ANXIETY OVER FROSTY BAR-BENCH TIES IN LAGOS

There are strong indications that relations between the Bar and Bench in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, may have taken a nose-dive.

CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report that this state of affairs is causing serious anxiety within Lagos Bar circles, and was a major topic at yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch.

In particular, there is a seeming frosty relationship between the branch and the leadership of the Bench in the state. CITY LAWYER reliably gathered that several efforts by the branch leadership to pay a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba have so far proved abortive. In fact, there are strong indications that letters to this effect received no response till date. It was unclear at press time whether the Chief Judge is aware of the requests.

CITY LAWYER gathered that similar efforts by the branch Judiciary Relations Committee led by the respected former NBA presidential candidate, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN to broker a visit have also met a brick wall. There are indications that though the committee developed protocols to assist the judiciary in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protests, its inability to meet with the Chief Judge truncated plans to convey the protocols to the state judiciary.

In fact, the branch had at its October 26, 2020 meeting resolved as follows: “That the Judicial Relations Committee of the Branch (“the Committee”) should communicate with the President of the Court of Appeal, the Presiding Justice of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judge of Lagos State to commiserate with them on these events and seek audience with them to discuss short and long term measures that can be put in place to address the challenges presented to the administration of justice as a result of these unfortunate occurrences at the premises of the courts.”

CITY LAWYER gathered that an atmosphere of despair has enveloped the branch which is by far the largest NBA branch, even as there are concerns in legal circles that the inability of the Bar and Bench to collaborate may hamper justice delivery in Nigeria’s most populous city.

The situation is apparently giving the branch leadership and the Judiciary Relations Committee grey hairs, as CITY LAWYER reliably gathered that they are now soliciting help from all quarters to enable the branch interface with the Chief Judge to convey lawyers’ concerns and challenges to the respected jurist.

Efforts by CITY LAWYER to speak with Mrs. Ololade Ige, the Public Affairs Officer for Lagos State Judiciary, have so far proved abortive.

It is however recalled that last July the Chief Judge was Chairman of the Branch virtual conference on “COVID-19, Access to Justice and Human Rights Violations” where he had relentless exchanges with fiery human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN. CITY LAWYER also gathered that the no-nonsense jurist had hosted the Ikeja Branch of the Bar.

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AKPATA, UNILAG DEAN, OTHERS TO SPEAK AT LMDC/YOUNG LAWYERS’ FORUM

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Olumide Akpata and foremost legal expert and Dean of Law, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa are among leading jurists billed to speak at a webinar in preparation for the 1st Online Settlement Month in Africa themed ‘Resolving Disputes Through Technology in Africa.’

The virtual workshop is a partnership between the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young Lawyers Forum (NBA YLF) and Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC).

Other speakers expected at tomorrow’s webinar holding at 11 a. m. are the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba; Lagos State Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN; Justice T. Oyekan-Abdulai; Mr. Clifford Collings, Chief Operating Officer & Mediator, ACCORD as well as former NBA Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Alex Muoka among others.

Below is the full text of the statement made available to CITY LAWYER.

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The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse invites you to attend a Webinar in preparation for the 1st Online Settlement Month in Africa themed ‘Resolving Disputes Through Technology in Africa’.

At the Webinar, you will gain first hand knowledge of the ODR Process; the effectiveness of ODR and the Online Settlement Month in the resolution of commercial and other types of disputes; understand the role of Counsel in ODR process and the types of cases that can be referred to the OSM.

As approved by the Hon. Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice K. O. Alogba, The Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (LMDC) will hold the 1st Online Settlement Month (OSM) in Africa from November 16 – December 11, 2020. The OSM is a product of the Annual Settlement and District Settlement Weeks held by the LMDC and sponsored by the Lagos State Government under its Security and Governance THEMES agenda. The purpose of the OSM is to ease Court congestion and create an opportunity for the mediation of cases online across Africa, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The LMDC Panel of Neutrals has the requisite training and experience in Mediating disputes online which cut across Banking, Telecommunications, Maritime, Aviation, Landlord and Tenant, Building and Construction, Real Estate etc.

The beauty of the Online Settlement Month is that you can resolve your disputes from any location in the world for free without leaving your homes or offices. The Terms of Settlement will also be signed online.

Registration link: http://rebrand.ly/LMDCwebinar

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag 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.