Kingsley Ehujuo

Tell us about yourself:
I am Kingsley Ehujuo, Esq.; an Owerri based legal practitioner. Am the 5th in a family of eight children. I hail from Elugwu-Okabia in Orsu L.G.A of Imo State. I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008 and have been in active legal practice afterwards. I’m currently the Assistant Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Owerri Branch.

What area of law interest you?
Constitutional law.

What do you like most about legal practice?
I love judges that know their onion, uncompromising, incorruptible and courageous.

Why do you choose to be a lawyer?
Growing up, I had course to appear in court as a witness in a criminal matter. Upon the conclusion of my testimony, the magistrate observed that my responses to the questions under cross-examination were excellent for a person of my age. He advised my Dad to encourage me to study law. At that moment, I felt elated with an inside conviction that “I can do”. In SS 1, I had the natural urge to settle for arts subjects since four of my elder brothers were already in the sciences. My classmates at the time were disappointed because they thought I was gonna end up in the science class. But I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be a lawyer. Then, I loved the gait, dressing comportment of the lawyers I see around. I aspired to be like them someday. And behold, I nurtured my dreams. By the grace of God Almighty, that dream was eventually fulfilled in November, 2008. Thus, my becoming a lawyer was informed by passion, conviction, encouragement and divine grace.

What is the most critical time in practice you had to deal with?
I can not say for sure what it is because I have had both the good, the bad and ugly experience in the practice of law. Come to think of it, one of my most critical experiences was my involvement in the 2015 election petition matters. In this regard, the case of Nkechinyere Ugwu v. Ikechukwu Amuka & Ors stands out. We represented INEC in that matter and our contention was that the election petition tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition. Though the trial tribunal disagreed with us, however, the court of appeal vindicated our position.

What do you feel are things that help a person become successful in practice?
To become successful in practice is a consequence of a combination of factors. First and most importantly, is the God factor. This is what I otherwise call the “favour factor”. You need divine favour to break through in the profession. It’s not by might nor strength. This calls to mind the biblical pontification in Eccl. 9:11 which says: ” I realised another thing, that in this world fast runners do not always win the race, and the brave do not always win the battle. Wise men do not always earn a living, intelligent men do not always get rich, and capable men do not always rise to high positions….” In other words, we need the grace of God in all that we do. It’s only His grace that can distinguish us. The second factor to my mind is passion. The third is hard work. The forth is persistence and consistency. You see some lawyers, especially the younger ones, jumping from one jurisdiction to another in search of greener pasture. I do not think it works that way. One must remain in a particular jurisdiction overtime to build his clientele. Each time one leaves his base to elsewhere, he goes there as a beginner; he starts afresh to build his clientele.

What kind of things give you the most satisfaction in your work?
Courtroom advocacy! Each time am making legal submissions in court, I feel satisfied. Again, researching and writing a very good brief gives me inner happiness.

Where are you looking out for area of specialization and why?
Though most legal practitioners in Nigeria today are general practitioners, I think it is high time we began to specialise. For me, it is Constitutional law.

What are your outside interests and hobbies?
My hobbies include travelling, meeting people, researching, reading, listening to news broadcast and playing Scrabble.

Have you ever benefited from your disappointment/mistakes?
Am still thinking…. Hahaha!

Could you tell us your experience as a young lawyer
As a young lawyer, clients’ always believe that I can’t deliver. They always insist that my Principal should handle their matters personally. Of a truth, that really got me pissed off. I however saw it as a challenge to prove my mettle. Today, most of those clients’ call me directly each time they have legal issues.

Who has been most influential in your life?
My Dad, may his gentle soul continue to find rest in the Bossom of our Creator. Amen! He was such a quintessential personality, a human exemplary, a strict
disciplinarian. He impressed on me the values of hard work, discipline, resilience, etc. I can not thank him enough.

Your words of encouragement to young lawyers:
To young lawyers I say, the Pharaoh’s you see today you shall see no more. Don’t despair, remain focus, determined and dedicated to whatever you do. I believe and bequeath to us the words of J. T. U. Nnodum, SAN when he said to me, “…there is still room at the top”. Just do your best and your best shall some day vindicate your efforts.

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