EX BODY OF BENCHERS CHAIR, ABDULLAHI IBRAHIM IS DEAD

Foremost senior lawyer and former Chairman of Body of Benchers, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN is dead. CITY LAWYER can authoritatively confirm that the leading lawyer died this afternoon.

Confirming the incident, a Partner in his law firm told CITY LAWYER thus: “He’s gone. He died this afternoon.” Alhaji Ibrahim is suspected to have died in Abuja from heart complications. A trending online post stated: “Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun the death of Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN has just been announced right now in Abuja from a heart ailment. May Allah swt forgive his indiscretions and grant him jannatul firdaus.” A former Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice in one of the South West states had also posted thus: “May Allah grant Alhaji Abdullahi Ibraheem, SAN aljannah fridaus. Ameen.”

Ibrahim was a Commissioner, International Boundary, National Boundary Commission from 2000 to 2006. He was a member of the Nigerian team that successfully negotiated the Maritime Boundary Treaty between Nigeria and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and also the Unitization Agreement of the Zafiro/Ekanga oil fields. He was Nigeria’s Agent and later Co-Agent in the dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Cameroon at the International Court of Justice, the Hague Netherlands. He also led the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations conference on the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Below is his biography as posted on his law firm’s website:

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, CON, FCIArb, FINALS, SAN.

Our founding Partner; he was called to the English Bar in 1963 where he practised in chambers for a while before returning to Nigeria. He was later called to the Nigerian Bar in 1964. He was at different times legal adviser at the then Ministry of Finance, Northern Nigeria and New Nigeria Development Company; a one-time Senior State Counsel and head of prosecutions at the Ministry of Justice, Kano State; Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim has since 1973 remained in active private legal practice.

He was admitted into the Inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) (equivalent of a QC in England) in 1982. He is a Notary Public, a Life member of the Body of Benchers and was the Body’s Vice Chairman and Chairman between 1999 and 2001. He was a member of the National Judicial Council (NJC) between 2004 and 2008; Chairman, Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee between 2001 and 2006 and also Chairman, Legal Aid Council from 1990 to 1994.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria (FCIArb) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) (MCIArb), he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Nigeria (FINALS).

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim served the nation at various times in several capacities as Commissioner for Education in the old Kwara State, Nigeria, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Technology; Minister of Transport and Aviation and as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He was a Commissioner, International Boundary, National Boundary Commission from 2000 to 2006. He was a member of the Nigerian team that successfully negotiated the Maritime Boundary Treaty between Nigeria and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and also the Unitization Agreement of the Zafiro/Ekanga oil fields. He was Nigeria’s Agent and later Co-Agent in the dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Cameroon at the International Court of Justice, the Hague Netherlands. Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim also led the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations conference on the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

In acknowledgement of his contribution to the Nation he was conferred with the National honour/Award of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) and later Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). He was also conferred with the honours/Award of Gran Cruz de la Orden de la independencia de Guinea Ecutorial by the Government of Equatorial Guinea for his service to the country and Nigeria.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim was Chairman Nigerian Stock Exchange, Kaduna Branch and as a member of the National Stock Exchange he was the first Vice President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1989. He was Chairman, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs from 1988 to 1994 and also Chairman of New Nigeria Development Company between 1992 and 1998.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim has acted as Amicus Curiae in several contentious matters before the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of the Nigerian Law and legal System, he was conferred with an honorary Doctorate Degree in Law (LLD, Honoris Causa) by the University of Kogi, Nigeria in 2008.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim is a seasoned Arbitrator; he once sat and he is currently a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, Netherlands. He has chaired and sat as a member of several Arbitration panels. He is very much interested in International law, Taxation/Revenue Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Investment Law and core litigation.

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BREAKING: BODY OF BENCHERS OKAYS NOUN GRADUATES FOR LAW SCHOOL

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

Nigeria’s Body of Benchers has approved admission of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) graduates into the Nigerian Law School, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report.

The decision by the apex regulator of the legal profession in Nigeria was taken at its meeting held today.

There has been a cat-and-mouse tussle between the Benchers and the NOUN graduates, as the body had insisted that NOUN graduates did not meet the requirements for admission to the Law School.

Before now, all pleas to the Body of Benchers to resolve the impasse met a brickwall until today’s breakthrough.

More details shortly.

Guy Ikokwu Wants NBA Election Cancelled

Veteran politician and senior lawyer, Chief Guy Ikokwu has called for the cancellation of the controversial Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Officers Election.

In a statement titled “TO BE FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED,” Ikokwu who has clocked 56 years at the Bar, stated that the election was “fraught with problems which had not been resolved even as at the date of the voting exercise.”

The vocal lawyer urged the Body of Benches to “fashion a more credible system for a new voting exercise for the BAR to regain its honour which is currently being subjected to unnecessary disdain and ignominy.”

Mr. Paul Usoro SAN was declared winner of the election while the defeated presidential candidates, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN and Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN poked holes in the exercise.

The statement reads:

20th August, 2018

TO BE FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED

We all know and realize that computer systems have always been faulted or manipulated if they are left unchecked. The usual saying in reference to computers is “Garbage in Garbage out”

In the United States today the issue of computer hacking is having monumental effect on the relations between America and Russia. In America itself there is a dysfunctional relationship between the Presidency and the Senate and the House of Representatives (Congress) which has been investigating the issue of hacking of the2016 USA elections by Russian Agents. Even in the United States they have both electronic and manual voting systems. Where there is a dispute, a losing candidate can request a recount of the votes cast manually to have an exact result not subject to further disputation.

The election result of the Premier Branch of Lagos with thousands of accredited lawyers have not been subjected to any dispute in the last 10 years, because of our system of accreditation, verification and voting at the same venue, same date, and same hours with representatives of the contestants and elected experienced supervisors of the exercise.

The system is such that eligible legal voters are not disenfranchised by any system unless the lawyer does not want to vote or is not available in person.

The last NBA election 2 years ago was also fraught with e-voting problems which led to a High Court pending litigation. This current election exercise was also fraught with problems which had not been resolved even as at the date of the voting exercise which is a real shame for the legal profession in Nigeria.

I saw the dangers ahead in this exercise and had to post a warning that the BAR must utilize a system that is full proof no matter who the contestants are. The current failed system has to be challenged effectively so that we can have a credible system which combines electronic and manual accreditation of voting no matter whose ox is gored.

The current National Executive should therefore suspend any further declaration through the current malfunctioning system which may have been systematically hacked for the endorsement of the National Conference holding in Abuja. The body of benchers can be entrusted to fashion a more credible system for a new voting exercise for the BAR to regain its honour which is currently being subjected to unnecessary disdain and ignominy.

The member of lawyers disenfranchised is far greater than the merging of votes between the contestants! It must be cancelled for a proper election machinery to be set up and salvage the reputation of Nigerian lawyers! I am not bordered about who wins but about the probity of the system, its transparency and lack of manipulation and inordinate disenfranchisement.

* Chief Ikokwu, a member of NBA Lagos Branch, was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1962