WHERE LIES MY VISION BETWEEN ‘INTEREST’ AND ‘VISION’ OF BECOMING A HIGH COURT JUDGE:  A MINI AUTO-BIOGRAPHY?!

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The legal profession has many career opportunities out of which a lawyer can build himself on. Among these career opportunities, a person may desire to either seek employment/job in either: the Ministry of Justice as a counsel/lawyer; the public service as an employee; the judiciary as a judicial officer; as lawyer in any private companies; as a private legal practitioner in any private law firms/offices; be a private legal practitioner in a self-employment; among other opportunities. Some of these career opportunities might require a certain number of years for qualification, others might be realizable upon becoming a lawyer, e.g., it requires a minimum of 10 years as a lawyer constitutionally to be appointed as a judge/judicial officer. All these might seem as goals or mere ambition or vision. Some might choose the preferred career opportunity may be because of the enticing opportunities; others might choose the career as a result of personal ambition while others might choose it as a result of their vision (vision in my humble view is much more divine). In my own case, at best, I have engaged in private legal practice for the past 6 years (thankfully, as at the 1st day of January, 2021, I became 8 years old as a lawyer in the legal profession!). God in His wisdom has not permitted me to engage in any other career than this private legal practice! I have all the days seen it that He actually has His purpose for me being a lawyer! Even, surprisingly, I would always ask Him even before I got admission to study law at the Lagos State University, ‘God! Why are you doing all these help to me?! Where are you taking me to?! What do you really need me for?! Then, some whispers would whisper into my heart that ‘don’t ask question! It is just for you to obey and do whatever we ask you to do!’. Those persons that I had spoken to about these facts would bear me the witness of these facts! I have developed a strong passion and interest in becoming a judge of a High Court most especially few years back, though, being a judge was my focus right from my senior secondary school days but I later found interests in the private practice upon being called to bar to which I have developed so much passion and interests having consistently personally prosecuted over sixty cases from: the Area Courts, the Magistrate courts, Federal High Court, the High Court of the FCT-Abuja, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria (and in court outside the FCT-Abuja’s); among other legal services having handled to clients, within my 8 years at the bar (as a lawyer) and as a human and socio-economic rights activist (and within 6 years of engaging in my private legal practice in the law office: THE VICEGERENT LEGAL CONSULT. It is my joy that as far as the private practice is concerned, I have come, I have seen and I have conquered, though still humble to learn more! I have then considered that if I should be appointed as a Judge of High Court thereby crossing to the bench, I would only miss my private practice days in courts but not enough to regret insufficient competency as a legal practitioner! There and then, there have been some observed challenges in the aspiration of becoming a judge of a High Court to fulfill my ambition! Some persons have informed me of how tedious, competitive and in fact, the process of the appointment as a High Court Judge has been taken over by some personal interests to the extent that the process has become hijacked and has become like a family inheritance by some individuals and politicians, hence, denying those who are most meritoriously qualified to being appointed as Judges of High Courts of such appointment. Though, I do not know how true or untrue these facts are, nevertheless, I told myself that ‘if God says that I shall be a judge of High Court at 10 years of my being a lawyer, I know that I would be!’. For God’s purpose shall prevail in all circumstances! As for me, it is indeed my vision to become a judge of a High Court and that to me seems God’s purpose for me and it is more than a‘goal’ or ‘interest’! That is the reason for this article.mere

Of recent, my eyes caught a book cover with the title ‘The Principles and Powers of Vision’, written by Dr Myles Munroe. I know some of the readers of this paper would have read it too. I also hereby recommend it for a guide to readers who have not read it. In the preface to this book, at page 11, it was stated thus ‘Vision is the source and hope of life. The greatest ever given to mankind is not the gift of sight, but the gift of vision. Sight is a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart. ‘Eyes that look are common, but eyes that see are rare’. Nothing noble or noteworthy on earth was ever done without vision. No invention, development, or great feat was ever accomplished without the inspiring power of this mysterious source called vision’. It is then true as stated by the author at page 21 that ‘God has placed within each person a vision that is designed to give purpose and meaning to his life’! Furthermore, this author stated at page 28 of his book thus ‘Every human being was created to accomplish something specific that no one else can accomplish. It is crucial for you to understand this truth: you were designed to be known for something special. You are meant to do something that will make you unforgettable. You were born to do something that the world will not be able to ignore’. It is also said that your gift will make way for you to achieve your vision. Most instructive too, the author stated at page 31 of the book thus ‘I have observed firsthand the truth of this statement, paraphrased from John Stuart Mill: One person with vision is greater than the passive force of ninety-nine people who are merely interested in doing or becoming something. Most people have an interest in their destinies, but they have no passion or drive to fulfill them. They don’t really believe the dreams God has put in their hearts. If they do believe them, they don’t do the things that will take them in the direction of fulfilling them. Yet that is what separates the people who make an impact in the world and those who just exist on the planet’. It is also true as stated by the author at page 31 of the book that ‘When you discover your vision, it will give you energy and passion’. Lastly, there is another quote from the author which is made at page 34 of the book thus ‘If you do things in a halfway manner, you will probably always be able to find some sort of job, yet you are going to be simply a mediocre employee. It is when you decide that you’re going to find something that is truly yours that you will find your gift, fulfill your vision, and be remembered by others’. These quotes are to serve as guiding principles of what I shall state in this paper.  One no doubt, requires: Passion for the aspirations;Determination to attain the aspirations;Positive conscience to achieve the aspirations; and Prayers;

Nevertheless, I still feel not fulfilled in my private practice and I am currently considering perhaps I should decide to be a Judge of a High Court at 10 years of my call to bar and being a lawyer. I first thought of it as a mere ambition or interest but I started realizing that it is beyond any of those! I therefore know that God Almighty would bring me out when He is ready to use me for His purpose and then, no one would be able to stop Him from bringing His purpose to effect! True, some things go beyond mere imagination of man because of divine intervention but they are true in real sense! Whatever that is in the spiritual or metaphysical way is actually beyond what man can comprehend!

It is no doubt that the requirement for the appointment of a Judge of High Courts are clearly spelt out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)-herein after referred to as the Constitution- and for the purpose of not consuming space in this article, I would just state that such person shall by 250 (3), 256 (3) and 271 (3) of the Constitution for: a Federal High Court of Nigeria, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja and the High Court of a State (these three courts are the context of this paper and that is why I decided to leave out other superior courts having coordinate jurisdiction with the three courts mentioned of which one of their requirements for being a judge of such courts is the same as these three courts mentioned i.e. such a person shall be qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than ten years).

My thought on whether I should be a Judge of a High Court (though with likely interest in the Federal High of Nigeria and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja except where possible of Lagos State-my State of origin), is motivated by a number of factors, part of which I have stated above. I pondered on my past and growth leading to my becoming a lawyer as well as my focus and future ambition on careers in the legal profession. When I was young, and up till this level, I had faced a lot of challenges. I could remember in my childhood, many inspirations had occurred to me in my dreams and in real life, but which I could not understand! I asked some persons around me but they were not gifted by God to be able to interpret my dreams to me, perhaps, because, it was in God’s plan that it was not yet time to actually discover the message or His purpose for me. Sometimes in the dream is seeing some persons bowing to me in respect and making me their king! I had no one to pay my primary school fees after my primary school completion, so had to be out of school for two (2) years with tears in my eyes and in my heart! These two years were respectively full of traumatic experiences for me but God has always been helpful by providing me way-out whenever required. So, had to engage in selling ‘iced-water and other menial jobs’ in the streets of Abeokuta, Ogun State, at age 12, before making my way to my State, Lagos State, in the year 2000. Then, I got admission back to the Junior Secondary School and God brought me close to those who would share my pains. I had to be responsible for my education, myself, with determination! Why and how? I did not understand! So, after my Senior Secondary School, I was made to remain out of school again and this time for another three (3) years. Within these three (3) years, I was made to be mentored and taught by some few intelligentsia in the society. They explained some secrets of this life to me. They informed me of what the future has in package for me. They made me to discover myself as to my potentials and prospects in life but that I should be patient and that my life is to face a lot of challenges but that they foresee greatness in me in future and that I should be prayerful! It was like a divine interpretation and message to me then, though, they spoke normally and naturally without consulting any voodoo. And when they spoke, I would follow in the spirit. Then, God also guided me towards religious principles and made way easy for me to excel in Islamic school and bestowed on me the knowledge to understand His Islamic laws with clear interpretations and meanings. So, when I was able to pass through these stages, God Almighty having decided to then perfect His intention on me, He made me to return back to the tertiary institution with one of my results that I had believed was not sufficient for me to gain admission about two years past. That year, my admission was secure in the Lagos State University. My tertiary institution changed its requirements for admission which made me to be a beneficiary. I got admission into the law faculty and God also made it easier for me to study Islamic Personal Law. God was able to resolve the financial challenges of studying the law programme by raising an unknown philanthropist and some charitable organisations under their Education Trust Funds (ETF) Program who sponsored my law programme from the admission fees till law school fees when I got called to bar as a legal practitioner. There and then in my undergraduate level, so many persons have identified my future status in life and were always praying for my success, though, then, I was much more surprised as to their comments! God considered me for some scholarships in undergraduate too, which made it easier for me to study. I could remember that I went to my tertiary institution upon admission, with no particular place to reside and God did not disappoint me as He sent a man to me immediately I entered the school campus who took care of me in feeding and shelter for my first year  and gave me accommodation where I resided till I graduated! I was poor and destitute but intellectually equipped with talents! In fact, my understanding and interpretation of law and legal principles always appear to me in talents aided by little learning! It is a great surprise to me as to what I know and how I am always guided in resolving legal issues beyond my level! I can not thank these many people whom God has used to impact in my life, indeed! I pray God Almighty will continue to reward them with abundant good! Then, when I finished my law programme and upon my National Youth Service Corps-herein after referred to as NYSC-, God made me to be in the Legal Aid Community Development Service as an Assistant Director 1 of Litigation. In my service, I was able to carry out personal community development service project, which I was able to complete in less than four months and I was awarded the FCT-Minister’s Award of Honour, at the passing out parade in the NYSC. I was the only lawyer among the five (5) awardees! I was not offered any job by the Minister of the FCT! I got a law firm to work as an associate for just two months and one week, then, the message from God came to me that I should resign and to establish my own office. I myself could not explain why I resigned! I could always recall what a Co-partner in that office told me when he called me into his office to know the reason for my resignation? After listening to me, then he said ‘I know that this place (even a large law office) is too small for you and I know that you will make it’! It was a prayer for me and discovery of my prospects in life! Then, God Himself located an office for me where I practice till date (since about six (6) years a go). Then, I placed some name to register my law office with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Of the names that I suggested, it was the one that was least expected by me that was approved ‘THE VICEGERENT LEGAL CONSULT’ but I later found joy in the name. How I came about that name still remains a surprise to me till date. Then, in 2016, I got a call unknowingly to proceed to Saudi-Arabia to perform the Islamic Holy Pilgrimage, where God used some men of intellect to explain all the dark side and unclear experiences and dreams in my life to alert me that I have been indeed chosen for His work as a ‘Human Rights and Socio-Economic Rights Activist’! It was then that I discovered who I am ‘THE VICEGERENT OF GOD ON EARTH AND A HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST DIVINELY CHOSEN’! And God has always made my human rights and socio-economic rights activism easy for me and I thank Him! Some persons have disliked me and wondered why I chose to fight for humanity! To them, it looks like a self-seeking and a show-off! I use this medium to explain to them that that decision is not my decision but that of God Almighty and I have no choice than to obey! I require their understanding and support for me to be able to achieve the goals of God Almighty on me!

Furthermore, I decided to create a whatsapp group to help giving legal aid to Nigerians of all categories (excluding lawyers) by establishing a Forum with the name ‘HameedAjibolaJimoh Esq.’s Pro bono Legal Mentorship Forum (LMF), with the link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/KP3U082KkyTKB6XaNvzT3o. This is to be my continuous roles in legal services to humanity.

Furthermore, (not a pride or arrogance) I am eight (8) years (post call to bar) now. I have ever been in private practice and I have been operating my law office for six (6) years till date. Within this six (6) years, I have handled and still handling more than sixty (60) cases which include several litigation matters in courts across the Federal Capital Territory- Abuja, such as: Area Courts; Chief District Courts, Chief Magistrate Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja; the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja; the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Abuja and the Supreme Court of Nigeria (the matter at the Supreme Court of Nigeria is a new development which I am currently prosecuting). Majority of these cases are already concluded while a few of them are ongoing. More than thirty (30) cases of these cases are at the High Court’s level, while seven (7) of these cases are of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria (1 Judgment of the Court of Appeal has already been recently delivered) while 1 of these cases is pending at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. All these cases were handled by me personally! These are just in relation to litigation and not including administrative representations before administrative bodies and other legal practices. I understand that I might only be required to need two (2) additional cases in the Supreme Court to qualify to apply for the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), which I could meet up with in few periods to come, having met up with the requirements for the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Nevertheless all these achievements, I am yet to be fulfilled in the legal profession/legal practice (though I am very happy for having gone this far, with God!). I have proffered a number of legal opinions/advice to individual clients, corporate organisations and government’s institutions so far. Sometimes, I think of just applying for the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria but sometimes, it seems God’s purpose which I have to obey as I have no reason or power to disobey Him is rather sending a great divine signal to me that ‘I am destined to be a Judge’ and be THE VICEGERENT OF GOD on the bench! I am forever submissive to God for whatever He chooses is the best for me even if I desire something else! Though, the time would tell God’s purpose in real sense as to whether I should be appointed a Judge of a High Court or that I should be in private legal practice as a lawyer and be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria! more so, God owns my entire life!

Until then, I shall continue to put in my best efforts and continue to pray for God’s guidance in all my endeavours!Throughout my entire life, I have known only God and no one (or human) but God! He brings those humans that He needs to fulfill His purposes in me close to me whenever He deems fit!

 Email: hameed_ajibola@yahoo.com

 

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