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Ogwu James Onoja: Celebrating Grace @54

By Joshua Ocheja “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” -Tony Robbins.…

By Joshua Ocheja

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” -Tony Robbins.

Ogwu James Onoja, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is beyond a name. It is a movement that has continually impacted the lives of many who have crossed his path. He is so compassionate; his generosity will make the devil green with envy. Onoja is not your everyday man. He is a good listener, imbued with all the patience and comportment in the world. He desires to plant a smile on every face only if he can. He is a father to many and a lover of God.

Enter the world of one of the most charitable beings from his part of the world, attorney Onoja, whose enduring love for humanity knows no bounds. This much he tells those who care to listen, and this much has defined his 54 years sojourn on earth. Our paths crossed most dramatically when he braved the odds to stay alive. Since then, he has continually displayed uncommon courage to continue to be the best he can be regardless of the circumstances he finds himself in.

Yes, he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, but you could pass him for a politician. His office and residence are ever buzzing with guests in the mode of family members, associates, colleagues and kinsmen. His energy is boundless, his capacity to play the excellent host, non-pareil.
He never discriminates, interpreting every encounter with people, known or new, an opportunity to give something back, no matter how modest.

Onoja was in 2009, conferred with the highly regarded traditional title of Agenyi Attah Igalaland, translated as “confidant of the Attah Igala,” by the erstwhile paramount ruler of Igala Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Agaba Idu Aliyu Obaje, in recognition of his valuable contributions to the development of the Igala kingdom. Onoja is quick to tell you that life is a gift that must be utilized to benefit humanity. That somewhat explains his disposition to issues, even when it seems he is going overboard in his philanthropic gestures.

Little wonder when he clocked 54 recently, he was home with a crowd that defied his pleas and admonition, that he wanted a low key celebration. Beneficiaries of his kindness, however, would hear none of it. Typically, his first point of call was the orphanage. In his characteristic manner, he feted orphans in the company of friends and family members. The excitement on the faces of the children was palpable. It was an atmosphere ignited with joy and happiness as the children embraced him and wished him a happy birthday. The celebration train left for his home, where a crowd was waiting. It was a truly special occasion. The roll call of guests was impressive: they included the underprivileged, the rich, intellectuals, colleagues, clergy, relatives, neighbours and others. It was indeed a carnival. Onoja was a great host who ensured that his guests present felt at home. His amiable wife complimented his efforts on his special day as expected.

Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, has to credit numerous publications on The Supreme Court Rules: Practice and Procedure and The Court of Appeal Rules: Practice and Procedures. He is a legal bigwig whose grasp of legal issues are impressive. This much his learned colleagues attest to on numerous occasions.

Bar and Bench House (O J Onoja, SAN & Associates), his legal interest, has remained a mecca of sort for young lawyers who have benefited from his knowledge and wealth of experience. Aside from his outstanding legal qualifications, he has in his kitty a master’s degree in law from the University of Lagos, a post-graduate diploma in Management from the University of Calabar and a master’s of Business Administration from the University of Calabar. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Nasarawa State University.

He is the ideal family man who relates with his spouse and children as friends and has inculcated a high sense of moral values in them. He never fails to appreciate his supportive wife as a source of encouragement in all his endeavours. I recall an encounter I had with a senior colleague of his, who described him as one of the most dependable lawyers in the country. In his words, “If he tells you yes, he means yes. He is such an upright man and one who stands by his words.” This much explains the confidence garnered from his numerous clients over the years.

At 54, Chief Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, has demonstrated a burning passion for the good of the society. The Deacon Job and Omada Onoja’s Foundation, his brainchild and special purpose vehicle for philanthropic invention, has carried out interventions in the critical education and health sectors. It has offered scholarships to indigent students. The foundation has, over the years, conducted medical outreaches in rural communities where many lives have been saved.

At 54, Ogwu James Onoja, SAN, has genuinely impacted lives. I join others in wishing him a happy birthday. My prayer for him is that God should endow him with good health, a sound mind and the strength to continue to render invaluable service in advancing the cause of humanity.

Happy Birthday, Agenyi Attah of Igala Kingdom. Your best days are ahead. God bless you and crown your efforts with glory.

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