Dr Sitajo Yakubu recently completed his PhD at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and is now a senior lecturer at the Nile University of Nigeria, where he teaches commercial law and company law. He is also the principal partner of the Law firm, Sirajo Yakubu and Co in Abuja, Nigeria.
Please could you introduce yourself and provide a short overview of your experiences at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study.
I am Dr Sirajo Yakubu from Nigeria, and I am a Lawyer. I have dual specialisation in International and Commercial Law, and anti-money money laundering (AML). While corporate entities are the building block of the economy, they are being used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime through various means including commercial activities. Although the two specialisations are not a perfect match, the AML expertise helps us to comply with the law. Before studying law (LLB & LLM) at the University of Buckingham, I practised as a quantity surveyor for more than ten years in Nigeria, including for the government. I have worked for the Nigerian Government in various capacities for 17 years before joining academia and establishing a private practice. The offices I had worked in include the offices of the President of Nigeria, Vice President, and National Security Adviser.
My Experience at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies was fantastic. I have had first-class supervision from Professor Barry Rider. Also, I have had a good relationship with staff and fellow students. The library and registry staff were good and were always ready to help.
Please give an overview of your current position.
I am now a senior lecturer at the Nile University of Nigeria, where I teach commercial law and company law, and the co-ordinator of the Nile University Law Journal. I am also the principal partner of the Law firm, Sirajo Yakubu and Co in Abuja, Nigeria. I also serve as a member and secretary to many committees.
Why did you choose to embark on the PhD at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies?
I chose to study at the Institute because of its reputation and academic excellence
What aspect of the course did you most enjoy?
The research and other training programmes such as the yearly one-week Introduction to MPhil/PhD Legal Research Methods, how to get a PhD in law, and PhD masterclass for which I was a co-convenor. Being a student leader (PhD students representative) was an excellent opportunity to learn academic administration and what it takes to represent students in an educational institution.
What facilities and resources were on offer and did you make use of at the Institute and School of Advanced Study?
The world-class library. Also, the Institute's CAFÉ provides a meeting point and a convenient place for relaxation.
What was your experience of the supervision at the Institute?
Superb! I received excellent supervision from Professor Barry Rider. It was due to the quality of his guidance that I passed my viva without corrections.
How do you think your experience of studying the PhD course will help you in the future and your current position?
It is helping me already. My experience at the Institute comes handy in the areas of research and publications, leadership and management, as well as problem-solving and advisory role.
What would you say to someone who is considering studying this course?
The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study is fantastic places to study a PhD Programme. I will not hesitate to recommend students to the Institute and the School.