O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation Affirms Support for Legal Education, Awards Scholarships to 59 Rivers Law Students

The O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation has again demonstrated its commitment to quality legal education in Nigeria by awarding N120,000 cash and brand-new laptops to 59 law graduates of Rivers State origin at its 15th Law School Students Scholarships Award Ceremony.
The event on Wednesday, May 22, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, also marked the 94th posthumous birthday of the scholarship’s grand benefactor, the late High Chief (Dr) O.B. Lulu-Briggs. He established it 2009 to assist law students who solicited his support in paying the increased Nigerian Law School admission fees.

Welcoming guests, the Chairman of the Foundation, Dr (Mrs) Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, acknowledged her late husband’s great legacy.
“He was the Foundation’s grand benefactor, and his generous support laid the basis for us to keep going. Please join me in a hearty round of applause in gratitude and memory to him and his large heartedness,” she said while acknowledging the guest’s support.

Dr. Lulu-Briggs congratulated the 59 recipients, who joined 931 previous beneficiaries, all law graduates from Rivers’ 23 local governments that had benefited since 2009.

She urged them to “champion the cause of upholding the rule of law and making a positive impact on our society” while using technology.
“Technology has become an indispensable tool for lawyers. So, along with the scholarship, we are honoured to present each of you with a brand-new laptop. Consider these laptops not just machines but gateways to a vast legal library, research resources, and platforms for collaboration.”

The Foundation’s Chairman also highlighted the impact of legal education, noting that it is indispensable in addressing the Niger Delta crisis and strengthening civil society.

She said, “Socio-economic challenges have long plagued the Niger Delta region, and legal professionals have played a pivotal role in advocating for justice and equitable resource allocation. By equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex legal landscape, we can contribute to lasting solutions and promote peace and development in the region.

“Furthermore, legal education has been instrumental in driving legislative reforms in Nigeria’s struggling democracy. Through their expertise, legal professionals have been at the forefront of shaping policies and laws that uphold democratic principles and protect the rights of all citizens. By nurturing a generation of legally educated individuals, we can strengthen our democratic institutions and ensure a more just and equitable society for all.”

Dr. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs noted that “legal education plays a crucial role in strengthening civil society in general. Lawyers and legal professionals serve as guardians of justice, defending the rights of the marginalized and vulnerable. Through their expertise, they provide legal aid, fight for social justice, and ensure accountability of public officials. By investing in legal education, we can foster a society that values the rule of law and respects the rights and dignity of every individual.”

The Chairman disclosed that the Foundation was open to collaborations with governments, individuals, institutions, and corporations to increase its reach further and reiterated its commitment to Nigeria’s development through education.

In her engaging lecture entitled ‘Navigating the Legal Landscape: Through the Lenses of an Academic,” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Ibadan, Professor Oluyemisi Adefunke Bamgbose, and the first female Professor of Law in Nigeria to be conferred with the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), described Mrs. O.B. Lulu-Briggs as “an amazing woman” and gave insights on how to have a successful legal career.

She began by sharing her journey into Law, the different fields and how being a legal practitioner should not stop one from contributing to academics and vice versa.

Professor Bamgbose said: “Legal practitioners in academics are unique. They bridge the gap between legal education and legal practice. These unique professionals teach law at educational institutions and are allowed to practice law. This dual role will enable them to bring a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience into the classroom, providing students with practical insights and the real-world application of legal practice. They often contribute to legal scholarship by conducting research, publishing articles, and presenting at conferences, advancing the academic field of law.

“Simultaneously, legal practitioners in academics can handle actual legal cases, represent clients, and navigate the intricacies of the legal system. This hands-on practice keeps them abreast of current legal trends, changes in legislation, and judicial decisions, which they can also incorporate into their teaching. By combining these roles, legal practitioners in academics enrich the educational experience with practical examples.

“Legal practitioners who are not in academics can engage in academic activities if they have a passion for disseminating knowledge. You can bring the town to the gown, making the work easier and richer.”

The Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University and Chair of the occasion, Prof. Nlerum S. Okogbule who was ably represented by Professor Victor A. Akujuru, commended the Foundation for its uncommon philanthropy in education, health and well-being and congratulated the recipients.

“Congratulations to the awardees. I ask the Foundation to continue with these good works and never to be tired,” he said.


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