. Is this the case? What do you have to say about the countless corrupt practices like bribery, loathing and financial misappropriations linked to some ace members of the system? Were you also not aware of your system’s recent imbroglio with the Federal government and security agencies?
In the light of these, what plans do you have in store so as to make a positive difference as a young and erudite lawyer?
Barr Lekwa: I stand a better chance of understanding the judicial system and how it functions as a lawyer an informing you better. I have a flare for saying things the way it is without mincing words. There are certain things that appear inevitable no matter how hard one tries to eradicate or ameliorate them. Corrupt practices as aforementioned are not an exception. In view of the fact that we all come from different homes with different orientations to form the judicial system, criminals are bound to be found in our midst as we were not divinely selected. That notwithstanding, the system has devised several means in our respective institutions to make sure we are fit and proper before becoming lawyers. It has also gone extra miles to ensure that the act of a legal practitioner is properly checked and regulated by enacting several laws and constituting regulatory bodies, which are toiling day and night to expunge the sharp corrupt practices that want to crumble the judicial system. I can't really do much as a young lawyer, considering the hierarchy in the judicial system. In the little way I can, justice must be done and the truth upheld.

RealHart: What does it take one to become a certified lawyer like you?
Barr Lekwa: Generally, for you to succeed in life, you must have thought success. The first step towards success is the feeling that you can succeed.80% of success proceeds from positive minds. You must have a positive mind and guide your mind with all jealousy from negative thoughts. Trust me, being a lawyer is not an exception. Do those things you must first and leave the ones you may. You have to know what is more important and give it all you can. For everyone who wants to be successful, you have to maximize your time and be time conscious. Hard work still remains the key. In all, put God first.

RealHart: We would love to know the area of the law you do specialise on, Barrister Lekwa?
Barr Lekwa: Nobody specialises in school. The certificate that I obtained from law school that certifies my being called to bar is a BL, which means Bachelor of Laws. One specialises after years of practice, when you must have been able to choose appropriately the field you want to specialise and be grounded in.

KamReports: Talking about Law School, how many hundreds of times did you write the exams prior to your being called to bar?
Barr Lekwa: I wrote bar exams just once.

KamReports: Several discussions held with young people revealed and still reveal how difficult students perceive getting admitted to study law and subsequently excelling Law School. How difficult did you find yours?
Barr Lekwa: Everybody mustn't study law. If you don’t get the minimum score expected by any university approved to study law, you won't be admitted. It’s as simple as that. The first time I took aptitude test to study law in Abia state university, I ran short of two (2) marks, making it impossible for me to gain admission into the school to study law that year ,until I passed the exam in flying colours the preceding year. Once you finish successfully from any approved university in Nigeria as law student, you school is duty bound to send you to law school on your request and you will be admitted into the Nigerian law school upon proper screening by the council of legal Education in Nigerian to be fit and proper. I saw bar exam as an exam I should pass, which I did. It's just like any other exam. What makes it more difficult is the stringent marking scheme and the grading system which I have earlier on explained, that someone is judged by his lowest grade. If you are determined, focused and hardworking you can only find it challenging, but will always scale through. Far be it from me that I should keep God out of this. His grace was sufficient and it made things easier.

RealHart: For many times now, your alma mater, Abia State University, Uturu, has been producing best law students in the country's law schools. What do you attribute such feat to?
Barr Lekwa: I've noticed so too. I've taken my time to look at the history of the students in question. Truth be told, is not all about the quality of lecturers we have, although some of them are wonderful scholars. In my own opinion, the institution is merely fortunate to have admitted serious minded 'chaps' who merely know what they want and how to go about obtaining what they want. If u're focused, determined and hardworking, you will make it in law school, irrespective of the university you graduated from. It's a personal thing. What you sow, you reap. Again, most of them are usually God fearing. This means, God is still in the business of making his people fruitful.

RealHart: Barrister, there is this common belief that lawyers are susceptible to telling lies just to win a case. I put it to you, is it possible to be a lawyer without lying?
Barr Lekwa: (Laughs) What informed your reasoning that lawyers lie a lot is what I can't fathom. Someone can comfortably make it in the legal profession without an atom of lies. People have done it, some are still doing it, most lawyers are planning to do it, especially Christian lawyers of which am one of them. Lying reduces a man. Most lawyers that have successfully stood firmly today are mostly those that are faithful to the oath they took on the day of their call to bar. Truth still pays better than lies and it's very much possible to be a lawyer without lying.

KamReports: The route to where you are most definitely may not have been without its attendant distractions and gallops, judging by the fact that you are young and also a pretty lady. Tell us, how were you able to deal with the exuberances of youthful age and the ever increasing advances from male folks?

Barr Lekwa: I had little or no challenges with youthful exuberances. I had my feelings and thoughts constantly in check. I've never been a person who follows the majority and that helped a lot in a way. I was hardly crazy about anything; a lot despised that about me and thought I was anti-social, while some found it to be interestingly surreal. I found myself constantly not seeing things the way my peers do and had challenges relating with them socially and otherwise. As for the male folks, a lot admired me from afar but found it difficult to approach me as I always wear a mean expression. Only very few bold ones amongst them, caught my fancy and I gave them little attention as my studies were more important.

RealHart: Do lawyers fall in love too? If yes, what is your current status?
Barr Lekwa: Why not? (Laughs) We are not immune from falling in love. But currently, am not in love with any of the male folks.

RealHart: As a solicitor of the supreme court of Nigeria, do you have role models in this profession?
Barr Lekwa: Certainly, there are people I look up to, that inspire me for different reasons. To mention but a few, we have the likes of Okey Amechi (SAN), whom I like his upright nature, Gani Fawehmi for his zeal and determination, Lord Denning for his wisdom and sense of reasoning.

KamReports: Joy and sadness share a very thin line that seems to be the reason behind individuals having a record of happiest and/or saddest moments of their lives. With this in mind Barrister, kindly tell us about your moments of greatest happiness and that of sadness. Match them line by line with your achievements and disappointments.
Barr Lekwa: Strange as it may be to some persons, nothing seems to have made me happier than my birthday. It's not like am not happy or grateful to almighty God, friends and well wishers for the height which I have attained, but my birthday has remained a constant source of joy whenever it's around the corner and I always celebrate it in grand style. It saddened my heart when I couldn't celebrate my birthday this year, as I had bar exams that day and a day after to write. Ordinarily, I don't appreciate celebrating my birthday after that day or postponing it, as I don't feel the vibes afterwards. Bar exams was more important, inasmuch as it jeopardized my happiness at that time. The choice I made then, led to my greatest achievement in life today. Birthdays can always come around, but this year can't come again. Is all good!

RealHart: Where do you see yourself in the next decade?
Barr Lekwa: I see myself in different places doing a whole lot of things. When it comes to the legal profession, I want to attain the height of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, be a notary public and an Attorney General of the federation. Outside the legal profession, I would like to be a public speaker, addressing issues threatening relationships and marriages. If time permits, I wouldn't mind being a fashion designer.

KamReports: You mentioned relationship and marriage counselling. A woman like you will sure have a long possibly unattainable list of quantities she needs in her man. What are they?
Barr Lekwa: Apart from being God fearing, I adore men that are highly responsible, especially those who know how to keep their hands to themselves when they see a beautiful lady. Of course he has to be very reasonable, smart, teachable, free and a selfless person. There is nothing wrong with him being handsome (Laughs).

KamReports: It will be wonderful to know what your deepest darkest desires are. Those thoughts that throb probe play around your head when you are all alone. Tell us what they are.
Barr Lekwa: Very much unladylike as it may appear to a lot of persons, for women are generally not known to be that way. I am thinking of the most legal way to make my money without stress. Trying to decipher the best talent the Lord has blessed me with, that can fetch me money without stress. Which woman wouldn't imagine what her wedding day would be like, with who, what kind of person he will be and stuffs like that? I can't help but think about that at times.

KamReports: Before we wrap up this discussion, what words will you leave for young ladies out there who aspire to be like you, to Nigerians, to colleagues; junior/senior and to the world?
Barr Lekwa: To the beautiful young ladies out there, set a standard for yourself and create room for the right people to come around. Build a better you. If you want to be respected, do something respectful. To my country people, Nigerians, be yourself! Don't do anything because people are doing it, especially when it is wrong. Go extra miles, do the extra ordinary. To my colleagues; junior/senior, let justice, equity and fairness be our watch words. To all, always remember to seek the face of God in prayers before you do a thing. I love you all!

KamReports: Wow! Thank you Barrister for your time, we look forward to having more pleasant discussions better this. It's really been an amazing time out.
Barr Lekwa: You’re most welcome. I appreciate. Keep up the great work.

RealHart: Thank you, Barrister

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