Bello Restates Support for Academic Excellence, Grants Lawyer Scholarship

By Ebireri Henry Ovie

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has reiterated his administration’s determination to support the education of brilliant students in the state.

Mr Bello made this disclosure when he received the best graduating student at the 2015 Call to Bar examination of the Nigerian Law School (NLS), Ms Fatima Bombom Sani, her relatives and Barrister Natasha Akpoti at the Government House.

The Governor lamented a situation where academic excellence has not been given the requisite reward in Nigeria. He then gave the young lawyer scholarship to the tune of $93,000 for her effort at the law school.

“The case of Fatima Sani reminds me of how academic excellence has not been adequately rewarded in Nigeria.

Imagine someone that bagged nine separate awards including ‘Best Student of the Year and Council of Education Star Award,’ and nothing was done for her since 2015,” Mr Bello wondered.

He applauded Akpoti for taking up the case of Fatima Sani, saying “it was Natasha Akpoti who sought my intervention and I was not only surprised but disappointed that Fatima was left unsupported while no information was brought to his office concerning her case.”

The Governor charged privileged Nigerians to make more contribution to the education of brilliant students.

“I heard about your exceptional performance at the Nigerian Law School in 2015 and assumed you were recognized and sponsored by the administration of the day.

“It is unacceptable that such brilliance is not celebrated and promoted. Nevertheless, I shall grant you a personal scholarship to celebrate your exceptionality and help your career-defining goals,” the Governor said.

Mr Bello stated that after some inquiries and validation of Fatima’s credentials, he, in his capacity, declared a full scholarship for Fatima to study Masters in Finance Law at the Colombian Law School, in the United States of America.

The Governor thanked Natasha Akpoti for her humanitarian efforts in bringing Fatima’s issue while urging Fatima to uphold her academic excellence and make Nigeria proud and return home to serve fatherland.

In her remarks, Barrister Akpoti commended Governor Bello for his benevolence and penchant for promoting academic excellence.

“We must celebrate heroes like Fatima in view of motivating young people especially girls towards exceptional educational performances,” she said.

She advised Fatima to go for her studies and come back to contribute her quota to the development of Kogi State and Nigeria.

Akpoti had on April 27, 2018 via her Facebook page, advocated sponsorship to help Fatima further her academic dreams having emerged as the best graduating student at the 2015 Bar exam where she bagged nine separate awards including ‘Best Student of the Year’ and ‘Council of Education Star Award.’

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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