MAZI AFAM OSIGWE SAN @ 50. A BRIEF BUT CONCISE DEFINITION OF A FULFILLED LEGAL CUM MENTORSHIP DEITY – Ekezie Kingstonjoe Onumajulu ESQ.

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It was the great Bob proctor that defined a mentor as “someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” The Man Afam Osigwe, Born on the 25th day of October 1972 is one of Nigeria’s finest legal practitioners and Mentor to many.

A former National General secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mazi rose to high prominence when he contested and won the Chairmanship race of the Abuja Branch of the NBA also known as the Unity Bar. Under his leadership, he evolved reforms that made Abuja branch stand tall as one of the leading NBA branches in areas of mentorship, continuing legal education etc.

As a member of the NBA Abuja Branch, he had at various times had the privilege to serve in the following Committees of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch:

  1. NBA Abuja Law Reporting Committee – 2003-2005,
  2. NBA Abuja Bar Dinner/Awards Committee – 2004.
  3. Secretary, Committee on Continuing Legal Education – 2004-2006.
  4. Secretary, Committee on Continuing Legal Education – 2008 -2010.
  5. Alternate Chairman for the LOC of the NEC hosted by NBA Abuja Branch – June 2011.
  6. Alternate Chairman of the LOC for the 2012 Annual General Conference.
  7. Co-opted member of the TCPC of 2012 NBA, Annual General Conference.
  8. Ex-Officio Member TCPC of 2015 and 2016 NBA, Annual General Conferences.
    Aside from being a member of the Committees of NBA, Abuja Afam was also appointed a member of the following Committees by the Chief Judge of the FCT, Abuja –
  9. Committee for the Review of High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) of the FCT.
  10. Committee on the Review of ADR Laws and Rules.

Bringing these varying degrees of professional ingenuity to bear, these experiences and more earned him the trust of the electorates and it was reflected at the polls when he successfully ran for office of the General secretary of the NBA, an office he discharged its functions very well. While he held sway as General secretary, his administration introduced the NBA personalized adhesive stamp, universal suffrage and uniform bye laws for branches among other notable reforms.

Called to bar in 1999, the chronological account of his practice and lifestyle leading to his elevation to the enviable rank of SAN indeed portrayed him as a man with a high penchant for success.

A devout Christian, Dedicated family man, a mentor to many, a man with varying degrees of local and international certifications and post graduate knowledge, Mazi as fondly called by his allies have sponsored a plethora of colleagues, particularly young lawyers to various continuing legal education programs. His law office remains a haven of different breed of legal and intellectual minds who seek refuge in his office as interns or pupil counsel for mentorship.

He is a courtroom gladiator, courteous to colleagues, very concise and professional in legal draftsmanship. His pleadings are brilliantly worded and devoid of semantic ambiguity. As a beneficiary of his guidance and impact, the learned silk is better described as a born teacher and his chosen methodology of interaction displays an amazing level of unmitigated humilty.

On this occasion of his natal commemoration, we must reflect on the lifestyle of this successful Legal giant, Leader and mentor whose gradual rise to the pinnacle of his career should be emulated by all and sundry who desire to develop in their areas of endeavor.

In Concluding this piece, I must borrow the words of E.M. Forster which says “Spoon feeding, in the long run, teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon” Happy Birthday to this great man that does not just spoon feed us but also shows us where and how to get food to eat.

Happy Birthday Mazi Afam Josiah Osigwe SAN. Live long sire, Prosperity is sure!!!

Ekezie Kingstonjoe Onumajulu ESQ is a Former secretary of EBF YLF and currently a co-opted Exco Member of NBA Owerri Branch and writes from Owerri, Imo State.

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