Nasarawa State University has emerged the overall winner of the 14th edition of the annual National Client Interview and Counselling Skills Competition 2019.
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, emerged first runner-up.
The two-day competition (11th – 12th January, 2019) was hosted by Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) at the Sultan Maccido Institute of Islamic and General Studies, Kalambaina, Sokoto.
The National Client Interview and Counselling Skills Competition 2019, which was organised on the platform of NULAI and sponsored by Open Society Initiative, had in attendance 14 participants from across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The schools are: Nasarawa State University; Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto; University of Abuja; Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; American University Nigeria, Yola; University of Lagos; Kogi State University; Ebonyi State University; Bayero University Kano; University of Maiduguri; University of Ilorin; University of Benin and the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano.
The first and semi – final rounds of the competition had eight and three schools eliminated respectively while Nasarawa State University emerged the overall winner with lesser mistakes observed, over Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and University of Abuja as finalists.
Speaking with The Nation, Lukman Ayinla; an associate Professor of Law from International and Jurisprudence Department, University of Ilorin, also a member of the co-ordinating team, explained that the competition was a way of strengthening the spirit of professionalism in trainee-lawyers.
According to Lukman Ayinla:
“Honestly, apart from looking for a winner that will represent Nigeria at the international level in Dublin, Northern Ireland, on April 10, 2019, we also aim at improving and inculcating the spirit of professionalism in the students. At the end, most of them will be trained on some vital ethics of legal practices in Nigeria.”
While responding to questions on transparency and impartiality of the panel of judges, a lecturer from Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Ibrahim Shatabaya, explained that the judges were not only limited to lawyers and legal practitioners, noting that, the brilliant method adopted by the organisers made the competition one of the best in Nigeria.
According to Ibrahim Shatabaya:
“I applaud the organisers for the brilliant method they adopted. As one of the panel of judges invited, I can say that any judgment given by the panel in this competition is given without any favoritism. I personally found it impossible to even know the name of schools I examined because they were identified by their groups not by the names of their schools.”
One of the representatives of the overall winner (Nasarawa State University) Paul Ebueka, while speaking after the competition, expressed gratitude to God and all his teammates for their brilliant efforts and the opportunity to represent Nigeria in Dublin in April.