Alhaji Femi Okunnu, a senior advocate of Nigeria and former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing has raised the Law Faculty of University of Lagos to the 4th floor.
The new floor which was handed over to UNILAG on Wednesday cost the 88 year-old N100m.
Although he was represented by Professor Adele Jinadu at the ceremony, Alhaji Okunnu made a virtual appearance.
He expressed gratitude to God for the privilege to be able to give back to society and to be able to leave a legacy of service.
He encouraged other friends and alumni of the University of Lagos to follow suit.
Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa, Dean, Faculty of Law, said the additional floor comprised the Moot Court and judges’ chambers.
It also has an administrative office, Lawyers’ changing room, two 60-80 seminar seminar rooms, eight lecturers’ offices and a board room that can seat 100 persons.
According to her, the extension will further enhance teaching and learning, but more importantly with the moot court, the students will be able to have the mooting clinical experience, where they simulate the court.
”We had one before with a capacity of less than 50. Now we have this one with a capacity of between 150 to 180 and with technology as we have deployed for this ceremony, we are able to project whatever is happening in the court, out there, so that we can actually have classes interrogated.
“So, if students simulate a court situation, their classmates or some other group of students can comment. So, we go beyond just teaching the students. They rather live it, practice it and that is the whole idea. I am extremely happy at this gesture. It is a day of joy,” she stated.
Prof. Adele Jinadu, who represented the donor, Alhaji Okunnu, said the donation was meant to impact humanity.
Jinadu, a political scientist and Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja, said there was need to show the society the picture of what it ought to be and not what it is.
He described the donor as an intellectual, who was committed to giving back to humanity, irrespective of the cost.
”This investment in this faculty of law is his investment to scholarship and education.
”He asked me to represent him here today at this occasion because of the current health crisis in the country and the world at large. But I must say this is a gesture worth emulating and this makes me feel very excited to be part of it”, he said.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe speaking at the handover ceremony, described the gesture from Okunnu worthy of emulation by public spirited Nigerians.
He urged more members of the public to partner with the institution, by picking up projects, programmes or persons, to impact meaningfully on the nation.
”I am excited that this project donation by Alhaji Okunnu is happening at a time like this that he is 88, and still finding it worthy to invest such an amount in a bid to impact lives.
”We have another individual donor from Platform Capital, who has also invested a total of N200 m in the renovation of the HRDC building and donated to the university.
”Another individual has also indicated interest to build a Natural History Museum, which is going to be the first of its kind in Lagos,” he said.
Ogundipe said these gestures were all in line with one of his foremost visions for the institution, which is to “Pick a Project; Pick a Programme or Pick a person”.
”That is what we are saying; support us in terms of project, support us in terms of picking a programme and in terms of picking a person.
There are so many indigent students who cannot afford to pay their fees here.
”We learnt sometimes ago that some people sleep around the library and do you know that half of those who are staying there are students?.
”And 80 per cent of those students had more than 4.0 CGPA, but they could not afford to pay for accommodation. So we are calling on people to assist these indigent students,” he said.