It was a nostalgic weekend in Abuja for the 1991 Set of the Nigerian Law School, Lagos as they held their 2021 grand Reunion and awards. The joy was palpable as mates from the bar and bench, most of whom have eked out great careers in their respective sojourns enjoyed catch ups and reveled in quality banters.
Spectacularly, former Akwa Ibom Environment & Petroleum Commissioner, Dr Ekong Sampson alongside an illustrious roll call of other alumni was honoured with a Special Award for his outstanding contributions to law, scholarship and public service.
The colourful, well attended ceremony had as Keynote Speaker, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria while Mr Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State chaired the distinguished dinner party.
Honoured alongside Dr Sampson included Plateau State Governor, Barr. Simon Lalong, Senior Advocates of Nigeria(SANs) and Judges from the set who have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally.
Dr Sampson was particularly praised by his mates for his ingenious contributions to the political and intellectual space. Some of his publications have been read outside the country and are respected resource materials in both the academic and legal circles.
The Special Award citation noted that Dr Ekong Sampson was celebrated for his ‘outstanding achievements and for being a shining star of the Class of 91’.
Among other eminent lawyers also honoured from the 1991 set that evening included Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, NBA Secretary General, Joyce Oduah, Professor Dakas Dakas, SAN, Chief Gordy Uche, SAN, Professor Paul Ananaba, SAN, Hon. Sebastine Tar, SAN and Brigadier-General S. I. Musa. Hon Justice Inyang Ekwo, Hon Justice James Fishim and Hon Justice Winifred Effiong were among the Judges honoured. The class presented scholarships to 30 law school students.
Dr Sampson began his legal practice at the law firm of Pat Okupa & Co in Benin City in 1992 before moving over to lagos where he became the Managing Partner of Abalu, Bobga, Sampson & Co in Ikeja.
He later went into a very outstanding political odyssey which has seen him become Head of Local Government Council, State House of Assembly Member, Commissioner in several Ministries and Special Adviser, Political and Legislative to the Governor.
He holds a Masters Degree in Law from the University of Lagos and a Ph.D, Law from the University of Calabar.
He had earlier graduated with Distinction in Mass Communications from the then Polytechnic,Calabar.
Of merit to note is that whether as Local Government Chairman, Member House of Assembly, Special Adviser Political or Commissioner, Barr Ekong Sampson has kept on writing. He is a successful Lawyer, Publisher, Journalist, Poet, Businessman and a famed philanthropist.
In 2014, he established Excellence College in Mkpat Enin and made it tuition free for some years. The school is now one of the best rated schools in the area. In addition, he equally founded the Ekong Sampson Empowerment Programme(ESEP) to assist the youths and women as well as for the general socio-economic development of his people.
The 2022 reunion of the Nigerian Law School, 1991 Set holds in Jos, Plateau State.