Nigerian Lawyers Association (USA) Annual Award Dinner 2011 at the Crowne Plaza in New York
New York, New York: Recently, the Nigerian Lawyers Association (USA) held its 2011 Annual Awards Gala at the Crowne Plaza in New York City. The Merit Award was presented to Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President of the World Bank, Africa Region and a Founding Director of Transparency International, while the Law and Justice Award was presented to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN and highly respected legal scholar in Nigeria and former Attorney-General of Lagos State, Nigeria. The Keynote address was delivered by Professor Chudi Uwazurike, Member of the Nigerian House of Representatives and International Affairs Scholar. Other dignitaries in attendance include New York Supreme Court Judges - Judge Debra A. James and Judge Gloria Dabiri. Pictures by African Events
Merit Award Recipient: Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President, World Bank,
Africa Region and a Founding Director of Transparency International
Keynote Speech: Keynote Speech: Delivered by the Honorable Professor Chudi Uwazurike,
Member of the Nigerian House of Representatives and International Affairs Scholar.
Read Full Speech
Award Recipient: Prof Yemi Osinbajo (middle) receives the NLA Law and Justice Award from Yomi Ajaiyeoba, Esq. (NLA President) and Oliver Mbamara, Esq. (Chairman, NLA Board of Directors)
HOW IT HAPPENED: The event commenced with a well attended cocktail reception on the third floor lobby of the Crowne Plaza hotel. Various professionals of Nigerian, African, and American backgrounds networked and intermingled at the banquet hall during the hour to commence what would be an outstanding evening. Afterwards, guests were ushered into the main event hall where the pair of MCs, Ndidi Oriji Esq and Jude Away Away kicked things off with some jokes and laughs to relax the audience. Opening prayers were delivered alongside the national anthems of both Nigeria and the USA. Ms. Yomi Ajaiyeoba, Esq. (NLA President) delivered the welcome remark. Oliver Mbamara, Esq. (Chairman, NLA Board of Directors) then introduced the keynote speaker - the Honorable Professor Chudi Uwazuruike (International Affairs Scholar and current member of the Nigerian House of Representatives) who urged Nigerians in Diaspora to be more engaged in activities back home in Nigeria. See full text of his speech below.
Dinner was served and New York Senator Kevin Parker presented the NLA with a Proclamation for its "significant contributions and distinguished record". Read the New York Senate Proclamation. Kunle Deru, Esq. (member NLA Board of Directors) introduced Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN and respected legal scholar in Nigeria) who received the Law and Justice Award. Emeka Chinwuba, Esq. (Member, NLA Board of Directors) then introduced Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, (Vice President of the World Bank, Africa Region and a Founding Director of Transparency International), who received the Merit Award. Two deserving students received a total of $3,000 as part of the NLA's 2011 Scholarship Program. Oyesanmi Alonge received a scholarship in the category of Juris Doctorate and Oluwasegun Aluko in the Masters of Law category. A nook presented by Strategic Legal Solutions and two the Arik Air tickets were raffled and won by attendees. Vote of thanks was given by Diran Ajayi, esq. (NLA Vice President) just in time before the floor opened for an all night dancing and shaking. Some of the sponsors for the event include: Aluko & Oyebode Barristers & Solicitors, Arik Air, Banwo & Ighodalo, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Edozie & Madu, P.C., Jacob Fuschsberg, Shearman & Sterling, Sidley Austin LLP, Strategic Legal Solutions and Wilmer Hale.
About the Nigerian Lawyers Association (NLA): The Nigerian Lawyers Association (NLA) was incorporated in 1999 as a not-for-profit, non-partisan association of attorneys and counselors-at-law. While most members are of Nigerian descent, Nigerian citizenship is not a requirement for membership. NLA represents the interests of attorneys of Nigerian descent both in the United States and all over the world. It advances the professional needs of its growing members and provides leadership and advocacy for the legal needs and interests of the Nigerian community in the United States and around the world. For more on NLA visit www.NigerianLawyers.org
MORE PHOTO COVERAGE BELOW
Pictures By AfricanEvents.com
Yomi Ajaiyeoba (NLA President) receives (on behalf of NLA)
the New York Senate Proclamation Certificate for
"significant contributions and distinguished record"
from New York Senator Kevin Parker
Oliver Mbamara, Esq. (NLA board Chairman)
thanks Prof. Uwazuruike (Member, House of Reps) for his speech.
Dr. and Mrs Jude Iheoma
Placid Aguwa Esq. (former President) and Chris Aguocha Esq.
Sir Felix Nnorom (Film Producer) and Lady Gold (Sensational Gospel Singer)
Chat: NLA prospective member, Henry Ukazu, Esq. in a chat
with merit award recipient - Mrs. Ezekwesili, Vice President World Bank.
Chat: Temi Ofuya, Esq. (NLA board member) in a chat
with Law and Justice award recipient - Prof. Osinbajo (SAN).
Prof Uwazuruike with Vincent Spyon of Spyon Entertainment
John Ukaegbu, Esq. (former NLA board Chair) with friends at the event
Mrs. Ajaiyeoba with guest at the friend
Yomi Ajaiyeob, Esq (NLA President) with a guest
Ifeanyi Obinali (CEO Lead Nigeria) with a friend at the event
Oliver O. Mbamara, Esq. (NLA, Board Chairman)
Diran Ajayi Esq. (NLA Vice President)
Prof. Uwazurike and son
Osita Okocha, Esq. and friend at the event
Philip Akakwam, Esq. and friend at the event
Chris Aguocha, Esq. and Ms. Enob at the event
Comedian Away Away cracks a joke during the event
Uchechi Anyanwu, Esq. and friend at the front desk
Ms. Kemi Ajaiyeoba and friend at the front desk
Ifeoma Anakwe, Esq., conducts the Nook raffle
Merit Award Recipient: Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President
of the World Bank, Africa Region and a Founding Director of Transparency Intn'l
delivers her acceptance speech at the event urging President Goodluck Jonathan
of Nigeria to focus on fighting graft in Nigeria
Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili receives the NLA Merit Award from Oliver Mbamara, Esq. (Chairman, NLA Board of Directors) and Yomi Ajaiyeoba, Esq. (NLA President)
New York Senator Kevin Parker presents NLA with the New York Senate Proclamation for "significant contributions and distinguished record". Read the New York Senate Proclamation.
Oliver Mbamara, Esq. (Chairman NLA Board of Director) with Senator Kevin Parker (New York Senator)
L-R: Placid Aguwa, Esq. and wife; Prof Uwazuruike, and Philip Akakwam, Esq.
L-R: Ms. Enob, Chris Aguocha, Esq., Billy Enob, Esq. (NLA PRO), and Kunle Deru (NLA board member)
Gentlemen: Oliver Mbamara, Esq., Prof Osinbajo, and John Ukaegbu, Esq.
Guests mingling at the event
Nollywood Filmmakers and Producers In The House. (L-R): Sir Felix Nnorom, Lady Gold, Mrs. Uwazuruike, Prof Uwazuruike, Bethels Agomuoh, and Mrs. Agomuoh
Mrs. Ezekwesili and friends at her table
COCKTAIL HOUR: Networking Time
CULTURE: Mr. and Mrs. Ajibade; Traditional Parents of The Night.
Having Some Refreshments
Cultural performance by Fusha Dance Company, directed by Funmilayo Chesney
Senator Parker with attendees at the event
Future Hopefuls: Young Lady and Gentlemen
Madam President and Mr. Chair sorting out things during the event
Cocktail and networking
Cross section of guests at the event
Host/Comedian Away Away and friends during the cocktail hour
Prof Yemi Osinbajo recipient of the NLA Law and Justice award delivers his acceptance speech
Some Nigerian Lawyers Association (USA) Board Members and
Executive Officers in a group picture with the award recipients and
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