The 2019 Call to Bar Ceremony held last week. Law students after years of studying law and going to the law school eventually became lawyers. If you weren’t cut off from the internet for whatever reason, chances are that you were hit with an overload of pictures of these people, celebrating their rite of passage into the legal profession – a culmination of years of hard work and honest toil.
Sweet story, but there is a chance that you weren’t too bothered. Maybe this will pique your interest.
First, how much do you know about the University of Ibadan?
It is the first University in Nigeria, and it is usually paraded as the best, especially by members of its faculties. We can all agree that it is the first, but there is no consensus on how highly the school ranks in the grand scheme of things.
However, the name usually sits at the top of the Nigerian University Commission Ranking. Also, Time Higher Education, in their 2020 World University Ranking, placed the school among the top 600 universities in the world, only behind Covenant University which found a spot in the top 500. And oh, by the way, only four Nigerian universities made the top 1000.
Now, UI might just have something new to be proud of and probably use as new material and basis to justify their penchant for “The First and The Best” mantra. And that’s the performance of its alumni at the 2019 Bar exams.
Okay, cool story, but what’s the fuss?
For starters, this accounts for the most number of first-class per school recorded in the 2019 Bar Exams.
This is where it gets interesting.
A total number of 5689 Law graduates from different Nigerian universities wrote the exams. According to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka, in a Facebook post, only 150 out of this bunch are University of Ibadan products. 2.6 per cent of the entire population were UI students.
147 people graduated from the Nigerian Law School with first-class grades. This number is shared among 35 universities, and 26 of these people are UI law graduates.
To put this in context, Obafemi Awolowo University grads were the closest to UI in this race, with 13 people on the list. Babcock and the University of Nigeria share the spoils of third place with 10 people from each school on the list.
Let’s tie the numbers together and bring this home. The reason this news is making the rounds is that while the UI law graduates are only 2.6 per cent of the 5689 that sat for the exam, they made up 17.7 per cent of the 147 that made the first-class.
The fifth line of the second stanza of the UI anthem reads: “greatness won with honest toil” and this perfectly sums up the feat recorded by its alum in the Bar Exams. UI graduates seem to have earned the right to have some moment in the spotlight. Talk is cheap, but these 26 guys should take a bow; they’ve done more than just talk.