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December 2018

Headshot of Professor Paul Obo Idornigie wearing legal wig

Professor Paul Obo Idornigie, Company Secretarial Stream, Chelmsford 1983-1986

1. Tell us about yourself.  

I am Professor Paul Obo Idornigie, a Chartered Secretary, Chartered Arbitrator, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, an Author and a Notary Public for Nigeria.  I previously taught at the University of Jos and Nigerian Law School, Abuja, Nigeria.  I worked at the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Abuja, Nigeria as a General Counsel/Head of Secretariat (Corporate Secretary).  I am now a Professor of Law at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Abuja, Nigeria and I belong to several professional bodies.

I am married with four children, who are all married now. 

I was in the Company Secretarial Stream at Chelmsford between 1983-1986.  On my return to Nigeria, I read law.  I obtained the LLB (Upper Division) in 1992; was called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1993; obtained the LLM in 1996 and PhD (International Commercial Arbitration) in 2002 – all from the University of Jos.

I like meeting people.  I also love mentoring.

2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
My fondest memory of Chelmer Institute of Higher Education, as the Campus at Chelmsford was called then, is that at the end of every term, the last lecture period was usually spent at the pub with the individual lecturers.

3. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
My advice is that they should take their tutorials seriously – prepare for them and be active in the class. They should also submit their assignments promptly.

4. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?
I was a mature student and so I knew why I was in England at that time.

5. How did your time at ARU help you?
My time at Anglia prepared me for what I am today. For example, it was at Anglia that I first learnt about commercial arbitration, which was part of Business Law. Thus when I needed to choose a topic for my doctoral thesis, I had no hesitation in focusing on arbitration. That I am a Chartered Arbitrator today is courtesy of Anglia.

6. What did you love about your chosen course?
Most legal practitioners believe that they are qualified to be chartered secretaries. A career in company secretarial practice prepared me for one of my responsibilities at the Bureau of Public Enterprises where I covered the meetings of the National Council on Privatization, chaired by the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

7. What would you tell someone thinking of studying at ARU?
Anglia is like United Nations or the Commonwealth of Nations. I advise the students to make friends from other jurisdictions.

8. In one word how would you describe ARU?

9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Mr R J Hollands who was the Coordinator of our programme.

10. Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
Being a Chartered Secretary – that was my ambition as a young man.

11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Know thyself.  The circumstances of your birth should not determine your life.

12. What drives you?
The motivation to excel in all I do.

13. What’s next?
I am at the peak of my career – Chartered Secretary, Chartered Arbitrator, Professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
What next – live a life of thanksgiving. God has been faithful.