LAW STUDENT OF THE MONTH — FAVOUR ONOSETALE ITUA

In this edition of the Legal Pages Law Student of the Week, we speak to a bright student of the University of Benin. In this interview, Onosetale explores her foray into leadership and shares valuable opinions on the state of the nation.

Read the full chat below.

  1. Hello Favour. Can we get to know more about you?

I am Itua Onosetale Favour, a third year Law Student of the prestigious Faculty of Law, University of Benin. I am a global volunteer, entrepreneur, environmental enthusiast, project director, and event planner.

My leadership experience cuts across several organizations and bodies. I am currently the President of the novel Africa Bar Association-Law Students Internship Programme while also serving as the South South Zonal Director of the Law Students Association of Nigeria. I am equally a Fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), an Alumnus of Green Point Mentorship Program(GMCP), Director of Programs 1 Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law UNIBEN and the present Secretary, Rotary  International Club UNIBEN.

Prior to now, I was the Deputy Zonal Director, (South South) Directorate of Projects, Programs & Policies, Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), while doubling as the Chairperson, LAWSAN Mentorship Board, where I handled key projects inclusive of the LAWSAN Mentorship Program and the LAWSAN Cares Project for the University of Benin.

I am also a certified member of the International Law Students Association UNIBEN, an analyst at the Students’ Finance Club (SFC) UNIBEN and a champion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Club, UNIBEN.

My interest spans to areas of Personal Development and I  actively volunteer at the Junior Chamber International, University of Benin where I work under the committee for membership retention.

As a Law student, I have a keen interest in International Law, as well as Intellectual Property Law. I am passionate about legal practice and advocacy. My team emerged first place and the Best Team in the renowned Austus Caesar Ekeoba Moot Court Competition in 2019.

I have further gained working experience as an undergraduate Intern in one of Africa’s most reputable Legal firm, Aluko & Oyebode; others are Anchor Law Firm, and Douglas Ogbankwa & Co. I have also virtually interned with White & Case LLP.

Lastly, I am an entrepreneur with the brand name Onos_Delight.

  1. Leadership is usually a tricky subject, especially with many people avoiding the challenge it brings. However, you have a remarkable record of leadership across several student-based organizations. What was your motivation to take up those roles?

Rightly said, leadership is a very tricky and intricate subject that requires top-notch dexterity to successfully navigate through. I found my passion for leadership from glaring vacuums and lags I observed in the various student-based organizations I was interested in. I always felt things could be done better, and with better foresight, insight and mastery of the art of leadership by leaders of these organizations; more could be achieved for the overarching benefit of the students. This inclination thereafter spurred a palpable zest in me to learn and attempt to master the art of leadership – a journey I am still on now.

By the Grace of God, I have been able to record appreciable success and laudable progress in my ambition to cover up for the leadership lacunae in several student bodies.

  1. Do you have any interests outside law and leadership?

Yes, very well. Outside law, I have interests in entrepreneurship, baking, videography, photography and modelling, and I am perfunctorily pursuing them alongside my focused pursuit of law.

  1. Nigeria seems to be in a dire situation. COVID-19 and pervasive insecurity prevent the success of in-person study while technological difficulties are a cog in the wheel of virtual learning. How much impact will these conditions have on the general state of the nation in the future and what do you think can be done to remedy this looming disaster?

Before delving to the core of this question, I must employ this opportunity to decry very recent happenings in our country, specifically the recurrent kidnapping of school children by bandits and other criminal marauders. We must seriously do all within our powers as a people to stem this condemnable and abominable trend as it presages a very dangerous curve for education in our country, in a period where we are trying to get more out-of-school kids to school; and the unpalatable social boomerang it will have on us in the nearest future if left unchecked.

Moving on, the truth about the combined effect of the various challenges we face as a nation contemporarily, viz; COVID-19, insecurity, technological difficulties amongst others, stare us glaringly in the face and it is only a matter of time before it metamorphoses into a tremendously destructive monster if we continue to trifle with it.

If we continue to handle these critical issues which touch the nerve of our collective well-being as a people, in no time they will begin to germinate far-reaching impacts across diverse stratas in our country – education, security, economy, etc.

To remedy the impending doom, at this cross-section in our country’s evolvement and continued existence, governments at all levels must rise to provide responsible and proactive leadership. Ethnic and parochial interests must be relegated, and totally erased, and deliberate actions should be kick-started to tackle these challenges head-on.

I believe we have surmounted greater challenges in time past and with seriousness from our present crop of leaders, these issues will also be a thing of the past.

  1. The CBN recently announced a prohibition on cryptocurrency transactions facilitated by Nigerian financial institutions. This comes in contrast to the adoption of the currency by financial institutions in Western countries. Do you think the CBN took a step in the right direction, given its rationale for the prohibition?

The CBN as the apex regulator of the financial services sector in Nigeria has the powers to initiate policies and regulations to safeguard the very critical sector, promote investments and fan the embers of economic prosperity.

While the CBN have published the justifications for its prohibition of cryptocurrency transactions by Nigerian financial institutions, a proper evaluation of the pros and cons of a regulated crypto market rather than a prohibited one, shows it tilts more towards the pros.

Like every other financial subsector and investment, there are inherent risks and volatilities in the novel and evolving cryptocurrency market, however, it behoves on the regulator (The CBN) to establish frameworks that minimize these volatilities while allowing for a regulated harnessing of the advantages by market players.

In my opinion, the CBN was needlessly extreme in it’s decision to reassert the prohibition of cryptocurrency transactions by financial institutions. In an ever evolving world with disruptive alterations hastened by the pandemic, we need to become more amenable to changes and improved procedures as a nation.

  1. What areas of law catch your fancy? Are you channelling your current activities towards future engagement in those areas?

I am fascinated by Intellectual Property law, international law and arbitration.

Yes, a lot of my activities are currently tailored towards future engagements in these areas. I am constantly involved in capacity building programs, expository events, seminars, work experiences, internships etc to sharpen my proficiency in these areas of law.

  1. If you had the power to pass a law on one pressing global issue, what would that be?

I would pass a law that’ll globally ban and strongly penalize the exploitation of the girl-child.

  1. Do you have any final words?

I appreciate Legal Pages for this rare privilege and esteemed honour, and I want to use this medium to encourage all young Nigerians trying to carve a niche for themselves despite the monumental systematic and environmental challenges we face to keep on pushing and pressing. With perseverance and consistency we will all attain our goals.

I also enjoin Nigerian youths to begin to take the development of leadership abilities seriously, as we can only do things differently from our present crop of National leaders if we know and understand the intricacies of true leadership which they currently do not appreciate.

Thank you.

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