HOW WE CONQUERED NINE UNIVERSITIES TO WIN MOOT COMPETITION

November 1, 2016

“Prior to the commencement of the competition, we invested a lot of effort, time, dedication and prayers into the competition” Before our first appearance in court, we felt fear at the sight of students from other federal and state universities rehearsing to the extent that one of our counsels proposed that we also adopt similar modus operandi.

Three students from the Faculty of Law, Benson Idahosa University, Iheaturu Jane (500 Level), Osike Edward (500 Level) and Babajide Love (500 Level ) recently won the 6th edition of the International Humanitarian Law Moot Court Competition which was held at Lagos State University (LASU).

Their victory which brought joy in the campus and added another feather to the cap of Benson Idahosa University has again proven the institution to be a house of champions decorated with laurels and accolades.

The five day competition organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had the contenders go through the intense preliminaries, debates and mock trials presided over by the panel of judges.

Benson Idahosa University emerged victorious amidst stiff competition from nine universities, which included, Lagos State University (LASU), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Bayero University Kano (BUK), University of Benin (UNIBEN), University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), University of Uyo (UNIUYO), River State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), and University of Jos (UNIJOS).

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Narrating how they conquered these universities, one of the contestants, Iheaturu Jane said “We faced a lot of challenges, we missed our way, got stuck in traffic, and had to take a bike in order to meet up with the registration deadline; on the first day after the opening draw, we felt we had lost hope as we were to compete with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) students, given their previous performances in competitions.” But according to her, with the involvement and encouraging words from the President, Bishop F.E.B. Idahosa, their spirits were lifted which enhanced their performance.

They won the first round and the next four rounds to emerge winners. She further said that their success was a combination of grace and hard work. To her, even though other schools were good, Benson Idahosa University was a better team. On his part, Babajide Love said he was extremely ecstatic about the victory recorded by him and his team members.

“Prior to the commencement of the competition, we invested a lot of effort, time, dedication and prayers into the competition” Before our first appearance in court, we felt fear at the sight of students from other federal and state universities rehearsing to the extent that one of our counsels proposed that we also adopt similar modus operandi.

We didn’t give in to the intimidation because we had the affirmation within us that we were going to win the competition. At the close of our first appearance in court 2, we responded to the questions by the President and the respective excellences of the International Criminal Court.

At some point during the rehearsals, we became really depressed, unhappy and almost gave up due to the fact that the nexus of team work almost got broken at the end of the preliminary stage, but we didn’t subject ourselves to the obfuscation as we converged at our base, discussed the issue and the way forward. We learnt from the mistake of other teams and effected the correction into our argumentum and this made us improve by the day.

It wasn’t an easy exercise, we had several sleepless nights during the entire period at Lagos State University (LASU), but we thank God for vesting on us the robe of success. Osike Edward couldn’t curtail his joy. He said that it was indeed a great opportunity for him to have represented his school. Expressing her gratitude to the University Management, the coach and Lecturer who led and supervised the team from Benson Idahosa University, Dr (Mrs) T.U Akpoghome said that she was indeed impressed with the brilliant performance of the students.

She further said that the competition presented a unique opportunity for students to engage in matters of international humanitarian law, a law which she explained, is applied during war or armed conflict to protect those who are no longer fighting. It would be recalled that Benson Idahosa University had previously been first runner up at the edition held at the University’s Campus in 2012. She further said that she feels fulfilled and elated as she is the pioneer lecturer in the course which started in the faculty in 2009.

In his words, the President of Benson Idahosa University, Bishop F.E.B. Idahosa thanked the great ambassadors for taking the name of the University to greater heights adding that he was very proud of them. Reacting to the feat, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, Prof Sam Guobadia, hailed the students for having performed excellently in Lagos. He said that The Management is excited and we need to leverage on this success.

Furthermore, he said “I have always referred to our law program as our flagship program and it goes out to show the world that we are doing great things here, and with the feat recorded, I strongly believe that the students would excel yet again in Tanzania”

As National champions, the Benson Idahosa University team will represent Nigeria at the Africa Moot Court Competition in Arusha, Tanzania later in the year.

The event rounded off with the presentation of gifts to the representatives from various Universities as Benson Idahosa University received library books.