Lawyers of Nigerian origin around the world dominated the inaugural MIPAD 100 Law and Justice Edition with a total of 23 honourees. The Global Top 100 List was released by the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) during Recognition Week 2022 following the opening of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
MIPAD, a global civil society initiative in support of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, has, in the past five years established an annual tradition of releasing global lists of the best and brightest to celebrate people of African descent who are making positive contributions in their fields of endeavor. This year, the second global list, the 100 Law & Justice Edition focuses on the field of law and justice. One subtle significance of this year’s recognition is to highlight the place of law and justice in the society.
Kamil Olufowobi, Chief Executive Officer of MIPAD, informed that it is time we rally the great legal minds of our time to actualize the Second Pillar of the International Decade for People of African Descent; JUSTICE. He went on to say, “thank you to the Federation of African Law Students (FALAS) a unifying body of law students across the African continent; Africa’s Largest Independent Law Association, whose Executive Team chaired the selection committee for this year’s list.
Characteristic of MIPAD, honoring personalities inside Africa and across the global African Diaspora, this year’s list boasts of recognizable Diasporan names of A-list achievers in the field of law and justice. One of those who made the MIPAD Class of 2022 Law and Justice Edition is Mrs Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson, an American jurist who serves as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Jackson was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Joe Biden on February 25, was confirmed by the United States’ Senate on April 7, and sworn into office on June 30, 2022. On assumption of office, she became the first woman of African descent to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.
More than any other country in the world, Nigeria stood out with leading personalities including the country’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Kelechi Madu, Canada’s first Black Minister of Justice, Solicitor General and Attorney General for Province of Alberta. They both made the list in the category of Government and Governance.
Other honourees are Gloria Nwabuogu (Switzerland), Yetunde Asika, Adeola Oyinlade, Dr Sola Mos-Shagbamimu (UK) and Femi, Funmi, Folarin Falana in the Human and Civil Rights category; Professor Damilola Olawuyi SAN (Qatar), Dr Emilia Onyeama (UK) in the Education and Law Schools category; and Gbenga Oyebode, Dorothy Ufot, Olasupo Shasore and Foluke Akinmoladun in the Arbitration and Litigation category.
The Corporate Business category has Olubunmi Fayokun of Aluko & Oyebode while, Alozie Etugh (USA), Nosa John Graham Garrick, and Yakubu Galadima were listed in the Intellectual Property Law category. Beverly Agokoba-Onyejianya and Fawehinmi Foza Oyinkansola made the Entertainment Law Category while Buki Ogunsakin, Esq a tech lawyer made the list for ground breaking works in emerging tech: NFTs, Metaverse, Blockchain, Crypto, AI, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy (CIPP/E). Others who are lawyers by training who are excelling in other fields of their choice included Nkiru Balonwu and Omoyemi Akerele.
While congratulating the honourees, Olufowobi noted that “it is hoped that the people of African descent, everywhere around the world, will look up to these honourees and get inspired to pursue excellence, especially in the field of law and justice, or whatever field they play.”
These Nigerian honourees were inducted into the MIPAD Class of 2022 Law and Justice for their outstanding contributions and service towards the advancement for people of African descent worldwide and are invited to the Lagos Reception in December 2022 and next global gathering for all MIPAD honorees taking place in Republic of Rwanda, on Africa Day, May 25th 2023.