Ifeoma Onuike is a Nigerian who just graduated overall best in her undergraduate class with a first class honours degree in English Common Law in Girnes America University, Cyprus. In this Interview with Makinde Oluwarotimi, she reveals what motivated her into studying the profession among other things.
Can you briefly tell us about your background?
My name is Ifeoma Chinenye Onuike, I am from Dunukofia Local Government Area in Anambra State. I had my primary school education at Infant Jesus Nursery and Primary School, Kubwa, Freedom Academy Nursery and Primary school, Kubwa and L.E.A. Primary School, Kubwa all in Abuja. My secondary school education was at Government Secondary School, Kubwa, Abuja and Government Secondary School, Nakere, Nassarawa State.
I had my first degree in Business Management at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State. I am still yet to serve.
What motivated you into choosing Law as your second degree course of study?
I have always been passionate about Law, the profession fascinates me. Its dynamic yet rigid-hold has been the pillar on which societies of the world rest and I couldn’t help but desire to be an integral part of it. While studying the course as my second degree in Cyprus, I was privileged to serve in some important positions in the school and student associations. I served as the president of Law Student Society, Girne American University between 2016 and 2017, as the vice-president, National Association of Nigerian Students, 2016 and ex-officio of National Association of Nigeria Students, 2015.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges you encountered while studying the course?
Studying outside Nigeria is quite expensive. Also, trying to joggle between school and work is hard and requires twice the hard work, twice the motivation, twice the studying as well.
Do you still intend to continue your study in Girne American University?
Yes, by God’s grace during the fall in September, I should start my Master’s Degree program.
Can you tell us about some of your other goals?
I have a vision of being a mouth piece for the less privileged, particularly women across Africa and the world at large. I intend doing this via an NGO which I run called EMBLER (Enhancement Module for Best Legacies and Essential Reformation).
EMBLER is a platform whose main purpose is to create a community like atmosphere for generating and sharing ideas and working towards its actualisation with particular interest in women, although everyone is welcome as well. I have a page for Embler on facebook.
Personally, as a writer, I have an Academic work currently going on, ‘The ‘Art’ of Law in Procedural Justice through the Political Strata to achieving a near absolute Justice’. I am also currently working on ‘Nigeria and the ICCPR’. I am also into literature writing and I am working towards publishing them soon.
What is your view about corruption in Nigeria and how can it be curbed?
In my own opinion, corruption is like a cancer, which has eaten deep into the Nigerian System. I may not be able to proffer one good solution about how to deal with corruption but I believe Nigeria can have a better working system again with the current change agenda being emphasised by the present administration.
With this course which you have studied, how do you think you can bring improvement into the Nigerian society?
Studying Law, I knew it would be challenging, yet I am determined to bring reform into our Legal system. I intend to restore the trust of the common man, encouraging their belief that the Law should work for you and not against you. Studying outside the system gave me the opportunity to step out and see the loopholes in our system, and compare same with that of other countries.
What advice do you have for the Nigerian youths?
My advice to Nigerian youths is that they shouldn’t sit and complain when they haven’t even tried to change the situation. It is never late to achieve your dreams, it might take more effort than required, but hard work won’t kill, instead it is profitable.
Do not hold back on your goal or vision, ‘push on, pursue it and persevere in it’. It may hurt sometimes yes, it may be hard, yes, but is it profitable? Absolutely, yes. I passed through it as well.