On this edition of Lawyer of the Week, Legal Pages, in demonstration of the nexus between the legal profession and leadership, feature Seyi Adisa, a prominent lawyer and politician. A founding partner at Tunde and Adisa Legal Practitioners, Seyi Adisa takes us through his experience as a parliamentarian and gives insight into non-profit organisations he manages.
Can we meet you?
I am Seyi Adisa. I am a lawyer by profession and the Honourable member representing Afijio state constituency at the Oyo State House of Assembly. I am a husband, a father. Also, I am a Politician and I am passionate about the Politics of Development, which means a style of politics used as a tool to develop our people and communities. Additionally, as a certified John Maxwell Leadership speaker and coach who believes strongly in the solution of rightful leadership, I’ve been able to commission a journey toward raising a new tribe of leaders in Nigeria, both political and generic.
How many years post call do you have?
What inspired you to venture into politics? Did you have prior political experience before seeking election to the Oyo State House of Assembly?
Yes, I worked for 7 and half years with the former Governor of Oyo state, His Excellency, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as a Principal Private Secretary. To a good degree, that gave me necessary exposure to political practices as well as the tenets of governance and public service. The experience added to my motivation to serve and impact my community. Undoubtedly, politics offers a good platform to create such degree of impact and influence. I joined politics in order to serve from these frontlines, with the hope to bring development to the people and our communities.
As a parliamentarian, do you combine this with legal practice?
I am not allowed to be in practice by law but the skills I have learnt as a lawyer helps me in my everyday work. The legal skill of analysis helps me to discern information received, advocacy helps me present my points persuasively and legal drafting helps me with creating and reviewing laws.
What effort is the Oyo State Legislature making to improve the legal system and the state of courts?
The Oyo State House is seeking to carry out extensive law review to amend old and out of sync laws in the books of the State. The Committee on the Judiciary have also established regular interface with the Bench and they take on the needs of the Judiciary in terms of law-making. There is also a cordial relationship between the leadership of the House and the Judiciary. These interactions definitely help improve the state of the courts.
One of the major problems faced by Law students particularly in public institutions is funding to organize conferences and attend competitions. As an eminent individual, do you have plans for legal education in this regard?
I try and support as many Law Student programs as I can afford, and this includes also attending such programs to share my experiences. I hope to also create a scholarship to support brilliant law students in financial need in the near future.
You are the Founder of the 7Eleven Empowerment Foundation and the Seyi Adisa Development Initiative. What is the focus of these organizations and how well will you measure your impact over the years?
7Eleven is to help build and sustain startups to become thriving businesses, with an endgame of helping to boost the economy and empowering them to become active players in solving the unemployment issue the country is faced with. SADI is set up to bring development to people and communities in the areas of youth empowerment (through skill acquisition and sport development), education, health and infrastructure. We have a systematic approach and are monitoring and evaluating all our programs. I am pleased to say that both organisations have made appreciable impact so far with 7Eleven training over 112 youths in Oyo State over the last 2 years and SADI having affected over 1,000 lives, over 2,500 families and at least 9 communities in the last 12 months.
What assurance do you have for Nigerians, particularly Oyo State residents with regards to the Government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
This is certainly unprecedented times and no leader can claim to have all the answers. What is important now is a sincerity of purpose and a determination to show love and support to the people who have elected the government to serve them. I want Nigerians to collaborate and work with government to ensure that we curb the pandemic and return to our “normal” lives which I dare say will no longer be normal.
Thank you for your time.