By Great Imo Jonathan Esq.
Today is worth celebrating because the immediate past Second National Vice President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and one of Nigeria’s conscientious citizens, Barr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani popularly known by friends as MOU was born on this very great day the 27th of July.
Just recently I was touched by his effort at giving support to the youths of his very community at Awomukwu in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State as he gifted them a bus that will help generate fund and spread empowerment amongst them.
This has been the story of his life since he ever gained prominence in the Nigerian sphere. Hence, I am persuaded and glad to celebrate him today.
Mr Ubani was born to the family of Mazi Ubani Nwokocha in Awomukwu village of Oloko Clan in Ikwuano Local GovernmentArea of Abia State prior to the Biafran war of the 1960s.
He is the only surviving child of his parents who are both alive. He lost his only sister few years ago.
He had his primary school education in Awomukwu, in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, where he obtained Credit in his School Leaving Certificate.
Ubani later relocated to Lagos where he attended a Secondary Commercial College and obtained his GCE Certificate in 1983.
That same year, Mr Ubani was admitted into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to study Political Science. And his motivating factor was the political flamboyancy of politicians like Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Late Dr Nnamdi Azikwe. He was motivated by their oratory prowess because they spoke extempore and were politically very colourful.
His dream of becoming a Political Scientist cum politician began to wane as a result of the political adventurism and incursion of the Nigerian Military into Nigerian Politics in the period of years referred to as ‘’military era’’
This made him to have a rethink and he decided to start afresh to study law in the same University of Nigeria of Enugu Campus He saw in his new found love (law) the opportunity to stand up in defense of the oppressed masses. He saw the activities of the likes of Late Gani Fawehinmi SAN, a colossus and the then vibrant and courageous young Femi Falana who is now SAN as a credible example to emulate. He was emboldened because of these Human Right Lawyers and Activists who gave up a greater percentage of their lives for the defense of the oppressed masses of the society.
MOU’s humble background which made him to see himself as part of the poor and oppressed masses got his zeal fired up and was emotionally connected to these activists.
After his graduation from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus in the year 1989, the young Ubani having been armed with LLB Degree with second class upper proceeded to the Nigerian Law School where he also came out with second class upper in his Bachelor of Laws. He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1990.
He did his National Youth Service in Kano State, Nigeria. He served as a pupil counsel in the law firm of K. C. Ugbuaja & Co. and later worked briefly in Wole Olufon & Co. in Lagos after his National Service. He did his Masters Degree in comparative constitutional and company law at University of Lagos in 1993.
He handled his first case while he was a National Youth Service Corp member, a case that had to do with setting aside a writ of fifa that was already executed and the properties of his client brought to the court’s premises. His opponent was already an established and senior lawyer who is now a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. That was his first legal baptism, which made his then principal to hand over all other matters under litigation to his care for that singular victory as a new corper. He was impressed.
Another case Mr Ubani will not forget in a hurry was the matter of bail application he handled on behalf of a client who never paid, he ran away after he regained his freedom. This incident took place after he came back to Lagos having completed his service year in Kano. It was a turning point in his litigation experience and since then he has not fallen victim to such antics of unscrupulous clients.
Mr Ubani is the principal partner of the law firm of Ubani & Co., established in 1992.
He was the former chairman of one of the biggest branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja, between 2012 and 2014. He displayed his leadership and administrative skills along with his Executive committee members while on the driver’s seat. His tenure as the chairman brought tremendous and remarkable improvement in every area pertaining to the Branch to the extent that both learned and unlearned persons who witnessed his unprecedented performance have never ceased to talk about them long after he left office.
He later contested and won to become the 2nd National Vice President of NBA in 2016 to 2018.
Ubani built bridges of friendship for himself and on behalf of NBA with the different strata of government ministries, department, agencies (MDGs), and with corporate organizations, NGOs, security agencies to mention a few. He is a Solicitor and Advocate to several companies and high networth individuals.
He belongs to several groups and Associations. They include;
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON)
Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International
A Fellow of Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria.
International Bar Associstion.
African bar Association
A Fellow of Institute of Chartered Mediators and Concillators.
Ubani is a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He is a Social Critic, Political Activist, Community leader and Commentator on National Issues. He has written several articles and opinions in various newspapers, social media platforms and delivered several lectures on law and political issues all over the country and abroad.
Mr Ubani is a renowned newspaper reviewer on television and radio and the former presenter of “Know Your Right with Barr Ubani” on Radio Continental, Lagos.
Mr Ubani has held or is holding the following positions;
Former Parliamentarian (House of Representative) University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Former Chief Judge, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka (1988-1989). Former President Men’s Ministries Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, Ikeja Section for over Eight Years. Former Chairman Law Week Planning Committee Of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja 2009 And 2010.
Former Alternate Chairman Finance Committee Of NBA, Ikeja 2011.
Present Treasurer Of The Board Of Assemblies Of God Church, Nigeria, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Legal Adviser of Lagos District of Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria.
Former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja 2012 and 2014.
An Ambassador of the Kingdom of Assemblies of God Nigeria and A current Caretaker Committee Member of NBA, Ikeja Branch.
Mr. Ubani is an awardee of several hours as listed below:
6th Ikeja City Award Excellence 2011.
Akwa Ibom Indigenes Development Initiative (AKIDI), Lagos. Nigeria Award of Excellence for Selfless Service to Humanity and Public.
SPODAC Award Of Excellence,
Naija Growing Green Media Dinner Award – Recognition Award For Numerous Contributions Towards A Better And Greener Nigeria.
Fellow Certified Pension of Nigeria.
JCL (Lagos City) Active Award, Active Citizens Discourse 2012.
Pentecostal Fellowship Of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter – Distinguished Service Award 2012
Cafus Obed Foundation Honours – An Award of Distinguished Character as a Resident Advocate of the Masses.
Naija Growing Green Award Recognition for Supporting Environment towards Improving Human Sustainability through Planting.
Nigerian Bar Association (Badagry Branch) Distinguished Merit Award.
The Entire Members Of Non-Yoruba Speaking People In Lagos (Non-Indigenes) Recognition Award.
Otu Oka Iwu Lagos Award in Recognition And Sincere Appreciation Of His Election And Services as Chairman NBA, Ikeja Branch.
Alimosho Times Publisher/Editor in Chief’s Award.
The Lagos State Judiciary And The Lagos Multi-Door Court House (LMDC) Award In Recognition Of His Meritorious Service On The Lagos Multi-Door Court House Governing Council. Obafemi Awolowo Foundation Award.
Rotary International (District 9110) Award in Appreciation of His Invaluable Contribution to Ethics in Business and Professions Seminar.
Law Students Society (Adekunle Ajasin University) Award of Excellence.
Royal Rangers Meritorious Award for Support to God’s Work and Humanity in Giving Hope to the Hopeless. Symbol of Hope Foundation (NGO) Man of Courage Award.
Also, Lagos State Government Award In Appreciation Of His Role As A Discussant At The Valedictory Symposium For The Retiring Head Of Service.
Students Solidarity Movement For Good Governance Award As Pillar Of Democracy And Nation Building Amongst Several Others.
ICSAN Professional and Integrity (Discussant) ICSAN 2015 Public Lecture.
Others are: Pan African International Recognition Award/Annual Discourse (PAIR AWARDS 2015) Outstanding Lawyer of the Year.
National Association of Judiciary Correspondence (NAJUC) Exemplary Leadership Award In Recognition of his Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Nigeria Justice System.
Barr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani is indeed a courageous Human Right Activist and Philanthropist. He is the Founder/President of Onyekachi Ubani Foundation. He has been praised from many sectors for fighting for Nigerian people whose rights and voices are trampled into the dust. He has been in the fore front fighting for the right of ordinary citizens. But his greatest accolade in humanitarianism came through his Foundation; he has rendered countless philanthropic services to humanity. He has also given out several millions of Naira to youths and women by way of empowerment.
In 2013, his foundation, Onyekachi Ubani Foundation was able to save the life of a baby (Somaya) who had a hole in her heart and thereafter attracted the sum of #10,000,000 (Ten Million Naira) from the MTN Foundation for the victim.
His foundation also donated cash materials and drugs to Ikorodu flood victims in Lagos worth up to #1,000,000 (One Million Naira) some years ago. He has rendered countless free legal services in aid of the poorest of the poor Nigerians who troop to his law firm daily.
Mr Ubani’s personal philosophy reflects; discipline; hard work; creative intelligence; goal setting and planning and talent recognition. He believes in human capacity development; boldness; commitment to democratic ethos and respect for ethics. His personal lifestyle reflects humility, integrity and modesty.
MOU is a mentor to many young Nigerians; he has been involved in many youth development projects and mentorship programs. He was instrumental to the establishment of Abia Rejoice Movement for Youths (ARMY), a platform that is being led my humble self; Great Imo Jonathan, where we help to discover develop and deploy young creative Abians for economic development of their communities, as it is targeted at finding solutions to problems of poverty, building human, social, financial and environmental assets that enables youths and communities to exert control over their lives and participate in building community prosperity in meaningful and effective ways. An initiative meant to harness local talents and be their source of support to enable them improve their lives, enhance excellence and reinforce their commitment to society.
This organization in pursuant of its objective has led many initiatives focused at rebuilding Abia state. One of such was the historic youth statewide conference in 2014, which aimed to birth a new consciousness in the minds of Abia youths. The theme of that conference was deliberate and the outcome indeed was richly rewarding. With that conference he persuaded Abia youths to take action that will help redefine their individual destinies and their immediate society, take responsibility for the future, borrowing from the experiential knowledge of role models who have succeeded against all odds.
Ubani believes that ‘’ a country, whose youths are visionless, propelled by blind ambition of self aggrandizement and delusion of grandeur, can only be a curse rather than a blessing’’ And that ‘’every society and community should cherish her youths, because, it is on their shoulders that the continued survival of the communities rest”
Mr Ubani is happily married to Lady Faustina Onyinye Ubani and they are blessed with four (4) children one of whom is a qualified Lawyer.
Join me as I celebrate my Dede, an erudite lawyer, a humanist and a believer in God and the rule of law cum constitutional democracy.
Wishing him many happy returns.
Happy Birthday Barr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani!