Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth has over the years, produced brilliant minds in the field of law. This article is about the first Nigerian lawyers from the North, East and West of Nigeria.
Below are the first Nigerian lawyers from all regions in Nigeria:
1. The First Nigerian Lawyer From The North
The first Nigerian lawyer from Northern Nigeria was Abdul Ganiyu Folorunsho Abdulrasaq (SAN). He was born in Onitsha, Anambra State and his ancestral home can be traced to Ilorin, Kwara State.
Abdul Ganiyu was fluent in all three major Nigerian languages and he was once the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In the first Republic, he was Nigeria’s ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire.
This distinguished legal practitioner was educated at the then University College, now University of Ibadan in 1948. He was a member of the 49-man constitution drafting committee that brought about Nigeria’s 1979 constitution as a draft.
2. First Nigerian Lawyer From The East
The first Nigerian lawyer from Eastern Nigeria was Sir. Louis Mbanefo (1911-1977). He was born in Onitsha, in the old Eastern Region.
He was extremely intelligent, disciplined and diligent and he applied himself with single-minded dedication to his profession. Sir Mbanefo was called to the English Bar in 1937.
3. First Nigerian Lawyer From The West
The first Nigerian lawyer from Northern Nigeria was Christopher Sapara Williams. He was born on November 14, 1855 in Sierra Leone to the family of Alex Charles Williams and Nancy Johnson Williams. Sapara Williams was called to the English Bar in 1879 and he was believed to have come from Ijesha Land.
One of his best quotes was that “The Legal practitioner lives from the direction of his people and the advancement of the cause of his country”.