JICAM RULES: ‘P & ID CONTRACT WAS FRAUDULENT, POORLY DRAFTED,’ SAYS SAN

A senior advocate of Nigeria and chartered arbitrator, Prof. Paul Idornigie SAN at the weekend took a hard look at the controversial P & ID Case and concluded that the contract was fraudulent and poorly drafted.

Idornigie was speaking at the weekend in Abuja during the launch of the Janada International Centre for Arbitration & Mediation (JICAM) Rules 2020.

The foremost arbitrator whose paper was titled “Institutional Arbitration in Africa Post-COVID-19” stated that “the (P & ID) contract was fraudulent ab initio,” adding that “the contract was not properly drafted.”

According to Idornigie, the courts are not equipped to cure defective contracts, even as he urged arbitrators to “Africanize” arbitration by choosing Africa as the seat of arbitration in line with the “Africa Promise.”

On why Nigeria is not a leading arbitral centre and seat of arbitration, Idornigie who is also a member of the JICAM Governing Council said: “From my personal knowledge, most hearings in Nigeria are either held in hotels or law offices of the Legal Practitioners.  Such hearings whether domestic or international are not documented.  This probably accounts for the poor performance of Nigeria in this survey report.  This is without prejudice to the fact that issues of security, facilities, infrastructure and integrity of the Nigerian courts may also be factors responsible for the poor ranking of Nigeria in the continent.”

“The above lends credence to the establishment of JICAM.  JICAM is not only an arbitral centre but will perform arbitral services as it has its own Rules of Arbitration and Mediation.  These Rules are modern and comparable to other Rules like that of ICC and LCIA.  Indeed they are a blend of both.”

He stated that Nigeria’s legal framework would not adversely impact arbitral proceedings due to the advent of virtual hearings, saying: “Arbitration in Nigeria does not suffer the effect of the Evidence Act (s256(1)(a), the Constitution (s36(3) & (4) and the judicial pronouncements on hearing in public.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have used Skype, audio and video-conferencing at JICAM and ICAMA, Abuja and LCA, Lagos.”

Continuing, he said: “However, quite unlike physical hearing, we must prepare adequately for virtual hearing.  This is the challenge post-COVID.  For African arbitration institutions to survive, they must have facilities for virtual hearing side by side  the existing facilities for physical hearing.  There are enough Protocols, Guidelines, Guidance Notes, etc on this as highlighted above.  Thus several issues will arise before, during and after the arbitral proceedings that must be carefully addressed.”

He warned that “The arbitral institutions that will survive are those with modern rules and facilities for both physical and virtual hearings.  The arbitrators that will be in business are those who are innovative, creative and digitally knowledgeable.”

In his remarks, former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Auta said that he was “proud at the strides JICAM has recorded since its formal establishment in 2015. In keeping with its aim to promote a forum for the resolution of disputes, we have supported disputing parties in active reconciliation and resolution of their disputes.”

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Justice Auta, who is also the Chairman of the JICAM Governing Council, stated that online dispute resolution (ODR) has witnessed a resurgence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying: “We have witnessed online giants utilize this mechanism in the resolution of buyer to customer disputes but we have failed to expand its use to the resolution of the common disputes. Perhaps this is an appropriate time to discuss the Rules we aim to launch, today.”

Noting that “parties with bad cases could easily frustrate such an attempt by withholding the consent to conduct such proceedings virtually,” Justice Auta, who was represented by Mrs. Diane Okoko, added that “we have equipped our center with state of the art facilities including high speed internet for this very purpose. In similar fashion, the Rules take care of numerous other issues which have been unclear in the arbitration space which I do not intend on boring you with today.”

On his part, the President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Benedict Kanyip who was the Special Guest of Honour stated that the Arbitration and Conciliation Act “does not apply in trade disputes,” adding that such disagreements are sui generis.

In his welcome address, former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN said: “Indeed, while I consider it a huge privilege to have some of the best minds in the Alternative Dispute Resolution sector present at this event, I strongly believe that the launch of the JICAM Arbitration & Mediation Rules 2020 will usher in a new era in the realms of our Alternative Dispute Resolution engagements, which in the long run, will contribute significantly to the development of ADR both locally and internationally.”

According to Gadzama who is also a chartered arbitrator and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), JICAM “was established in 2015 and commissioned by the then President of the Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, OFR, CON, as a dispute resolution center designed to promote a suitable forum for the resolution of domestic and international disputes,” adding that “JICAM is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, with its rules and guidelines accommodating both ad hoc and institutional arbitration.”

Concluding, the leading litigator said: “I strongly believe that this comprehensive document will facilitate speedier, more effective and efficient arbitration cum mediation proceedings, which in the long run will promote the advancement and viability of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

In his goodwill message, the President of Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC), Chief Emeka Obegolu, commended JICAM for unveiling the new Rules.

Noting that there are over 10 prominent Arbitration and Mediation institutions in Nigeria, the former NBA General Secretary said: “I believe the general hope is for these institutions to leave their mark in the dispute resolution landscape, and contribute to the effective resolution of disputes. However, to achieve this, there must be synergy of some sort between these institutions. We must see ourselves not as competitors, but as partners in this dynamic field of ADR.”

In a similar goodwill message, the Chairman of the Abuja Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Mr. Chinwendu Madumere noted that the institute maintains a robust relationship with JICAM, adding that the emergence of the centre would “bridge the gap of having a world class arbitration centre with appropriate facilities and Rules.”

The event was moderated by the JICAM Acting General Manager, Chimdindu Onyedim-Etuwewe while Bar. Lama Joe-Kyari Gadzama gave the vote of thanks.

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.

EFCC SET TO ARRAIGN TWO LAWYERS OVER USORO’S ELECTION

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

  • CONFIRMS CITY LAWYER REPORT

Echoes of the election that brought outgoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN has reverberated as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may soon arraign suspects in the controversial election.

Filed as Suit no FHC/L/118c/2020, the EFCC is, according to GAVEL INTERNATIONAL accusing the duo of Sarah Omeigha Ajibola, and John Ozovehe Demide of allegedly rigging the August 2018 NBA Elections in favour of Usoro .

The charge confirms CITY LAWYER exclusive report that “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.”

According to latest report, the charge has been filed at the Federal High Court, though the arraignment has been stalled by the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

The charges were reportedly filed on May 5, 2020 and signed by EFCC prosecutors led by Mr Rotimi Oyedepo Iseoluwa and including Bilikisu Buhari Bala, Usman Umar Buhari, Mohammed Abbas Omeiza, Suleiman I. Suleiman, and Kufre Uduak on behalf of the Executive Chairman of EFCC.

Below are the charges:
COUNT-1

That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime in August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to knowingly alter the email addresses and phone numbers of about 1004 (One Thousand and Four) eligible voters of the Nigerian Bar Association 2018 elections with the intention that such inauthentic data will be acted upon as genuine during the said election and you think thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 13 of the same Act.

COUNT-2

That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime in August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of the Honourable Court aided the commission of an offence to wit: to knowingly alter the email addresses and phone numbers of about 1004(One Thousand and Four) eligible voters of the Nigerian Bar Association 2018 National elections with the intention that such inauthentic data will be acted upon as genuine during the said election and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b)of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 13 of the same Act

COUNT-3
That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime in August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court knowingly altered the email addresses and phone numbers of about 1004 (One Thousand and Four) eligible voters of the Nigerian Bar Association 2018 National elections with the intention that such inauthentic data will be acted upon as genuine during the said election and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 13 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act,2015.

COUNT-4

That you, John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 19th of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court fraudulently used the unique identification features such as Name and Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN043280 of one Gabriel Abijo Oladipo to vote as the same Gabriel Abijo Oladipo through your Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 under the same section.

COUNT-5

That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 19th of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court aided the commission of an offence to wit: fraudulently using the unique identification features such as Name and Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN043280 of one Gabriel Abijo Oladipo to vote as the same Gabriel Abijo Oladipo through the Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with the intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association National elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

COUNT-6

That you, John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 19th August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently impersonated one Gabriel Abijo Oladipo with Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN043280 by voting as such through your Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with the intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association National elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition, Prevention etc ) Act, 2015.

COUNT-7

That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime on 19th August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided the commission of an offence to wit: fraudulently use the unique identification features such Name and Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN088449 of one Uthman Adeleye Oluwaseun to vote as the same Uthman Adeleye Oluwaseun through the Smile Modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act,2015

COUNT-8
That you, John Ozovehe Demide sometime on 19th August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently impersonated one Uthman Adeleye Oluwaseun with Suu preme Court Enrolment Number SCN088449 by voting as such through your Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (3) of yhe cybercrime ( Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

COUNT-9

That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 19th day of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court aided the commission of an offence to wit: fraudulently using the unique identification features such as Name and Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN015233 of one David Anakor through the Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

COUNT-10
That you, John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 19th day of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court fraudulently impersonated one David Anakor with Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN015233 by voting as such through your Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(3) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act,2015

COUNT-11
That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 20th day of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court aided the commission of an offence to wit: fraudulently using the unique identification features such as Name and Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN114439 of one Chiagoziem Bethel Aninilu to vote as the same Chiagoziem Bethel Aninilu through the Smile modem on IP address 197.210.216.226 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association National elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

COUNT-12
That you, John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 20th day of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court fraudulently impersonated one Chiagoziem Bethel Aninilu with Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN114439 by voting as such through your Smile modem on IP address 197.210.216.226 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (3) of the cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

COUNT-13
That you, Sarah Omeigha Ajibola and John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 20th day of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court aided the commission of an offence to wit: fraudulently using the unique identification features such as Name and Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN024643 of one Bankole Isaac Toyin to vote as the same Bankole Isaac Toyin through the Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association National elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1)(b) and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act,2015.

COUNT-14
That you, John Ozovehe Demide sometime on the 20th day of August 2018, within the Jurisdiction of this Court fraudulently impersonated one Bankole Isaac Toyin to vote as the same Bankole Isaac Toyin with Supreme Court Enrolment Number SCN024643 by voting as such through your Smile modem on IP address 169.159.65.190 to vote with intent of gaining electoral advantage in favour of Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) who was one of the Presidential Aspirants during the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association elections and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22 (3) of the cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.

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.

COVID-19: LAGOS CJ, FALANA, ODINKALU, ADEGBORUWA, OJUKWU, OTHERS TO X-RAY HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Leading human rights activists will on Monday dissect the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on Nigeria’s human rights landscape.

Organized by the Human Rights Committee of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, the virtual conference will especially spotlight human rights violations in the wake of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic while framing the roadmap for human rights protection in the COVID-19 era. The theme of the conference is “COVID-19, Access to Justice and Human Rights Violations.” Time is 3 pm.

Among the lawyers and jurists who have confirmed their participation as speakers are the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba; Lagos State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN; Mr. Femi Falana SAN who will deliver a Keynote Address; Prof. Chidi Odinkalu who will speak on “COVID-19, Access to Justice and Human Rights Violations: The Role of Nigerian Bar Association,” and the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr. Tony Ojukwu, who will speak on “COVID-19 and Human Rights Violations: Insights from the Field.”

Other confirmed speakers are Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN who will x-ray the topic, “How Fair is Virtual Hearing in the COVID-19 era?” and Dr. Uju Agomoh, Executive Director, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) who will tackle the topic, “Coronavirus, Correctional Centres and Rights of Awaiting Trial Inmates.” Renowned legal aid defence expert, Mr. Chino Obiagwu SAN will discuss “Coronavirus and Challenge of Legal Defence” while Mr. Muhammad Belgore SAN will contend with “Litigating Human Rights Cases in the COVID-19 Era.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu is expected to offer useful insights on the task of policing in the COVID-19 era as he discusses “Policing in the COVID -19 Era: Challenges and Prospects.”

The Host for the much anticipated virtual conference is NBA Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Yemi Akangbe while the Moderator is the Branch Vice Chairman & Chairman of the Human Rights Committee, Mr. Okey Ilofulunwa.

Facilitated by Messrs Olumide Babalola and Emeka Nwadioke, participants are expected to register for the virtual conference at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3RikvKB9SzGF-7fWpfdcYg or www.shorturl.at/fgo46.

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.

N5M COVID-19 PALLIATIVE: SANs, OTHERS CARPET, HAIL AKPATA

A N5 million relief package funded by Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential aspirant, Mr. Olumide Akpata and “his friends” and administered by the NBA Lagos Branch has raised a firestorm within the Bar, pitching many lawyers against their colleagues.

The fiery debate on the propriety of the palliatives was set off by a notice by NBA Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Yemi Akangbe when he urged “members of the Branch that genuinely need this support” to email him and other named branch Executive Committee members.

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