Nothing could best describe Barrister Enobong Etteh, erudite Scribe of the Technical Committee on the Realization of Ibaka Deep Seaport, as this: “Anywhere there is an original sound, it makes a trillion echoes.”
Flowers do have a mysterious and magical ways of growing out of dark moments, starting from the threshold of creation itself when the good Lord with the original power of the spoken words help bring harmony and order to the void and chaos that then ruled the roost before God’s awesome Divine intervention that brooks no interruption.
It was a script some supremely endowed historical characters were to take same cues from at the stroke of the direction of the Master Choreographer & Grand Designer Himself. Same pathways seemed to be the trial well trodden by some legends through the ages who literally rose from ground zero to mount up wings like the unstoppable soar-away eagles to become heroes of their times leaving imperishable golden trial that have inspired a clouds of admires and acolytes to follow in the search of their own pot of gold rumored to be beckoning at the trial of the rainbow.
The list s an exclusive preserve: from Abraham, the undisputed father of faith; Moses, the ultimate Law-Giver and Liberator; Our Lord & Leading Light, Jesus Christ; to other iconic figures and mythological icons in the inimitable mould of Napoleon; Abraham Lincoln, Sir Isaac Newton; Helen Keller, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi, Margaret Ekpo, M.K.O Abiola and so much more, all, without exception, have to beat one odd or the other, on their path to becoming legends the world has taken the liberty for license to consecrate a shrine in their hearts in worship of the gems of sparkling qualities they possess that have made adored names through the ages.
The feats and exploits enable historical characters to stand out across the mists of time, engraving their names in gold.
These men were born true originals and never gave the flimsiest, tempting space to distraction of life their lives a copy of die as mere easily-flipped-over duplicates that often lack the colour, flavour or fervor to capture the imagination of the world.
Imitation, being the sincerest form of flattery, the unique feast of these men and women of substance, have always possessed the magnetic pull and gravitas to excite emulation and alter human conduct for good on the altar of the supreme show of excellence, exceptional character and integrity, the kind that have become the ‘golden’ signature tune of these unforgettable makers of history that has continued to shape the course of human history for the best.
These are men and women who refuse to serve as mere spectators in the theatre of their own lives or that of the society they have been ordained to change unalterably.
These men and women know by the winning combination of insight and experience that when the quest of perfection is perpetual, nothing is really out of reach, impossible, to these men, are nothing. ‘Impossible’ read bravely and correctly in the Book of Wisdom of these-can-do-men translates to ‘I’m possible’.
Achiever, the world over, would certainly love the sound and ring of that!
It is the same sound that rings well and resonates with the amazing story of the man of the moment and ‘monument’ Barrister Enobong Etteh, whose labour of love across diverse fields of human endeavours has brought fruits of joy to many across board and to humankid.
A barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court, Enobong Etteh, was born on the 24th day of January, 1965, a dual-faced month that affords one the vantage spot to take a retrospective look at the past while looking forward to the future with great expectations (Hope is forever where the heart is). Enobong hails from Upenekang, Ibeno, an oil-rich producing community of Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.
He is the illustrious scion of the late Chief Ikpong Ikpong Etteh and Madam Mary Ikpong Etteh. ‘Both parents appreciate the value of education and knew that giving the best education to one’s precious children is simply enough provided parents do not artfully dodge their own homework by finding the best education a child can have in the quest to be best.
A star right from the bloom of his life, he had a head-start in his academic career, flagging off from Central School, Ibeno onwards to Comprehensive Secondary School, Ibeno, Afaha Eket and Methodist Boys High School, Oron with a slight stint at Methodist Secondary School, Ibiaku Ishiet, Uyo for his secondary education AND School of Arts and Science, Uyo for his pre-degree education.
Setting his sight on high, Barrister Etteh in 1984 gained admission into the University of Cross River State (now University of Uyo) to read political Science as prelude to a law degree. As always fortune always favours and smiles on the far-sighted. His foray into Political Science was, providentially to be punctuated with the timely establishment of the faculty of Law in the same University.
By this stroke of grace matched with good works, he made history by becoming one of the three pioneer political science students that moved on and moved up to the inaugural Faculty of Law to read Civil Law way back in 1985. That automatically made him a pioneer student of the Faculty of Law and he graduated from the University as one of the pioneer Law graduates, a further testimony that coming first may well have become his second nature.
As an undergraduate, Barrister Etteh did not consent to be a mere passenger, to be swept by the tide of events building around him and shaping the inexorable course of human history. Rather he chose to be the navigator directing affairs. He was the pioneers Interim Chairman of the Law Students Association (LAWSA) of the University of Uyo and the pioneer Public Relations Officer of Magna Juris. He was the pioneer Team Manager of the Faculty of Law team which won the Silver medal at the maiden entry into the University inter-Faculty Games. His love for excellence and beautiful game knows no bounds.
Right from his tender years, he has always come to terms with one reality in the drama of success as far as the business of life goes: you have to achieve what others don’t. Hence he has always set great store for creative thinking. This has helped stand him on high ground at the table of achievers.
Barrister Etteh enrolled in the Nigeria Law School, Lagos, late 1989 as he and his colleagues couldn’t come to the Law School in 1989 as part of the price to pay for being pioneer Law graduates. He was called to the Bar in 1990. He has been in active legal practice in Lagos.
A man of manifest destiny, he elected to chart his own trial having served for a fruitful seven years in paid employment by establishing his Chambers that bears his imprint of excellent and stamp of professionalism in Lagos under the name Enobong Etteh & Co. (Judah Chambers). His special areas of practice include Labour Law, Commercial Law and Constitutional Law. He is a member of both the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Section on Business Law and Section on Legal Practice of NBA. He is currently the pioneer Chairman Employment and Labour Committee of the Section on Legal Practice.
His labour of love in the field of labour law has continued to bear bouquet of fruits in the publications of books of high pedigree on labour law.
Where one’s love is there goes one’s heart. He is passionately committed to the development of labour law in Nigeria. Barrister Etteh’s current passion is to see reforms in the legislations and in the administration of justice system in the labour sector. Barrister Etteh adopts a four-pronged approach in pursuing his vision for the development of labour law in Nigeria. This he does through active litigation and arbitration, seminars and workshops, publication of legal materials relating to labour law practice and finally through advocacy for legislative reforms.
Little wonder that in 2004, ROCHEBA Law Publishers came up with the publication of the Nigerian Labour Law Reports with Barrister Etteh as the pioneer publisher/editor-in-chief. It must be observed that the Law Report is the first and only specialized weekly law report in the employment and labour law in Nigeria. Incidentally, the Law Report is also the first in the West World. The Nigerian Labour Law Reports has placed labour decisions of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, National Industrial Court, Federal High Court and the High Court in the hands of not only of lawyers and judges but also of employers, employees, labour unions and industrial relations/human resources practitioners.
This publication has generated tremendous interest among lawyers and indeed acting as a catalyst for specialization in Labour Law Practice in Nigeria. It is has also created greater awareness among stakeholders in the labour sector on the laws and judicial pronouncements regulating labour relations in Nigeria. It is, without gainsaying the fact that the Nigerian economy owes its development largely to the existence of industrial peace and harmony. The Nigerian Labour Law Reports is indeed a commendable and modest Contribution towards achieving industrial peace and harmony in the place in Nigeria.
He has also been involved in the campaign to reposition the National Industrial Court and other related institutions for the effective and speedy dispensation of justice in the labour sector.
In furtherance thereof, Barr Etteh has made presentation before the senate’s Public Hearing on the National Industrial Court Bill and National Assembly’s Public Hearing on the Bill for the amendment of the 1999 Constitution. He is seriously involved in labour related seminars and workshop either directly or through his consulting outlive, ROCHEBA Consulting.
A hard and smart worker and vibrant ticking brain-box, ideas-obsessed Enobong Etteh believes that opportunity is always missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
To achieve the extraordinary, one must not only aspire to do the unthinkable, but one should put one’s thinking cap on, and roll ones sleeves to work hard for clarity and breakthrough.
Enobong Etteh Esq. also believes, with the great Zig Ziglar, that man was designed for accomplishment, engineered for success and supremely endowed with seeds of greatness.
Beside, to stand out from the pack a person should be most prepared to put more trust in nobility of character than on oath; because character is the foundation of all good success.
Barrister Enobong Etteh is happily married to Mrs. Catherine Enobong Etteh (Nee Otusi) and has four children – Enobong Jnr., Ikikeabasi and Abasifonmechi (Ikpong). He is a professed Christian, a Reverend and an Area Superintendent Pastor with Salem International Christian Centre (Foundation Faith Church) and a onetime Lagos state Branch Chairman of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria. He is a labour rights activist of conservation activism school and currently the National Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Labour Lawyers. Barrister Etteh has been a politician since his student days and has held key national positions in some political parties at the marco-political level. These include the office of Assistant National Legal Adviser. He weaves his first love-law-into the exciting tapestry of politics through the thread of his involvement of election petition cases.
A man of many parts and a man for all seasons, Barrister Etteh is the Chairman of some companies including Ikang Conglomerate Nigeria Limited. He is a member of Board of Trustees and Government Council of Salem University, Lokoja, Kogi State.
Enobong Etteh believes deep from his heart that life is too short to be small or stingy in giving. He has continued to raise the bar in the area of charity and philanthropy by reaching out touch the hearts of the needy, enriching dreams and transforming destinies through diverse raft of intervention initiatives running into millions that have come handy in spreading smiles anywhere he goes.
A smooth operator in this field of help to the needy in a world that is strangely afflicted by compassion fatigue, it is Enobong Etteh’s guiding philosophy that if you make a great impact in helping to make others happy and find a lift in life, you do not need to make a great fuss about it. Just help quietly and go your way and the good Lord will reward you somehow, somewhere, some day.