O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation Presents 114 Law Graduates Over N45m In Cash, Laptops

… Promotes Accountability, Rule of Law, Justice in Future Endeavours, Seinye Lulu-Briggs Charges Awardees

…Rivers Dep. Gov, Chief Judge commend O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation

…Says, ‘Our 20 Years, Just A Beginning, Future Looks Good’

O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation held a colourful joint ceremony for the 12th/13th editions of its Law Students Grant Awards at the NBA House along Moscow Road in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.  The event ascended the Foundation’s year-long 20th anniversary celebration.

Families, friends, and guests were in high spirits as 114 elated law graduates from 17 local government areas of Rivers State were each presented with N120,000.00, brand-new laptops and certificates.

Since 2009 when the awards scheme was established, 808 law graduates have benefitted from the scholarship scheme.

Special Guest of Honor, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo was represented by her Senior Special Assistant (Admin), Barrister Gilbert Inria. She stated that the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation deserved every commendation for its Law School Students Grants Award Scheme, especially at this time when the cost of education at the Nigerian Law School is increasing by the day.

Sharing her thoughts on the legal profession, she said, “My take here is to encourage lawyers to buy into information technology. 

I look forward to a day when lawyers can file their cases from the comfort of their chambers and law offices across the various courts in Nigeria.”

“I look forward to a day when our judges will stop long handwritings, and technology will produce all transactions carried out in the court room each day. 

I am happy that the Rivers State judiciary has embraced technology for filing of cases and production of affidavits online,” the Deputy Governor said.

The Deputy Governor also commended the Foundation for its contributions to the health sector through consistent free medical outreaches and provision of health facilities across the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large.

Felicitating with the awardees and all those recently called to the Nigerian Bar, the Deputy Governor urged other NGOs to emulate the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation whose work she noted is a way of complementing government’s efforts.

In his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion, Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Chibuzor-Amadi, called for a minute of silence in memory of the late High Chief Dr. O. B. Lulu-Briggs. Noting that the late sage impacted positively on humanity, he said, “There are people that must be continually honored even after they die. 

The late High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs is one of those that we must continue to honour.  We must continue to remember him. Investment in human development is the greatest investment and the late philanthropist identified this while alive.”

Justice Chibuzor-Amadi described the late O.B. Lulu-Briggs as highly detribalized, noting that he also took care of the sick and did many acts of benevolence to people regardless of where they came from.

Speaking virtually, Chairman of the O. B.Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye O. B. Lulu Briggs urged the awardees to hold fast to the values and ethics of the legal profession and help to promote accountability, rule of law and justice in all their endeavours.

“I also want you to understand that personal success cannot be divorced from community success. 

You should therefore develop a good sense of social responsibility, such that later in life you are able to apply your minds and resources to addressing the social problems that might be the issues of the time.”

She extended her gratitude to partners and friends that have been part of the Foundation’s work for the last 20 years, stating that the future looks good as according to her, ‘We are just starting.’

In a lecture titled, ‘The Legal Profession: The Lawyer, Ethics and Corruption in Nigeria’, the guest speaker, former Rivers State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General and President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Honorable Okey Wali, SAN, advised the young, upcoming lawyers to focus on becoming good lawyers, adding that everything else would follow. He noted that the law profession is not about pecuniary benefits, which unfortunately, most young lawyers have attached to the profession.

“I worked in a law firm for five years and all I got was just Two Hundred Naira after the first month.  Those five years have transformed me to who I am today.  I may not be wealthy, but by His grace, I am fine. 

All I can tell you is that legal practice is like an airplane, it would be turbulent taking off, but when you reach a certain altitude, it could be really smooth, but you must pay your dues”, he said.

The Foundation’s Law School Students Grants Awardees Alumni Association was inaugurated at the event by Former Rivers State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Honourable Worgu Boms, who introduced the ten pioneering members.

Amongst others the association will help members to connect, mentor, and network with each other to create a sense of community.

National Network spoke to some of the awardees after the event. They expressed their gratitude for the award, noting that it could not have come at a better time than this moment, when the prices of laptops have hit the rooftop.

Ruth Innocent who graduated from the Rivers State University with a first class and was the best graduating student in the Faculty of Law in 2021, said: “I was also the second-best graduating student from the University in 2021.

 So, I will not leave that benchmark behind.  It is my responsibility to excel everywhere I go. And I owe it as a duty to O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation to always make them proud everywhere I go.”

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