2015 Law Dinner Review By A Cornel Hater

Looking at the title, one would expect me to immediately launch into viliying remarks about the 2015 law dinner and its main organiser Cornel Gabriel. And it would indeed be in keeping with the title for that is what haters do when they review events organised by those they ‘hate’ on. However this will be done a bit differently from how you expect.

So instead of a hateful and scathing review of the dinner, what I will give you is a frank, candid and honest analyses of the dinner that is totally devoid of any favouring bias whatsoever. As it will be understandable why I will have none being a hater. The dinner was widely criticised both in the before and after. Before, it was hailed as being impossible to pull off, likely to flop, too big a project, unnecessary, and exorbitant. After the dinner, a hundred flaws were identified and nitpicking went on to no small end. Well what do I a hater have to say about this? Did the ‘hated’ do as badly as we hoped?

I am sorry to disappoint me and all my fellow haters but it did turn out to be a fine ass dinner. Pardon my saying so. Let us look at the points that arose against it before the dinner. We heard things like too expensive, unnecessary, too big, other priorities. Since when did ambition become a sin? When realising it is not being gone about in an improper manner? And do we really have other priorities? When law students are mentioned, what first comes to mind? Humble people? Caring, humanitarian? No. For we are not doctors. The first things that come to mind is grace, style, panache, class. We are a vain people who put great stock in decorum and appearance. To say otherwise would be to lie blatantly. Being this kind of people, I see no reason why we should not have the grandest, the biggest, and the classiest dinner that can be conceived. And this is all our hated president sought to furnish us.

I will not say whether the hate on our erstwhile president is justified or deserved. But I will point out that this is a law dinner review and not a Cornel review and my fellow intelligent haters should be able to separate a man from a deed and judge objectively. Having this ability will doubtless come in handy in their legal or other field they decide to go into. In the end, we had a fantastic dinner. A prestigious dinner that did much to up the standard of law students the institution over. A rep we all collectively benefit from. So enjoy the glory and crucify the bringer? For shame fellows. I beat my chest.

But let us talk about the actual dinner. It was held in Eko Hotel and Suites, the most preferred hotel this side of the continent. Something that should be beyond the reach of students and lie in the realm of impossibility. There were buses to bear those who were ready to take advantage of this humble service. The bigger boys and girls and most of the older wigs went in Uber cabs and private cars though. We would eventually arrive to an evening of excitement and fanfare. Highlighted by joyful eating and drinking and entertainment.

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The food was fab. No doubt about that. The peak of the dinner I would say was a wonderfully exciting performance by Banky W no less, an A-list performer that would cost us thousands and take millions to see. To crown it all, we had a sitting governor come in to address us in person. Is our vainglory and pride as law students not bursting at the seams? I know they certainly were as we came back to myriads of pictures being uploaded on Instagram and various other social networks. If you were to log on to instagram now and search the hashtag lawdinner2015 you would see solid evidence of law students enjoying themselves excessively.

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Did it end there? Nah. The fabulous dinner was further eclipsed by a not at all unexciting after party that was by all accounts fun. Finally one would think we would end it there. And leave it at that. But no. That would be far too easy. Like the obstinate children of Israel, we came home to murmur and castigate the dinner that had been a source of so much merrymaking and happiness. We began to hear all sorts of reasons why it was not good. This was bad, that was bad and that was bad. So no it wasn’t a good dinner.

That my dear fellow haters is totally laughable and an absolute load of bull crap. Oh a lot of things were said. Some even valid. But none of these enough to make it a less than excellent dinner. Did a girl with very poor oratory skills come forward to read the governor’s citation? Yes. Were the fonts on the projector too small to be legible? Certainly. They say there were no tables upstairs. This may have been true, but the floor was adequately decorated. And food plentiful there. Perhaps those who came by 10 for an event that was written to start at 6 didn’t get the choice seats. Surely you can see why, being 4 hours late and arriving at a time when the event should have been winding down. The food was said to have finished? I don’t know about this. I do know I saw people carting away bottles and bottles of beer to take to the after party. I did cart some away myself to be honest. If food did finish, I’m sure it was no less than an hour to the end of the event. Fie for those who expected food from beginning to the end of the event. It’s a dinner. Not a gorge fest. And to be frank some of us did gorge ourselves. Our scales will attest to this.

There were no end to the things said in an effort to discredit the dinner. I even heard that the floor was not swept. Really. Eko Hotel floor, Iris and Jasmine hall was not swept. I laughed in elvish when I heard that one.

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That is the floor. See any heaps of sand anywhere? Maybe the sand was too small to be in heaps. How then the complainers could have noticed it when they were wearing shoes I have not the faintest idea. Or did anyone see any people without shoes at the law dinner? I would have noticed.

They say the tickets were expensive too. At three thousand naira. Three thousand naira for an all you can eat buffet at Eko Hotel, with top tier performance by an A-list artist and record label head and appearance by a state governor. You know, three thousand wouldn’t even get you into coke studio to see Yemi Alade perform. Five thousand might. But you would stand, on the bare grass. And not have chairs not to talk of upstairs and tables.

If you were to attempt to get food with three thousand you know what three thousand would get you? Nowhere near the Island. Out of school yes. But u would not cross Unilag junction. A quick right would have taken you to Abule oja, straight down to 047 and a quick plate, no more than one, of catfish peppersoup and two bottles of beer. Instead you got the chance to show off your fancy suits and dresses, ooh and aah to Banky’s ‘high notes.’ And come back to adorn your ig handles with the tale of the beautiful night. A bargain to be honest. Did I mentioned the event was covered by S.TV? There.

For those not yet in the school and thus unaware? The last time a dinner this close in magnitude was organised waa about 5 years ago. During the faculty’s 50th anniversary which coincided with our law dinner. It was a joint dinner organised by the faculty of Law and the University of Lagos itself. While it was organised in the same place, there were no performances. We can discount Chuddy K coming at the end of the event when everyone had left. There was no state governor or dignitary of that level there. That one was organised by the school which possesses a bank account of gigantic proportions. Now a student. A mere faculty president dared to take them on and not just take them on but do something even grander. Even if you hated the guy and were blind to anything good you can see that he has done just that.

Unswept floors, if those are possible, bad citation, any other minor hitch you can think up do not detract from its awesomeness. The points that make for a good dinner, good food, fine drinks, important dignitaries, awesome entertainment, all these we had aplenty and all else is dust and stardust. All they serve to prove is the already widely known point that perfection is unattainable. Inspite of this success still is achievable. Despite perfection’s unattainability. And I do say even from a hater’s standpoint that it was achieved here. I personally do not like the fellow involved, I have a lot of things against him yet. This should drive home the fact the the success of the law dinner is not even open to debate or discussion. Unless you are something beyond even a hater and devoid of all honesty or reason.

In comparison to last year’s law dinner though, I will say the anticipation for this one was a bit suppressed. Who knows if it’s because of the unpopular nature of our infamous organiser and president. Perhaps. The anticipation for the last law dinner was definitely higher. Maybe it’s because it had been pending for two years. Also the preparations for the last one was definitely higher. While the last was a smaller event, the attendees definitely pulled out their big guns and came in dressed to kill. The outfits and attires were somewhat more mellow here.  Not to say they weren’t good. No matter. Perhaps you should judge yourself…

I wonder what this new administration has in store for us. The bar has been set so high. Are we going to be drinking in the sky? We do have our fingers crossed. Perhaps it should look to help from the members of the last law dinner committee and the former social secretary Jide Williams who managed to pull of the impossible and organise the grandest law dinner in lss history.   They definitely did an outstanding job. That said, my final ratings for the dinner has it as a first class dinner. I will post how I arrived at it below. Feel free to drop yours and contradict. It’s a free world afteral. Even for a hater.

Food: 4.7
Entertainment: 5
Organisation: 3.8
Final Ratings: 4.5

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