Connect with us


Great Nigerian in the Diaspora: 48 Year-Old Attorney, Bunmi Awoniyi named a Superior Court Judge in the US



It’s always wonderful to hear news of Nigerians doing great things in the diaspora. That is why at BellaNaija, we are very proud of Bunmi Awoniyi, a distinguished family and immigration law attorney on her appointment as a Judge in the Sacaramento County Superior Court.

Her appointment was announced by the California State Governor, Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Awoniyi brings to the bench 20 years of experience and training across the full spectrum of family law matters.  She was an adjunct professor at the University of Northern California, Lorenzo Patiño School of Law from 1997 to 1998, an associate attorney at the Law Office of Steven L. Wessels from 1993 to 1994 and an associate attorney at the Law Office of Brady and Kent from 1992 to 1993. In 1991, she was a law clerk at the Law Office of D. Kapp Nees and a crown prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service in London from 1989 to 1990.

Information on her website states that she completed all her education in the United Kingdom. Awoniyi earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the Inns of Court School of Law, a Masters of Law degree from the University of Leicester School of Law and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Essex. She is a certified family law specialist. She fills the vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position on Dec. 3, 2011. Awoniyi is a Democrat.

Speaking on her appointment and the journey to achieving it, she said: “I could not be more delighted or excited. It has been a whirlwind 24hours the fruit of a year long arduous interview and screening process and an application that took me the better part of a year to complete. Through all of the many lost hours on the weekends and evenings devoted to this process, to see it come to manifestation is truly marvelous. I am humbled and God is so good! It is a new season.

She will be paid the sum of $176,789 (over N28 million) per annum for her new position.

She is indeed an inspiration and a pride to Nigeria. Well done Bunmi Awoniyi!

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Ginika

    December 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Such disclosure of her salary, to me, seems like a security risk.
    I just want to know whatever her diet and exercise regime is like,
    she looks good @48.

  2. ejogene

    December 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

    So Proud! Keep the flag flying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ade

    December 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

    She is a public official so her salary would be public knowledge

    • t

      December 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

      …..unlike in our dear country where such is CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET. @ Ginika, salary disclosure in the US is the thief will come after you solely ‘cos they know how much you earn.

    • Ginika

      December 4, 2012 at 11:04 am

      I hear you but Shey she may visit Naija? thats my view point.

  4. Adedoyin

    December 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    So proud of u! Congrats Bunmi Awoniyi

  5. Bey

    December 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Well done!!proud of u

  6. iffy

    December 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Ginika, don’t be worried about the disclosure, she would not be trailed by anyone, neither would she be attacked by robbers

  7. praisy

    December 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

    This is good news ,oyinbo no go see this one now?

  8. mimi

    December 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I bet you most Nigerians back home educated and otherwise did not have this info that you can get a public servant’s salary in the US publicly i don’t think it was cool to state her salary on here. If i wanted to know what she earns which i don’t i would have done a search myself BN

    • Ginika

      December 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Shey on here, I agree.

  9. wide f ool

    December 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Its still tacky to re-state her salary. What value does it add to the article? You want all those misdirected fanatics to come and start again with ‘Holy Ghost fire, before the end of this month , do am for me’. Keep the focus on the achievement without bringing money into it.

  10. Buki

    December 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

    An inspiration. most civil servant’s earning are not hidden they are public information . we know what the UK prime minister earns. Only in Naija are things hidden so they can get padded and justified for the ridiculous amount they make, not earn.

  11. Aibee

    December 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Just a thought, what makes a person a Nigerian?

    A man is born and educated in Canada. His parents are Nigerians who migrated to Canada. They may even hold Canadian passports. The Children have Canadian passports and only come to Nigeria to visit relatives at Christmas and grandpa’s funeral. Are the children Nigerian? Will we be right to claim their achievements as bringing glory to Nigeria, after all they never crammed ‘times table’ or read ‘Edet lives in Calabar’ in any Nigerian school. Are they Nigerians?

    Just a thought.

    • Ishmael nwaochee

      December 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      ( african is given because they cannot pin point exactly where their parents lineage come from or maybe the country wasnt in existance then)-Americans.

    • Amber

      December 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Nope they are not Nigerians. I was born and raised in Canada. I have visited Nigeria only twice so I can’t claim I am Nigerian. I am a Canadian with Nigerian heritage.

    • One world

      December 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Thank you o, all this classification is so not necessary. It just goes to further create dissention or separation amongst people. An English woman once told me if you are born in England, you are English or British, if you were born in America, you are American, if you are born in India, you are Indian and so on. Forget colour of skin. She said all this British born Indian, or Pakistani born british or Nigerian british, or British of Asian descent further promotes seggregation. Its like saying, depending on teh circumstance, this one is a part of us, this one isnt, this other one, is only half a part of us. We should be over and above tagging people this way. For an oyinbo blue blood person to say this, me sef I was surprised. You know what, I agree with her. All this duo tagging, ko necessary. If you have to fill a legal document maybe, but in conversational speak or referring to someone, simply say their name and move on. You will find that it is usally done for two reasons 1. For attache or claiming purposes like we Nigerians do, someone who may have never stepped foot here, we will say Nigerian in the Diaspora – Attache by force. The reverse, if someone is doing well, Americans/Britons will claim first, and sidely add Nigeria, if at all. If it is for crime, sharply, it will turn to Nigerian American, just like the day care centre woman. Bunmi here completed all her education in the UK, she is British. We don’t need such attaches to make ourselves feel special as a people/ go getters. Yes our image is tarnished abroad, but attache to the Nigerians making it abroad wont make it any better, trust me. They are in the minority. Bunmi Awoniyi named Supreme Court Judge. Simple. Otherwise, the next post about Omotola or Tonto or Tuface, BN please write, Nigerian Omotola Jalade Ekeinde or Nigerian Tonto Dikeh or Nigerian Bridget Awosika etc. You may as well make it equal.

    • Nkechi

      December 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      While i agree with the point you are making let me give you an example to explain why people fell the need to classify in the UK for example as long as you are not white (except whites with a non british accent) you will automatically be asked where you come from it doesn’t matter that you were born and raised in London speak with a british accent have never set foot in Nigeria the question will be asked and if you answer Peckham for example they will still ask “no where are you from originally” to which you now answer your parent’s country of origin. SO if you were born in Kaduna to Igbo parents does that make you Hausa? In my opinion immigrant children born in England can only be British never English because what being English, Scottish, welsh , irish entails to the UK is what being Igbo, hausa, yoruba is to Nigeria just like a white man born in Enugu is Nigerian by birth but can never be Igbo to the Canadian girl as much as you are Canadian you are Nigerian first because that is the culture you were frist introduced to otherwise non of the kids born abroad would be eating nigerian food and doing traditional weddings etc since those aren’t american, canadian, british foods and traditions.

    • Jesus Daughter

      December 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Lmao @ grandpa’s funeral

    • Joyce

      December 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      @Aibee, u wouldn’t kill me with laughter. OMG!!!!

    • Zimbalicious

      December 5, 2012 at 12:27 am

      She is a Nigerian my friend. All this born here lived all my life there, is just rubbish to be honest. You find Italians who have been living in America for so many years (maybe 3 or 4 or even more generations) but they’ll still refer to themselves as Italians. Yes they are Americans by birth and because they’ve lived there all their lives but their identity is Italian. I’ve heard them say, “we Italians love our food …….etc etc” and yet they’ve probably never even been to Italy their whole lives. Africans are the 1st to say, “i’m not African, i’ve only gone to africa twice so that means i’m not africa and because i was born in canada.” Please!!

    • Amber

      December 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      I have never denied my heritage. I have always and will always embrace my heritage. It’s hurting you so much that I say I am Canadian. Folks like you are forever pained when someone with a Nigerian Heritage say they are Canadian, American, French. I sense a small little piece of jealousy and hate. I didn’t choose the country to be born in. If I was born, raised and lived in Nigeria sure I would have said I am Nigerian but that’s not the case. I had a friend in College whose family is Canadian. She was born and had lived in Kenya all her life. She came to Canada for College. When people asked her where she was from; she always said I am Kenyan. I never heard her say I am Canadian. She loved being Kenyan and embraced her Canadian heritage.

      @ Nkechi
      It’s just like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s children claiming they are Austrian or Jennifer Aniston claiming she is Greek because her parents are from Greece. I love and embrace my Nigerian heritage and roots: I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  12. nita

    December 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I support BN 4 stating d salary bcos it made me appreciate d amt more n see d value of dedication to purposeful work in society. If we can reduce money of lawmakers n give more to our Judiciary, we wud be beta off…

  13. Teebabe

    December 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm


    • Abana

      December 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Teebabe what’s the point of your last sentence? Please explain.
      She is a public servant. Servant being the operative word. Her salary isn’t supposed to be high. You are better off comparing her to a lawyer working in a city law firm. If she was a partner in one of the top 5 law firms in the world, her salary would be well over a million pounds. So you can see she doesn’t earn that much. It’s the prestige which comes with the office that attracts people to civil service. Not the money.

    • Fresh

      December 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Na wah oh is your caps lock broken?

    • Duchess

      December 5, 2012 at 12:32 am

      LMAO @ caps lock. I tire!

    • Joyce

      December 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      @Teebabe, Thumbs up. I tot d same when I first saw d name, may be BN is not interested in other tribes. Anyway that does not take away the others achievements.

  14. pynk

    December 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Is she a Nigerian? Or did Nigeria contribute to her success?
    A big congratulations to her. At her age and professional level – $200,000 is about average. After doing the same thing (professional) for so long, it only makes sense. Her peers in the private sector take home a lot more.

  15. BeeT

    December 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    This is really good news!

  16. SS

    December 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    congratulations bunmi,you are such an inspiration

  17. Soraya

    December 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    @Ginika- her secret to looking good lies in not having children and of course, avoiding pounded yam, eba and all those soupy concortions Nigerians are known for= well, at least that is my secret to looking good at 38 and oh, the gym as well!

  18. Bougie1

    December 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Nigerians be #winning! Im so proud of this xx

  19. MsSexy

    December 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Sora ya sounds more like Nike Osinowo fabulous fabu
    Anyway congrats some of us outside Nig r portraying d country great
    Not some yahoo yahozee idiots

  20. Temitope Adewoye

    December 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Aww I love inspiring women,congrats Bunmi reading this has rekindled me, I would study harder so I can pass my bar finals to.

  21. Temitope Adewoye

    December 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm


  22. NNENNE

    December 5, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Congratulations dear. Way to go!

  23. R

    December 5, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Amazing! Congratulations!!

  24. Cjay

    December 5, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I bet if Nigeria was like Canada/America, everyone will want to identify with it, maybe one day things will change and turn around in our favour, at least am Nigerian….

  25. Omotee

    December 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    She’s Nigerian abeg, all the plenty stories of her being born somewhere and never stepped foot here or not ko matter. It’s a fact not an attaché matter. Don’t let’s miss the whole point; an inspiration.

  26. Bee Dazzler

    December 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

    congratulations to her achievement. indeed she has done well in her career pursuit. about her salary been declared public in my opinion seems transparency…it is void of corruption#check
    A Nigerian, school and brought up outside is still a Nigeria excepts if you are ashamed of your country. the fact that you were not raised by your mother due to some reasons, does it warrant you denial been your mothers daughter or son. she is proudly Nigerian. i hate it when people lives the shores of their land and forgets their homes. Amber am disappointed in you and for the record you are a Nigeria full stop.
    let me not forget reason while am here,Bunmi Awoniyi congratulation. you have just inspired millions with all you’ve done. whether she has a small pay or not…does it matter, what matters is, she did what the next and next, next behind, besides and before her could not do. stay inspired guys. www.

  27. jennietobbie

    December 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm


  28. Onakachi

    January 6, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Really nice!

  29. Ronn

    March 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa
Sign up on Netflix

Star Features