I did not attend the passing out dinner of my class when I was in the University. When a dear friend invited me over to the passing out dinner organized by the final year students of Faculty of Law 2017/2018, Ekiti State University (EKSU), I jumped at the invitation as I thought I could catch up on what I missed during my final days as an undergraduate from the event. Besides, I thought a gathering of law graduates should be interesting. My diary was free for a couple of days, make I waka go Ekiti jare, I thought.
I browsed the internet to check for the most affordable hotels in Ado Ekiti. I looked in at hotels.ng, travel.jumia.com and nitestay.com; one hotel was common to all, Lovely Guest House. I was particularly attracted to the hotel because of the affordable price and the name of the area where it situates, Ekute. That name got me. ‘Ekute’ in Yoruba language means mouse. It wasn’t unusual for Yoruba towns, villages, settlements or areas to be named after flora or fauna; a lot of examples are all over the country – eleiyele, alagbado, alakuko, elewedu, idi iroko, idi oro, idi araba, olosan, eleshin, onirago, elewure, to mention just a few. The name was a knockout for me. I was going to stay in Ekute, I made up my mind.
The first thing I noticed as I entered Ekiti was the rocky features of the town. This feature is not in the class of the Olumo area of Abeokuta or the Idanre area of Ondo but it is a peculiar physical feature of the ancient town I could not overlook. The scenery gave me a tingling sensation that I was on a cool countryside adventure.
When I alighted from the rugged Totoya Previa, ’90 model I boarded from Lagos, there was a crowd of cab drivers and motorcycle riders hustling to take us to our various destinations from the motor park. I settled for one of the older cab drivers at the back of the crowd who appeared feeble and could not physically shout or push for clientele like the younger ones.
‘Mo n lo si Ekute’ I told him pronouncing ‘Ekute’ with the doh meh meh sound giving it the meaning of a mouse. The man looked at me and smiled and said ‘Ekute ni an pe ki se Ekute,’ He corrected and pronounced in doh meh doh sound.
I was a bit disappointed at the correction. I preferred the mouse meaning but it felt good to know the correct pronunciation. We drove down south on the Iyin/Ado road and got to the Ado Overhead Bridge and turned to the right where the driver made one or two more right and left turns and I saw that we were at Ado/Ilawe road. He made U-turn at the roundabout of Ado/Ilawe road to turn back into the same road on the other side. We made a right turn into Ekute Quarters at Ayo Afolalu Street and we drove down and made another right turn in front of Ekute Quarters Police Station into the street where Lovely Guest House was waiting. The exterior and interior of the hotel was exactly as advertised online save for the price which was different.
The final year students of the Faculty of Law, EKSU 2017/2018 are a mixture of personalities that signifies the realities of the life and times of a twenty first century Nigerian University.
The university had a very serene environment at the time of my visit. It was a Saturday evening and I gathered most students were not in school at that time of the academic year. I entered the University through the satellite gate at the northern end of the school. I traversed all through from the Faculty of Arts and Media to the Faculty of Social Sciences and right opposite the Social Sciences is the Faculty of Law. The physical atmosphere of the university was good.
In my estimation, the Faculty of Law, EKSU is about 500 meters from the University’s main gate. The University’s main gate is at the eastern end of the school and the faculty is on the same stretch of the road from the gate. It is built on about two acres of land area including all sidewalks, parking lots and appurtenances. The major structures that made up the faculty are the faculty building which is the main building that housed the offices of the Dean of the Faculty and the senior Lecturers. There is another bungalow to the right of the Faculty building which I gathered has the offices of the junior lecturers. There are the two lecture rooms to the left of the faculty building. There is the Law Library almost directly behind the faculty building. And on the same line of the Law Library at the back of the faculty is the Moot Court Building donated by Professor S.S. Asaolu closely followed by the Afe Babalola Auditorium which I gathered was donated by the eminent Legal Luminary and Elder Statesman, Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, to the Faculty.
Like any society, the graduating class of the Faculty of Law, EKSU, 2017/2018 has its people. The people who made it tick.
Seyi Lami (a.k.a. Seyila) – she is brilliant and she rocks. One of the few students who could match partying, socializing and studying together with ease. If you are not Seyila do not do like her.
Omoyele Oluwatoyin (Harley T) – blunt and witty. One of the guys in the class you would not have a dull moment with. He is full of life, I heard.
Fatoba Oluwaseunfunmi (a.k.a Phinnex) – like Phinnex like Seyila. She rocks, socializes and did well in academics. You could call them sisters from different parents.
Mogbojuri Kayode (a.ka. Barry Kay) – I gathered he holds a first degree in Mathematics & Statistics before he came to study law in EKSU. He is witty and calm. You could insult him from Jerusalem to Jericho and the next thing you would hear from him was another joke. Everyone got along with him.
Mrs. Folashade Alaba (a.k.a. Mama Law) – amiable and sociable. If there was going to be a grand matron of the Class, Mama Law is the one. Everyone warmed up to her.
Sadiq Tobi Joseph – if there was a Nicodemos of the class, it was Sadiq. He asked all the questions the rest of the class would not ask; the questions no one thought of; the controversial questions. If any question needed to be asked, Sadiq would ask the question. He certainly made the class rock.
Olawunmi Israel (a.k.a. Hard Guy) – Not that he exactly disturbed the peace of the class but he sure could cause the class to erupt in joyful unrest. I gathered the nickname ‘Hard Guy’ was given to him by the erudite law teacher, Prof. Akomolafe. Israel, I also learnt he is very likeable. He could be very witty, if he chose to. Unlike Barry Kay, if you insulted him, you would be at the mercy of his sharp tongue. You don’t want to mess with him. As I heard, he knows how to say sorry or make amends when he made a wrong move. I was informed he celebrates his birthday on the same day as Prof. Akomolafe. Seems like my kind of guy.
Fadahunsi Olamide (a.k.a. Karl Marx) – if there was a partner of Israel it would be Olamide. Like Hard Guy like Karl Marx. I understood he earned the nickname, Karl max in first year and the name had stuck since then. Like Seyila and Phinnex we have Hard Guy and Karl Marx. These guys made the class rock.
Micheal Chinedu Ojimba – you remember the nursery rhyme Mr. Nobody? Well, for those of us who cannot remember, find below the first stanza of the poem –
I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody.
Unlike Mr. Nobody, the thing about Ojimba, I gathered was that whenever a question was asked in class and nobody could give an answer, it was safe to say ‘Ojimba’. Like we said ‘nobody’ when we were young for every plate that was broken, a lot of things that happened in the class of 2017/2018 final year law students of EKSU was ascribed to Ojimba. People loved to call the name at any opportunity. Who broke the chair in the class? Ojimba. Who broke the lectern? Ojimba. Who let the dogs out? Ojimba. What name was the most mentioned in the class? Ojimba. If you had nothing to say but you felt you had to say something, the word to say was ‘Ojimba’. I actually met him and shook his hands, the grab was solid. I have no doubt in my mind he will always be a man of the people.
Oladipupo Sholaja (a.k.a. Otunba LegalMaxims – OLM) – by the time any law class gets to the third year, there was usually that guy who was in love with the latin/legal maxims. In EKSU Law 2017/2018 500 level, OLM was the guy. I gathered he chewed legal maxims in his mouth like kilode.
Mr. Fagboro (a.k.a. Wizzy) – he is one of the few addressed as ‘Mister’ in the class. He was notorious for asking for permission or excuse to leave the class so often that he was told not ask for permission to leave the class anymore by the lecturers. He could leave the class anytime he wanted to. If there was a permission asking competition, Wizzy would win for Nigeria, I heard.
Segun Osagie – he is the undisputed comedian of the class. Segun is so funny, he cracked jokes in exam halls. No one could equal that feat.
THE BOOK WORMS
Adegboyo Solomon – he did not talk much and asked intelligent questions, I was informed. Cool and calm. He appeared to me like most academically brilliant students; laid back. I heard he had the highest CGPA in the class. You could call him the ‘King of Academics’, I reckon.
Ojo Oluwaseun Mary – I heard she is brilliant, cool and simple; the type you want to introduce as your friend anytime and any day to anybody. More outgoing than Solomon and always full of smiles, I heard. You could call her the ‘Queen of Academics’, I reckon.
Olaniyi Kolawole – do you believe in miracles? Well, I have not seen any miracle so properly called, but I believe miracles happen. Someone once told me that waking up every day from sleep was a miracle. The story of this guy was a miracle that happened in the class, I was informed. Niyi was diagnosed as having hepatitis B and by some stroke of divine intervention he was healed. That was his story; healed for real.
All university classes (even in Medicine) have their entrepreneurs. EKSU final year Law 2017/2018 was no exception. The class had its fair share of entrepreneurs. There is the duo of Maria Akeke and Anjolaoluwa Ogunshua who slugged it out in cake making. There are Sherifat Oyinlola a.k.a. Iya Ibeji and Tosin Adewunmi who sold clothes and bags respectfully. There is Mercy Akinluyi who earned some bucks on the side as a makeup artist and sale of makeup products. There is Gabriel Omoniyi who would get any document photocopied for you. You could as well call him a photocopier. I understood he bought a wall clock for the class. That was something. People who solve problems often make it as successful businessmen. There is Yinka Shobule, the astute photographer.
There are so many people who made the class of 2017/2018 what it was but all cannot be accommodated in this piece. There is Olutunde Micheal whom one could say was the most quiet and the most invisible in the class. There is the easy going amiable class governor, Anu Akomolafe. There is Tobi Awe whom one could describe as a ladies’ man. Ayotomiwa Apuabi who could be described as another ladies’ man. I heard he is a coded guy. I gathered no one knew his girlfriend. So much for a ladies’ man. There is Funmilayo Adebiyi – the fairest, an entrepreneur, she has the longest hair in the class. She is the Cinderella of the class. Name anything, she has it. Beauty? She get am. Brains? She get am. Academics? She dey. There is Oghenemedia – who has one of the most reserved personalities in the class. There is Ibukun Famuagun. I heard the guy can preach for satan. I gathered he preached the gospel of Christ even when no one was listening. He is John the Baptist of the class. There is Tajudeen Ibrahim – known as Mandela and very religious. I was told he did not shake ladies’ hands. There is Anthony Adeusi – the law society guy. He is the journalist of the class. I heard he doesn’t talk much but when he talks, others listen. There are the couples; some of whose combination one could say are matches made in heaven. There was Segun Akinnirun – in life, we live and we die. The class lost someone; Segun, rest in peace. They all made the class what it was.
Wherever there are students, there are teachers. There are so many lecturers who guided the final year law students EKSU, 2017/2018 from the first year to the final year. I was given heads up on some of them.
Mr. Tosin Ayo – he has swag. His class was always interesting and was very much loved by the students. He teaches criminology and some other law courses in public law.
Prof Akomolede Ifedayo – he is a Professor of Business law. He is very popular among the students. He is the father figure in the faculty, I gathered.
Dr. Jemilohun – he is fondly called the pastor. He teaches family law amongst other courses in private and family law. He is the friend of the students anytime and any day, I heard.
Mr. Afolayan – likes getting things done for the students. You need any advice in the faculty, the guy to talk is Mr. Afolayan and you are guaranteed a solution.
The venue of the dinner was A.B. Hotels & Event Center; the date and time was Friday, 31st August at 5:00 p.m.
The A.B. Hotel is located on Housing Road off EKSU Teaching Hospital Road. We arrived at the hotel at about 7:38 p.m. The atmosphere around the hotel was lively. The hall reserved for the event was opposite the gate and was easy to locate. We went upstairs and we saw that the red carpet was in full swing. We took our red carpet shots and went into the hall. I thought we were very late but the hall was not half filled on our arrival. For an event that was slated to commence at 5:00 p.m., to say there was a late start would be an understatement. We installed ourselves around a table in front of the high table. The high table was on a stage of about four feet high. I did not want to sit there but at the insistence of my host, I sat down at the table. I told her the table was too close to the high table and we would be easy prey for the M.C. to play pranks with. She stated that we would be able to see everything that was going on in the hall. Well, that sounded reasonable since I wanted a vantage position to observe proceedings.
Mama Law was already in the hall ensuring things were in order. I could see OLM in his befitting outfit. He was talking to Mama Law every minute. It was not difficult to identify some of the members of the organizing committee. There were some I was not able to put names to their faces.
Ojimba came in and naturally, was full of energy. In no time he came to our table and we exchange pleasantries. There was a fine guy I saw and I was told his name is Chris. He wore a black turtle neck pull over with a black blazer to match. You could not ask for more from the cute guy. His outfit was top notch.
I really could not follow what was going on behind me. I thought it would be inappropriate to be turning to see what was going on. So I concentrated on my front view. As with any dinner of any sort, the ladies were dashing and I was sure all the looks I saw that night were not the everyday look of the female law graduates. I reckoned most parents would not recognize their daughters at first look if they entered the hall that night. For starters, I would not recognize my host if we had not arrived together.
I could see from where we sat when Dr. Jemilohun came in and students took time to have photographs with him. A few minutes after Dr. Jemilohun came in, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr. E.T. Yebisi came in with some other men. In a short while, the table where the Dean was seated was filled with men I gathered were all law teachers save for one man who was later introduced as Dr. Longe, a lecturer in the department of Sociology.
When all the lecturers were in, the event was ready to kick off. The M.C. took stage and began his show. The opening prayer was given by Mr. Afolayan. After about ten minutes of jokes from the M.C. the guests were invited up stage. The guests of honor were all the lecturers present. I was quick to notice that there was not one female lecturer amongst the whole lot. Not one.
The guests of honour were – the Dean, Faculty of Law, EKSU, Dr. E.T. Yebisi, Dr. Jemilohun, Dr. Longe of the department of Sociology, Dr. Iyaniwura, Mr. Tosin Ayo, Mr. Afolayan, Mr. Omisore, Mr. Aladekomo. It seemed the lecturers invited were the ones the students liked. There were resounding applauds and screams of recognition from the students when almost all the lecturers were called save for one or two lecturers.
The Dean was invited to give his speech which he gave promptly. The thrust of his speech was that he was happy they were going out to the world and that as law graduates, they should endeavor to dress properly as some dressings he saw that night were not the best. He advised them to keep their good friends and make new ones. Dr. Jemilohun was invited to give his speech. He started by chastising the class for not keeping proper decorum as ‘would be’ lawyers. The main thrust of his speech was that the law graduates should be good ambassadors of the faculty of law of EKSU.
Next, the M.C. stated that the law graduates would dance with their lecturers. The D.J. was playing that song by Wande Cole, ‘o ketan … turkey nla’. I was smiling. The students were slow to come out but they eventually came out dancing. The ladies scattered the dancing ground. As for the young lecturers, I would not be surprised if they shook their bodies to the song but I wanted to see how the Dean and Dr. Jemilohun were going to dance to ‘o ketan… turkey nla.’
The lecturers did not dance. Not even the young ones. At 9:26 p.m. Olaniyi Kolawole came on stage and treated us to some acoustic sounds from his electronic box guitar. As a fan of string instruments, I enjoyed the performance. I also saw tears on a lady’s face two tables away from me to the front when Niyi was performing. I did not know the cause of the tears though.
The M.C. announced that it was time to give awards. Adegboyo Solomon, Fatoba Oluwaseunfunmi and Olaniyi Kolawole came for their awards amidst screams from their fans. By the time Ojimba was called, the noise was deafening and things became rowdy. And when Israel was called, the hall scattered. The guy could surely move the class. I should add that awards were given to a lot of the law graduates. I danced and enjoyed myself. Although there was no alcohol to spice up the night, I still had a good time. I gathered there was still going to be a club party after the dinner.
The class rocks and I have no doubt that they will rock as lawyers. They will soon be our colleagues in less than eighteen months. I thought. How magical it is to turn from a law student into a lawyer.
The final year students of faculty of law EKSU 2017/2018 are a class of interesting personalities. If the story of your class is more interesting; perhaps, you should share your story.