By Ifeoma Ikem
It was glitz and glamour as Igbo lawyers under the aegis of Otu Oka-Iwu (law society) turned out regally in their numbers to celebrate themselves in their yearly ritual – the 2019 annual dinner/award night.
Looking incredibly dashing in their dinner wears and attires, it was clear members of the law society and their distinguished guests that included several royalty had come to relax and have a nice time following very busy schedules, as they greeted one another very warmly. Without a doubt, one could mistake the event for a gathering of Old Boys meeting for the geniality and boisterous atmosphere.
The occasion, which held at Muson Centre, Lagos State, also saw the presentation of plaques to 11 “deserving” and “distinguished” sons and daughter of Igbo extraction.
They were Hon. Justices Chima Nweze of the Supreme court, Ugochukwu Ogakwu of court of Appeal Lagos division, Nelson Ogbuanya of National Industrial Court, Obiora Egwuatu and Sunday Onu both of the federal high court. Others were Chief John Nwodo, president-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide; Mrs Ifeoma Ojemeni-Okali, international lawyer; Emeka Ngige SAN, Chukwuka Ikwuazom Esq, Chiefs Guy Ikokwu and Zik Obi, past presidents of Otu Oka.
Welcoming guests, President of the law society, Chief Chuks Ikokwu, said the award is for deserving members and non-members that have distinguished themselves in their careers or fields of endeavour.
According to him, everyone honoured had paid their dues and secured the award on the basis of their sweat, hard work and focus, and urged the honorees to keep the flag flying.
While appealing for the younger ones to emulate those honoured, Ikokwu stated that the association would continue to stand for equity and justice, as well as continue “to partake actively in the discussion for enthronement of rule of law, respect for the individual and collective human rights of the various ethnic groups of the Nigerian federation.”
Earlier chairman of the event, Owelle George Uwechue, former chair Body of Benchers in Nigeria in his speech congratulated the honorees for their contributions towards the development of jurisprudence and legal profession. He however enjoined Ndigbo to follow due process and the rule of law whenever they feel aggrieved, as the right path towards national unity and peace.
Zik Obi II, the organising committee chairman, who thanked God for a successful hosting of the event, in his vote of thanks appreciated members and non-members alike for their “generous donations and support.”
An honoree himself, Obi expressed joy at being found worthy of receiving the award. “I feel great as am sure my fellow honorees feel. It’s a thing of joy; that you’ve been honoured means people appreciate you. What you do.
“We pledge to continue to give our best wherever we are and in whatever we do,” he promised on behalf of the other awardees.
Also on hand to celebrate were Eze Ndigbo Lagos; Ohanaeze Ndigbo president and scribe, Chiefs Solomon Ogbonna and Everest Ozonweke respectively, who stated that they came to celebrate their own, particularly the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nwodo, an awardee. “This feels good; the award will encourage them to do more for Ndigbo and humanity.”
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