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Welcome to the 2008/2009 session of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan. I hope that you have had a good and fruitful holiday and that you have all come back ready to learn, to work, and to do your best. I am sure that you all have the capacity to excel, once you set your minds to the task at hand. I want to challenge you all to be the best that you can be. The world is now very competitive, and you live with the results that you get, for the rest of your life. The time spent at university is so short- why don’t you all concentrate on your school work and come out with flying colours? It is possible.
We are striving to improve and this newsletter, the first one for the Faculty, is one of our innovations for this session, and one that we will continue from now on, at least at the beginning of every session, and whenever the need arises. We hope that you like it and we welcome comments and suggestions to make it better.
Our returning students should have noticed the improved structure of the Adeola Odutola Law Library, which was made possible through a donation from the Family of the original benefactor, Chief T. Adeola Odutola, the Ogbeni Oja of Ijebu-Ode. However, we also have an enhanced interior. We have rearranged the Library and made it more functional. We have also bought new books, and updated the journals and law reports. In addition, the Faculty has been able to subscribe to two world-class digital libraries, Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. Between Westlaw and Lexis Nexis, all members of the Faculty have access to the most up-to date law materials in the world, from any computer within the University of Ibadan. The Library has fifteen computers upstairs, which can be utilized by all library users. These computers are also loaded with the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. The enhancement of the Library has been made possible by a Macarthur grant to the Faculty of Law. We can now confidently say that our Library is situated in the 21st century. Therefore no one has any excuse to be obsolete any longer. I encourage you all to utilize the Library holdings to the fullest. Of course, the Faculty expects responsible use. Any person found defacing or destroying library materials will face the Students Disciplinary Committee, in addition to being banned from the Library for a prescribed period.
The Faculty has introduced questionnaires for you to state what you think of your teachers, and of the ways in which you are taught. Last year they were given to the final year students, during the defence period. Those of us that teach the final year found their comments very interesting and helpful. When you are given the forms, please fill them in frankly. They are designed to improve our communication and teaching.
The university’s sixtieth anniversary celebrations will be taking place during the first semester and therefore there are going to be a lot of activities. The Faculty has its own designated activities, which are listed in this newsletter, and you are all expected to be present at all the activities.
Final year students, I welcome you specially. This is your last year with us. Do your best and excel in your work. It is your project year. I hope that you have an idea of the area that you wish to write your project in. A list of possible topics is available, as a guideline. We look forward to very good and original projects. We introduced the project defence as an integral part of the scoring of Law 599 last session, to guard against plagiarism, and to promote uniformity in the scoring system. It is a practice that is here to stay.
Freshers, welcome to the Faculty of Law and to life in the University of Ibadan. We are happy to have you with us and wish you the best of what the university and the Faculty have to offer. 100 level students, we won’t see much of you until next year, but we recognize that you are still part of the Faculty, and so expect you to still partake in our activities. This year is very important. It is the year when you will form habits that are likely to will stay with you throughout your stay here, so make sure they are good habits. Also, form good friendships with people that are upwardly mobile, who can encourage and stimulate you to be the best that you can be.
To the rest of you, my advice to the freshers applies to you. If you played a lot or made unsuitable friendships in the previous session, it’s not too late to change. If you’ve already done very well, keep up the good work, the sky is your limit.
However, all of you must always remember that being in university is not all about book work. You are also learning to be well-rounded and responsible members of society. For the past few years law students have featured prominently in worthwhile university activities, winning community awards in the Jaycees, forming responsible student NGOs such as the Child Rights Awareness Campaign Organisation, playing leading roles in existing NGOs such as the Bowels of Mercy, and playing very prominent roles in the Students Union. This is as is it should be as lawyers are indispensable to making Nigeria the great nation that God has ordained.
I pray that it will be well with you all. May your days here be peaceful and full of strength and may you all achieve your hearts desires. You shall all be good ambassadors of you families and of those who have sent you to this university. You shall go forth and return in peace and security and the only news we shall hear of you all shall be good news, in Jesus Name.
Have a great and wonderful session!
Professor Yinka Omorogbe
Dean, Faculty of Law
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