How A Diligent Nigerian School Cert Typist Got A World Court Job In Geneva – Yemi Osinbajo

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The Oasis Reporters

November 18, 2017

The Great Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace, The Hague, seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), during solemn sitting to mark the Court’s 70th anniversary.
Adereni works here.
A reward for diligence..
Photo: Frank van Beek/UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/POOL

While I was teaching at the University of Lagos, as a young lecturer, in the department of Public Law in the Faculty of Law, there were 3 typists in the department.
The chief typist, senior typist, and the junior typist.

In those days before laptops and personal computers became common place, typists in universities had to do a lot of work and they were very important because you always needed to type all your materials.

When there was work to do, what l discovered was that the chief typist would disappear. He works only till 4 pm. The senior typist would be nowhere to be found. But a gentleman called Adereni the junior typist, who only had his school certificate, was remarkably hardworking. Sometimes I would drop him off at his home at One’clock in the morning.

Years later, I was working as an adviser to the then Attorney-General of the Federation Hon. Bola Ajibola, who later became a judge of the World Court. While in the court at The Hague, in the Netherlands, one day he called me and asked if I could recommend a good secretary who is hard working and could do long judgments.

I had three options, chief typist, senior or this junior typist, but the junior typist at that time had only a school certificate, he didn’t have any other qualification but l chose him.
He got to the Hague, and typically worked hard and diligently. Every judge in the court wanted him to work with them. He later moved his family over to the Hague, got degrees and made a good living for himself.
One day he remembered me and actually sent me a car.

Remember, whether you are hardworking or diligent in what you are doing or not, someone is always watching.

Written by Yemi Osinbajo.
Mr. Osinbajo is a Professor of Law and Nigeria’s vice president since 2015

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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