Tell us about yourself
My name is Ernest-Egbuna Chike. I graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State where I successfully obtained my Bachelor of Law degree in 2007 and thereafter proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Abuja and obtained my B.L and was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008. I worked with the law firm of A.A Orunkoya & Co between 2009 to 2014. Presently, I am the head of Chamber, Onitsha office in the law firm, Kusamotu & kusamotu. I am married to Onyekachi Sandra Ernest-Egbuna who is also a legal practitioner and we have two sons.
Why your choice of Law?
I was inspired by my father and grandfather. My grandfather was called to the bar in England in 1940 and in April that same year he returned to Onitsha and setup his own practice which was later inherited by my own father after he was called to Nigerian Bar in 1974. My grand grandfather later became the first speaker of the Eastern House of Assembly and my father also became a High Court Judge in Anambra State.
What is your alternative career, should law not be the avenue for you?
Although politics as a career is extremely challenging and risky. I feel it is an alternative career for me because our country, Nigeria is in dare need of good politicians.
What was your solo appearance as a new wig in court?
I started practicing in 2009 and in that same year, I was instructed by my boss then, Mr. Anthony Orunkoya to file a motion to extend the time within which our client (a company) can hold their Annual General Meeting. I prepared the application, filed and moved same and it was granted. It was then that I realized that I have truly became a lawyer.
What do you like most about the legal profession?
I like the fact that the training we passed through in the law school prepared us to be role models in the society. Every other person respect lawyers and we are often seen as epitome of civility.
What do you feel are the things that can help a person become successful in practice?
Hard work and healthy social lifestyle in my opinion is all that is required to be successful in our profession.
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night thinking about a case, wishing you had handled something differently?
After doing my best in handling any particular matter, I make it a point of duty not to think about it even if the result is not favorable to me. Reason being that High Blood Pressure is so prevalent amongst lawyers. So if one wants to be healthy and successful in our profession you don’t over burden yourself with so much thinking.
In what way do you think the judiciary can improve on dispensation of justice?
Appointment of more competent judges will improve speedy dispensation of justice. Also transparency on the side of the National Judicial Council will help too.
Give an example of time your experienced conflict or disagreement. How did you resolve this?
I try as much as possible not to have conflicts with fellow lawyers in the court. If all the processes in a matter is before a judge, why then disagree with a fellow lawyer who would neither deliver ruling or judgement in it.
Have you ever benefited from your disappointment/mistake?
In the legal profession, you learned in the job. Your mistakes make you a better lawyer in the future. So yes, I am who I am today because of the mistakes I made in the past and learnt from them.
Who has been most influential in your life?
I would say my late father, Hon. Justice Okey Ernest-Egbuna who afforded me the opportunity of having good education and also inspired me to study law.
What do you have to say about the poor or no salary payment to young lawyers?
As long as there is no standard of charging clients in our profession, poor remuneration not only for young lawyers but senior lawyers will still be prevalent.
Are you better working alone or as a part of a team?
I would say I like working as a team because you can learn the most important things from the person you least expect. That is to say that no man is an island.