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YOUNG LAWYERS’ FORUM: ‘I envision a corruption-free judiciary’

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YOUNG LAWYERS’ FORUM: ‘I envision a corruption-free judiciary’

Onyeka Emmanuel Egbunike was called to the Bar in 2006. Egbunike, an alumnus of the University of Calabar speaks on why he read law, embarrassing moment, among others. AKEEM NAFIU met him

Background
Onyeka Emmanuel Egbunike is a partner in ACHIK & PARTNERS, a group of lawyers in Lagos.
He told New Telegraph on how his journey into the legal profession began.
He said: “My name is Onyeka Emmanuel Egbunike. I am currently a partner in ACHIK & PARTNERS, a law firm on the Lagos Island, Lagos. I am from Onitsha in Anambra State. I had my primary school education at Anyaegbunam Memorial Primary School, Onitsha. After I finished there in 1992, I proceeded to Army Day Secondary School, Onitsha, the same year and wrote my WAEC in 1998. I got an admission to study law at the University of Calabar, Calabar in 1999 and finished in 2004. I was called to the Bar on November 7, 2006.

Why I read law
I was an art student in my secondary school and I had a flair for art subjects. So, when it was time to write my JAMB examination, law was the top course that appealed to me and I jumped in.

First day in court
Nothing significant but I remember it was at the Customary Court of Appeal, Lokoja, Kogi State; that was just after my call to the Bar. I was observing my compulsory service when I went with a senior colleague who did all the talking while I sat down and watched.

Embarrassing moment
Well, it was during my youth service year. My boss sent me to the court to apply for an adjournment in a matter at the High Court, Koton Karfe, Kogi State. It was an armed robbery case. I eagerly took the case file and proceeded to court with a measure of excitement and trepidation as it was my first day to appear alone. The case was called. I applied for the adjournment as instructed but the judge will have none of it. He refused and insisted that I must go on with the matter as the case had suffered a series of adjournment. I think the judge was displeased with our firm’s handling of the case and since I represented the firm, I received all the insults and I was portrayed as very unserious. To make it worse, those present in court were laughing. I had to plead with the judge and explained my predicament. He eventually and reluctantly granted the adjournment.

Fond memory
There are many of them. But the most satisfying are always when I solve my clients’ legal problems.
Judiciary of my dream
I desire to see speed and efficiency in justice delivery. Where the common man is sure and very confident that he will get justice in our judicial system no matter who is involved. Where the government respects the judiciary and forthwith obeys the judgments and rulings against them and when the Nigerian judiciary is number one in Africa.

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