For those that passed through the Faculty of Law Lagos State University (LASU LAW) in the last one and half decade, there must be one or two positive attributes of Mr. Adeleke that would come to mind. He was a man of very few words, serious minded, highly unassuming but approachable. Adeleke was one of those “go to” lecturer in the faculty of law LASU. Recently he added two remarkable feathers to his academic cap. He became a professor of law and was recently appointed Dean of Faculty of Law LASU. In this interview with DNL Legal & Style’s Aishat Oluwatosin Salami, Prof. Adeleke reminds those who know him that he has few to say but plenty in actions. Enjoy the excerpts:
Sir, congratulations on your appointment as the Dean Faculty of Law LASU, May we meet you?
As you are aware my name is Funminiyi Abiodun Raheem Adeleke
How long have you been a lecturer in LASU?
It would be two decades in less than 2 years.
You have recently been appointed the Dean Faculty of law LASU, has that been your ambition since you joined the faculty?
My ambition in life with respect to the legal profession I have chosen is to rise to the zenith of my career and being the Dean of the Faculty is more or less a milestone in the academic career.
Your appointment as Dean, was it a unanimous decision of the faculty board or was it keenly contested?
It was a unanimous decision. Law faculty has uniqueness in that we don’t engage in any unhealthy contest with regards to the appointment of the Dean. There is a procedure we follow and this makes it unanimous decision whenever we change leadership of the faculty.
How do you combine your administrative role as the Dean and lecturing?
It is challenging but I like teaching. It is my hobby so I don’t see lecturing as any stress. It’s what I enjoy.
What are your short and long term plans for LASU Law as the dean, particularly as it relates to student’s welfare?
The faculty is set to build a virile student unionism where students will receive legal education, inculcate moral values and ethics of the legal profession. Let me thank the management of the university through the indefatigable and ever achieving vice Chancellor of the university in person of Prof Lanre Fagbohun for his renewed vision of LASU.
The faculty has just commissioned a law clinic, what does this entail for the students and lecturers of the faculty?
Law clinic is set to bridge the noticeable gap between the theoretical knowledge of the law and its practice. We are set to expose students to actual legal practice right from the university. This will make many students who are naturally cut out for practice to realize their potentials. It may also change the orientation and other students who otherwise would have been docile to take up the practice of law, Law practice is very interesting and when students are exposed to it at the early stage of the profession they tend to do better and are grounded in the values of social justice and excellence; meet the society expectation and demands of the legal professions; meet the outcomes and requirements of the two regulatory bodies National University commission and Council of Legal Education and are locally and internationally relevant in the context of exhibiting legal knowledge.
How would you describe your relationship with other lecturers in the faculty, particularly the professors particularly because you were only recently appointed a professor of law and now the dean of the faculty?
Cordial and symbiotic
What goals do you have for developing the LASU Faculty of Law during your term as Dean of the Faculty?
To make LASU a force to be reckoned with in term of our teaching, research and community engagement in the context that is relevant to the needs of the society. The main goal is to deliver graduates who are able to take their place in a society that is based on democratic values and social justice and who will be ready to contribute in improving the quality of life of Nigerians.
What are the immediate challenges of managing the law faculty?
Same as the university challenges
What is your impression of the future generations is of lawyers especially the ones here in the Faculty?
Has it always been your desire to lecture as against practicing law?
No I started practicing law the same year I was called to the bar, Four years later I joined the university as a lecturer. Since then I have been in active practice save those years I was not in the country.
Did you practice law and at what point did you abandon private practice for lecturing?
My law chamber is still operational and active. It is a fact that I put in more time in academic than practice but since I have junior colleagues and peers in the chambers I have no problem in keeping it running and I go to court whenever I have to but never at the detriment of my academic responsibility.
What is your greatest turn off (dislike)
You mean in relation to my work as a lecturer? If yes I hate being disobeyed by students or when a student deliberately circumvents the established rules and regulation of the university.
Tell us a little bit about your immediate family
I thank Allah and will continue to thank him.
How do you relax sir?
That is a difficult thing for me. I am used to working and if by relaxation you mean giving time for leisure, I will score myself very low in that area, but if you mean staying off work to rest when nature demands that you do then I relax. But I don’t have special way of relaxing.
What is your advice to law students and lecturers?
Students should remain focused in their study and choose mentors among those who are senior in the bar and elders in the profession. Choose a role model and study his life and pattern your own along those indices of hard work, morality and relentlessness.
What is your motto in life.
A sorire. (We shall be blessed)
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