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Nigerian law school student wins prestigious UK award

This award is given annually in the United Kingdom and worldwide to exceptional young individuals who have made positive contributions to humanity.
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Twenty-four-year-old Onyinye Omenugha, who attends the Nigerian Law School, has been recognised with the prestigious Princess Diana Award.

This award is given annually in the United Kingdom and worldwide to exceptional young individuals who have made positive contributions to humanity.

Established in 1999 under the leadership of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the award pays tribute to Princess Diana, renowned for her advocacy for marginalised communities.

The Diana Award acknowledges individuals between the ages of nine and 25 who have accomplished remarkable deeds that positively impact society, in the spirit of Princess Diana. The Diana Award Charity currently boasts notable patrons, including former British Prime Minister David Cameron and former Scottish First Minister Jack McConnel.

Onyinye was presented with the award on Friday in recognition of her non-governmental organisation (NGO), Lawsanaid. She established Lawsanaid to support law students with disabilities in attaining inclusive and quality education. Inspired by a personal experience within her family, Onyinye’s organisation aligns with the objectives of previous Diana Award recipients who have demonstrated the ability to inspire and mobilise younger generations in serving their communities and instigating enduring change on a global scale, as stated by Tessy Ojo, the CEO of Diana Award Charity.

Onyinye’s work has not only served as a source of inspiration but has also made her a role model within the legal industry. She actively engages in mentoring, promoting creativity, and advocating for youth-led initiatives. Professor Cornelius Ukwueze from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, who taught Onyinye during her undergraduate studies, expresses his lack of surprise at her international recognition, stating that she is destined for great achievements.

Originating from Nnobi in the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Onyinye is the youngest child of Dr. Mike Omenugha, a medical practitioner, and Dr. Kate Azuka Omenugha, the second female professor of mass communication in Nigeria. Dr. Kate Azuka Omenugha also served as the Anambra State Commissioner for Education for eight years, during which she earned numerous accolades for the state.

Although Onyinye has yet to be called to the Nigerian Bar, she is a certified arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Mediation and Conciliation. She has participated in courses and conferences organised by esteemed institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, and Harvard University.

Willie Nwokoye, an investment banker and economist who previously served as ex-Governor Willie Obiano’s principal secretary, remarks that Onyinye embodies a family tradition of excellence. He states, “Her mother brought many awards to Anambra State during her tenure as the Commissioner for Education.”

According to Dr. Emeka Obegolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) based in Abuja, the Princess Diana Award is a testament to Onyinye’s passion and dedication. The Honorable Henry Nigeria Mbachu, a newly elected member of the Anambra State House of Assembly representing the Awka South 1 Constituency, views this honor as a harbinger of future accomplishments. Having known Onyinye for several years, he firmly believes that she will achieve even greater things.

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