23-year-old brilliant lady Omotayo Dada emerges law school overall best-graduating student, bags 10 awards

23-year-old brilliant lady Omotayo Dada has graduated with first-class honours at the Nigerian Law School and emerged as the overall best-graduating student in 2022.

Dada graduated from the Law department at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) with second-class upper (2.1) in 2021.

She then proceeded to Nigerian Law School, Yenagoa Campus on November 29, 2021, and graduated on December 7, 2022, as the best-graduating student adding 10 awards to her name.

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Narrating her success story to The punch Dada said she was surprised by her achievement because most Best Graduating Students she knew had excellent academic records from secondary school and university while she graduated with 2.1 and graduated as the overall best student at the Nigerian Law School.

“I made first class. I was very excited. More than an academic achievement, I believe it’s a testament to God’s love and grace in my life”, Dada said.

Speaking about her experience at primary and secondary  “My primary education was in Kano State where I was born. I completed my Junior Secondary School studies in Kano too. I was a brilliant student in primary school. The first position in class was always between me and my best friend at the time.

“For my secondary school education, I started in Kano and completed it at Rehoboth College, Ilorin. I was an Arts student, and I didn’t graduate as the best student in the Arts class but I’m sure I came close. I’m grateful that I attended the school; there’s a good blend of academic culture and godliness which helped shape my life.

“University was good. I graduated with 2.1. I watched an episode of Insecure and I heard about the Impostor Syndrome, I later knew that I was suffering from it. I didn’t realise that it affected me and the goals I set for myself at the university. Going to the university, I did not have the ambition to graduate with first class; I just wanted to graduate with a CGPA not less than 4.0/5.0; and I am glad I was able to achieve that.

“My last semester in school was when I read so hard, and wanted a perfect CGPA. I told myself to aim to have the best result I could get. I started to cultivate a mindset of excellence. Unfortunately, I didn’t graduate with a perfect GP that semester. Going forward, I told myself that I would always strive for the best. Initially, my goal at the Nigerian Law School was to make first class. I watched the last Call to Bar ceremony on YouTube and was inspired and told myself I wanted to be the overall best graduating student. To prepare I read about people who had achieved this feat. Beyond that, I prayed earnestly to God about it. I couldn’t rely on my strength; I trusted that with God on board, it was possible.” 

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When asked whether she has ever felt like giving up on her goals at law school she said “One could literally read for hours and still not feel confident enough about what one had read. I think the fact that you could literally do all that was expected of you, read as much as you could, and pray but still not confident about getting excellent grades was one of the challenging times for me. I think that really discouraged me at some point I’m the university, because it would always leave you wondering what you did not do right. The thought of giving your best, and still not getting the best can be frustrating.”

She dedicated the litany of awards she bagged at the Law school to the Grace of God and described them as a testament of God’s love for her while listing the awards.

“I won the Council of Legal Education Star Prize for the Best Student of the Year; the National Association of Women Judges Prize for the Best Female Student of the Year; the Nigerian Bar Association Prize for the Best Female Student of the Year; the Director-General’s Prize for Attaining First Class; Sir Darnley Alexander Prize for the Best Student in Property Law Practice; Honourable Justice Aloma M. Mukhtar Prize for the Best Female Student in Civil Litigation; Honourable Justice Atanda Fatai-Williams Prize for the Best Student of the Year; Dr Teslim Olawale Elias SAN Prize for the Best Student of the Year; Sir Adetokunbo Ademola Prize for the Best Student of the Year and Honourable Justice Silvanus Ayere Ajuyah Prize for the Most Promising Graduating Student of the Year.”

She advised students to always strive for the best to always strive for excellence and aim for the best and said they should not let their mindsets limit them. “The most important advice is that in all that one is trying to achieve, praying for God’s grace and mercies are very important. Trust God and pray. My story should be an inspiration. If I could achieve that feat, you can too.”

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