Nationality

Nigeria

Education

Master’s degree in Law, United Nations Interregional Crime & Justice Research Institute & University Of Torino, Torino, Italy

Barrister at Law, Nigerian Law School, Lagos, Nigeria

Bachelor’s degree in Law, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

Languages

English

In middle school, I was in charge of reporting world news to my class. Every day, I would scour newspapers and present what I had learned. It was the early 1990s, and media coverage on the break-up of the Yugoslav Federation was splashed across every front page. I immersed myself in these and other stories about international affairs, and at just eleven years old I became crazy about global politics.

Years later, when I had to choose my university degree, economics was at the forefront of my mind but the course required a lot of math – a subject with which I had always struggled. Studying law presented a ‘math-free’ alternative, and so I pursued this course instead. In a backwards way, my fear of math led me straight to my true passion: law. I pursued it through my graduate studies, focusing on international humanitarian and criminal law, which allowed me to maintain my interest in international relations. After working for a few years, I was accepted to the Master of Laws program in International Crime and Justice, organized by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the University of Torino.

Following this programme, I applied and successfully made it to my current position as an Appeals Intern in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Here, I’m working on appeal cases dealing with war crimes that took place during the Balkans conflicts in the 1990s. To be working on court cases that I’ve followed closely in the newspapers since I was a child, it’s amazing.

Before arriving, I expected that interns would only be tasked with basic administrative and editorial work, but in fact it’s the opposite. I am involved with substantive work, including a great deal of legal research, and I spend much of my time drafting and editing briefs, motions and memos. Interns at ICTY have the opportunity to do much of the same work as the lawyers, who guide and mentor us along the way. In fact, many of my colleagues are former ICTY interns who have stayed on to work as lawyers at the tribunal.

This experience has given me a clear path for my future, and I know that I will definitely stay in the field of international law with a global non-governmental organization. Eventually, I would also like to return to Nigeria and work in humanitarian and criminal affairs there. Growing up in Jos, Nigeria, I witnessed firsthand the harmful effects of violence surrounding religion, ethnicity and natural resources. At the United Nations I have learned that hardworking individuals have the power to transform unjust situations, and with the support of a team like the one I’m part of, I know that I can be one of these individuals.

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