FORMER SCRIBE HAILS NBA AT NEC

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 1ST Assistant Secretary, Mr. Okey Leo Ohagba has advised lawyers to be “more selfless in offering meaningful contributions towards repositioning the NBA as that Voice of the Voiceless.”

In a goodwill message to NBA National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC) members, he also called on lawyers to “focus more on welfare and capacity building programs for lawyers (especially the young lawyers), so as to enable them compete more favorably in the emerging global legal market.”

Below is the full text of the message.

GOODWILL MESSAGE

It is my profound pleasure to felicitate with the NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN, NBA NEC Members and observers alike, as we converge in Abuja for the National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting of our dear Association, holding from the 4th to the 6th day of December, 2019.

As we gather to lend our voices for the good of our Nation and particularly our NBA, I call on us to be more selfless in offering meaningful contributions towards repositioning the NBA as that “Voice of the Voiceless”, particularly at a time when our nation’s core democratic foundations are being threatened, even more overtly.

Let me also remind us that the future of the Bar and Legal Profession in Nigeria can only be assessed by the level of investment we make today in younger members of the profession. Therefore, I urge us to focus more on welfare and capacity building programs for lawyers (especially the young lawyers), so as to enable them compete more favorably in the emerging global legal market.

Finally, I wish the NBA – NEC, fruitful deliberations and meaningful resolutions. Do have a pleasant stay in the Federal Capital Territory

and journey mercies to and fro your respective abodes.

With Compliments from;

Okey Leo Ohagba

Immediate Past NBA 1st Asst. Secretary

ODUAH TASKS NBA AKURE ON POLITY

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Treasurer, Joyce Oduah has tasked NBA Akure Branch to “look at myriads of challenges facing our polity and proffer deep and lasting solutions.”

In a Press Statement made available to CITY LAWYER, Oduah hailed the branch on its Law Week which kicked off today, “especially the intellectual discourse sessions.”

Below are details of the statement.

“I congratulate the Executive Committee, Elders and Members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Akure Branch on the occasion of their 2019 Law Week and Dinner which commences from Monday 2nd – Friday 6th December, 2019 in Akure, Ondo State.

“I believe as you celebrate this week’s activities, especially the intellectual discourse sessions, you will be able to critically take a look at myriads of challenges facing our polity and proffer deep and lasting solutions that will have a far lasting positive effect on the polity of our great country.

“Once again, I say congratulations and God bless.”

Joyce Oduah, FCIMC
Former National Treasurer, NBA. 2012-2014.
1st ASST. SECRETARY, NBA LAGOS. 2000-2002
PUBLICITY SECRETARY, NBA LAGOS. 2007-2009
SOCIAL SECRETARY, NBA LAGOS. 2009-2011.

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SBL HOLDS FORUM ON BUSINESS STRATEGY TODAY

The Law Practice Management Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (SBL-LPMC) will today hold a forum in Lagos to educate lawyers on strategies for business realignment.

In a statement by the Chairman of NBA Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), Mr. Seni Adio SAN and made available to CITY LAWYER, the organisers stated that the workshop would among others focus on the “critical need for innovation, dynamic change and capacity building in the legal profession.”

Below is the full text of the press statement.

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MUOKA URGES EBF TO TACKLE NATIONAL ISSUES

Former Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, Mr. Alex Muoka has urged members of the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) to tackle “issues of compelling national urgency” as they meet today in the “Garden City” of Port Harcourt.
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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.

NGIGE TO CHAIR LAW SCHOOL ALUMNI E-PORTAL LAUNCH

Leading litigator and Chairman of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige SAN will hold court tomorrow as the 1989 Class of the Nigerian Law School launches its ground-breaking e-Learning/e-Mentoring/e-Continuing Legal Education (CLE) portal. The event is a part of the activities to mark the 30th anniversary reunion Dinner & Awards of the Nigerian Law School Alumni Class of 1989. Continue Reading

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.

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.

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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.