Abiodun Kazeem is the first graduate to bag the first class grade in the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin,

If
you call him a jinx breaker, you are not far from the truth. The reason
is that many students had tried to graduate from the University of
Ilorin with a first class degree in Law for many years, but they failed
for one reason or the other. Finally, on Tuesday, however, Abiodun
Kazeem achieved the feat, drawing accolades from many people.

Kazeem
studied Common and Islamic Law at the institution, which became a full
fledged university in 1976. Achieving this feat, according to him, is
something he will always cherish. But he never forgets to note that his
march through the system was a tough one.

For instance, he
recalls that he did not get admission into the university on a platter
of gold. He sat for the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board’s
examination twice, in the course of which some of his friends tried to
convince him to forget about applying again.

“The first time I
sat for JAMB was in 2007,” Kazeem says. “I did not get the cut-off
point. But I was bent on studying law. So, in 2008, I obtained the JAMB
form and sat for the examination the second time. I was successful this
time around.”

Between 2007 and 2008, he worked with one of his
uncles, Mr. Tahiru Adeosun, who has a law firm in Ilorin. While the
experience might have influenced his academic strides on campus, from
his first day in the institution, he had his mind set on obtaining first
class degree. Yet, some of his colleagues tried again to discourage
him. They reminded him that no one had ever achieved that feat in the
institution as far as the faculty was concerned. But he remained
resolute.

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He says, “From the day I entered the university, I
wanted to make a first class. I thought that my experience in my uncle’s
law firm could be used to optimise my ability. But some of the
challenges I had have to do with the issue that nobody had made it. Some
of my colleagues who noted that I was so focused on my studies
discouraged me. Many of them said, ‘You can never have it. You do not
need to disturb yourself.’’’

Twenty-six-year-old Kazeem, who
hails from Iganna in Oyo State, says he is from a polygamous home. His
father, Muideen, has 12 children. His mother, Mulika, gave birth to six
of them. He states that settling for Law in the higher institution was
largely due to the influence of his uncle.

Perhaps, he could have
read Mass Communication and not Law. According to him, his nickname in
secondary school was Mr. Mass Communication, due to his writing skills
and gift of oration.

He recounts his days at Community Grammar
School, Iganna. “I decided to read Law because my uncle, a lawyer,
inspired me. I wanted to study Mass Communication. I was very eloquent
and I was in the Press Club in the secondary school. But when I got to
my uncle’s chamber, he influenced and inspired me to read Law. I never
dreamt of becoming a lawyer,” he says.

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Beaming with excitement
and a sense of accomplishment, Kazeem adds that this feat is an honour
for his generation and his people in Oyo State.

For now, he is
preparing for the Law School, after which he will choose between three
directions he has envisioned for himself. He hopes to become a lecturer,
to inspire young people, practise Law or participate in politics,
either actively or passively.

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Kazeem is one of the 41 graduands
from various faculties in the university who bagged first class degrees
at the ceremony, with 1,088 making second class upper; 2,435 had second
class lower. In the third class degree category are 1,082 students and
214 had ordinary Pass.

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