Celebrating Barrister James chukwunenye Ezike, a legal colossus at 70
With so many high profile cases to his name , many of which had become a reference point in Nigeria’s Judicial system, it is unthinkable that he was not conferred with the titled of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Yet, Barrister James chukwunenye Ezike, who turns 70 years today, is not one of those who are perturbed with appellations, whether in his chosen career as a lawyer or in the social circle.He simply preferred to be called a mister and barrister, despite his oratory and analytic display of knowledge of law , which had endowed him even to his opponents.
Ezike is one of the few lawyers involved in judicial activism, bravely approaching the apex court on areas he perceived to be of grave injustice that needs to be addressed.
He falls into the exclusive class of lawyers, who do not believe that the rank of SAN bestows undue advantage to lawyers and had refused to apply even when prompted by many senior lawyers and jurists.He demonstrated this in his ability to handle several landmark cases and came out strong and setting judicial precedents while contending with SANs.
In the legal circle, he is respected and known as a lawyer to lawyers as most of his brief came from other lawyers.Apart from his prowess in the legal circle, Ezike is a known voice on pressing contemporary issues, his interviews on national issues are often inspirational and educative.
He also adventured into politics in the second republic before the military thwarted his dreams of serving his people.An advocate par excellence, Ezike, the man of the people, has made outstanding contributions to the development of Nigerian law and jurisprudence.
Some notable Nigerians and blue Chip companies, who had sought his legal services in the past include, late Alhaji Olusola Saraki, Late Dim Emeka Ojukwu, former Governor Celestine Omehia as well as the rural telephony giant, ITP, that retained his services when they came to Nigeria, just to mention a few.
Born on the 29th of November 2017, in ihiala, Mbosi of Anambra State, Ezike started his early education at st Patrick’s school Mbosi, after which he attended as a secondary institution, kings college, Lagos. He was then admitted to study law at the university of Nigeria, Enugu campus. He was a member of the student represents council (students’ parliament) 1971-1973, and was also the editor in chief of the Enugu campus of the university of Nigeria 1972-1973. He then became the president of the law Students Association in 1973-1974. In 1974, after a competition at the Nigerian institute of international affairs, Lagos, he was selected to represent Nigeria at the Philip Jessup international law mooot court competition in Washington D.C, USA. At the end of the competition, they won three out of the four prizes for the competition, an international record which stands to date. He is a member of the Nigerian bar Association and a member of the American society of international law.
He graduated with an LLB honours degree in 1973-1974,and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1975. After which, he served his time in the national youth service scheme. He has been in active and private practice since then.
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