Oko-Irese, Kwara State, Nigeria,
August 31, 2023
In an innovative educational approach, the students of Thomas Adewumi University Faculty of Law embarked on a journey to gain valuable insights into Traditional dispute resolution and the Nigerian legal system. This extraordinary opportunity came to life during their visit to the Oloko of Oko Irese Palace and a subsequent trip to the Omu-Aran Magistrate Court. Professor Olugbenga Oke Samuel, an associate Professor in the faculty, and the driving force behind this educational endeavour emphasized the importance of understanding the different aspects of the Nigerian legal system and the customary mechanisms for the resolution of disputes. This provided a unique opportunity for the students to delve into Nigeria's traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, and to have an understanding of the Nigerian court system, including the operation of the Judicial arm of the government.
During the educational visit to the palace of His Royal Highness, Oba Victor Oluwafemi Olawuyi, the Oloko of Oko Irese, the students engaged with the Oloko in Council and learned about the customs and traditional methods employed in resolving disputes within the community. The Oloko of Oko himself graciously shared his wisdom, shedding light on the significance of preserving these age-long customs amidst a rapidly modernizing world. To a large extent, legal education is focused on modern legal systems and principles. However, the visit to the Oloko of Oko Palace has enabled the students to delve deeper into Nigeria's rich cultural heritage and gain insights into customary dispute resolution.
This hands-on experience exposed students to the importance of these practices in resolving conflicts within indigenous communities. Prof. Oke Samuel, the visionary behind this initiative, believes that exposing law students to the roots of the legal system is critical to producing well-rounded legal professionals. To him, students must understand that Nigeria's legal system is deeply intertwined with its cultural and traditional values.
Going further, the Law students visited the Magistrate Court in Omu-Aran. This educational tour provided an invaluable opportunity for aspiring legal minds to witness firsthand the inner workings of Nigeria's legal system. At the Magistrate Court, students observed court proceedings, interacted with legal practitioners, and gained insights into the Nigerian judiciary's structure and functions. This immersive experience allowed them to appreciate the practical aspects of legal practice while learning about the intricate details of courtroom procedures.
This educational visit has made Thomas Adewumi University one of the first institutions in Nigeria to offer such a comprehensive legal education with practical examples for its students. This groundbreaking initiative is expected to equip students with not only the academic knowledge but also the practical understanding necessary to excel in their legal careers.
Professor Oke's vision in organizing this visit was to bridge the gap between theoretical legal education and practical application. By exposing students to real-world legal proceedings, they can better prepare themselves for their future careers as legal professionals. In sum, the Thomas Adewumi University Faculty of Law's visit to the Oloko of Oko Palace and the Magistrate Court in Omu-Aran was a resounding success. It not only allowed students to appreciate the rich tapestry of Nigeria's legal landscape but also reinforced the importance of preserving traditional customs alongside modern legal systems.
As Thomas Adewumi University Faculty of Law pioneers this innovative approach to legal education, it stands as a shining example of a forward-thinking institution dedicated to producing well-rounded, culturally aware legal professionals. Prof. Oke's vision to bridge the gap between modern legal systems and Nigeria's rich cultural heritage is indeed a significant step forward in legal education.