TRAINING ON COMPANY LAW & CORPORATE GOVERNANCE FOR WEDNESDAY

A two-day packed workshop awaits participants at intensive training programme by experts on Company Law and Corporate Governance.

Holding from tomorrow at Lekki, the workshop also attracts Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mandatory Continuing Legal Education credits.

Below is a statement from the organisers:

Do you want to have a clear edge in Company Law & Corporate Governance?  

Would you consider being trained by the experts in a hands-on manner and at the same time earn full NBA-ICLE credit? 

If yes, please join in this forthcoming training. 

TARGET PARTICIPANTS: Legal Practitioners, Company Secretaries & Heads of Governance, Legal Advisers, Managers and Executives in Corporate Bodies; Lawyers in Banks, Insurance Companies, Mortgage Institutions and Regulatory Agencies, Compliance Officers, etc

DATE: November 13 & 14, 2019

VENUE: 11b, Christ Avenue, Off Admiralty Road,
Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

FEE: N40,000 only. 

40% discount open for Young Lawyers of 1-7 years post call. 

For more info please call: Zortura on 09060007472 or email zortura@gmail.cominfo@ledapnigeria.org

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

UBANI, AKINBORO, AKPATA, OGUNLANA HIT SPIDEL PODIUM

Leading lights of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) took to the podium yesterday at the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) Annual Conference holding at Addrex Hotel & Suites, Aba, Abia State to dissect issues impeding human rights in Nigeria and proffer solutions.

Among those who made interventions at yesterday’s technical sessions were firebrand human rights advocate and former NBA Second Vice President, Mr. Monday Ubani; former NBA General Secretary, Mr. Olumuyiwa Akinboro SAN; immediate past Chairman of the NBA Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), Mr. Olumide Akpata, and controversial former NBA Ikeja Branch Chairman, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana.

The day kicked off with the session on “Business and human rights: global principles and best practices.” CITY LAWYER reports that the lead speaker was Mr. Babatunde Ajala, a Political & Economic Affairs Officer with the Switzerland Embassy while Akinboro was chairman.

The session dwelt on business practices that impede human rights, with speakers noting that such a business model is not sustainable especially in an era where the emphasis is currently shifting towards “corporate accountability” as against corporate social responsibility.

Akinboro stated that government efforts are key to industrialization and attracting foreign direct investment. Warning that foreign investors “are not coming because they like Nigeria” but to boost their revenues, Akinboro urged government to establish appropriate policies to ensure favourable investment climate, adding that Kenya has made giant strides in this area.

This was followed by the session on “Managing security challenges and public interest issues.” Lawyer and former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo gave the keynote speech while Dr. Uju Agomoh of Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Messrs Joel Bisina and Franklyn Oseya as well as Dr. Vladimir Kreck, Head of Nigerian Office, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) were panelists.

Akpoyibo noted especially that the police is one entity that has “suffered several amputations but survived all.” He was referring to the excision of several agencies such as EFCC, ICPC among others from the purview of the Nigeria Police.

While Agomoh decried “overlapping mandates” of law enforcement agencies and warned that this engenders confusion and rivalry due to failure to streamline the powers of each agency, Kreck gave a panoramic view of the work of KAS, adding that it has been collaborating with several entities and conducting researches on human rights issues in Nigeria.

“Alternative dispute resolution: utilizing institutional and Legal strategies for managing and resolving companies-host-communitities (C-H-C) conflicts” was the next topic to be dissected by a panel chaired by leading arbitrator, Mrs. Caroline Etuk. Akpata was the lead speaker.

In his 5-page paper made available to CITY LAWYER, Akpata stated that “Despite the gains being made by crafting ADR strategies for managing C-H-C conflicts on a contractual rather than an institutional level, the best strategies, to my mind, must entail a concerted, co-ordinated approach among the key players of Government, relevant companies and the host communities.”

He further stated that “In the final analysis, there is no hard or fast rule about resolving C-H-C conflicts, given that there is no statutory or institutionalized framework for managing these disputes. As such, regardless of the alternative dispute resolution process that one fancies, the fundamental strategy in our experience is to ensure that the host communities buy-in into that process was secured at the earliest stages of the companies’ operations and is sustained for as long as the companies operate in their hosts’ territory.”

The session paved the way for a heated discussion on “The judiciary, human rights and public interest litigations,” with Ubani as the lead speaker. Among the panelists were newly appointed judge and immediate past Chief Registrar of the High Court of Abia State, Mr. Benson Anya; former Rivers State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wogu Boms; Dr. Nkiruka Maduekwe of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS); Mrs. Chioma Okoro, chief magistrate in Abia State Judiciary; Mr. Omoniyi Omodara, Director of Legal Services, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and Ogunlana.

Ubani commended Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN for using litigation to deepen the public interest, adding that the courts have increasingly thrown away the restrictive approach towards public interest litigation including the controversial issue of locus standi.

He further noted that the Supreme Court last April widened the scope for public interest litigants through another major decision, saying: “Let me read some of the cases that were decided on constitutional issues that really shows that Nigerian courts have been making progress until April this year where we have the most important decision ever reached. You and I should be saying ‘God bless Supreme Court Justices.’

“The matter came from Abia (State). In fact, we are in Abia. Mr. Chairman (of SPIDEL), God will bless you for bringing this event to Abia State because Abia State opened the floodgate. You and I as public interest lawyers now have a right to go to court. You don’t need to show that you have suffered injury. It is enough if you can show that a law has not been properly followed or enacted.

“According to the Supreme Court in the case of Centre for Oil Pollution Watch v. NNPC, the criteria for public interest litigants to insist that law must be obeyed and rights of citizens not taken for granted even if the petitioner cannot establish any sufficient or direct interest on the violation of the law.”

The session that brought the curtains down on the day’s event was titled “Promoting the rule of law: roles and perspectives of attorneys-general as state actors.” The session was chaired by the Abia State Attorney-General & Commissioner or Justice, Mr. Uche Ihediwa while leading jurist and former Abia State Attorney-General & Commissioner or Justice, Mr. Awa Kalu SAN was the lead speaker.

The well attended conference ends today with several sessions including the highly anticipated session on “Public protest and the law” with fiery human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN who CITY LAWYER gathered will hit town for the event. Several cocktail events are planned to ensure proper work-life balance for conferees.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

WE WILL BOYCOTT COURTS SOON IF…, WARNS USORO

  • PUBLIC PROTEST: FALANA STORMS ABA

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN has warned that lawyers may soon embark on a boycott of the courts if judges of the Court of Appeal and Nasarawa Area Court are not freed by their kidnappers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of this year’s Annual Conference of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) also tagged “revival” conference, Usoro said lawyers would soon have no option than to shun the courts to press their demand for release of the judicial officers.

His words: “We are the ones to speak for the judiciary; they do not have a voice. It behoves us (NBA) to speak on their behalf. A couple of them very very sadly have been kidnapped in recent days. You wouldn’t see any press release from the judiciary because they do not have a voice.

“It is we – the Nigerian Bar Association – that will fight for them, which will tell the authority that they have to take certain steps. If it gets to the extreme and – as we did not too long ago – we decide that we are going to boycott the courts to make a point, that is what we lawyers are for. If we are not united it becomes difficult for us to achieve. That is something I would like all of us to bear in mind.”

He noted that globally, lawyers are “recognized as the voice of the voiceless,” adding that “If you do not defend them, nobody will.”

It is recalled that Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme of the Benin Division of Court of Appeal and Honorable Likita Ewa, a judge of an Area Court in Nasarawa State were kidnapped recently and are still in the kidnappers’ den.

Usoro urged members of the Aba Branch of the NBA to close ranks and resolve the crises rocking the branch, noting that “This is very important as without being united, it is very easy for people to further divide us. Our strength lies in our unity.”

Commending the SPIDEL leadership and the Abia State Government for its “magnanimity,” the NBA President also thanked the judiciary for attending the event in large numbers “particularly in these dangerous times when simply being seen with lawyers could be misconstrued.” He prayed God to give them the “wisdom to dispense justice without fear or favour.”

In his keynote address, Attorney General & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN commended the NBA for using the law “as an instrument of social change.”

Saying that SPIDEL is facilitating its core objective of promoting public interest by organizing the conference, Malami who was represented by Mr. Aikomo Abiodun, his Special Assistant on Anti-corruption & Contracts Implementation, also commended SPIDEL Chairman, Dr. Paul Ananaba SAN and his team for hosting the highly successful conference.

On his part, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr. Tony Ojukwu noted that “Our being human would be incomplete without enjoying these rights,” pointing at banditry, communal clashes, insurgency, kidnapping, farmers/herders crises, weak electoral system, unemployment, decayed infrastructure, poverty, and violation of rights by state actors as some of the factors that threaten enjoyment of human rights.

Represented by Mr. Olaniyi Omodara, the NHRC chieftain described the theme of the conference as “well thought out,” adding that the NBA and especially SPIDEL “is an important partner” in the commission’s quest to reform the regime of rights available to Nigerians.

The opening ceremony was followed by two technical sessions. The session on “Public interest lawyering: Global best practices and development” was chaired by Abia State Chief Judge, Justice Onuoha Ogwe. Leading human rights strategist, Dr. Sam Amadi was the lead speaker.

The session on “Executive orders as tools of governance – Prospects and challenges” drew the curtains on the day’s events. While the sessionwas chaired by Mr. Israel Usman, the lead speaker was Dr. Chukwudi Odoeme, Head of Legal Unit, Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC). The panelists included former NBA General Secretary, Mr. Emeka Obegolu; former NBA Treasurer Joyce Oduah; former member of NBA Criminal Justice Reform Committee, Mr. Emeka Nwadioke and senior lawyer Udochi Iheanacho.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

MR. ABUBAKAR ALIYU
Director General, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria

We have tried as much as possible to collaborate and cooperate with NBA especially SPIDEL to promote human rights. There is nothing more important than assisting indigent Nigerian to gain access to justice.

The kind of pleasure I derive from obtaining ordinary bail for somebody who has stayed five years in prison awaiting trial is indescribable. I commend SPIDEL for the work it is doing. I am always participating in SPIDEL activities, and will continue to collaborate with SPIDEL.

OLUMUYIWA AKINBORO SAN
Former NBA General Secretary

This is one of the best and most packed conferences I have ever attended. There are benefits that come by virtue of pro bono work. If one is to wait for that juicy brief, one may wait for a long time. However, by going to court and representing indigent clients, a lawyer may gain more experience and confidence. Everyday we go to court, we get better.

There is nothing that gives more satisfaction than helping another person. It is recalled that the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN and Mr. Femi Falana SAN became very popular through their public interest litigation work. You invariably end up being celebrated. I want to encourage us to take up the challenge of lawyering in the public interest.

DR. PAUL ANANABA SAN
SPIDEL Chairman

Nigeria is at a transformational stage; only public interest and pro people policies as well as development law initiatives is needed to provide credible and enabling environment for sustainable results. This need and service to the people are what SPIDEL stands for; NBA’s link and commitment to the rule of law and justice.

Through interactions on these issues at this conference, SPIDEL will be strengthened and positioned to lead NBA’s mandate as the watcher of government’s policies, governance framework, citizenship issues and so on. SPIDEL is ready to give urgency to activities that will reverse governance, administrative and legal failure to alleviate the suffering of the maases.

MR. IKEAZOR AKARAIWE
Chairman, Conference Planning Committee

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law is arguably the most important section of the NBA, the other sections being Section on Legal Practice and Section on Business Law. SPIDEL proposes a regime of public interest and development awareness. Public interest and development advocacy and litigation is why Nigeria escaped the long night of military dictatorship. This conference of SPIDEL is coming at a time when democratic fascism is on the rise and corruption has rendered development all but comatose.

The gains of this conference must be that every lawyer realizes that our priesthood in the temple of justice of necessity clothes us with the toga of development warriors. We must use the courts and responsible social media usage to advance the interest of the public and development in Nigeria. We can do no less.

The conference continues today with several technical sessions including the eagerly anticipated session on public protest law which has firebrand social crusader, Mr. Femi Falana SAN as the lead speaker.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

SPIDEL 2019: WE HAVE GREAT EXPECTATIONS, SAYS ANANABA

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Paul Ananaba SAN has assured delegates to this year’s SPIDEL Annual Conference that they are in for a pleasant surprise as the conference kicks off today with an opening ceremony.

Speaking with CITY LAWYER on the grounds of the conference at ADDREX Hotels, Aba, Ananaba said that many of the invited guests and speakers are already on ground, adding that each delegate would have his or her money’s worth.

Meanwhile, among the early bids cited by CITY LAWYER at the conference are Mr. Abiodun Aikhomu, a Special Adviser representing Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN; Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Onuoha Ogwe; Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata SAN; Justice Livingstone Eruba of Abia State High Court; former NBA General Secretary, Mr. Olumuyiwa Akinboro SAN; former NBA Section on Business Law Chairman, Mr. Olumide Akpata; former NBA Treasurer, Joyce Oduah who is sponsoring some delegates to the conference, and Mr. Okey Leo Ohagba, former NBA First Assistant Secretary.

Basking in the euphoria of the successful welcome cocktails hosted by Abia State Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uche Ihediwa, Ananaba said: “We are expecting a grand opening ceremony. The Attorney General & Minister of Justice’s (Abubakar Malami SAN) representative and his team are here already; the Chief Judge of Abia State and the Governor of Abia State and a few other governors expected are going to be there. We have some senior advocates of Nigeria from all parts of the country and very senior lawyers, former chairmen of sections and branch chairmen; it is going to be great here.

“You could see that even the welcome cocktail was described glowingly by one of the attendees, a veteran from the beginning of SPIDEL. He said that SPIDEL has never had a night like this! As I speak to you, two state delegations are on their way coming – one from Kano and one from Jos (Plateau), coming to join us. That is the spirit! And we are expecting that to be on display tomorrow morning (today).”

Speaking on the success of the welcome cocktails, the SPIDEL Chairman said: “It surpassed expectations – even my own expectations: live band, pool side, the two sets of caterers had varieties; people had their best expectations met.”

It is recalled that the opening ceremony starts by 9 am today and will witness the Conference Planning Committee Chairman and former NBA First Vice President, Mr. Ikeazor Akaraiwe giving the welcome remarks while Ananaba will deliver the opening remarks.

Goodwill messages will be received from former NBA President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN; pioneer SPIDEL Chairman, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama SAN, and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Chief Chibuike Nwokeukwu SAN. NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN will deliver his address, setting the stage for Malami’s Keynote Address. This will be followed by the Conference Opening Speech by Abia State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and a cultural interlude by the Abia Cultural Troupe. A vote of thanks by SPIDEL Secretary, Mr. Kola Omotinugbon will draw the curtains on the opening ceremony.

Among the 16 technical sessions for the much anticipated conference which signals the resurgence of SPIDEL are Public Interest Lawyering, Global Best Practices and Development; Executive Orders as Tools of Governance – Prospects and Challenges; Public Protest and the Law, and Managing Security Challenges and Public Interest Issues.

Others are Business and Human Rights: Global Principles and Best Practices; Alternative Dispute Resolution: Utilizing Institutional and Legal Strategies for Managing and Resolving Companies-Host-Communities (C-H-C) Conflicts; Promoting the Rule of Law; Roles and Perspectives of Attorneys General as State Actors; Implementation of Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019: The Role of Civil Society Organizations and Legal Community, and The Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Interest Litigations.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

SPIDEL: MALAMI, USORO, AGBAKOBA, ALEGEH, GADZAMA STORM ABA TODAY

It is a roll call of ‘Who is who’ in Nigeria’s legal industry as legal heavyweights are set to storm Aba today for the 2019 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL).

Among those expected at the conference being held for the first time in the South East are Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN who will deliver the Keynote Address at the opening ceremony holding tomorrow at the highbrow Addrex Hotel, Aba. This will be heralded by registration which commences today at 9 o’clock as well as a cocktail party to be hosted by the Abia State Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uche Ihediwa at 6 pm.

The opening ceremony which starts by 9 am tomorrow will witness the Conference Planning Committee Chairman and former NBA First Vice President, Mr. Ikeazor Akaraiwe giving the welcome remarks while foremost litigator and NBA-SPIDEL Chairman, Dr. Paul C Ananaba, SAN will deliver the opening remarks.

Goodwill messages will be received from former NBA President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN; pioneer SPIDEL Chairman, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama SAN, and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Chief Chibuike Nwokeukwu SAN. NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN will deliver his address, setting the stage for Malami’s Keynote Address. This will be followed by the Conference Opening Speech by Abia State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and a cultural interlude by the Abia Cultural Troupe. A vote of thanks by SPIDEL Secretary, Mr. Kola Omotinugbon will draw the curtains on the opening ceremony.

Among the 16 technical sessions for the much anticipated conference which signals the resurgence of SPIDEL are Public Interest Lawyering, Global Best Practices and Development; Executive Orders as Tools of Governance – Prospects and Challenges; Public Protest and the Law, and Managing Security Challenges and Public Interest Issues.

Others are Business and Human Rights: Global Principles and Best Practices; Alternative Dispute Resolution: Utilizing Institutional and Legal Strategies for Managing and Resolving Companies-Host-Communities (C-H-C) Conflicts; Promoting the Rule of Law; Roles and Perspectives of Attorneys General as State Actors; Implementation of Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019: The Role of Civil Society Organizations and Legal Community, and The Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Interest Litigations.

The surfeit of topics also include Examining Legal Frameworks on Extra Judicial Killings; Frameworks for Combating Corruption in Nigeria: Developing a Sustainable and Institutional Model; Beneficial Ownership Reforms in Natural Resources Exploitation in Nigeria : Implementation Timelines and Role of Lawyers; Regulating in Public Interest – Imperativeness of Regulation in Economic Development and Growth; Class Action: Proposal for Legislative, Legal and Judicial Frameworks for Achieving Mass Remedies in Nigeria; The Role of Young Lawyers in Policy Advocacy and Legislative Reforms & Charting a New Cause for Public Interest Lawyering and Development Law Initiatives in Nigeria, and Pro-People Policies: Actions, Strategies and Frameworks for Development and Growth Across Critical Sectors at State levels; Justice Sector, Security, Infrastructures, Economy, Education etc.

Delegates will also be treated to side events including several lunches, a State Banquet tagged “Governor’s Dinner” which holds tomorrow at 6:30 pm, cocktails on Thursday and cocktails/closing party on Friday. A communiqué will be issued at the end of the conference.

Also expected at the conference are Justice O. A. K. Ogwe, Chief Judge of Abia State; INEC Director, Mr. Festus Okoye; Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Dr. Sam Amadi; Chief Assam Assam SAN and Dr. Onyeachi Ikpeazu.

Others are former Senate Deputy President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; fiery human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN; Dr. Livy Uzoukwu SAN, Lead Counsel to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Police PRO, Mr. Frank Mba.

Asiwaju Solomon Awomolo SAN, former DIG Marvel Akpoyibo, former NBA General Secretary, Mr. Emeka Obegolu Esq, NBA Section on Business Law Chairman, Mr. Seni Adio SAN, former NBA General Secretary, Olumuyiwa Akinboro SAN, and his predecessor, Mr. Olumide Akpata will also add verve to the conference.

Others are former Abia State Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Awa U. Kalu SAN, former NBA Secretary General, Mr. Dele Adesina SAN; Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN; Austin Alegeh SAN; Engr. Chidi Izuwa; Mr. Jonathan Taidi; Chief Emeka Ngige SAN; Abiodun Owonikoko SAN; NBA General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Taidi and Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Mr. Tony Ojukwu. The theme of the conference is “Lawyering in the public interest.”

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

NBA ELECTIONS: EGBE AMOFIN MOVES TO PICK CONSENSUS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Egbe Amofin O’odua, the once influential umbrella body of lawyers of Yoruba extraction, is set to forge a consensus towards the 2020 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Elections at its meeting today in Ibadan.

A notice of meeting curiously sent out by the Publicity Secretary of NBA Ibadan Branch, Mr. Femi Omotayo stated that the meeting which starts at 11 a. m. would hold at the Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Ibadan, adding: “Your attendance is highly anticipated and necessary as matters affecting our common interests will be placed on the table.”

Omotayo assured that the meeting would be attended by “who is who” among the Yoruba legal elite. On whether the breakaway South West Lawyers Forum (SWLF) would attend the meeting, he described the faction as an “infinitesimal group,” adding that there is no recognition for any such group.

There are strong indications that the forum may however not pose as serious challenge to today’s meeting, as political watchers believe that it had the backing of leading NBA presidential aspirant, Mr. Dele Adesina SAN. Adesina is believed to share similar political sentiments with foremost litigator, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN was the. Both are also in-laws.

The Chairman of Egbe Amofin, Chief Bandele Aiku SAN is now deceased. Olanipekun is the Vice Chairman of the forum, though some Egbe members challenged his position, arguing that his position was never ratified by the forum.

CITY LAWYER gathered that today’s meeting was a product of an earlier meeting convened by Olanipekun on August 28, 2019 on the sidelines of the NBA Annual General Conference. A source who was at the meeting told CITY LAWYER that the only major agreement at the meeting was the resolution that the Egbe should produce a consensus presidential candidate for the forthcoming NBA Elections.

Among those who attended the meeting are former NBA President, Chief (Mrs.) Priscilla Kuye; Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN; Chief M. A. Ajomale, and Mr. Femi Falana SAN among others.

Presently, there are four presidential aspirants who are said to be eyeing the coveted post, including Adesina, Mr. Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN and Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, the only aspirant who is not a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Mr. Martin Ogunleye, former Chairman of NBA Lagos Branch told CITY LAWYER that the Lagos meeting “emphasized the urgent need for a rebirth of Egbe,” adding that the breakaway South West Lawyers Forum (SWLF) has “merged back” to the parent Egbe forum.

Ogunleye, who is also the Chairman Egbe Amofin N’ile Eko, said that the meeting would be “co-hosted” by chairmen of NBA branches in the South West, adding that Olanipekun would “most likely” chair the meeting. Asked whether 2020 NBA Elections was an item on today’s agenda, he said: “You cannot rule out politics in human affairs.”

It was unclear at press time whether there is a split within the leadership of Egbe, as its Secretary, Mr. Ranti Ajileti told CITY LAWYER that he would not attend the meeting. His words: “I am not involved in the planning of the meeting. But I am not opposed to convening of the meeting. My not attending is due to circumstances and not by design.” It is recalled that Ajileti was lampooned by some Egbe elements for standing by the Eastern Bar Forum’s (EBF) endorsement of Chief Arthur Obi Okafor for the 2018 NBA presidential race.

A source close to Ajibade told CITY LAWYER that “Dr. Ajibade SAN is attending in full force.” Feelers from the camp of another leading candidate, Mr. Olu Akpata showed that he may not attend the meeting, adding that the forum is for Yoruba lawyers and that “no invitation has been extended to him to attend.”

There are strong indications that forging a consensus among the aspirants may pose the toughest challenge for the resurgent Egbe, as the aspirants are said to belong to disparate ideological divides and cleavages. Today’s meeting is viewed by many watchers of Bar politics as crucial in determining the fate of the Yoruba bloc in NBA politics.

Though there are fears that Olanipekun may desire a rebirth of the Egbe as a launch-pad for Adesina’s presidential ambition, analysts argue that it would be an uphill task, with many saying that he has only “one vote” when the chips are down. They argue that only a transparent process will prevent the Egbe from receding into irrelevance again.

It is recalled that lack of consensus by the Egbe gifted the 2014 presidential race to former NBA President, Mr. Austin Alegeh SAN. A similar disagreement by the South East bloc led to the emergence of current NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN. Analysts believe that today’s meeting is geared towards preventing a recurrence of the 2014 debacle.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

EXCLUSIVE: NBA ELECTIONS – WHY EFCC QUIZED NBA CHIEFTAIN

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have swooped on senior lawyer and Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) administrative lynchpin, Sarah Ajijola over an alleged cash payment received from one of the presidential candidates in the last elections.

An impeccable source who is familiar with the EFCC investigations told CITY LAWYER that Ajijola, NBA’s Director of Membership & Bar Services, was pulled in by the anti-graft agency for questioning over a N25,000 inflow into her bank account in the run-up to the controversial 2018 NBA Elections.

The EFCC is investigating the outcome of the elections following an alleged petition by Mr. Olumuyiwa Olowokure who was an agent to Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN, one of the presidential candidates in the elections. Olowokure is now deceased.

As the overseer of the NBA database, Ajijola worked closely with the Professor Auwalu Yadudu-led Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) in generating a register of voters for the elections. Reputed as highly knowledgeable in NBA affairs, Ajijola was quizzed for several days over the inflow. It was however unclear at press time whether the anti-graft agency was able to make a headway in its investigations into the elections following this latest effort to track those who allegedly rigged the Bar elections.

CITY LAWYER sent whatsapp messages to Ajijola requesting her response on the subject. When CITY LAWYER noticed that the messages remained unread, CITY LAWYER alerted Ajijola via SMS. Though there was compelling evidence that the whatsapp messages were read, Ajijola however did not respond to the enquiries even after CITY LAWYER made another request for a feedback.

CITY LAWYER gathered that Ajijola was released when NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN dispatched NBA Legal Adviser, Mr. Innocent Eze to Lagos to secure her release. It was gathered that Eze was able to persuade the anti-graft agency to let the NBA top officer off the hook. He was said to have processed the administrative bail granted Ajijola, leading to her release from EFCC custody.

Though some lawyers had frowned on Ajijola’s prolonged detention, there are strong indications that this may not be unconnected with the fact that key NBA chieftains were heading to Seoul, South Korea to attend the International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference barely a few days after she was picked up by EFCC operatives and whisked away to their Lagos Office.

Usoro was declared winner of the election, having polled 4,509 votes to beat Okafor and former Nigerian Law School Deputy Director General, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN. While Okafor garnered 4,423 votes, Ojukwu polled 3,313 votes to place third.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

UNIFIED CRIMINAL CODE SOON – AKINSEYE-GEORGE

It was a charged atmosphere in Lagos as jurists dissected the draft Unified Penal and Criminal Codes initiated by the Centre for Socio-legal Studies. The roundtable which held at Lagos Ibis Hotel, Lagos was designed to seek inputs from stakeholders towards fine-tuning the draft into a bill.

In a welcome address to the national workshop on the reform of criminal/penal codes and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Professor Yemi Akinseye-George SAN, President of the centre, said the forum is designed to share the proposals being developed at the centre for improving criminal justice administration and strengthening accountability and transparency in Nigeria.

According to the foremost jurist, “The centre has been conducting studies into the substantive criminal laws, particularly the Penal Code and the Criminal Code as applicable to federal offences.”

“In addition to presenting the findings from our studies of the federal criminal provisions, this workshop will also enable the centre to receive additional inputs from the stakeholders in Lagos and other Southern States,” he said. “This workshop is part of a larger project which seeks improvements not only in the procedural laws relating to the anti-graft campaign but also in the substantive criminal laws which would have lasting impact on the struggle to build the legal system into a stronger bulwark for transparency and accountability.”

Bemoaning the fact that Nigeria’s substantive laws are trailing the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA), the leading law reform advocate said: “Clearly, our society has changed so drastically in the last sixty years so much so that the laws which were made in the sixties are no longer capable of addressing the needs and challenges of the present.”

Akinseye-George noted that while States such as Lagos, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau and Kano have enacted new criminal laws and penal codes, “the Federal Government continues to rely on the outdated Federal criminal provisions which remain the primary substantive criminal laws applicable in the FCT and the federal courts.”

The jurist chided federal lawmakers for churning out “uncoordinated enactment” that are “neither predicated on any scientific Needs Assessment nor on deliberate attempt at avoiding over-legislation, contradictory or overlapping provisions.”

He stated that the task of harmonizing federal criminal provisions is “long overdue,” adding that “The poor quality of some of the laws being churned out by the National Assembly has created an awkward situation in which the President has returned many Bills unassented on account of superfluity or inconsistency with other laws. A good example is the recent Proceeds of Crime Bill, a much-needed anti-graft tool, to which Mr. President declined his Assent.”

Akinseye-George expressed concerns that while the ACJA contains modern procedures, “the Codes which the ACJA is used to enforce are largely outdated having not been improved upon since passage in the 1960s. Currently, there is little or no interest in enforcing the outdated codes as they are not relevant to the modern times and prescribe weak punishments for corruption and other crimes.”

Noting that the centre was instrumental in the enactment of both ACJA and the Evidence Act 2011, he listed the fundamental principles governing reform of the codes to include decriminalization of petty offences, repositioning the criminal laws as instruments of good governance and socio-economic development, boosting relevance to contemporary needs of the society such as improving economic opportunities for the great majority of Nigerians, improving access to justice for the vulnerable, simplification of offences, institutionalization of restorative justice mechanisms, harmonization with the Constitution and existing laws, and consistency with modern criminal justice system and global best practices.

Akinseye-George stated that the proposals would be consolidated into draft Bills and forwarded to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN and “proactive members of the National Assembly” for possible passage into law.

Among the dignitaries who attended the workshop are Justice Yetunde Pinheiro of the Lagos High Court, Justice Eniola Fabanwo of Ogun State High Court, Chief Magistrate Adedamola Paul of Lagos State Judiciary, and Prof. Iyabode Ogunniran of Faculty of Law, University of Lagos among others.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

NBA PRESIDENCY: AJIBADE JOINS THE RACE

  • THROWS SPANNER IN THE WORKS

Leading corporate lawyer, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade has joined the race to succeed Mr. Paul Usoro SAN as Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

The entry of the cerebral lawyer into the already crowded field has thrown spanner in the works, as many consider him a serious contender for the coveted seat. In fact, asked what Ajibade’s chances are to clinch the sought-after seat, a former NBA chieftain told CITY LAWYER that Ajibade is a “potential NBA President.”

Though seemingly a late entrant into the presidential race given that some of the aspirants have been making discreet moves for several months now to push their ambitions, CITY LAWYER gathered at the weekend that Ajibade is not leaving anything to chance in his quest to win the NBA Presidency.

A source close to the NBA Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) Advisor told CITY LAWYER that Ajibade has commenced aggressive consultations to intimate especially Bar Leaders on his ambition. Although a familiar face in the continuing legal education circuit where he is routinely engaged as a facilitator, there are strong indications that the recently concluded International Bar Association (IBA) conference in Seoul, South Korea may have offered Ajibade a platform to sell his candidacy.

To put the matter of his quest beyond debate, CITY LAWYER gathered from unimpeachable sources that the highly successful corporate lawyer has started telephoning and visiting key Bar Leaders to formally intimate them on his ambition. At least two Bar Leaders confirmed to CITY LAWYER that Ajibade spoke to them on his desire to lead the Bar while a former NBA chieftain said that Ajibade contacted him through a proxy.

In line with the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended), the next NBA President will emerge from the South West Zone comprising. According to Article 2.2(b) of the Second Schedule to the amended NBA Constitution dealing with ‘Election of National Officers,’ “The positions of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President and General Secretary shall rotate among the three zones. In determining the eligibility of a candidate to contest for any of the rotated offices, regard shall be had to a candidate’s Geographical Zone of origin and not the geographical Zone where he/she carries on legal practice.” On the other hand, Article 2.2(e)(iii) lists the States under “Western Zone” as Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo.

Other aspirants who have been touted for the post of NBA President are another leading and successful corporate lawyer, Mr. Olumide Akpata; former presidential candidate and NBA General Secretary, Mr. Dele Adesina SAN and another erstwhile NBA General Secretary, Mr. Olumuyiwa Akinboro SAN.

Ajibade’s entry into the race has substantially altered the political dynamics for the NBA Presidency race. Aside from being a hugely successful corporate lawyer, Ajibade, like Akpata, is also from NBA Lagos Branch which has always had the largest bloc of votes in NBA elections. Though some question his credentials as a “Bar-man,” many view him as highly cerebral, self-effacing and not having any integrity deficit.

Several Bar Leaders who responded to CITY LAWYER enquiries on his candidacy stated that he is not only eminently qualified for the position but must be seen as a serious contender, adding that other aspirants would ignore him at their own political peril.

While Akpata was before now seen as perhaps the ‘anointed candidate’ of NBA House, impeccable sources told CITY LAWYER that his campaign may have suffered some reversals lately. CITY LAWYER reliably gathered that there is a major schism in Akpata’s camp, with speculations that a major power broker and backer may be having a serious rethink on his support for the highly successful corporate lawyer, immediate past Chairman of the NBA-SBL and Co-Chair of the recently concluded NBA Annual General Conference (AGC). Unless the rift which a source close to the power broker described as having “far reaching consequences” is resolved prior to the opening of ballot, it may eclipse a major support base for Akpata.

Like Alegeh, he is also from Edo State. This is seen as perhaps his biggest hurdle. What is more, Article 2.2(d) of the Second Schedule to the NBA Constitution provides that “Where a position is zoned to any particular geographical zone, the position shall be rotated and held in turn by the different groups and/or sections in the geographical zone.” Akpata is seen as having the brightest chance to wrestle the NBA Presidency from the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria who have dominated the post for a long time. A similar potent quest by fiery former NBA General Secretary, Mr. Afam Osigwe was aborted midstream, as he was disqualified by the electoral body. He however blames his ‘political detractors’ for his fate.

Bar watchers told CITY LAWYER at the weekend that unless both Ajibade and Akpata are able to reach an understanding before the elections, they are bound to split their key support base – NBA Lagos Branch – down the middle. Usoro is a member of the branch. Ajibade’s emergence on the scene may have put him in a quandary, even as speculations are rife on whether the NBA President is privy to his quest.

Ajibade’s emergence has also seemingly torpedoed several permutations. A source close to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), Lagos Zone Chairman told CITY LAWYER thus: “You will know that he would not have resolved to run for NBA Presidency without the support of past and present Bar Leaders.”

Some analysts however argue that his entry into the race has only given additional boost to Akpata’s quest, adding that the Bar is set for a repeat of the 2014 NBA presidential race when three core South West candidates ran against former NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN. With the three candidates – Mrs. Funke Adekoya SAN, Chief Adeniyi Akintola SAN and Mr. Dele Adesina SAN – splitting the South West votes, Alegeh coasted to victory with a total of 691 votes. His runner-up, Adesina, SAN polled 370 votes, Adekoya garnered 255 votes, Akintola received 126 votes while Osas Erhabor brought the rear with 17 votes. The three core South West candidates polled 751 votes, 60 votes more than Alegeh’s.

Some analysts also argue that Ajibade is not a ‘Bar-man,’ adding that his candidacy is not materially different from Akpata’s since they are both successful commercial lawyers from the “Corporate Bloc” of the NBA. But his camp disagrees, saying that his litany of services to the Bar is there for all to see.

The advent of Alegeh has led to a string of successive NBA Presidents emerging from the corporate bloc or ‘big law firms.’ Feelers by CITY LAWYER at the weekend indicate that the face-off between the ‘corporate’ and ‘Bar-men’ blocs will continue and intensify in the forthcoming elections, as the ‘Bar-men’ are desperate to wrest power from their heavy spending corporate counterparts.

A veteran of sorts in the NBA Presidency race, Adesina has his major support base in Ikeja Branch where he held several posts. Ditto for Akinboro who is also a czar of sorts in the Abuja Bar circles. Both are seen as no push-overs in the forthcoming NBA Elections, though some Bar watchers contend that there are a few chinks in their armours which would become apparent as the campaigns heat up.

Ajibade is touted as a go-to lawyer by several international rating agencies including Who is Who Legal, Chambers Global and IFLR 1000. According to a biography by Who is Who Legal, Ajibade is the Managing Partner of SPA Ajibade & Co, a leading corporate and commercial law firm with offices in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja, Nigeria.

“Babatunde is a dispute resolution specialist and has substantial expertise in international commercial arbitration, especially in the fields of company law, energy law, labour law, hospitality law and investment treaty law. He has acted as counsel in arbitration proceedings involving complicated shareholder disputes arising from alleged breaches of restrictive pre-emptive rights and damages claims arising from alleged breaches of hotel development and management contracts. He has also conducted several ad hoc references and is currently coordinating an investment treaty arbitration claim against a host state. Babatunde also sits as an arbitrator and is currently presiding as sole arbitrator in an international commercial arbitration with its seat in Lagos involving alleged breaches of the terms of an international executive employment contract and as a co-arbitrator in a complicated energy dispute involving crude oil handling, also with its seat in Lagos.

“Babatunde also has extensive experience in all aspects of corporate and commercial litigation. He has prosecuted and defended numerous claims relating to corporate disputes acting on the instructions of shareholders, directors or their companies. He has also prosecuted and defended several claims on behalf of and against banks and insurance companies. He has a firm grasp of the commercial issues involved in such litigation.

“Babatunde also has extensive experience in transactional corporate and commercial legal practice and has been involved in the formation, maintenance and regulation of all types of business entities in Nigeria. He has been involved in the Nigerian capital market as a solicitor in several public offers of securities and in mergers and acquisitions and was the pioneer secretary, vice chairman and is a past chairman of the Capital Market Solicitors Association. He was vice chairman of the rules and regulations sub-committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s capital markets committee, a member of council and vice chairman of the banking, finance and insolvency sub-committee of the Nigerian Bar Association’s section on business law.

“Babatunde is a vice president of the ICC Arbitration Commission’s steering committee, a member of the ICC’s Africa Commission, a director of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC), a member of the LCIA’s African Users Council, a member of the Lagos Court of Arbitration and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Nigeria branch.

“Babatunde was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989. He obtained a LLM degree in corporate and commercial law in 1990 and a PhD in private international law in 1996, both from King’s College London. He was elevated to the rank of senior advocate of Nigeria in December 2007. He was awarded the International Practice Fellowship of the International Bar Association in Madrid in October 2009 and he became a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK in January 2015.”

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

SOWORE: ‘DO NOT INTIMIDATE JUDGES,’ UBANI WARNS DSS

The immediate past Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2nd Vice President, Mr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani has blasted the Department of State Security (DSS) for its refusal to release Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the Convener of #RevolutionNow.

He also lampooned the security agency for its alleged plan to drag Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court to the National Judicial Council over his decision to grant bail to Sowore. Justice Taiwo had refused to extend the 45 days detention order against the Sahara Reporters publisher and former students’ union leader.

Mr. Ubani said that he “is clearly at a loss as  how and when court’s decision has become a ground for petitioning NJC,” adding: “What is the allegation against Justice Taiwo Taiwo in the first place? Is it that he has no jurisdiction to release Mr. Sowore after the expiration of the detention order or that the court has lost all the powers under the law to make orders that do not favour DSS in Nigeria anymore? I cannot understand the meaning and substance of the alleged threat to petition him to NJC.”

Mr. Ubani warned that should DSS insist on the petition, “they must also not forget to report to NJC that it was the same Justice Taiwo Taiwo that granted them the detention of Mr. Sowore for 45 days in their detention centre. That information is very important to be disclosed to NJC.”

According to the human rights activist, “It is high time lawyers stood up against this calamitous destruction of the legal system by the security agencies in Nigeria. We lawyers cannot keep quiet anymore because they are trying to destroy the only area where we are operating, which is the court.

“Judiciary is the only place where we operate, so if they succeed in destroying it no one will have regard and respect for us and for the country. If lawyers allow the Judiciary to be emasculated by the executive we are finished, Nigeria is gone, the legal profession is finished.”

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.