CALL TO BAR: ‘WE RECORDED OVER 70% SUCCESS RATE,’ SAYS LAW SCHOOL D-G

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma SAN yesterday rated the leading vocational training institution highly, saying its graduates posted over 70 per cent success rate at the Bar Final examinations held last January.

In his address at the Call to Bar ceremony held yesterday, Chiroma traced the “humble beginning” of the school in 1963 “with 8 students at its one block Campus at 213A, Igbosere Road, Lagos,” and observed that “the Nigerian Law School has grown to a six-Campus Institution spread across the country with a yearly intake of well over 6,000 (six thousand) students as stated above.”

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), the Law School chief executive said that the school has enjoyed unbroken academic sessions in its 58-year history, attributing the feat to “the insistence of the Council of Legal Education on the good character of the students as a condition for both admission into the Law School and recommendation for Call to the Bar.”

Chiroma stated that while 1,779 of the 2,515 candidates who sat for the Bar Finals scaled the hurdle, five of the candidates or 0.2 per cent bagged First Class Honours. Seventy-six (3.06%) candidates received Second Class Upper grade while 633 (25.17%) candidates were graded in Second Class Lower rank. Another 1,065 (42.43%) candidates recorded a Pass grade.

His words: “These figures translate to 70.86% success at the Bar Final Examinations. I wish to assure all of you that we shall remain the gate keepers of our noble profession. As Teachers and Administrators, we will continue to uphold the standard and integrity of the Bar.”

Chiroma stated that the knowledge “acquired and expressed” by candidates “brings great joy to the entire Nigerian Law School Community,” adding: “After your Call to the Bar, you will become new wigs of the Nigerian Bar and proud members of our noble profession. I rejoice and congratulate you all for your hard work, dedication and steadfastness. To all our proud parents, guardians and relations, I invite you all to share in the success and joy of these candidates we are celebrating today.”

On the contributions of the Law School to national development, Chiroma noted that both the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice among others are all alumni of the school, adding that “It is also significant to note that a large number of members of other tiers of government in the country are products of the School.

“The school has also contributed to the training of the legal man-power for our sister African countries like the Republic of the Gambia, the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Republic of Cameroun. A number of countries from East and West Africa have visited the Law school to solicit information and assistance on the establishment and development of the Law School in their various countries. As reported in my address to your distinguished body at the last Call ceremony the Nigerian Law School received a high powered delegation from the Law Development Centre, Uganda, who were in Nigeria on bench marking and working visit to the Nigerian Law School and more of such collaborations have continued to come.

“Products of the School have commanding presence in other spheres of public and private sector such as the Ex-Military, Police, Customs, Immigration, the Oil and Gas sector, Banking and Finance, Insurance and the Corporate world in general, Professors/lecturers in the Universities and other tertiary institutions. Some of these products have achieved profound feat of getting to the top of their career nationally and across borders.”

Chiroma thanked President Muhammadu Buhari “for all the proactive measures taken aimed at curbing the spread and eradication of the disease in our dear country.” Turning to Malami, the Law School Director-General said: “May I at this time respectfully seek the leave of Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Body of Benchers, to thank our supervisory Ministry – the Federal Ministry of Justice headed by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Life Bencher for the support always given to us as an institution.”

Showering encomiums on the Council of Legal Education chaired by leading litigator and Bar Leader, Chief Emeka Ngige SAN for its oversight, Chiroma said: “I will also wish to thank the Chairman and Members of the Council of Legal Education, our parent body for their support and guidance at all times.

“The same appreciation goes to the Chairman and members of the Body of Benchers for their constant support and encouragement. I must also mention the Secretariat of the distinguished body for its co-operation with us at all times. Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could hold your body from discharging your primary and essential duties with the usual and huge cooperation of the Council of Legal Education and staff of Nigerian Law School.”

Chiroma congratulated Mr. Olumide Akpata for his victory at the poll while thanking the immediate past NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN “for his contribution to the Nigerian Law School, Nigerian Bar Association and the Legal Profession in general.”

Among those admitted to the Nigerian Bar at the ceremony held at the Eagle Square, Abuja was veteran Nollywood actor, Mr. Kanayo O. Kanayo MFR.

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.

AJIBADE SPONSORS TECH INITIATIVES FOR YOUNG LAWYERS

Leading Nigerian Bar Association presidential candidate, Mr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN has vowed that he will reengineer the technology ecosystem in the legal industry if elected President come July 30.

Unveiling “Opportunities for Lawyers,” a cutting-edge online portal designed to connect lawyers to latest life-changing opportunities around the world, Ajibade observed that “Technology has become a part of everyday life in today’s world.”

Noting that the legal profession “is not left out” in the pervasive and disruptive inroad of technology, the cerebral senior lawyer stated that “We can either use tech or we can be scared of tech. If you ask me, we should use tech; we should take advantage of tech. We should enable tech to improve our processes.” He observed that technology has been deployed at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic to deliver many meetings and virtual conferences which “we have attended without leaving the comfort of our homes.”

Giving more insights into the groundbreaking App, Ajibade who has served the NBA in several critical positions said: “Not only am I encouraging us to use tech; I have invested in tech. I invested in the development of an App called ‘Opportunities for Lawyers.’ It’s a wonderful App. It’s available on iOs, on android and on the web. It provides opportunities for lawyers all over the world – scholarships, trainings, contests – everything a young lawyer needs to get ahead.”

Unveiling another initiative, the NBA presidential candidate who is very popular in the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) circuit, said: “One other thing that I am investing in is developing a pilot project for digital learning. I think that it’s is a veritable way for dealing with our continuing legal education problems, with training for young lawyers coming out of the Law School.”

He emphasized that “We must take full advantage of what is happening in that space to move our profession forward,” adding: “We need to re-orientate ourselves: our judges have to be retooled; our courts have to be retooled; we, lawyers have to be retooled – we need to learn a new way of doing things.”

The online platform, “Opportunities for Lawyers” was launched on May 2, 2020. It is available on Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opportunitiesforlawyers&hl=en) and Apple Stores (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/opportunities-forlawyers/id1510602360?ls=1). Non-smart phone users can visit www.opportunitiesforlawyers.com from their browsers on laptops, ipad, computer desktop and any other system with internet connection and access the site.

According to the Chief Editor of the American Team, Mr. Reginald Sagay, the application will be available free of cost to lawyers. “For this, we thank the Co-vice chair of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN for his immense support, which has made it possible for lawyers across the world to have free access to this product,” said Sagay.

Ajibade had earlier stated that while the current NBA administration has taken positive steps with regard to integrating the use of technology in advancing the cause of the legal profession, “If elected, I will leverage and build on this good work by ensuring that the NBA makes maximum use of available technology to achieve its various objectives. I will explore various platforms that can be used to improve on the NBA’s data gathering, information dissemination and management. I will also explore various means of providing digital learning and training to members.

“Another area in which I will get the NBA to employ the use of technology is with the stamp and seal requirement under the RPC. This scheme was put in place in an attempt to eliminate the scourge of fake lawyers and has been a source of constant complaints since its inception. The complaints range from the logistics of receiving the stamp and seal to the fact that the stamps and seals have an expiry date. I have entered into discussions with technology service providers who assure me that the stamp and seal scheme can be digitalized and dispensed electronically. I will pursue the implementation of this innovation as it will not only address the complaints concerning the stamp and seal scheme as presently implemented but will dovetail seamlessly into the developments that are now being explored in the administration of justice with electronic filing of court processes and virtual hearings. If elected, I will ensure that the NBA builds and expands on all these initiatives and maximizes the use of available technology to achieve its various objectives.”

Non-smart phone users can visit www.opportunitiesforlawyers.com from their browsers on laptops, ipad, computer desktop and any other system with internet connection to access the site. ‘Opportunities for Lawyers’ has social media platforms for latest opportunities and engagement such as

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Oppsforlawyers?s=03 

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/opportunitiesforlawyers

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/oportunities-for-lawyers

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrj7aA_NGx4JLm1sjrXAWyw 

NGIGE, AJIBADE, LAW SCHOOL DIRECTOR X-RAY ALUMNI IMPACT ON LEGAL PROFESSION, YOUNG LAWYERS

Top Bar leaders will on Saturday discuss the role of alumni networks on the legal profession.

Organised by the Nigerian Law School Class of 1989, an accredited NBA CLE Service Provider, the virtual conference is part of a series of webinars designed to highlight trends in continuing legal education, mentorship for young lawyers and the role of alumni in catalyzing growth in the legal industry.

The theme of the conference which holds at 2 pm is “NLS Alumni Networks and the Development of the Legal Profession.”

Listed as one of the discussants is prominent Bar Leader and Chairman of Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN). Another key discussant is leading Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN).

Other panelists are Mrs. Elizabeth Max-Uba, Secretary of Council of Legal Education & Director of Administration, Nigerian Law School and Mr. AbdulHakeem Mustapha (SAN), Principal Partner in A.U. Mustapha [SAN] & Co. He was Chairman of the Audit Committee of FINBANK PLC and is currently the President of the Business School Netherlands Alumni Association, Nigeria.

The conference will be moderated by Chief Osuala E. Nwagbara, General Secretary of the Class of 1989 and Managing Partner at Maritime and Commercial Law Partners.

According to a statement by top justice sector consultant and the Chief Editor of LEGALPEDIA, Mr. Emeka Albert, “the third in a series of webinars aimed at opening up vital conversations among lawyers on mentoring, CLE and support to the Nigerian Law School. Dr. Ajibade, being a strong supporter of the cause of our Class, is expected to provide uncommon insights on the subject consistent with his experience and track record.” Albert also doubles as the Chairman of the Nigerian Law School Class of 1989.

The class has recently held webinars on “Online Continuing Legal Education (e-CLE) in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond: Challenges, Benefits and Prospects” and “e-Mentoring for young lawyers: A paradigm shift.”

Prospective participants are required to register for the free virtual conference at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ocOCqqjotHdZDEe3ITruE-8nn59KWDEDG. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Ajibade has gained renown as a cerebral lawyer and leading facilitator of continuing legal education in the legal industry. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1989 and elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in December 2007. He obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1988. He obtained a Master of Laws degree in Corporate and Commercial Law from King’s College, University of London in 1990 and a Doctorate Degree in Private International Law from the same university in 1996.

Ajibade is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, an International Practice Fellow of the International Bar Association (IBA) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom. He combines the roles of advocate, a corporate/commercial solicitor, an administrator and a reformer and is reputed to have excelled in each of these areas.

The Nigerian Law School Class of 1989 donated an e-platform to its alma mater as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. The facility is aimed to support quality training and retraining of Law School students and young lawyers. The electronic platform is reputed as a first in Africa aimed at transforming legal education and legal practice.

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.

NGIGE, BAR LEADER AND CLE CHAIR, CLOCKS 59

Consummate Bar Leader and Chairman of Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige SAN is 59 years today. Fondly called “Emeka Ngige” by his teeming admirers, the renowned activist Bar Leader was born on 11th July, 1961 to the family of late Chief Pius & Mrs. Priscilla Ngige of Urueze-Ide Village, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He is the last of seven children.

Shortly after the end of the civil war in 1970 Chief Ngige started his primary education at St. Francis Primary School, Uruezeani, Alor in 1970 and completed same at St. Patrick’s Primary School, Ogbete, Enugu. In 1974 he was admitted to St. John’s Secondary School, Alor for his secondary school education. He graduated in 1979 with the much coveted Division 1 grade.

After his secondary school education and precisely between August 1979 and September 1980, Chief Ngige had a stint with the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity where he worked as a clerical officer. In September 1980 he gained admission to study Law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNN). He graduated in July 1984.

In August 1984 he was admitted to the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island for his Bar Qualifying Examinations. He successfully completed the programme in 1985 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar on 23rd August, 1985.

Following his call to the Nigerian Bar, Chief Ngige was posted to Ondo State for the mandatory National Youth Service (NYSC) programme. His primary place of assignment was at the Nigeria Police Force, State CID, Akure where he prosecuted criminal matters on behalf of the Police.

Upon completion of his national youth service in 1986, Chief Ngige was employed as a Pupil Counsel in the Chambers of G. N. Uwechue & Co., Lagos. Chief Ngige practised in the law firm for four years and rose through the ranks to the position of Deputy Head of Chambers. In September 1990 Chief Ngige set up his law firm, Emeka Ngige & Co at the same Bank Chambers building before moving to his present location at Lewis Street in central Lagos.

Chief Ngige was on 10th July, 1992 appointed a Notary Public for Nigeria by then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Mohammed Bello. In 2002 Chief Ngige was adjudged to have achieved legal excellence and distinction, and elevated to the enviable rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on account of his contributions to the development of Nigeria’s legal profession. Chief Ngige was one of the private legal practitioners engaged by the Government to prosecute cases at the Failed Banks Tribunal at Enugu and Lagos. He was also among the private legal practitioners engaged by the Federal Government to represent the government in various cases filed by the Abacha family to stall the recovery efforts of the Government.

Chief Ngige is a consummate Bar man and has held various offices in the Nigerian Bar Association. He was a member of National Executive of the association between August 1991 and September 2016. Between 1995 and 1997, he served as Publicity Secretary, NBA Lagos Branch. He later became the Branch Secretary between 1997 and 1999. He was in 2009 appointed a member of the Body of Benchers as a representative of the NBA. He remained in that Body till November 2012.

He was also a member of the NBA National Disciplinary Committee between 2002 and 2004. Chief Ngige is a longstanding Assistant Secretary of Body of Senior of Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), having mounted the saddle since 2005. Chief Ngige also doubles as the Chairman of Class of ‘85 Nigerian Law School Alumni. The Class is among the alumni classes supporting the Nigerian Law School in various aspects including donation of law books and other materials.

Highly passionate about Bar governance, Ngige contested for NBA Presidency in 2012 and lost in very controversial circumstances. Subsequently, he penned a memorandum on Bar reforms, saying: “Every effort must be made to insulate the Election Committee from the influence, authority, direction or control of the National Secretariat or the National Officers. Under no circumstance should the Election Committee take directives or instruction from a National Officer or the National Secretariat.”

On 22nd May, 2019 Chief Ngige was appointed a non-executive Director of Air Peace Ltd, one of Nigeria’s leading airlines. A week later and precisely on the 28th May, 2019 Chief Ngige was inaugurated as Chairman, Council of Legal Education (CLE) by the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN.

Chief Ngige is happily married to Mrs. Ogochukwu Ngige (Nee Anichebe), a civil servant with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO). The lovebirds are blessed with four children. In recognition of his contributions to his community, Chief Ngige was conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Ikemba N’Alor.”

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.

YOUNG LAWYERS: AJIBADE, OWONIKOKO, ETIABA, OTHERS SPEAK ON e-MENTORING SATURDAY

Prominent senior lawyers will on Saturday x-ray the emerging issue of online mentoring as it relates to Nigeria’s young lawyers. The webinar is scheduled for 1 pm and hosted by the Nigerian Law School Class of 1989.

Among the speakers at the webinar are leading Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential aspirant, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN. Ajibade is the Managing Partner of S. P. A. Ajibade & Co and the first member of the class to take silk.

Other discussants are leading litigators, Mr. Jelili Owonikoko SAN and Mr. Emeka Etiaba SAN, as well as Mrs. Morenike Obi-Farinde, Founder of Online Dispute Resolution Africa Network.

The moderator of the webinar is leading justice sector consultant and Chairman of the Nigerian Law School Class of 1989, Mr. Emeka Albert who is also the Chief Editor of LEGALPEDIA.

To register for this webinar, click on
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYodu6ppz8oHNYJjCzFHXIPqi6Met06zPBg. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

It is recalled that the Nigerian Law School Class of 1989 donated an e-platform to its alma mater as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations. The facility is aimed to support quality training and retraining of Law School students and especially young lawyers. The e-platform is reputed as a first in Africa aimed at transforming legal education and legal practice. The webinar will among others x-ray the e-mentoring module of the platform especially as it relates to young lawyers.

 

According to a statement by Albert, “This is the second in a series of webinars aimed at opening up vital conversations among lawyers on mentoring, CLE and support to the Nigerian Law School. Dr. Ajibade, being a strong supporter of the cause of our Class, is expected to provide uncommon insights on the subject consistent with his experience and track record.”

Ajibade has gained renown as a cerebral lawyer and leading facilitator of continuing legal education in the legal industry. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1989 and elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in December 2007.

He obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1988. He obtained a Master of Laws degree in Corporate and Commercial Law from King’s College, University of London in 1990 and a Doctorate Degree in Private International Law from the same university in 1996.

Ajibade is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, an International Practice Fellow of the International Bar Association (IBA) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom. He combines the roles of advocate, a corporate/commercial solicitor, an administrator and a reformer and is reputed to have excelled in each of these areas.

On his part, Albert is a renowned justice sector reform consultant and Lead at LEGALPEDIA, a foremost software company. He has presented several papers on technology and disruption in the legal industry. Speaking on the impact of technology in law practice, he said: “both Law and Technology are dynamic. But often we, as lawyers, are slow to changing our process. We tend to treat our process as our changeless precedents. That is where we have the conflict with transformative technologies. But technological disruptions are inevitable and unstoppable.”

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.

NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL DEBUNKS ALLEGED N70M SCAM

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

* SAYS: ‘WE HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE’

The Nigerian Law School has described as misleading, the report that it approved the payment of N32 million to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months. The school also denied giving out an alleged N36 million as a dressing allowance to an individual against Nigeria’s extant laws.

Secretary of the Council and Director of Administration, E. Max-Uba, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Isa Hayatu-Chiroma, (SAN), was wrongly quoted when he appeared at a public hearing.

The public hearing was conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts (SPAC), in connection with the annual report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the Accounts of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the year ended December 31, 2015.

NLS STATEMENT

The institution admitted that queries were raised from the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation with regard to the payment of N36 million as dressing allowance and N32 million as payment to an unnamed cleaner over a 12-month period. It also said explanations were given on how the funds were spent without violation of extant laws.

It said: “The payments of N401,000 (Four Hundred and One Thousand Naira), N413,600 (Four Hundred and Thirteen Thousand Naira ) respectively were travelling expenses of the Nigerian Law School Pension Board of Trustee (BOT) members to visit the Chairman of the pensioners association who was terminally ill. N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) was the benefit for the next of kin of the deceased Chairman of the pensioners association.The institution said traditionally there is a dress code for its staff and students as part of its work ethics.”

On the allegation that sum of N34,330,500 (Thirty Four Million, Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand Five Hundred Hundred Naira) was at several times paid to members of staff as provision and cleaning allowance, the school sadi: “The payments were not personnel cost and so did not require the approval of NSIWC. These were overhead cost items for telephone bills, toiletries, cleaning and related items. The payments were on mandates into individual bank
accounts of staff and not to a single person. The documents evidencing these payments are still available.”

“ln furtherance of this tradition, the council approved a scheme and condition of service on March 10, 2009, that provides in part, the payment of 10 per cent dressing allowance to its staff. The payments were made into the individual bank accounts of staff and not a single person as erroneously reported.”

She assured Nigerians that there was no fraud in the Nigerian Law School and also that the school would appear before the Senate this week to make further explanations on other queries.

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.