MAIKYAU SETS UP NBA ELECTION APPEAL PANEL

NEWS RELEASE

NOTICE OF CONSTITUTION OF NATIONAL OFFICERS’ ELECTION APPEAL COMMITTEE

Distinguished Colleagues,

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN has constituted the National Officers’ Election Appeal Committee, subject to ratification of the National Executive Council (NEC). The committee shall receive and resolve electoral complaints and disputes arising from the election of National Officers and the election of representatives of the NBA in the General Council of the Bar.

The chairman of the committee is Mr. Usman Ogwu Sule, SAN. Other members are Mrs. Folashade Alli, SAN (Alternate Chairman), Dr. Agada John Elachi, SAN, Adizua Okoroafor, Esq, Matthew Osume, Esq, Amina Senchi (Mrs), and Stella Omoikhefe Owu (Secretary).

The NBA President thanks the members of the committee for their willingness to serve.

Attached is the Notice of the constitution of the committee for your reference.

Thank you.

Akorede Habeeb Lawal
National Publicity Secretary

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GABRIEL ADIKWU ANNUAL LECTURE HOLDS APRIL 27

The 2024 Gabriel Adikwu & Co. Annual Lecture will hold on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at the prestigious American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State.

Reputed as the largest single gathering of lawyers in North East Nigeria, the theme of this year’s lecture is “The nobility of the Legal Profession: The task before the Nigerian Bar Association.”

The Keynote Speaker is the Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NBA-ICLE), Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe while the Guest Speaker is Mr. Jibrin Okutepa SAN.

The Special Guest of Honour is NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN while Supreme Court jurist, Justice C. N. Uwa is also expected to grace the event among others.

An invitation note by the Convener, Mr. Gabriel Adikwu, reads: “It is my singular privilege and honour to invite all Lawyers and Friends of the Legal Profession to the 2024 Gabriel Adikwu & Co. Annual Lecture, the largest single gathering of lawyers in North East Nigeria, as we honour one of the finest Jurists of our time. Follow the link below to register. BE MY GUEST.

“The date is 27/04/2024 @ American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State.
https://bit.ly/GABRIELADIKWUANNUALLECTURE2024.”

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HENRY BARNABAS EHI WINS, LEADS AMCON TO COURT VICTORY ON DEBT RECOVERY

FEATURED

Empowering Financial Stability: Federal High Court Upholds AMCON’s Authority to Resolve Non-Performing Loans

In a landmark judgment delivered by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, on March 28, 2024, in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/ 889/16, the court affirmed the crucial role of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in addressing non-performing loans within the financial sector.

Led by legal representation from Henry Barnabas Ehi and Ekwere Nsikanabasi (Mrs), AMCON successfully argued its mandate under the AMCON Act 2010 to act as a debt recovery agency and resolve non-performing loans.

The judgment, which underscores the significance of AMCON’s role in maintaining financial stability, comes at a pivotal moment for Nigeria’s banking sector. Henry Barnabas Ehi, MICA, representing AMCON, highlighted the vital importance of AMCON’s intervention, emphasizing that without its efforts, the banking sector would face the risk of collapse due to individuals with bad debts circumventing repayment obligations.

Justice Tsoho, in his judgment, endorsed the arguments presented by AMCON’s legal counsel, affirming AMCON’s role in addressing non-performing loans.

He stressed the critical need for effective debt recovery mechanisms, noting the detrimental impact of unresolved bad debts on the stability of financial institutions. He emphasized that AMCON’s mandate to recover bad debts and initiate legal proceedings is indispensable in safeguarding the integrity of Nigeria’s banking sector.

Furthermore, Justice Tsoho expressed dismay at the evasive tactics employed by the defendants, highlighting the need for accountability and transparency in addressing non-performing loans. He condemned the actions of entities attempting to evade their financial obligations, underscoring the importance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring fair and equitable resolution of debts.

This judgment reinforces the authority vested in AMCON by the AMCON Act 2010 and reaffirms its pivotal role in resolving non-performing loans in Nigeria. By upholding AMCON’s mandate, the Federal High Court has signaled its commitment to promote financial stability and accountability within the banking sector.

As Nigeria continues to navigate economic challenges, the judgment serves as a beacon of clarity and assurance, providing a robust legal framework for addressing non-performing loans and safeguarding the resilience of the financial system.

 

  • AMCON legal team led by Henry Barnabas Ehi, MICA

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OBA NSUGBE TEES OFF DAY-2 OF MARATHON NBA-ICLE CIVIL LITIGATION COURSE

You are invited to Day 2 of the 10-day Civil Litigation Training by the NBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education.

Topic: Pleadings
Date: 4th of April, 2024
Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Register using this link: https://tinyurl.com/y4ucds3h

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Many thanks,

Tobenna Erojikwe
Chairman Board of NBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education

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‘I PLEDGE TO ABIDE BY ECNBA GUIDELINES’ – SABASTINE ANYIA

DISCLAIMER! DISCLAIMER!! DISCLAIMER!!!

May I respectfully call the attention of my colleagues, friends and well wishers to Article 5 of the ECNBA Notice banning all forms of campaigns.

As dedicated and law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I urge us all to abide and respect the spirit of the Law in Article 5.

I, as a person solemnly swear not to depart from the said provisions of Article 5.

I therefore state unequivocally that nobody should send any article, publish any message using my name or on my behalf.

This has become necessary to avoid being dragged down by any person (s) or authorities.

Remain blessed and organized even as we focus on the big task ahead.

S.U ANYIA ESQ

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‘EASTER MONDAY AND CALL OF DUTY,’ BY PROMISE IWEZOR

The Call of Duty

While the above phrase can easily depict the global best selling video Game, the true meaning of “Duty” isn’t totally far off.

Duty stems from a responsibility to serve and perform. In a world fast declining in morals, it is our sense of duty that drives us to think, work, grow and evolve.

In our national clime, duty has been grossly displaced. Public office holders have only a sense of entitlement and forget that they are trustees and hold a duty to serve the people. While our value system might seem to be on the brink, I still believe that we have among us the finest of persons who still answer the call of duty.

Duty is putting everyone before oneself; it is the responsibility that, with great power and resources comes the greatest duty.

In every sphere of our life – our homes, offices, worship centers, and professional associations – we are bestowed with the responsibility to answer the call of duty.

Duty must be selfless, innovative, encompassing and, most importantly, sincere.

This Easter Monday, I want to charge us to answer the call of duty in our various spheres: To discharge our various mandates selflessly and for the general benefit of others.

If we indeed answer the call of duty to each other, the world will be a much better place.

Dr. Promise Iwezor
Former Chairman
NBA Isiokpo Branch

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I PRAY THAT EASTER BRINGS YOU GOOD FORTUNE – SABASTINE ANYIA

I BRING YOU NEWS OF GOOD TIDINGS: CHRIST HAS RISEN, ALLELUIA!

Alleluia brethren! The tomb is empty.

The heavy burden of our sins has been lifted, the taint on our souls cleansed.

Let us make merry as our Savior is risen and our path to salvation cleared.

I share in your joy as I pray that the resurrection of Christ brings good fortune to you and yours now and always

Happy Easter!

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SABASTINE ANYIA EXTOLS NGIGE ON APPOINTMENT AS LIFE BENCHER

SABASTINE ANYIA CONGRATULATES THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION (CLE), CHIEF EMEKA NGIGE SAN ON HIS APPOINTMENT AS A LIFE BENCHER

Sabastine Anyia Esq, past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Aguata Branch and former Chairman of Chairmen and Secretaries of the eight branches of NBA in Anambra State congratulates the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, our own Emeka Ngige SAN for his appointment as a life bencher by the Body of Benchers.

No doubt, Emeka Ngige SAN, our gentle giant, has paid his dues and contributed richly in the development of our legal jurisprudence and provided invaluable leadership in the affairs of the legal profession that this appointment did not come to us as a surprise.

Emeka Ngige SAN has always been exceptional in his approach to legal issues. This explains why he has been entrusted with sensitive and key offices in the legal profession like Chairman, Council of Legal Education since 2019 till date; member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) from 2020 till date; Member of Body of Benchers, and now a Life Bencher.

This gentle giant was honored by the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in October 2022 when he was awarded the national honour of “Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR)” by Nigeria’s President.

Ngige SAN was also honoured by the Rivers State Government with the highest award of “Grand Service Star of Rivers State (GSSRS)” in recognition of his contributions to berthing the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt.

I salute this great man and pray God to continue to bless and protect him with good health of mind and body. Remain blessed Sir.

Sabastine Anyia LL.M.

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‘YOUR EXPERTISE IS COMMENDABLE,’ AFAM OSIGWE TELLS ICSAN ABUJA CHAIR

Afam Osigwe, SAN congratulates Mrs. Chioma Angela Okeke on her appointment as Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSAN) Abuja Chapter

Dear Mrs. Chioma Angela Okeke,

Warmest congratulations on your remarkable appointment as Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSAN) Abuja Chapter. Your extensive qualifications, including your LLM, MBA, MCArb, FICMC, ACIS, and PhD, reflect not only your dedication to your field but also your unwavering commitment to excellence.

Your appointment is a testament to your exceptional leadership skills, proven expertise, and admirable dedication to the profession. It is a well-deserved recognition of your hard work, determination, and contributions to the field of corporate governance and administration.

As you assume this prestigious role, I do not doubt that you will bring visionary leadership, innovative ideas, and a deep sense of integrity to the chapter. Your wealth of experience and knowledge will undoubtedly inspire and empower others within the organization, setting a high standard for professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Under your guidance, I am confident that the Abuja Chapter of ICSAN will thrive and continue to make significant strides in promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability in corporate affairs. Your appointment serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals and a testament to the limitless possibilities that dedication and hard work can achieve.

Once again, congratulations on this outstanding achievement. May your tenure as Chairman be filled with success, fulfillment, and meaningful impact.

Warm regards,
MAZI AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

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BENCHERS’ CHAIR: SABASTINE ANYIA HAILS AWOMOLO AS BAR LEADER

SABASTINE ANYIA SALUTES ASIWAJU ADEGBOYEGA AWOMOLO SAN ON HIS EMERGENCE AS THE 52ND CHAIRMAN OT THE BODY OF BENCHERS.

Sabastine Anyia Esq, the Past Chairman of the the Nigerian Bar Association, Aguata Branch and former chairman of Chairmen and Secretaries of NBA in Anambra state salutes a distinguished bar man and a consummate leader ASIWAJU ADEGBOYEGA AWOMOLO SAN as the 52nd Chairman of the Body of Benchers.

I have read before now the great works and sacrifices of this great man. I need not re-emphasize the role he played that resulted in the rebirth of our dear Association, the Nigerian Bar Association.

As the Chairman of Chairmen and Secretaries of the 44 Branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (as at then), he sacrificed his time and resources in facilitating the revival of our noble association, the NBA, after the 1992 Port Harcourt crises.

ASIWAJU is a golden fish that has no hiding place. Even as an elder, he has always exhibited qualities of a true bar man and a consummate leader. You are a role model to members of the legal profession and the society in general. You are a stickler for the rule of law and abhor anything to the contrary.

The legal profession is blessed to have you as one of her leaders. I sincerely envy the Body of Benchers for having you as her chairman at this trying times. Your experience in leadership role will help introduce new innovations in the Body of Benchers.

I’m excited to join millions of Nigerian Bar Association members to celebrate you in this new responsibility and pray God to grant you good health of mind and body as you pilot the affairs of this great body. Once again, congratulations.

Sabastine Anyia Esq.

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‘MY RECORD OF SERVICE AS NBA BWARI CHAIR,’ BY MOHAMMED TSAV

My humble Record of Service at NBA Bwari

After a sober reflection, with my keen interest in the legal profession and service, I offered my service to Bwari Bar.

The Branch foundation has been laid by my two predecessors who are the founding fathers of the branch.

It was imperative for it to grow both in attendance and prominence. I took up this responsibility as the elected Chairman to move the Bar forward. As the Chairman NBA Bwari Branch, I initiated the Capital Bar Law Journal publication in the branch, using my extensive influence in the academic circle to gather and garner rich scholarly articles for the take off and sustenance of the journal.

It is a great contribution to the bar and legal education within and outside the FCT. Interestingly, some other associations in the FCT have followed suit. Some of these associations consulted the branch for guidance at take off their publications.

The journal publication provided a unique opportunity for some of our colleagues in the Nigerian Law School and nearby university colleges whose contributions in the said journal have served as the basis for their career promotions and assessments. For this reason alone, the branch prominence started gathering momentum.

Better still, my orientation was infused with the progressive thought, idea that helped towards building the branch at the critical period.

I, therefore, employed as a tool for social change, knowledge and continuing legal education tool to drive the branch and to attract members. We had our young lawyers and the members of the branch, engaged in both local and international conferences towards access and training in ADR, Advocacy Skills, and Criminal Litigations, the list is interminable.

Our partnership with Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Dispute Resolution Centre, Abuja, Chief Bayo Ojo SAN, International Arbitration and Conciliation outfit, and Centre for Socio-Legal Studies by Prof. Akinseye-George, SAN, was rewarding and impactful. The partnership had led to foray of engaging and impactful activities for members outside their legal practice.

The branch, following its constitutional mandate of promotion of the rule of law, had taken up the gauntlet of social and legal interventions in addressing the perennial social injustice in the community. Bwari Branch, stood firmly and spoke loudly against all forms of oppressions within the jurisdiction and the FCT’s community. That served as the beginning of nurturing the progressive idea that kept resonating as a force in the FCT.

This has created niche for the branch in the comity of other branches and earned Bwari Branch its prominence and as recipient of the several awards from the reputable legal blogs and organisations.

The knowledge’s tool as one of the key factors in my administration, consequently reflected in the equipment of the secretariat of the branch. To this end my administration in partnership with the law publishers, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Legal Aids Council (LACON) and research institutes created a vast library of law books, reports and journals accessible to all.

My training and experience in the United Kingdom availed a lot in the area of Law and Practice of Meetings which I brought to bear in the branch. I introduced the modern filing system, store keeping and management of the branch’s document and property to the admiration of our members and guests.

My administration, for the ease of movement and coordination of the branch’s activities for the first time, facilitated a functional bus for the use of the Executive Committee of the branch.

I have served at the different capacities after my chairmanship at the branch within and without the NBA.

I am the current President of Rotary Club, Abuja (Ambassador District).

Mohammed I. Tsav Esq.
Chairman-Emeritus
NBA Bwari Branch

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AFAM OSIGWE EXTOLS AWOMOLO AS BENCHERS’ CHAIR

Afam Osigwe, SAN congratulates Chief Adegboyega S. Awomolo SAN (Life Bencher) on his assumption of office as Chairman Body of Benchers

I congratulate you on your assumption of office as Chairman of the Body of Benchers. This esteemed position is a testament to your unwavering dedication, exceptional leadership, and remarkable achievements throughout your illustrious career.

Your appointment reflects your outstanding legal expertise. As a distinguished Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a Life Bencher, your contributions to the legal profession have been invaluable, inspiring countless individuals and shaping the course of justice in our society.

Your new role as Chairman of the Body of Benchers carries significant responsibilities. under your guidance, I am confident that the Body of Benchers will continue to uphold the highest standards of legal education, professional conduct, and ethical practice, ensuring that the legal profession remains a beacon of justice and fairness in our society.

Please accept my sincerest wishes for success and fulfillment as you embark on this important chapter of your journey. May your tenure as Chairman be marked by continued achievements, meaningful contributions, and profound impact, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Hearty Congratulations, Sir

AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

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FOR JOYCE ODUAH, A PEERLESS RECORD OF BAR SERVICE

FEATURED

THE PHENOMENAL JOYCE ODUAH! A CAPACITY BASED LEADER AND ASTUTE BAR WOMAN

Imagine a young law graduate leaving such a mark at an NBA conference that it sparks a lifelong dedication to the association. That is exactly how Joyce Oduah’s incredible 32-year journey of service to the Nigerian Bar began!

A STAR IS BORN: FROM RAPPORTEUR TO BAR LEADER
Joyce commenced her service to the Bar as a fresh law school graduate during her National Youth Service Corps. She was invited as a rapporteur to an NBA conference in Abeokuta, where she submitted an eloquent report and received a letter of commendation. Her performance earned her an invitation to the NBA conference in Port Harcourt that same year. Joyce participation in these conferences solidified her resolve to ensure the unity and growth of the Association.

FROM GRASSROOTS TO NATIONAL IMPACT: A LEGACY OF ACTION
Joyce’s dedication to the Bar was not confined to words. She served the NBA Lagos Branch in various capacities, including 1st Assistant Secretary from 2000-2002 (Lagos Branch), Publicity Secretary from 2007-2009 (Lagos Branch), and Social Secretary from 2009-2011.

Joyce has always taken a solution-centric approach to issues. As Publicity Secretary, she tackled members’ apathy toward attending monthly meetings. Her solution? A focus on making members feel valued, loved and cared for. She painstakingly curated a comprehensive member register, transferred them to a phone and sent each member messages before meetings. Recognising that attendees often came directly from their work in court or office and may be hungry, Joyce proposed incorporating feeding into the agenda. Additionally, the proposal included the idea of celebrating members’ birthdays for the month by cutting a cake. The Executive Committee approved both proposals, and as a result, member engagement and attendance at the monthly meetings increased. Furthermore, the branch’s revenue was positively impacted.

This innovative approach has become standard practice across NBA branches, a testament to Joyce’s lasting impact.

THE BRANCH BAR CODE: A STROKE OF GENIUS
Joyce’s influence reached the national level as National Treasurer in 2012. During that time, she proved herself an innovative and strategic legacy builder by introducing the Bar Code Payment Model. The old model for payment of bar practising fees was burdensome for all stakeholders – individuals, the branches and the national body.

Joyce’s creative solution – the Branch Bar Code system – revolutionised the process. Now, lawyers can pay from anywhere, with the branch automatically identified and their dues allocated efficiently. This resulted in a dramatic revenue increase for branches. For example, Lagos, whose barcode is 058, used to receive about Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000) as of 2012. After Joyce introduced the Barcode, the revenue increased to Six Million, Fifty-Six Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N6,056,500) as of 2013. In 2019, Lagos received Thirteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N13,500,000).

CHAMPIONING THE FUTURE: EMPOWERING WOMEN AND YOUNG LAWYERS
As the first female General Secretary in 38 years, Joyce wasn’t just breaking barriers; she was opening doors. Her agenda prioritised the rise of women and young lawyers in the profession. She organised and participated in numerous programs to enhance their professional and leadership skills and advocated for their inclusion in key NBA committees and positions. Despite her busy schedule, she never rejected any request or invitation to speak to lawyers.

PROFESSIONALISING THE NBA SECRETARIAT FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY
Joyce’s vision extended beyond immediate solutions. As General Secretary, she spearheaded and pushed assiduously for the digitisation and professionalisation of the NBA Secretariat. This included optimising the NBA website, establishing a USSD code and the NBA One-Stop app, and creating a dedicated toll-free call centre for member inquiries.

Under her watch, the NBA achieved faster response to members’ inquiries, staff training, swift production of the NBA stamp and seal, streamlined insurance and welfare claims, and seamless communication between the National body and branches. A health insurance scheme for members was also established. Her ultimate goal was to make life and practice easier for Nigerian lawyers through a modern and efficient NBA Secretariat.

AN UNMATCHED RECORD OF SERVICE
Joyce’s track record of service is unmatched. She is an achiever who always delivers the best results, which is why she has been appointed to multiple NBA committees. Since 2008, she has been a NEC member. Her dedication to her work goes beyond the NBA, as she also served as a Board Member of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2020 – 2022) and as a board member and Director of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (2020 – 2022). Her extensive involvement in various regional and international bar associations further demonstrates her unwavering dedication to the legal profession. Her service outside the Bar is just as extensive.

AN INSPIRATION BEYOND ACHIEVEMENTS
Joyce Oduah is a remarkable individual who has made outstanding contributions to the legal profession, society, and the world at large. A short celebratory message cannot fully capture all of Joyce Oduah’s undeniable achievements. However, it is her dedication, humility and candour that truly sets her apart. Joyce’s commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards and her tireless efforts to make a positive impact on the lives of others make her an inspiration to us all.

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PROMISE IWEZOR AND THE AUDACITY OF CHANGE

THE AUDACITY OF CHANGE

The biggest lie we always tell ourselves is that “it has never been done before.”

“Why you? What is different about you?”

These statements have stunted progress and prosperity for generations putting our mind in a box that we have built for ourselves.

In every clime there are biases that society is scared of upsetting.

Nuances that are left unchallenged.

Not because it is dynamic but because it has “always been that way.”

A faux pas loyalty to a social order that has outlived its usefulness.

But today I want to dare you to be different. There is nothing insane about that idea you have been thinking about or that venture you want to undertake.

This is because Courage is not the absence of fear rather the judgement that you are greater than fear.

Often we ask ourselves, who am I to be knowledgeable, intelligent, resourceful? Well, who are you not to be?

While it’s true that mere words do not spring forth miracles, you really have to study to show yourself approved. However, do not cower under the false belief that you cannot.

You can and you will.

Set your mind to every task this week with the audacity of hope, the fortitude of the mind and the Resolution of the 55 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence.

You are different.

Have a blessed Holy week.

Dr. Promise Iwezor
Former NBA Chairman, Isiokpo Branch

#Buildingbridges
#SucceedingTogether

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AKINOLA, CIARB NIGERIA CHAIR, APPOINTED BODY OF BENCHERS MEMBER

The Body of Benchers, Nigeria’s elite regulatory body for the legal profession, has appointed Chief James Akingbola Akinola SAN as a member of the organisation.

Rising from its recent quarterly meeting at its headquarters in Abuja, the body approved the nomination of Akinola as one of the representatives for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). NBA has the largest number of lawyers in Africa as its members.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Akinola is also a Chartered Arbitrator and current Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Nigeria Branch).

The approval is the latest in Akinola’s harvest of appointments, having more recently been appointed as a Board Member of Axa Mansard Insurance Plc representing minority shareholders.

He was the President of the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN) from November 2010 to November 2013 and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC).

Others who were also appointed as NBA Representatives include Miannaya Essien SAN, CArb; Ahmed Adeniyi Raji, SAN, FCIArb; Sir Steve Ojomeko Zakar Adehi, SAN, FCIArb; Olawole Fapohunda, SAN; Linda Rose Bala (Mrs.); Adesina Adegbite, Esq.; Amina Ka’oje Suleiman; Ndukwe Nnawuchi SAN, and Olusegun Mobolaji Abimbola, SAN.

Education
Akingbola Akinola graduated Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with honours from the University of Lagos in 1986 after obtaining a B. Sc. with honours in Political Science from the University of Ibadan in 1982. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987 and admitted to practice as a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Profile
He was a State Counsel in the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice (in the Attorney General’s Chambers) and later became the Special Assistant to the Solicitor General of the Federation of Nigeria between 1987 and 1988.

He joined the Corporate and Commercial law practice of George Etomi & Partners in January 1989 and became the Head, Litigation Department of the firm (1989-1992). He later established his private practice, Gbola Akinola & Co, in 1992. Prior to Gbola Akinola & Co’s merger with four other practices forming THE LAW UNION in May 1998, he developed a specialty in Corporate and Commercial law litigation, Arbitration, general Maritime and Aviation practice and Environmental issues.

He is a legal practitioner with cognate experience in Corporate and Commercial Law practice and a highly skilled advocate with extensive commercial legal advisory experience. He has acted on several occasions for ship owners, charterers, shippers and marine insurers including P&I Clubs. He has provided advice on several aspects of shipping law including ship arrests, cargo loss and damage, ship sale and purchase, disputes arising out of bills of lading, charter parties, collisions, insurance and other marine related matters.

He has also focused on Aviation, Environmental Law, Civil and Commercial Litigation and Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR). He has acquired considerable experience in negotiation and concluding commercial contracts bordering on acquisition and disposition of aviation and shipping equipment. His contacts are extensive in aviation, shipping, operational, regulatory, support service and corporate finance business within Nigeria and abroad.

He has experience of and continues to seek new challenges in the growing field of Environmental law and practice, waste management, industrial and marine pollution, and green issues both within and outside Nigeria. He has advised clients across the full range of environmental issues, from industrial and marine pollution through waste management and product liability to development control.

Akinola was appointed a Notary Public in May 1998, admitted as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in November 1999 and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in January 2000.

He was appointed as a Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Information and later Honourable Minister of Cooperation and Integration in Africa in June 1999.

In June 2000, he was appointed a Special Assistant to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He was a Member of the Nigerian Legal Team to the International Court of Justice in the Hague representing Nigeria in the highly contentious Bakassi Case in March 2002.

Professional Association
His professional memberships include International Bar Association, Committee A (Maritime and Transport Law) and Section on General Practice, Committees 5 (Individual Tax and Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts and Succession) and 12 (Civil Litigation); Nigerian Bar Association; Nigerian Maritime Law Association, and Association of Business Law Firms.

Practice Areas
His practice areas include Competition, Construction & Infrastructure, Energy & Natural Resources, Entertainment & Media, Environment, Food & Beverages, Hospitality & Leisure, Insurance, Intellectual Property, International Commercial Disputes, International Investment Disputes, Investment law, Joint Venture, Maritime, Professional Services, Shipping & Commodities, Taxation, Technologies, Telecommunications and Transport.

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NIGERIAN LAW SOCIETY LAUDS AWOMOLO AS BENCHERS’ CHAIR

NEWS RELEASE

NLS/AASA/CONGRA/03/24
Thursday, 21 March, 2024.

Asiwaju Adegboyega Solomon Awomolo, SAN
The Chairman,
Body of Benchers,
Plot 688,
Institute & Research District FCC,
Phase 111,
Abuja.

Dear Learned Silk,

CONGRATULATORY LETTER ON YOUR ACCESSION AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BODY OF BENCHERS

On behalf of the entire leadership and members of the Nigerian Law Society (NLS), we heartily congratulate you on your emergence as Chairman of the Body of Benchers. The attainment of this milestone is testament to your more invaluable contribution to the legal profession in Nigeria.

You have been a consummate Bar man and a wisdom whose counsel continues to aid the Bar stay on course. Your interest, advocacy and drive to uphold the dignity of the legal profession, and the respect and promotion of the rule of law in Nigeria are unparalleled.

You have continuously fought for and dedicated yourself to ensuring that there is always tranquility, progress, and camaraderie amongst legal practitioners in Nigeria.

We are in no doubt whatsoever that your mounting the saddle of the Body of Benchers is both well-deserved and timely. We trust that the legal profession in Nigeria will break new grounds under your leadership.

Congratulations once again, and may your tenure be fruitful.

While thanking you, accept the assurances of our professional regards.

Yours faithfully,

________________________                                            _______________________
Abdulqadir Alhaji Sani, Esq                                              Chief Kunle Ogunba, SAN
General Secretary (NLS)                                                      President (NLS)

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MOHAMMED TSAV LAUDS EASTERN BAR FORUM ON Q1 MEETING

I make this goodwill message to the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) to felicitate the occasion of hosting its first quarterly meeting for the year in March 2024.

The EBF is a colossal forum of astute lawyers. You are at the forefront of upholding the rule of law and enforcing the rights of voiceless citizens.

You have been doing well, and your efforts cannot be ignored. I stand with the EBF. May EBF grow from strength to strength, Amen.

I give you all my compliments, and I wish you intuitive and successful deliberations.

MOHAMMED I. TSAV, ESQ.
Chairman-Emeritus, NBA Bwari Branch

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‘YOUR ANNUAL CONFAB WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE,’ MOHAMMED TSAV ASSURES NBAWF

To my dearest big sister, Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha, the Chairperson of NBA Women Forum, I make this Goodwill Message on the occasion of the ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE NBA WOMEN FORUM 2024 taking place taking place in Lagos and themed “Beyond the balance sheet: Redefining success for women in law.”

 

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NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR NIGERIAN LEGAL AWARDS 2024

NEWS RELEASE

Nigerian Legal Awards 2024: Nominations Now Open to Celebrate Legal Excellence in Nigeria

The Nigerian Legal Awards, the most esteemed and sought-after recognition in the Nigerian legal landscape, proudly announces the opening of nominations for the 2024 edition. This prestigious event is meticulously designed to honor the invaluable contributions of legal practitioners to businesses across the nation.

In a year marked by unprecedented challenges, including security concerns, foreign exchange fluctuations, and global crises, the resilience and ingenuity of Nigerian businesses and legal professionals have shone through. Despite the adversities posed by the post-pandemic era and geopolitical tensions, the legal community continues to demonstrate unwavering dedication and excellence.

The Nigerian Legal Awards 2024 aims to set a new standard for legal service delivery in Nigeria, aligning with globally recognized benchmarks of practice. As Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria’s legal landscape plays a pivotal role in driving economic development and safeguarding businesses. This year’s awards will highlight the remarkable contributions of Nigerian lawyers in advancing the economy and protecting corporate interests.

To ensure the credibility and integrity of the awards process, stringent measures have been implemented in the nomination and evaluation stages, culminating in the selection of deserving awardees. Esteemed international legal experts and heads of Africa Practice/Business Groups from leading global law firms have been appointed as judges, bringing their wealth of experience and integrity to the adjudication process.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of nominations for the Nigerian Legal Awards 2024,” said Lere Fashola, Publisher of ESQ Legal Practice Magazine. “This year’s awards will showcase the exemplary achievements of legal professionals who have demonstrated exceptional skill, dedication, and innovation in their respective fields. We invite outstanding law firms, in-house legal departments, regulatory bodies, government agencies, ministries of justice, and emerging talents to participate in this celebration of legal excellence.”

Nominations are now open for various award categories, including Practice Based Categories for Law Firms and specialized categories for the In-House Legal Departments. There is also the Nigerian Rising Stars Award which celebrates 4o Under 40 lawyers who will shape the future of the Legal Profession in Nigeria. To nominate deserving candidates or organizations, please visit www.nigerianlegalawards.com. Stay updated on the latest award news by following us on social media: @MyESQLegal

For inquiries or sponsorship opportunities, please contact us via email at esqnigerianlegalawards@gmail.com, awards@nigerianlegalawards.com or phone at 08132676084.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the most prestigious legal event in Nigeria. Join us in celebrating the outstanding achievements and contributions of the legal community to the nation’s prosperity and development.

About Nigerian Legal Awards:
The Nigerian Legal Awards is the premier platform for recognizing excellence in the Nigerian legal sector. Established to celebrate the significant contributions of legal practitioners to businesses and society, the awards highlight innovation, professionalism, and dedication within the legal profession. With a rigorous selection process and esteemed panel of judges, the Nigerian Legal Awards sets the standard for legal excellence in Nigeria.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Lere Fashola Esq
Publisher, ESQ Legal Practice Magazine
And Organiser, Nigerian Legal Awards
08035269055
Lere.fashola@esq-law.com
Website: www.nigerianlegalawards.com

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‘SENATOR SODANGI WAS A BRIDGE BUILDER,’ SAYS AFAM OSIGWE

SEN. DANSO WAS A BRIDGE BUILDER

The death of Senator Abubakar Sodangi Danso is a significant loss to the legal profession in Nigeria. He was a beacon of legal excellence and a stalwart in the advancement of the rule of law. His legacy, woven with dedication and service, epitomizes the essence of leadership and commitment to the legal profession.

Senator Danso’s journey, from his pivotal role at the African Bar Association Secretariat to his chairmanship of the Abuja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association and his distinguished tenure in the Nigerian Senate, reflects a profound dedication to the ideals of justice and democracy. His tenure as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee stands as a testament to his unwavering advocacy for the principles of fairness and equity.

As the Pioneer Chairman of the African Bar Association (Nigeria Forum), Senator Danso’s visionary leadership propelled the organization forward, fostering unity and collaboration across the African legal community. He was indeed a bridge builder, fostering connections and alliances that transcended borders, enriching the legal landscape across the continent.

Senator Danso’s relentless pursuit of the rule of law and democracy leaves an indelible mark on the legal fraternity, inspiring generations to uphold the principles of justice and accountability. His legacy will continue to resonate, guiding us in our quest for a more just and equitable society.

I extend my condolences to his family, colleagues, and well-wishers, with prayers that his soul will rest in peace. Amen.

Afam Osigwe, SAN

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AFAM OSIGWE LAUDS NBA NYANYA/KARU ON YOUNG LAWYERS’ WELFARE

NEWS RELEASE 

“NBA Nyanya/Karu Branch is leading an innovation to secure the welfare of young lawyers; Afam Osigwe, SAN at the Monthly Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association, Nyanya/Karu Branch”

At the monthly meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association, Nyanya/Karu branch, hosted by the esteemed Afam Osigwe, SAN, the branch was lauded for its unwavering dedication to advancing the welfare of young lawyers.

Afam Osigwe, SAN, in his commendation, applauded the branch for its pioneering initiative in paying a young lawyers lodge tailored specifically for the needs of young legal practitioners. This groundbreaking concept, as articulated by the learned silk through his representative, Mr. J. J. Usman SAN, was hailed as a historic milestone within the NBA community.

The recognition of the branch’s innovative efforts underscores a profound commitment to nurturing the professional growth and well-being of young legal professionals. Moreover, it serves as a testament to the branch’s visionary leadership and progressive approach toward addressing the evolving needs of its members.

In addition to acknowledging the branch’s groundbreaking initiative, Afam Osigwe, SAN, expressed gratitude for the privilege of hosting the monthly meeting, recognizing it as a testament to the branch’s inclusivity and collaborative spirit. He urged the branch to steadfastly uphold its mission of championing the core principles of justice and equality for all members of society.

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AFAM OSIGWE MOURNS APPEAL COURT JUDGE ORJI-ABADUA

“We have lost a distinguished jurist; Afam Osigwe, SAN, pays tribute to the Late Hon. Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua”

I was shocked to learn about the passing of the distinguished Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal Benin division, Hon. Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua. Her sudden departure leaves a void in the legal fraternity that will be difficult to fill.

Justice Orji-Abadua was not just a jurist; she was a beacon of integrity, wisdom, and compassion. Her dedication to the pursuit of justice was evident in every decision she rendered and every case she presided over. With her passing, we have lost a stalwart defender of the rule of law and a true servant of justice.

Born on the 15th of October 1959, Justice Orji-Abadua’s journey in the legal profession was marked by excellence and commitment. From her studies at the London Metropolitan University and the Nigeria Law School to her elevation to the Court of Appeal in 2008, she exemplified the highest standards of legal scholarship and professionalism.

Her contributions to the legal community, particularly in the Benin division, were invaluable. She approached her duties with diligence, fairness, and impartiality, earning the respect and admiration of colleagues, lawyers, and litigants alike.

As we reflect on Justice Orji-Abadua’s legacy, let us remember her not only for her legal acumen but also for her kindness and generosity of spirit. She touched the lives of many with her warmth and grace, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come.

In this time of mourning, let us honor her memory by rededicating ourselves to the principles she held dear: justice, fairness, and the rule of law. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

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NBA CALLS FOR MEMORANDA ON NIGERIAN CONTENT BILL

NEWS RELEASE

REQUEST FOR THE SUBMISSION OF MEMORANDA ON THE NIGERIAN CONTENT (NON OIL. AND GAS SECTOR) DEVELOPMENT (ESTABLISHMENT) BILL 2023 (HB. 59)

Dear Esteemed Colleague,

The House of Representatives at its Siting on Thursday, 2 November, 2023, read the Nigerian Content (Non- Oil and Gas Sector) Development (Establishment) Bill 2023 (HB.59), the Second Time and referred the Bill to the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring’ for further legislative action.

The Bill in summary, is a legislative intervention of the House of Representatives to boost Nigerian Content Development in the non- oil and gas sector of our national economy, especiaily in ICT, Manufacturing, Solid Minerals and Metallurgy, Construction, Power, Maritime and Logistics, Health, Agriculture and Allied Products.

Specific provisions are made to ensure that made – in -Nigeria goods and services do not only have substantial patronage by Government but also by other entities operating in Nigeria. Circumstances in which Nigerian goods and services shall not be rejected is expressly provided for in the present Bill.

The Bill also provided means of funding Nigerian businesses including guaranteed and special loans, crowd- funding, factoring and forfaiting, among others. The Bill seeks to make Nigerian. businesses internationally competitive by introducing measures to achieve lower cost of production of goods and services in Nigeria and the prevention of dumping of goods in Nigeria.

In order ot achieve these goals, the Bill seeks to involve the private sector in the enforcement of the provisions of the Bill and specifically seeks to establish entities that will perform functions akin to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board at Yenogoa that regulates the implementation of local content plans and programmes in the oil and gas sector. The entities sought to be established are;

(a) Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Information Communication Technology;
(b)Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Solid Minerals and Metallurgy;
(c)Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Maritime and Logistics;
(d) Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Power;
(e) Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Manufacturing;
(f) Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Health;
(g) Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Agriculture and Agro- Allied Products; and
(h) Directorate of Nigerian Content Development on Construction.

The Committee is of the opinion that some clauses in this Bill may likely relate to, or, regulate activities of lawyers, or concern our business interest, hence, the committee invites memorandum from members of the Nigerian Bar Association on the suitability or otherwise of any of the Clauses in this Bill and also solicit for your suggestion(s) on treating Clauses you find wanting or unsuitable in the circumstance.

Consequently, members of the Bar who have contributions to make in this regard by way of suggestions/proposals, are hereby requested to submit the same to the Head, Legal Regulatory and Compliance Department of the NBA, Ayodeji Oni, via ayodeji.oni@nigerianbar.org.ng or +234 803 345 2825. All submissions must be made before the close of work on Friday, 15th March, 2023.

Warm regards,

Charles Ajiboye, Esq.
Assistant Publicity Secretary

NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA)
National Secretariat:
NBA House, Plot 1101 Mohammadu Buhari Way,

Central Business District, Abuja, F.C.T, Nigeria

info@nigerianbar.org.ng |
www.nigerianbar.org.ng

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CORDELIA EKE LISTED AMONG AFRICA’S TOP FEMALE LAWYERS

Prominent Bar Leader and former Secretary of the Electoral Committe of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) Cordelia Eke has been named among Africa’s top female lawyers.

Announcing Eke’s listing on the chart while unveiling the “Courtroom Mail 100 Women 2024,” the Founding Editor of Courtroom Mail, Mr. Anthony Atata wrote: “We are also very proud of all our listed colleagues and the work they are doing.”

In profiling Eke, a seasoned litigator who has served the Bar in several capacities, the organisers wrote: Cordelia Uwuma Eke is a Nigerian born legal practitioner based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University), Port Harcourt, and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Public International Law, from the University of Kent, Canterbury in the United Kingdom. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1995.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators ICMC Nigeria, a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria. She specializes in Criminal law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Mrs Eke is the Author of the fast selling book- CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA, A PRACTICAL GUIDE, and has also published articles and edited legal works and Newsletters.

Mrs Eke is presently a Director in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice, where she has been actively engaged in mediation, civil and criminal litigation at the high court, Appeal court, and the Supreme court for over 20 years. She is acclaimed as an ace prosecutor and has also held down several roles at the Ministry of justice, including, being the Team Lead, Committee on Drafting of Prosecution Manual and Code of Conduct for Prosecutors and Team Lead, Attorney-General’s Special Committee which treated abandoned casefiles of over 350 awaiting trial inmates in the Federal prisons in Rivers State.

Mrs. Eke’s expertise in criminal law practice made her a much sought-after Speaker, trainer, and Resource person on legal and other subjects and has presented papers to members of the Bench and the Bar, and the public at various Seminars, workshops, conferences and trainings including the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conferences and Continuing Legal Education trainings, amongst others.

Cordelia Eke has held several leadership positions in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), African Bar Association (AFBA), African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) Nigeria, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria and the Law Officers Association of Nigeria (LOAN) at state and National levels, including being Council Member of the NBA Human Rights Institute and the National Executive Committee. She is presently a member of the NBA National Remuneration Committee.

Mrs. Eke has broken several glass ceilings, including being the first female Secretary of the prestigious NBA Port Harcourt Branch of over 7,000 members , and pioneer President of her Law school call set Alumni Association.

Mrs. Eke has continued to groom young lawyers posted to the Ministry of Justice during their service years for over 20 years, making time for personal coaching and counselling. She also assisted some of them in securing employment after the service year. Some of her mentees now run their own law practice while some are partners in law firms, Special Advisers to Governments, Law lecturers and even Senior advocate of Nigeria, amongst other leading roles in society. She has used her various roles to groom and mentor many young lawyers, male and female, teaching them self-confidence in excellence in aw practice.

As a women rights advocate, Mrs. Eke has continued to be a bridge builder across the female lawyers Associations of FIDA, AWLA and NBAWF in order to promote sisterhood, mutual respect, and support for other women.

She is a trail blazer, a role model to many young female lawyers and a mentor to law students, new wigs, and junior lawyers.

CITY LAWYER recalls that the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, has hailed the popular Bar Leader on the feat. 

In a statement by Gloria Ohia, AWLA Rivers Coordinator, the association noted that “This is a truly phenomenal achievement, and we are incredibly proud to have you as a part of our AWLA Rivers State Branch family. Your pioneering spirit and dedication to the legal profession have paved the way for countless other women lawyers in our state, and your inclusion on this prestigious list as one out of three Nigerian women, is a testament to your exceptional contributions.”

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SABASTINE ANYIA URGES GENDER EQUALITY ON WOMEN’S DAY

Dear Colleagues,

Today the 8th day of March is slated by the United Nations as International Women’s Day. It is basically for the celebration of the achievements of the women, running for more than a hundred years now.

Unarguably, women are a special breed created specifically to not only play complementary roles but to become trail blazers. The women have sustainably proven so, though not without challenges, particularly from some climes where religion and other factors were primordial and constituting a clog.

Notwithstanding, they have proven dependable allies all the world over and across spheres.

Today’s theme is “Investing in women accelerates progress”. Having no iota of doubt on their quintessential nature to accelerate progress, I urge us to join the world in celebrating this Special Breed of creation and universal enigma as we drive a vision to a progressive world characterized by decency and gender equality.

Happy INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

SABASTINE U. ANYIA, ESQ.

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WOMEN’S DAY: AFAM OSIGWE SEEKS INCLUSION FOR WOMEN LAWYERS

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: REFLECTING ON PROGRESS AND ADVOCATING FOR INCLUSIVITY IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION

Dear Colleagues,

On this significant occasion of International Women’s Day, I extend my warmest greetings to all women and members of the legal community. Today, as we celebrate the achievements of women within our profession, it is essential to recognize the dedicated efforts of those who have tirelessly championed the cause of women in the legal arena.

We reflect on our journey from the very first lawyer and judge to the historic milestones of having the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria. These remarkable achievements showcase the progress we have made, thanks to the dedication and perseverance of individuals who have advocated for gender equality and an inclusive legal profession.

While we acknowledge the strides made, it is crucial to credit the collective efforts of those who have passionately advocated for the cause of women in our profession. The journey thus far has been a collaborative one, with many individuals contributing to the positive changes we’ve witnessed. However, we must not rest on our laurels. There are still pending issues that require our attention and concerted efforts. I call upon all members of the legal community to offer even greater support to address these challenges and foster the growth of women in both the bar and the bench.

In this pursuit, let us strengthen our collaboration with organizations such as The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and the NBA Women’s Forum. By joining forces, we can face the pending challenges head-on and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable legal profession.

Today is not merely a day for celebration; it is a call for renewed commitment from all stakeholders in the legal profession. Let us collectively strive for a profession that embraces diversity and provides equal opportunities for all. Together, we can build a more inclusive future for the legal community.

I Wish you all a meaningful International Women’s Day.

AFAM OSIGWE, SAN.

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‘COMRADE EZEIGWE WAS A GREAT BAR MAN, PRAYER WARRIOR,’ SABASTINE ANYIA MOURNS

COMRADE, EVANGELIST, DR. D. O. C EZEIGWE IS WITH THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN

It’s with a heavy heart that I join the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the past Presidents, the Judges, Learned Senior Advocates , Life Benchers, Executives Members of the Bar and my distinguished colleagues to mourn the departure of this ever amiable and accommodative senior colleague.

This is indeed a heavy loss to us in the Nigerian Bar Association in general and to his immediate family in particular. However, to God Almighty and his angels, it’s a huge gain. I believe strongly that D. O. C. has taken his place amongst the Angels as he now looks down from heavens with smiles all over his face.

I lack words to describe this great bar man. He was a pillar of support, an adviser, a comforter, a dependable elder and always very accessible. For those of us who are privileged to be NBA NEC members, you will agree with me that he was our Evangelist and prayer warrior. He never missed any NEC meeting no matter the distance, except he’s very sick. He was also a strong and loud voice in the EBF.

It’s my conviction that God called him at his appointed time after fulfilling his mission on earth. Ezeigwe ran a good race as an Evangelist, he is now waiting for the crown of glory. No doubt every human will one day embark on this journey, no exception.

As we line up for your valedictory court session today, the 8th day of March, 2024 at Enugu State High court, Independence layout,
Enugu, I invite each and everyone of us to reflect on his or her life. When it’s your turn will people speak good of you? Shall the Saints in heaven welcome you? There is a saying in my place that ” when a friend or colleague dies, it’s a warning for others”.

Comrade, as you joined the saints in heaven, it’s my prayer that the Almighty God would welcome you with a smile, forgive your short comings as a mere human and grant you a place in His paradise, in Jesus mighty name , Amen!

May I also use this opportunity to request that on the 15th of March let’s also do him this honour by coming to his home town in our numbers for the funeral service and interment.
Jenkeoma. D. O. C.

Sabastine Anyia Esq.

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SPIDEL WRITES NBA-NEC, ASKS MAIKYAU TO RECUSE HIMSELF

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) has declared a dispute with NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Maikyau is yet to brief National Officers on his high-profile face-off with SPIDEL since his January 31, 2024 letter to SPIDEL directing it to pause all its activities. A National Officer told CITY LAWYER that the matter has not been discussed by the National Executive Committee.

In a notice obtained by CITY LAWYER and signed by Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins and Ms. Funmilola Adeogun, SPIDEL’s Chairman and Secretary respectively, the section “prays the National Executive Council of the Association (with the recusal of the NBA President, he being an interested party to this dispute/misunderstanding) to take action in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Association and/or refer same for dispute resolution.”

Titled “NOTIFICATION OF A STATE OF MISUNDERSTANDING/DISPUTE BETWEEN THE SECTION ON PUBLIC INTEREST (SPIDEL) AND THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: A REQUEST TO ACTIVATE THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM,” the letter was directed to the National Executive Council through the NBA General Secretary.

SPIDEL declared that “the Executive Committee of the Section on Public Interest and Development Law (now referred to simply as SPIDEL) is in a state of misunderstanding/dispute with the office of the President of the Association.”

It set out the issues between the parties to include:

1. Whether the SPIDEL being a Section of the Association is constitutionally mandated to seek the prior approval of the President of the Association before SPIDEL can design and execute its lawful activities.

2. Whether the President has the power to purportedly suspend the activities of SPIDEL, being a Section of the Association.

SPIDEL stated that “in a review of the situation and circumstances, the Executive Committee of SPIDEL came to the inescapable conclusion that there is no immediate possibility of amicably resolving the prevailing misunderstanding/dispute.”

Saying that “SPIDEL desires an amicable resolution of this unfortunate misunderstanding,” it called for the “activation of the dispute resolution mechanism of the Association.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that there has been a face-off between the leadership of SPIDEL and the NBA President following an allegation by Maikyau that SPIDEL was “undermining” his authority, a charge SPIDEL denies.

The section had dragged the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy Hannatu Musawa and media personality Kenny Ogungbe to court for allegedly violating the National Youth Service Corps Act.

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NIGERIAN LAW SOCIETY FCT CHAPTER MEETS FEB 29

NEWS RELEASE

NIGERIAN LAW SOCIETY FCT CHAPTER

Dear Learned Silks, Seniors, and Colleagues,

NOTICE OF GENERAL MEETING, NLS FCT CHAPTER.

We humbly invite you to NLS FCT Chapter’s General meeting for the month of February scheduled to take place as follows;

Date: Thursday 29th of February, 2024.

Venue: Virtual

Time: 5:00pm prompt.

Note: All Lawyers are encouraged to join the meeting via the link below

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89657940244?pwd=MscOPt533p04kc3HHmSPf6Tgpfbe1e.1

Meeting ID: 896 5794 0244
Passcode: NLS123

Ayuba Michael, Esq.
Publicity Secretary
NLS FCT Chapter

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SOLAR4ALL: JUDITH SALAMI-EYO (NBA IKEJA) IS OUR ‘STAR CLIENT OF THE WEEK ‘

FEATURED

Solar For All: Judith Salami-Eyo [NBA Ikeja Branch] is our “Star Client of the week”

This beautiful Amazon is a seasoned commercial and family lawyer with over 20 years of top-notch Law Practice.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria with 25 years warranty and “Pay Small Small”, call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

Visit: SolarForAll.ng

(Abuja) Suite A8, Kenuj O2 Mall ,Behind Games Village.
(Lagos) No 113A, Mainland Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
(Enugu State) Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka.

The Solar For All Lagos/South-West Nigeria team are grateful to have been hosted at the Lekki home of this outstanding Female Lawyer who is adept at navigating complex legal landscapes, specializing in resolving intricate business disputes and providing empathetic counsel for familial matters. She possesses a wealth of experience in negotiation, mediation, and litigation. 

Her Citi Lawyers Law Firm is known for their strategic approach, integrity, and commitment to achieving favourable outcomes for clients across diverse legal matters.

It was a Solar System which carries all the basics in the home, ensures steady Power Supply and a reduction of the power cost to less than half.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include: Chief James Ogu Onoja SAN (Ofante Kogi State); Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye [the Soun of Ogbomoso]; Mrs. Ezinwa Nwanyieze Okoroafor Esq.; Dr. Chike Okogwu; Mr. Stephen Arubuike Esq. of G. Elias SAN &Co; Chief Solomon Umoh SAN; Alhj. Ohio Abdullahi; Amb. Gen. Tukur Burutai (COAS Rtd); Chief S. I. Ameh SAN; Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani Esq; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN; Dr. Anthony Ani (Federal Medical Center Cooperatives); Mr. Lawrence Nwaketi; Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP); Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE); Dr. Muiz Banire SAN; Chief Jude Onwuharonye Esq.; High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN; Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Hon. Justice George Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd); Sir James Ononiwu (NBA Ikeja); Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso (Otu Oka-Iwu Abuja); Hon. Sir. Ebuka Igwe (Anambra State House of Assembly); Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq.; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq (J.B Daudu SAN & Co); Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN; Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN; Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN (SPA Ajibade SAN & Co); FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokunbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs. Ayorinde (Ayorinde SAN & Co); Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs. Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN (Liman, Liman SAN & Co); Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi (Anambra State Judiciary); Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. (Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd); Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna (Abia State University, Uturu); Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo (S. I. Ameh SAN & Co); Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq. (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development); Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu (Trademoore Estate), among many others.

Some of the distinguishing benefits of Solar/Inverters include:

*Solar is cheaper at long-run!

*24 hours Power Supply for homes/offices

* Your current Power cost will drop by at least 50% after we install.

*No noise!

*No Pollution!

*Automatic change over!

*No fueling

*25 years warranty on the German Cells Solar panels.

To view the price list, click here

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COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on “X” (TWITTER) at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

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CLOSURE: ‘SAHAD STORES LAWYER NOT FAMILIAR WITH CASE,’ SAYS FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said that the lawyer sent to represent Sahad Supermarket & Stores in its  face-off with the commission was not familiar with the case.

CITY LAWYER recalls that the FCCPC had sealed off the head office of  popular Abuja supermarket over alleged customer extortion and lack of transparency in pricing.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, while sealing off the premises in Abuja, said the pricing disparity was an obnoxious practice which amounted to violation of rights under the FCCPA Act.

His words: “We called them to defend themselves but they failed to show up and in the long run, they sent a lawyer and the lawyer is not familiar with the case but we requested for names of people that we wanted to come and defend them.”

He said the pricing disparity contravened Section 155 (3) of the FCCPA while the fine amounted to N100 million or more, adding that “What we have found out that they are doing is misleading pricing and lack of transparency in their pricing which is against section 155 (3) of the FCCP Act.

“It is an obnoxious practice and amounts to violation of rights under the FCCPA.

“Section 155 of FCCPA states that any corporate person that contravenes this law is liable to a fine of N100 million or even more.

“We found out that they are contravening this law and made sure that we came to tell them that our mandate is very clear.

“What we have come here today to do is to make sure that they complied with the law.

“We called them to defend themselves but they failed to show up and in the long run, they sent a lawyer and the lawyer is not familiar with the case but we requested for names of people that we wanted to come and defend them.

“Those people refused to come and these are the people in charge of retail, fix prices on the computer system and shelves.

“We do not have a choice than to seal off the premises until they comply with the provisions of the law.” 

He said that the Commission would continue to protect the citizens in line with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, adding that the commission would continue to monitor the supermarket to make sure they comply with the law.

Mrs. Boladale Adeyinka, the Director Surveillance and Investigations Department of FCCPC, said that price tags on products on the shelves of the supermarket were different from prices at the pay point computers. Adeyinka said that even the same products and brand had different prices.

She said: “The same products, the same brand has different prices. One is N5,000 while one is N6,000.

“Imagine if you buy 10 pairs, that means you have been short-changed by N10,000.

“In this period, we want people to have maximum value for their money.” 

Mr. Salisu Zango, an official of Sahad Supermarket, admitted that the store had engaged in the practice but had since made amends. “We have corrected it,” he said.

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SOLAR4ALL: CHIEF GREG ONYEANISI, RIVERS JOY TRAVELS CO-FOUNDER, ‘OUR STAR CLIENT OF THE WEEK’

FEATURED

Solar For All: Chief Greg Ofor Onyeanisi [Co-Founder, Rivers Joy Travels & Tours Ltd, Port Harcourt] is our “Star Client of the week”.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria with 25 years warranty and “Pay Small Small,” call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

Visit: SolarForAll.ng
(Abuja) Suite A8, Kenuj O2 Mall ,Behind Games Village.
(Lagos) No 113A, Mainland Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
(Enugu State) Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka.

The Solar For All South-East/South-South Nigeria team are grateful to have been hosted at the Port Harcourt home of this distinguished industrialist.

Chief Greg Ofor Onyeanisi [The Idejuogwugwu of Eziowelle] is one of the Pioneers and founding fathers of Rivers Joy travels and Tours Ltd.

He is a massive employer of labour in various areas of endeavour and stands out as father and Grand Father to all.

It was a Solar System which carries all the basics in the home, ensures steady Power Supply and a reduction of the power cost to less than half.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include: Chief James Ogu Onoja SAN (Ofante Kogi State); Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye [the Soun of Ogbomoso]; Mrs. Ezinwa Nwanyieze Okoroafor Esq.; Dr. Chike Okogwu; Mr. Stephen Arubuike Esq. of G. Elias SAN &Co; Chief Solomon Umoh SAN; Alhj. Ohio Abdullahi; Amb. Gen. Tukur Burutai (COAS Rtd); Chief S. I. Ameh SAN; Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani Esq; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN; Dr. Anthony Ani (Federal Medical Center Cooperatives); Mr. Lawrence Nwaketi; Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP); Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE); Dr. Muiz Banire SAN; Chief Jude Onwuharonye Esq.; High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN; Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Hon. Justice George Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd); Sir James Ononiwu (NBA Ikeja); Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso (Otu Oka-Iwu Abuja); Hon. Sir. Ebuka Igwe (Anambra State House of Assembly); Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq.; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq (J.B Daudu SAN & Co); Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN; Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN; Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN (SPA Ajibade SAN & Co); FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokunbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs. Ayorinde (Ayorinde SAN & Co); Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs. Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN (Liman, Liman SAN & Co); Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi (Anambra State Judiciary); Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. (Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd); Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna (Abia State University, Uturu); Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo (S. I. Ameh SAN & Co); Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq. (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development); Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu (Trademoore Estate), among many others.

Some of the distinguishing benefits of Solar/Inverters include:
*Solar is cheaper at long-run!

*24 hours Power Supply for homes/offices

* Your current Power cost will drop by at least 50% after we install.

*No noise!

*No Pollution!

*Automatic change over!

*No fueling

*25 years warranty on the German Cells Solar panels.

To view the price list, click here

To join our CITY LAWYER platform on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on “X” (TWITTER) at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

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 SHOULD BE IN FOREFRONT TO PROMOTE NATIONAL SECURITY,’ SAYS AFAM OSIGWE

NEWS RELEASE

“Championing Safety and Accountability: Afam Osigwe’s Call to Action at the Nigerian Bar Association Garki Branch Meeting”

At the meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association Garki Branch, Afam Osigwe, SAN, a distinguished legal practitioner known for his advocacy, spoke passionately about the urgent need for the legal community to play an active role in advocating for the safety and security of all citizens. Afam underscored the imperative for the Nigerian Bar Association to take a leading stance in ensuring that law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, fulfill their duty of protecting lives and properties.

Afam eloquently expressed how the Nigerian Bar Association, with its extensive network and influence, possesses a unique ability to champion this cause by engaging directly with security agencies. He emphasized that the legal community must use its collective voice to urge the police to conduct thorough investigations into recent distressing incidents, such as the kidnapping of lawyer Mr. Chris Agidy and the tragic killing of a lawyer in Nnewi, as well as other similar occurrences nationwide.

In his address, Afam stressed the paramount importance of the police rising to the occasion and executing their responsibilities diligently. He emphasized that every threat to the well-being of lawyers and citizens must be meticulously investigated, and perpetrators must face swift and just prosecution to ensure accountability and deterrence.

Afam also called upon the leadership of the Garki branch, recognizing their pivotal role, to take decisive action in holding security agencies accountable. He urged them to assertively advocate for the fulfillment of the critical duty of safeguarding lives and properties, not just within their branch but throughout the legal community and beyond.

Afam’s impassioned plea at the Nigerian Bar Association’s Branch meeting serves as a rallying cry for the legal fraternity to unite in their efforts to uphold justice, protect human rights, and ensure the safety and security of all individuals within Nigerian society.

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NBA KICKS AGAINST NIGERIA-UK TRADE DEAL, VOWS LAWSUIT

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the controversial trade deal between Nigeria and the United Kingdom which opens up Nigeria’s legal market to UK lawyers.

In a strongly worded statement personally signed by NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN, he berated the Federal Government for inking the deal without consultation with NBA, saying that “It is indeed unfortunate that this tragic reminder of our colonial past is being gleefully celebrated at the highest level of the Government of Nigeria. What is more disheartening is that a decision of this magnitude that adversely affects the well-being and livelihood of millions of Nigerians could be taken without consultation, especially with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).”

According to Maikyau, “It is truly tragic that while the government of the UK is seeking opportunities for its own lawyers beyond its constrained environment, the government of Nigeria is attempting to deprive Nigerian lawyers and their millions of dependants of a means of livelihood. To embark on such a venture without recourse to the NBA is the height of insensitivity to the plight of the legal profession in Nigeria, which is totally unacceptable.”

He warned that NBA would take all necessary measures to express its rejection of the trade deal, adding: “As a starting point, I have convened a meeting of senior lawyers today with a view to devising an appropriate litigation strategy.

“We intend to fully challenge the legality of this agreement all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. This is without prejudice to other intervention measures that may be necessary to express our rejection of this agreement. I want to use this opportunity to call on all members of the NBA to brace up for the struggle ahead. Under my leadership, the NBA will not allow any incursion into our legal space.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that the rival Nigerian Law Society (NLS) had yesterday also expressed its rejection of the trade deal, even as it was celebrated by top Nigerian and UK trade officials.

While many lawyers frowned against the trade pact, a UK based lawyer told CITY LAWYER that “I would like to think it will be on equivalent basis with the English ‘Registered Foreign Lawyers’ scheme whereby you can register with the SRA and carry out some limited unreserved legal work and nothing more. If you are an RFL, you can practise the law of your home state, advise on English and Welsh law and provide unreserved legal services.”

He however said that African lawyers may be experiencing some disadvantage in the UK accreditation process. His words: “Having said that, my observation is that the SRA gives higher recognition to lawyers from non African Commonwealths like Australia and New Zealand over those from Nigeria and Ghana for example. The NBA should seek same level of reciprocity as the UK accords Australians from the SRA.”

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NBA YLF YENAGOA VISITS STATE CHIEF JUDGE, UNVEILS PROJECT

NEWS RELEASE

The Leadership of YLF Yenagoa Branch of NBA Meets with the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State

The Leadership of the Young Lawyers’ Forum (YLF), Yenagoa Branch of the NBA (with its desire to build a more cordial relationship with senior lawyers and the Bench, particularly in their bid to bring everyone on board the “Building Capacity Train”) recently paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Honourable Justice Matilda Abrakasa Ayemieye.

The delegation which included the EXCOs and other young lawyers, was led by the Chairman, YLF Yenagoa, Izibetoyin Eze.

Speaking through the Chairman, the young lawyers appreciated the Chief Judge for the audience as well as congratulated the Chief Judge on her elevation to the position of Chief Judge of the State.

Thereafter, the YLF Chairman relayed to the Chief Judge the programmes set out by the new leadership of the YLF, Yenagoa (Building Capacity Project).

Responding to her young visitors in a motherly tone, the Chief Judge applauded the ideas of the leadership of the YLF, Yenagoa, particularly the area of character building and mentorship which are key tools for the success of every young lawyer.

The Chief Judge, Hon. Justice M. A. Ayemieye advised the leadership of the YLF Yenagoa to pass the message to other young lawyers that there is a need for all young lawyers to be resilient in their practice if they must make it in the legal profession. She re-echoed the need to have good character, vision and focus as a young lawyer. Justice Ayemieye added that hard work pays eventually for every lawyer.

Furthermore, she advised the young lawyers to be exposed to new and emerging areas of law, specialize in them, and gather more knowledge through further education, as these are what makes a lawyer to stand out and be sellable.

The meeting ended with the leadership of the YLF, Yenagoa making a presentation to Justice Ayemieye for and on behalf of the entire YLF Yenagoa Branch.

Signed:
Smith Livinus-Agala.
Publicity Secretary, YLF, Yenagoa

Esther Daniel
Assistant Publicity Secretary, YLF, Yenagoa

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NBA-SPIDEL SAYS MAIKYAU’S INACTION THREAT TO JUSTICE DELIVERY

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) has delivered a blistering reposte to the allegation by NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN that the section was undermining his administration.

In a 13-page response to the January 31, 2024 letter by Maikyau, SPIDEL cited instances where it had sought to make strategic interventions on public interest matters, adding that it was held back by the NBA President.

In one of the instances, SPIDEL alleged that controversial politician, Mr. Chuma Nzeribe, was released from Kuje Correctional Centre by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court under murky circumstances.

Signed by its Chairman, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, the statement reads: “You may also recall that around 1 pm on 2nd August 2023, you telephoned me and directed that SPIDEL cease all actions on its letter dated 24th August 2023 titled “A HUMBLE REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION ON THE ALLEGED RELEASE OF MR. CHUMA NZERIBE FROM THE KUJE CORRECTIONAL CENTER ABUJA.”

“As you are aware, we had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory to clarify the allegation that the Honourable Chief Judge – under the guise of a prison visit on 24th May 2023 -unlawfully released from the Kuje Correctional Centre, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe, a convict who was on 24th May 2022, sentenced to a 7 (seven) year jail term by Hon. Justice Yusuf Halilu of FCT High Court 14 sitting in Wuse. You had assured us that you would revert to us on the issue. To date, SPIDEL has yet to hear from you on this serious matter, which has grave implications for Nigeria’s criminal justice administration. It is noteworthy that this matter was discussed at the SPIDEL General Meeting held on 31st August 2023 on the sidelines of the 2023 Annual General Conference. The minutes of the meeting will bear this out. The issue was also highlighted in the SPIDEL Report to the Pre-Conference NEC Meeting in August 2023, particularly on page 221 of the NEC bundle.”

Below is the full text of the statement.

9th February, 2024

Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, OON, SAN
President,
Nigerian Bar Association,
NBA House, Plot 1101, Mohammadu Buhari Way,
Central Business District, Abuja.

Dear Mr. President,

RE: THE ACTIVITIES OF SPIDEL UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP

We refer to your letter on the above subject dated 31st January 2024.

You would recall that upon receipt of the letter which was delivered via email, I promptly replied on 1st February 2024 and urged your understanding for me to provide a more detailed response in writing. Suffice it to say that your letter, having been published by at least one news blog even before we received the hard copy, became available to the public at large and especially to our members. This compelled the SPIDEL Executive Committee to summon an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) under Article XIX(b) of the Uniform Bye-Laws of the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended in 2021).

At the Extraordinary General Meeting held on Sunday, 4th February 2024, the General Meeting mandated me to respond to your letter as appropriate. Permit me therefore to address the issues raised in your letter seriatim:

You stated in paragraph 1 of your letter as follows: “I have had cause on several occasions to draw your attention to statements and publications issued at the instance of SPIDEL, with you as Chairman. I have also spoken to you about the need to respect the sanctity of our Constitution and to maintain order and decorum in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). You have remained adamant and proceeded as though SPIDEL exists all by itself, independent of the NBA and its structures.”
Response:
This is not quite correct, Mr. President. Aside from our discussion on Sunday, 28th January 2024, the only other time we spoke on this issue was sometime in August 2023 when you frowned at SPIDEL’s involvement in the Kano Election Petition Tribunal Bribery Allegations upon the publication of the Section’s press statement of 16th August 2023. I recall that you were very angry, claiming that I made you look incompetent. I sought to assuage your angst while pledging my unalloyed support and loyalty at all times.

Sometime in September 2023, I had cause to inform you of a planned visit to the University of Calabar to interrogate the sexual assault allegations against Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the now-suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law. This followed a SPIDEL press statement on 13th September 2023. You said SPIDEL should steer clear of the matter, saying you would rather send the NBA’s 1st Vice President to investigate the matter. Indeed, you wondered if I would have allowed anyone to take the shine off me when I was the 1st Vice President of the Association. In deference to you, SPIDEL steered clear of both the Kano Election Petition Tribunal Bribery and Prof. Cyril Ndifon’s matter to date.

On 21st January 2024, you sent me a blog post titled “NBA-SPIDEL Investigates Allegations by Justice Flora Azinge of Attempted Bribery by Unnamed Senior Advocate Nigeria [SAN].” You did not accompany the said blog post with any comment or otherwise. Accordingly, I was at a loss as to the intent of the message.

More importantly, this issue had been dealt with by us in August 2023, before the pre-conference National Executive Council Meeting and the Annual General Meeting in Abuja. It is, therefore, rather uncharitable to suggest that SPIDEL made a press statement in January 2024 on an issue that happened in August 2023. The blog post that you forwarded to me was published on 17th August 2023 and NOT in January 2024.
This is six (6) months after. We are at a loss why you are resurrecting this issue.

It is also not the case that you had made any statement or taken any action on the Kano Election Tribunal matter before SPIDEL issued its Press Statement on 16th August 2023. It is, therefore, untenable to suggest that we issue our statement in disregard of any alleged actions you had taken on the issue at the relevant time.

On 19th January 2024, you again sent me a blog post titled “NBA SPIDEL boss Aikpokpo-Martins reiterates call on Edo Government to swear in 8 Edo Judges designate.” Again, you did not accompany the said blog post with any comment.

Indeed, you would recall that the lingering issue of the non-swearing-in of the judges-designate was brought to the attention of the National Executive Council (NEC) at its last meeting vide my report to NEC as the Chairman of SPIDEL. *Permit me to refer you to pages 88 and 89 of the December 2023 NEC Bundle.* It was after I rendered my report that you remarked that the Edo State Governor reserves the discretion as to when to swear in the judges. The issue was not discussed, and NEC never took a position on it. Truly, I was in Benin City but on the invitation of some NBA branch chairmen and Bar leaders who sought for me to accompany them on visits to the Edo State Chief Judge and Edo State Attorney-General respectively to advocate on this issue. I then had the privilege of being interviewed by the press on the issue and other matters during my said visit.

On Sunday, 28 January 2024, you forwarded the press statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of SPIDEL titled “NBA-SPIDEL FILES SUIT AGAINST NYSC, HANNATU MUSA MUSAWA & KENNY OGUNGBE.” Characteristically, you did not accompany the blog post with any comment or otherwise. Indeed, you forwarded the message to me at 4:25 pm. At exactly 5:50 pm, you telephoned me and queried why I did not respond to your message. I explained that you merely forwarded to me a SPIDEL press statement without more. You immediately flew into a rage and threatened to deal with me and with SPIDEL, noting that you have been inundated with calls on the lawsuit. I requested that you point out specifically what SPIDEL has done wrong, assuring you that I would promptly apologize if necessary. You asked whether what SPIDEL was doing was right; I responded that, to the best of my knowledge, SPIDEL has merely been discharging its mandate within the confines of the NBA Constitution and in pursuit of NBA objectives and the public interest. You again repeated your threat to “deal with SPIDEL.”

Suffice it to note that, being a matter of public concern, Mr. President may be inundated with telephone calls, the identity of the callers notwithstanding. SPIDEL also does not have control over how news outlets cast their headlines. What is clear, however, is that the lawsuit was NOT instituted in the name of the Association.

It is a fact that SPIDEL authored the letters addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) titled, “The UNLAWFUL PRACTICE OF CONFISCATING THE PHONES OF LEGAL PRACTITIONERS VISITING DSS OFFICES THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL DUTIES: A DEMAND FOR IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF UNLAWFUL AND DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE.” For the records, the letters were dated 10th January 2024 and delivered on 26th January 2024. Mr. President had indicated in your letter that “these actions may not be bad in themselves ….” If we may then ask, what is wrong with the letters which are intended primarily to protect the interest and dignity of lawyers?

Most respectfully, Mr. President, we find it rather incongruous that, following the unfortunate kidnap of a lawyer, your “intervention was almost rebuffed on account of that letter.” Does it mean that the lives and safety of citizens are now dictated by how public entities feel about steps taken to safeguard citizens’ rights? Further, we do not agree with the view that SPIDEL is encroaching on the duties of the NBA Security Agencies Relations Committee (SARC). While Mr. President is at liberty to create sundry committees to tackle certain issues. It is imperative to note that, as a Section, the mandate and objectives of SPIDEL are protected by the NBA Constitution. Specifically, Section 17(1) of the NBA Constitution provides as follows: “There shall be for the Association such Sections as the National Executive Council of the Association shall establish to advance the aims and objects of the Association.” It may well be the case that it is the NBA committees that veer into areas expected to be dealt with by SPIDEL. Again, while some entities affected by our public interest interventions may view the same as “confrontational,” it becomes doubly worrisome and discouraging when Mr. President also shares this untenable perception.

On its part, SPIDEL has a primary mandate to protect the public interest. Consistent with this mandate, SPIDEL wrote the letter titled “RE: ISSUANCE OF CENTRAL MOTOR REGISTRY INFORMATION SYSTEM (CMRIS) BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE: A DEMAND FOR THE IMMEDIATE STOPPAGE OF SAME.” The letter was dated 29th January 2024 and delivered to the Inspector General of Police the same day.

A. PRIOR APPROVAL FROM THE NBA PRESIDENT FOR SPIDEL’S ACTIVITIES
Mr. President, in your letter under reference, you accused SPIDEL of “ignoring our Rules and Procedures of dealing with matters of this nature.” Suffice it to note that you did not state the specific “Rules and Procedure” that were breached by SPIDEL. Perhaps as a clue, you indicated “Like the previous posts, I did not know about this, and there was no approval for it, and those other actions being taken by SPIDEL.” Again, in purportedly banning the activities of SPIDEL, you stated that “henceforth, you shall not undertake any engagement with any third party without prior consultation and permission from me as President with the approval of the National Executive Council of the NBA.” It would therefore seem that Mr. President is under the mistaken perception that SPIDEL must obtain “permission” or “approval” from him before embarking on any of its activities. We do not, with respect, think that the drafters of the NBA Constitution envisaged that NBA Sections would be micro-managed by the NBA President. Indeed, the NBA Constitution does NOT support such approvals or permission. This fact is borne out by the relevant provisions of the NBA Constitution and the Uniform Bye-Laws for Sections. Permit me to set out a few of these provisions for ease of reference.

• *ART. XI(c) of the Uniform Bye-Laws provides as follows: “Duties: The Executive Committee of the Section shall have general supervision and control of the affairs of the Section, subject to:*
any restrictions which the National Executive Council of the Association may, from time to time, impose;
any decision duly taken at the General Meeting of the Section and
These Bye-Laws:
X

• ART XI(h) of the Uniform Bye-Laws provides as follows: “ *General Authority: The Executive Committee of the Section may act on behalf of the Section concerning all matters relevant to the Section during intervals between their General Meetings.”*

From the foregoing provisions, it is clear that the NBA Constitution has not accorded Mr. President any role howsoever in the management, control, and supervision of SPIDEL in particular and NBA Sections in general. It bears repeating that no provision in the NBA Constitution mandates SPIDEL to seek “permission” or “approval” from Mr. President before carrying out its activities. Indeed, Article XXI of the Uniform Bye-Laws provides that “ *The Section shall design their activities, subject to the approval of its (sic) Executive Committee of the Section.”*

For the avoidance of doubt, the only constitutional role given to the NBA President about Sections is the appointment of a Liaison Officer. Article X(b) of the Uniform Bye-Laws for Sections provides that “The President of the Association shall appoint any senior Staff of the Association as a liaison Officer to the Section.” Article X(c) of the Uniform Bye-Laws also provides that “The Liaison Officer shall report to the President of the Association as well as provide where required of him or her information required by officers of the Section in support of their duties.” It is instructive that aside from the fact Mr. President has duly appointed a Liaison Officer for the Section, SPIDEL has been working in harmony with the Liaison Officer.

B. OVERSIGHT OF SPIDEL
The NBA Constitution is clear as to the entity that has a supervisory role over SPIDEL. Accordingly, Article XXII of the Uniform Bye-Laws provides as follows: “Supervision/Report: The Section shall be under the supervision of the National Executive Council, and as such each Section shall present Annual Report at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association.” It is therefore clear that Mr. President has no supervisory role whatsoever over SPIDEL or NBA Sections. To attempt to do so is to usurp the powers duly vested in the National Executive Council by the NBA Constitution.

C. SECTION 17(4) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NBA 2015 (AS AMENDED IN 2021)
In your letter, you drew our attention to Section 17(4) of the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended in 2021) and alleged as follows: “Needless to say, your actions have in several respects breached this, and other provisions of the Constitution.” We note that the facts do not bear out this conclusion.
Section 17(4) of the NBA Constitution provides: “No Section, Section Committee or any of their officers or other representatives, shall represent the Association or hold themselves out as representing the Association in any respect, or take any action in the name of the Association except as authorized by the National Executive Council or the Bye-Law.”
It is noteworthy that SPIDEL has never held itself out as representing the Association either in press statements or in cases instituted in court. All press statements were duly issued in the name of the Section while all the cases instituted by SPIDEL were done in our names as follows: “John Aikpokpo-Martins; Funmi Adeogun; chairman and secretary respectively, for themselves and on behalf of members of NBA-SPIDEL”. SPIDEL has not in any way breached the aforesaid section of the NBA Constitution. This is even though Mr. President conceded that SPIDEL’s “actions may not be bad in themselves.”
CONSULTATIONS AND TRUNCATION OF SPIDEL’S INITIATIVES
Scuttled Conference on Religious Tolerance.
You will recall that sometime after the killing of Usman Buda in Sokoto in June 2023 for alleged blasphemy, I informed you vide a telephone call on 1st July 2023 of SPIDEL’s plan to organize a conference on religious tolerance. I noted that I had made contact with the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) through its President, among others. It was to be the first major program following my election as SPIDEL Chairman. You said you would prefer the Association to take up the initiative. I deferred to you. I thereafter called you to follow up on the planned dialogue. To date, nothing has been done about the program.

Yearly Renewal of Proof of Ownership.
You may recall that on 24th July 2023, I was in your office at the National Secretariat to brief you on our meeting with SYC Technologies Limited on the yearly renewal of Proof of Ownership certificates at a mandatory fee of N1,000. We intended to sue the company, the Federal Government, and the Lagos State Government, given the additional hardship the scheme will wreak on citizens. You requested that I arrange another meeting with the company. The meeting was eventually fixed for 2nd August 2023 in your office. While we all assembled in your office on the said date, you never turned up for the meeting. I called you to follow up, but you neither answered nor returned my calls.

Again, on 9th September 2023, I sent you a WhatsApp text message that I wanted to discuss some urgent SPIDEL matters, but you did not respond.

On 11th September 2023, at exactly 5 pm, I forwarded the draft processes of the proof of ownership case we intended to file for your information. I also sought your approval to sue in the name of the Association. You never responded. Having not received your permission, SPIDEL opted to file the lawsuit (Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1285/2023) in the name of its chairman, secretary, and another member, and for and on behalf of SPIDEL members.

Re: Case of Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory
You may also recall that around 1 pm on 2nd August 2023, you telephoned me and directed that SPIDEL cease all actions on its letter dated 24th August 2023 titled “A HUMBLE REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION ON THE ALLEGED RELEASE OF MR. CHUMA NZERIBE FROM THE KUJE CORRECTIONAL CENTER ABUJA.” As you are aware, we had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory to clarify the allegation that the Honourable Chief Judge – under the guise of a prison visit on 24th May 2023 -unlawfully released from the Kuje Correctional Centre, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe, a convict who was on 24th May 2022, sentenced to a 7 (seven) year jail term by Hon. Justice Yusuf Halilu of FCT High Court 14 sitting in Wuse. You had assured us that you would revert to us on the issue. To date, SPIDEL has yet to hear from you on this serious matter, which has grave implications for Nigeria’s criminal justice administration. It is noteworthy that this matter was discussed at the SPIDEL General Meeting held on 31st August 2023 on the sidelines of the 2023 Annual General Conference. The minutes of the meeting will bear this out. The issue was also highlighted in the SPIDEL Report to the Pre-Conference NEC Meeting in August 2023, particularly on page 221 of the NEC bundle.

OTHER MATTERS.
On 24th August 2023, I sought your approval vide a WhatsApp message sent at 9:18 am. for SPIDEL to observe the Edo State Local Government Election to be held on 2nd September 2023. Mr. President did not respond to the request.

On the same day, 24th August 2023 at exactly 5:21 pm, I forwarded to you a news report by CITY LAWYER news blog titled “FAMILY BLAMES LASUTH, EVERCARE HOSPITAL OVER DEATH OF LAGOS LAWYER” (available at https://citylawyermag.com/family-blames-lasuth-evercare-hospital-over-death-of-lagos-lawyer/). I accompanied the same with the following note: “NBA-SPIDEL is interested in taking up this matter with the view of bringing the medical institutions involved to book. I thought it fit to inform you, seeing that the victim is a lawyer.” You have not responded to date.

We invited Mr. President to our SPIDEL Leaders’ Reunion Dinner initially scheduled to be held on the 1st floor of NBA House on 28th August 2023 on the sidelines of the Annual General Conference. Not only did you fail to dignify us with a response; you went a step further to lock us out and bar us from use of the NBA hall on the day of the scheduled dinner. Needless to say, this action occasioned grave inconvenience to SPIDEL and our invited Bar Leaders, more as the venue had long been advertised. We scrambled to deploy another venue at very short notice and at great cost to the Section.

CONCLUSION
Mr. President, arising from the foregoing, it is our firm belief that SPIDEL has never undermined your office. On the contrary, it would seem that Mr. President has – wittingly or otherwise – impeded many laudable SPIDEL initiatives aimed at promoting NBA objectives, the rule of law, and the public interest. Indeed, SPIDEL would have been rendered comatose had it relied solely on your “permission” or “approval” to carry out its activities, seeing that it has virtually received none after several efforts. Instructively, you have made the saying, “the legal practitioner lives for the direction of his people and the advancement of the cause of his Country” (Sir Christopher Alexander Sapara Williams) your core mantra. Again, in your statement to mark the 2023 INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, you stated “We have a critical role to play in society and that is not something to be treated with levity or taken lightly. We must work daily to uphold the rights of Nigerians because human rights are the catalyst for the development we seek.” This is all that SPIDEL has consistently striven to do.
Suffice it to state that any fair-minded observer will come to the inescapable conclusion that all SPIDEL activities have been guided by the provisions of the NBA Constitution and the Uniform Bye-Laws for Sections. The Section has consistently made reports of its activities to NEC under Article XXII of the Uniform Bye-Laws for Sections. These activities have been conducted in a manner as to promote the aims and objectives of the Association. While it is true that our actions are deliberate, it is untenable to contend that such actions are aimed “to serve other motives other than the interest of the Bar.”

RESOLUTIONS OF SPIDEL EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING OF 4TH FEBRUARY, 2024
Mr. President, as stated earlier, under the howbeit curious publication of your letter to the whole world, the Executive Committee of SPIDEL convened an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to deliberate on the issues raised. This is more when you directed the leadership of the Section to “suspend all actions presently being undertaken by SPIDEL, particularly the matters stated above, until the scheduled meeting and further directives as may be approved by the National Executive Council.” You further directed SPIDEL “not undertake any engagement with any third party without prior consultation and permission from me as President with the approval of the National Executive Council of the NBA.”

Upon an extensive deliberation on your letter, the Extraordinary General Meeting RESOLVED as follows: That SPIDEL views as highly worrisome and the publication of your letter even before the same was delivered to the Section;
By the said publication, Mr. President may have exposed SPIDEL’s Chairman, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, to harm’s way, given the apparent disclaimer issued regarding SPIDEL’s activities and especially as it concerns the security agencies;
SPIDEL views your ‘directives’ suspending its activities as null, void, and of no effect whatsoever, given that such directives are ultra vires your powers as NBA President and amount to a breach of the provisions of the constitution of the Association. For the avoidance of doubt, the meeting directed the Executive Committee to continue to implement programs aimed at promoting public interest and hamstringing official impunity.
SPIDEL restates its solemn commitment to the promotion of the rule of law. Accordingly, SPIDEL will continue to make its best efforts to work with Mr. President towards fostering the aims and objectives of the Association, even as it shall firmly defend the NBA Constitution and the public interest no matter whose ox is gored.

Please accept the assurances of our highest consideration and esteem.

Yours Respectfully,

John Aikpokpo-Martins, Esq.
Chairman, NBA-SPIDEL

Copy to:
All National Officers.
NBA Trustees
Past NBA Presidents
NBA NEC Members
Chairmen of Sections

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‘FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION, A VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS,’ SAYS AFAM OSIGWE

2024 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation; The Vital Role of Lawyers in Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation

On the occasion of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, it is imperative to address the grave dangers associated with this harmful practice and highlight the crucial role that lawyers play in the ongoing fight to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Female Genital Mutilation, a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based violence poses serious physical and psychological risks to women and girls. As legal professionals, we have a responsibility to advocate for the protection of these rights and contribute to the global effort to eliminate this harmful practice.

The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and The Nigerian Bar Association Women Forum have been instrumental in raising awareness, providing legal support, and advocating for policy changes to combat FGM. Their tireless efforts have significantly contributed to the progress made in the fight against this deeply rooted tradition.

However, there is a pressing need for lawyers and indeed the Nigerian Bar Association to take a more proactive stance in this battle. Lawyers, as guardians of justice, should actively engage in legislative initiatives, public awareness campaigns, and legal interventions to ensure the eradication of FGM. By leveraging our legal expertise, we can influence policies that protect the rights of women and girls, promote education on the dangers of FGM, and support survivors seeking justice.

Together, we can use our legal expertise to create meaningful change, working in collaboration with organizations like FIDA and the Nigerian Bar Association Women’s Forum to advance the cause of women’s rights and eliminate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.

AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

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AFAM OSIGWE PAYS TRIBUTE TO UWECHUE, OKEAYA-INNEH

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN has paid glowing tribute to the memory of former Chairman of the Body of Benchers, late Chief George Nwokocha Uwechue SAN.

Osigwe also attended the Special Court Session in Benin in honour of Dr. Kolawole Shola Okeaya-Inneh, fondly remembered as the father of Honourable Justice Joy Oghogho Okeaya-Inneh, Ade Okeaya-Inneh SAN, Osahon Okeaya-Inneh Esq, among others.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Special Court Session in Asaba in honour of the legal luminary, Osigwe extolled his commitment to the ideals of fairness, equality and justice. He spoke of Uwechue’s visionary leadership and profound influence during his chairmanship of the Body of Benchers.

He recalled Uwechue’s dedication to mentoring younger generations of lawyers, cementing his memory as an embodiment of wisdom and humility.

The special court session for Okeaya-Inneh was presided over by Edo State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice D.I Okungbowa, and witnessed by many notable dignitaries including Hon. Justice Samson O. Uwaifo, JSC (retd); judges of the High Court of Edo State; Court of Appeal Justices; NBA President, Mr. Y. C. Maikyau, SAN; Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluwole Osaze Uzzi; former NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN; Chief Solomon Asemota SAN; Chief Charles Edosomwan SAN, and Mr. Ighodalo Imadegbelo SAN, among others.

Osigwe paid his respects to the memory of the late sage alongside other legal luminaries and family members of Dr. Kolawole Shola Okeaya-Inneh. The session served as a poignant moment to celebrate the life and contributions of the late legal luminary.

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AFAM OSIGWE URGES LEGAL EDUCATION REFORM

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION; A CALL FOR URGENT REFORM IN LEGAL EDUCATION BY AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

On this International Day of Education, I wish to celebrate the profound impact of education on our society, particularly highlighting the pivotal role of legal education. Education is the cornerstone of societal progress, fostering intellectual growth, and nurturing a citizenry equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute meaningfully to the development of our nation.

In the context of legal education in Nigeria, it is paramount to acknowledge the collective efforts of stakeholders who have dedicated themselves to the growth and development of legal education in our country. However, it is essential to recognize the need for urgent reform to ensure that our legal education system remains a dynamic force that responds vibrantly to the unique challenges and opportunities within our Nigerian context.

The call for reform echoes loudly in the halls of our universities. The current five-year duration demands a critical review, and we must inject vitality into the curriculum. Integrating subjects like Data Privacy/Protection, Intellectual Property, and Maritime Law is not just an academic necessity but a strategic move to equip our students with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of our distinct legal environment, and the numerous opportunities that abound. As we delve into the heart of our foundational legal subjects like Jurisprudence and Commercial Transactions, the passion for change intensifies. Our curriculum must mirror the pressing legal issues and economic realities that define our Nigerian experience. It is a call to arms, urging us to forge an education system that not only imparts knowledge but nurtures resilience and adaptability in our future legal professionals.

The clarion call for reform echoes louder as we turn our gaze towards the Nigerian Law School. Let us envision a transformation that turns this institution into a true crucible of practical legal skills. It should stand as a vocational powerhouse, closing the gap between theoretical knowledge and the demands of real-world legal practice. In doing so, we create a breed of legal professionals uniquely equipped to contribute meaningfully to our nation’s growth.

In celebrating the International Day of Education, let our passion fuel our commitment to reshaping legal education in Nigeria. With collaborative efforts, guided by a deep sense of purpose, we can forge a path that ensures our legal education system not only upholds tradition but surges ahead, molding individuals who will champion justice and progress in our great nation.

AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

‘WE’RE COMMITTED TO DELIVER FAIR, CREDIBLE ELECTIONS,’ SAYS ECNBA

ECNBA PRELIMINARY NOTICE NO.1, ON THE NBA 2024 ELECTIONS

Distinguished Colleagues,

It is a pleasure for us to formally open our engagement with members of the Nigerian Bar Association, as the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) for the NBA 2024 elections, with our first of ECNBA notices to be issued pursuant to our powers under section 10 and the second schedule of the NBA Constitution 2015 (As amended). We recognize the critical responsibility we are tasked with and are committed to delivering for our association, a smooth transition via a transparent, credible, free and fair elections.

In preparation for the elections, this ECNBA Notice No.1 commences the journey. As you are aware, payment of Bar Practicing fees for the year 2024 opens 1st January 2024 and runs till 31st March 2024. It is imperative that as members, we note the following information, to ensure your details as members of the NBA are fully captured:

1.Ensure you proceed to the NBA Online Portal to register and/or update your details there. Visit https://portal.nigerianbar.org.ng It takes only two minutes to complete.

If you are using an Android mobile phone, you can update by downloading the mobile application link to the NBA DIGITAL APP from the Play store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ng.org.nigerianbar
If you are using an Apple mobile phone, you can update by downloading the mobile application link to the NBA DIGITAL APP on the Apple store at https:// apps.apple.com/us/app/nba-digital-app/id6464066248
2. Upon completion of your update of records, you can then proceed to pay for your 2024 Bar Practicing fee (BPF) as may be due. We advise members to print out their automated receipts once received, for your records.

3. For a video guide to assist you in the process, kindly visit the YouTube page via the link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist? list=PL1wr7mGx9e9JkMl1Pvrpy_iAdZfBf9ct7

4. Please note that in order to be captured in the voters’ list, payment of BPF can only be done through the NBA portal or the new NBA digital app and not by physical payment at the bank.

5. In the coming weeks, we will be issuing further notices in furtherance of the process of elections, voter education, guidelines and regulations governing the NBA 2024 Elections. Help lines, and an email enquiry desk shall be provided and details circulated to members to ensure quick communication, responses and actions on enquiries from members.

While assuring the generality of the Bar of our commitment and dedication to the objectives with which we have been charged, we covet the cooperation of all members of the Bar, in ensuring a smooth and successful election exercise.

Accept our best wishes for the season.

OLUSEUN ABIMBOLA SAN
Chairman

HUWAILA IBRAHIM
Secretary

Dated 5th January , 2024

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CORDELIA EKE URGES SENIOR LAWYERS TO REKINDLE BAR INTEREST

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt Branch Secretary, Mrs. Cordelia Eke has urged senior lawyers to rekindle their interest in Bar activities.

In a New Year message to lawyers, Eke, who is a ranking Director in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice, noted that this is one of the major ways to lift the fortunes and standards of the legal profession.

Said the former NBA Port Harcourt Publicity Secretary: “I appeal particularly to our learned Silks and senior members of the branches, especially in my dear Port Harcourt Branch, to rekindle their interest in branch activities as the branch is in dire need of their guidance and direction at this time.”

She urged lawyers “not to give up on our profession and our Bar Association,” adding that “We all form an integral part of its existence and have a stake in its future, whether we work in the public service, corporate body, or private practice. It is our collective responsibility to turn around our fortunes for the better by getting more involved in the decision-making process of the NBA, starting from our various branches, up to the national level. This, we can do by attending general meetings and airing our views.”

Calling on lawyers to ensure that they are healthy at all times, the Bar Leader said: “As we return to our respective work schedules and duty posts, I encourage lawyers to take particular care of their health and be ready to make lifestyle changes if necessary, to avoid cases of untimely death resulting from stress and other avoidable conditions.

“While it is true that we must earn a living, we should also keep in mind that it is a living being who can enjoy the fruits of his labour. In the same spirit, we must do our best to give life to the NBA NEC’s proposal with respect to the remuneration of Lawyers in order to cater to the welfare of younger colleagues. Indeed, we must be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.”

Turning to electoral matters, the former Secretary of the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) urged lawyers to uphold highest ethical standards, saying: “We must all, individually and collectively, continue to uphold the ethics and traditions of the profession in all that we do, including in our electoral process this year.”

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SOLAR4ALL: SIR TEDDY OMEZIRI, EX NBA REP, IS OUR ‘STAR CLIENT OF THE WEEK’

Solar For All: Sir Teddy Omeziri Esq, McArb (Past NEC Rep, NBA Aba Branch) is our “Star Client of the week”.

With over 30 years post-call towering expertise, Sir Teddy Omeziri stands out as a leader of the Bar and a mentor to many.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria; with 25years warranty and “Pay Small Small”, call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

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The Solar For All South-East/South-South team are grateful to have been hosted at the Aba, Abia State home of the distinguished Lawyer.

Beyond a stellar career in Law, Sir. Thadeus Omeziri loves golf which he plays with great passion.

It was a 4 kva 4 batteries, 9 Panels Solar System which carries all the basics in the home, ensures steady Power Supply and a reduction of the power cost to less than half.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include Amb. Gen. Tukur Buratai (COAS Rtd), Hon. Justice Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd), Sir James Ononiwu of NBA Ikeja, Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja, Hon. Sir Ebuka Igwe of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN, Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP), Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE), Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq of J.B Daudu SAN & Co; Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN of SPA Ajibade SAN & Co; FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokumbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs Ayorinde of Ayorinde SAN & Co; Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN of Liman, Liman SAN & Co; Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi of the Anambra State Judiciary; Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. of Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd; Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna of Abia State University, Uturu; Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo of S. I. Ameh SAN & Co; Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu of the Trademoore Estate, among many others.

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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.

ETI-OSA LAWYERS’ FORUM SCRIBE DIES, EX NBA LAGOS CHAIR MOURNS

The Eti-Osa Lawyers’ Forum (ELF) has announced the death of its Founding Secretary, Mr. Abioye Abdul-Lateef Akerele.

The Chairman of ELF, Mr. Adewale Sanni described the deceased Bar activist as “one of the initiators of ELF who doggedly committed to the Eti-Osa Judicial Division and NBA Eti-Osa Branch project.”

In an emotion-laden voice, Sanni, who said he was “still in shock and devastated” by the passing of his confidante, told CITY LAWYER that “We both envisioned what today is ELF and what it has become. Indeed, he gave me maximum and unflinching support throughout his life time. I’m so inconsolable.

“On more than one occasion when I had suggested stepping down as Chair, considering the length of time on the project and the toll on my other commitments, he always urged me to stay till the full realization of our objectives, that it will be a legacy for lawyers and the community and therefore worth the while. He reasoned that while the price we are paying now may be enormous, it’s worth the sacrifice.”

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER, the forum noted that Akerele “who transitioned to glory on Sunday the 10th of December 2023 at the age of 60 years will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites on Tuesday, 12th of December 2023 at Atan Cemetery Yaba, Lagos State by 4:00pm prompt.”

Among the early mourners is his political soul-mate and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Martin Ogunleye who wrote: “My friend, nay, my brother has gone. We never bade each other farewell. As I thought the worst was over.”

ETI-OSA LAWYERS’ FORUM OBITUARY/BURIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

With a heavy heart, we announce that the Secretary of the Eti-Osa Lawyers’ Forum, Mr. Abioye Abdul-Lateef Akerele who transitioned to glory on Sunday the 10th of December 2023 at the age of 60 years will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites on Tuesday, 12th of December 2023 at Atan Cemetery Yaba, Lagos State by 4:00pm prompt.

Members of this Forum are enjoined to be in attendance to pay our last respect to our founding member and pioneer Secretary.

Signed
MMA Sanni
Chairman ELF.

TRIBUTES

AN IROKO HAS FALLEN

Today I shed tears.
My limbs are weak
And tomorrow looks bleak.

My friend, nay, my brother has gone
We never bade each other farewell
As I thought the worst was over.

Together we journeyed across Nigeria,
Partners seeking a new dawn
For the profession we so love.

We shared great moments together,
Happy times, sad ones but with courage
As we had each other’s backs.

Here today yet gone tomorrow,
The vanity of life.
My brother is gone!

An Iroko tree has fallen
And I am helpless and bitter as I grieve.

Farewell Abioye, great nationalist, patriot and loyal friend.

Just last month we celebrated together, we shall reunite at the resurrection dawn!

Otunba Martin Ogunleye

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AFAM OSIGWE EXTOLS HUMAN RIGHTS, FHC, NBA PH, OHAFIA, JOS

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN breezed through NBA Port Harcourt and NBA Ohafia and was hosted by friends and associates at NBA Jos to draw the curtains on the branch 2023 Law Week. 

Aside from celebrating the International Human Rights Day, the Bar Leader also joined the Federal High Court to mark its 50 years anniversary. A statement made available to CITY LAWYER reads: “His presence at this historic event was not only a testament to his commitment to the legal profession but also a recognition of the court’s enduring legacy in shaping justice and the rule of law in Nigeria.”

CHAMPIONING EQUALITY, FREEDOM, AND JUSTICE: A REFLECTION ON THE 2023 INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

As we mark the 2023 International Human Rights Day under the resonant theme of “Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All,” it serves as a poignant reminder of the principles that should be the bedrock of our shared existence. This theme encapsulates the essence of human rights, challenging us to reflect on the state of freedom, equality, and justice across the globe.

Freedom:
The right to freedom lies at the core of human rights. As we celebrate this day, it is imperative to recognize that freedom extends beyond mere absence of restraint; it encompasses the liberty to express oneself, to live without fear of persecution, and to participate fully in society. However, we must acknowledge that many individuals around the world still yearn for the unrestricted exercise of their basic freedoms.

Equality:
Equality stands as a cornerstone of a just and compassionate world. On this day, we must confront the harsh reality that despite strides toward progress, deep-rooted inequalities persist. Discrimination based on race, gender, socio-economic status, and other factors remains a stark challenge. Achieving true equality requires not only legal frameworks but a collective commitment to dismantling systemic barriers that hinder equal opportunities for all.

Justice:
Justice, the very essence of human rights, demands our unwavering dedication. It is not only about legal systems but about fairness, accountability, and addressing systemic injustices. On this day, we reflect on the millions who continue to face human rights violations, emphasizing the urgency to reform institutions and practices that perpetuate inequality and injustice.

This year’s theme calls us to action. It prompts governments to reevaluate policies that impede freedom, civil society to amplify marginalized voices, and individuals to question their own biases. It is a rallying cry for a world where everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, can enjoy the inalienable rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As we commemorate the 2023 International Human Rights Day, let us collectively reaffirm our commitment to the pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice for all. It is not merely a celebration but a call to action—a reminder that the journey toward a world where every individual’s rights are respected and protected requires continuous effort, advocacy, and unwavering dedication. Together, let us strive for a future where the principles of freedom, equality, and justice become the lived reality for every person on this planet.

MAZI AFAM OSIGWE, SAN

“Afam Osigwe, SAN: Architect of Legal Insight at the 2023 NBA Ohafia Branch Law Week”

In a momentous convergence of legal brilliance, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, took center stage at the 2023 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ohafia Branch. His participation was marked by a dual role: delivering a captivating keynote speech on the imperative of an effective local government system in Nigeria and extending a resonant goodwill message to the esteemed branch.

Afam Osigwe’s keynote speech was a masterclass in legal insight, as he navigated the complexities of local governance in Nigeria. Addressing the critical theme, “Towards an Effective Local Government System in Nigeria,” Osigwe’s words were a beacon guiding legal professionals through the intricate challenges and potential solutions inherent in our local governance structures.

His keynote address went beyond mere rhetoric, delving into the practical aspects of how an effective local government system could contribute to the broader socio-economic development of Nigeria. Drawing on his wealth of experience, Osigwe presented a blueprint for legal practitioners to actively engage with the enhancement of local governance, showcasing the indispensable role lawyers play in shaping the legal and political landscape.

In his goodwill message to the Ohafia Branch, Osigwe not only commended the branch for its astute choice of theme but also conveyed his heartfelt wishes for a successful Law Week. His praise underscored the branch’s commitment to tackling issues of profound societal impact, reflecting the kind of forward-thinking engagement that can drive positive change within the legal community.

Mazi Afam Osigwe’s multifaceted contribution to the 2023 Law Week at the Ohafia Branch stands as a testament to his dedication to the legal profession. His keynote speech serves as a guiding beacon for legal practitioners seeking to navigate the intricacies of local governance, while his goodwill message exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and encouragement within the legal fraternity.

As a distinguished figure in the legal arena, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, continues to elevate legal discourse and inspire fellow practitioners to actively contribute to the betterment of society through their expertise and engagement. The Ohafia Branch Law Week was not merely an event; it was an enlightening journey guided by the profound insights of a legal luminary.

Afam Osigwe, SAN: Honoring Tradition and Insight at the 2023 NBA Portharcourt Branch Dinner”

In a splendid display of commitment to legal excellence, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, graced the 2023 Dinner of the Nigerian Bar Association, Portharcourt Branch. His presence at this prestigious event marked not only a celebration of legal tradition but also a recognition of the critical role played by legal professionals in shaping the democratic realities of our nation.
During this distinguished gathering, Mazi Afam Osigwe extended a thoughtful goodwill message to the Port Harcourt Branch, acknowledging their choice of theme for the upcoming Law Week: “The Law and Democratic Realities.” In his written expression of support, Osigwe praised the branch for its insightful theme selection, recognizing the profound implications of exploring the intersection between the law and the dynamic landscape of democratic governance.

His words served as both encouragement and validation for the Port Harcourt Branch, affirming the importance of their chosen theme in fostering a nuanced understanding of the role of the law in shaping and responding to democratic challenges. Osigwe’s recognition of the branch’s commitment to substantive legal discourse added an extra layer of significance to the occasion.

Furthermore, in his written goodwill message, Osigwe expressed sincere wishes for the success of the upcoming Law Week. His well-wishes went beyond formality, reflecting a genuine hope for fruitful deliberations, insightful discussions, and meaningful contributions that would resonate not only within the legal community but also within the broader societal framework.

Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, through his participation in the 2023 Portharcourt Branch Dinner, not only paid homage to the rich traditions of the legal profession but also contributed to the ongoing narrative of legal practitioners actively engaging with the contemporary challenges of our democratic system. His presence and encouraging words underscored the importance of unity and collaboration within the legal community, especially when tackling issues as vital as the intersection between the law and democratic realities.

“Golden Jubilee Celebrations: Commemorating 50 Years of Legal Excellence at the Federal High Court of Nigeria”

As the Federal High Court prepares to mark its Golden Jubilee from December 11th to 15th, 2023, I extend heartfelt congratulations on this significant milestone. Fifty years of unwavering commitment to justice, integrity, and the rule of law is a remarkable achievement that deserves to be celebrated.

Throughout its distinguished history, the Federal High Court has been a bastion of legal excellence, upholding the principles that form the bedrock of our judicial system. The court’s dedication to fairness, impartiality, and the protection of rights has undoubtedly shaped the legal landscape of Nigeria.

This Golden Jubilee is not just a celebration of time but a testament to the resilience, wisdom, and integrity that have defined the Federal High Court. It is a reflection of the countless individuals – judges, lawyers, and staff – who have contributed to the court’s success and made it a symbol of justice.

May this milestone be an opportunity to reflect on the achievements, challenges overcome, and the impact the Federal High Court has had on the nation. As we celebrate 50 years of legal excellence, let us also look forward to a future where the court continues to be a beacon of justice, inspiring trust and confidence in the judicial system.

Congratulations to the Federal High Court of Nigeria on reaching this historic moment. May the coming years be filled with continued success, growth, and an unwavering commitment to justice.

Warm regards,
Afam Osigwe, SAN

“Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, Applauds Federal High Court’s 50 Years of Legal Excellence”

In a momentous celebration of legal milestones, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, graced the 50th Anniversary/Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Federal High Court today in Abuja. His presence at this historic event was not only a testament to his commitment to the legal profession but also a recognition of the court’s enduring legacy in shaping justice and the rule of law in Nigeria.

In a written congratulatory message shared with newsmen, Afam Osigwe commended the Federal High Court for half a century of unwavering dedication to upholding justice and the rule of law. He acknowledged the pivotal role the court has played in shaping legal precedents, safeguarding constitutional principles, and contributing significantly to the evolution of Nigeria’s legal landscape.

Osigwe’s message went beyond mere acknowledgment; it was a heartfelt tribute to the court’s resilience, integrity, and commitment to ensuring justice for all. He underscored the importance of an independent judiciary in fostering a society where the rule of law prevails, emphasizing the Federal High Court’s pivotal role in maintaining the delicate balance between individual rights and societal well-being.

As the legal community and the nation at large join in celebrating the Federal High Court’s 50th Anniversary, Mazi Afam Osigwe’s congratulatory message serves as a poignant reminder of the court’s enduring impact. His words reflect a deep appreciation for the court’s role in upholding the principles that form the bedrock of our legal system.

In expressing his congratulations, Afam Osigwe not only recognizes the achievements of the Federal High Court but also underscores the continued importance of a robust and independent judiciary in the journey towards a more just and equitable society. The celebration is not just a reflection on the court’s past but an affirmation of its ongoing commitment to the pursuit of justice in Nigeria.

“Camaraderie and Connections: Friends of Afam Osigwe, SAN, Host Joyful Hangout for NBA Jos Lawyers”

In a delightful culmination of the 2023 Law Week organized by the Nigerian Bar Association, Jos Branch, friends, and associates of Mazi Afam Osigwe, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), orchestrated an evening hangout for lawyers. This convivial gathering followed an engaging series of panel sessions, providing a relaxed setting for legal professionals to unwind and fortify the bonds within the legal fraternity.

The evening was more than just a casual get-together; it was a purposeful initiative to foster camaraderie and strengthen the relationships that form the backbone of the legal profession. The presence of Mazi Afam Osigwe added a touch of prestige to the event, reflecting the importance of unity and collaboration in the legal community.

As lawyers from the Nigerian Bar Association, Jos gathered in this social setting, the atmosphere was charged with the shared experiences, challenges, and triumphs that characterize their professional journey. The hangout became an avenue for exchanging insights, discussing legal developments, and forging connections that extend beyond the courtroom.

The occasion exemplified the spirit of community and mutual support that exists among legal professionals. Friendships were solidified, networks expanded, and laughter echoed through the room as lawyers shared anecdotes and perspectives on the evolving landscape of the legal profession.

Such events play a crucial role in maintaining a vibrant legal community, where individuals can find solace in the shared experiences of their peers. The hangout organized by Friends of Afam Osigwe not only showcased the joy of professional camaraderie but also highlighted the importance of these connections in promoting a positive and collaborative legal environment.

In the spirit of unity and friendship, the hangout served as a testament to the enduring bonds within the legal profession. As lawyers left the event, they carried with them not only memories of a delightful evening but also a reinforced sense of belonging to a supportive and interconnected legal community.

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FIDA IKEJA LAW WEEK GETS OFF TO LIVELY START

NEWS RELEASE

FIDA NIGERIA IKEJA BRANCH LAW WEEK got off to a thrilling start yesterday with the theme, “Rights of Women in Nigeria – Full Participation of Women as Equal partners in Africa’s Development”.

Our distinguished resource persons discussed vital, relevant and topical issues among other things, and created awareness of FIDA’s activities and objectives.

Adeniyi Quadri Esq discussed the vital issue of “Full Participation of women in Politics as equal partners in Africa’s Development.”

Lady Phil Nneji discussed “The Maputo Protocol: a way forward to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in Africa.” This is a relevant topic and acts as a step down on the FIDA NIGERIA and our Collaborators’ objectives of domesticating the Protocol.

Mr. Alexander Mouka took the audience through the topical issue, “Rights of Women as Inalienable, Interdependent and Indivisible Human Rights.”

Indeed it was a learning experience especially for our FIDA Associates, Caleb University Magodo College of Law students. This Student Chapter was inaugurated in October 2023. The students heard about the different enactments that will strengthen the FIDA NIGERIA objective.

The AGM will hold on 7/12/23. On the 8th of December, 2023 the branch will mark the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence.

It was indeed an enlightening event as the Rights of women under Nigerian Law were extensively analysed by the erudite speakers!

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CTC: ODINKALU RAPS SUPREME COURT ON OBI’S JUDGMENT

A former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof Chidi Odinkalu, has described the alleged Supreme Court’s failure to present a documented judgment on the appeal of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, as a “Supreme scandal and height of judicial malefaction.”

Odinkalu said this last Thursday while reacting to the controversies trailing the apex court’s alleged failure to release the Certified True Copy (CTC) of its judgment on Obi’s case after over a month it dismissed the appeals of Obi and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for lacking in merit.

It is recalled that the Supreme Court had on October 26, 2023 affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), after it upheld the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that dismissed Obi and Atiku’s appeals for lacking in merit.

While the apex court released the CTC of its judgment on Atiku’s case almost a month after it delivered its ruling, the court has not released the same document on Obi’s case, prompting Obi and the Labour Party to raise concerns over the court’s action.

Reacting to the controversies on his X (former Twitter), Odinkalu said, “I don’t know why people are speculating about the Supreme Court & CTC in @peterobi’s case.

“The fact is clear that @SupremeCourtNg does not have a judgment in the case. That is a #SupremeScandal.

“What I get from reading this is simply that @SupremeCourtNg adlibbed that the case of @PeterObi would abide by the judgment in the case of @atiku in order deliberately to avoid going on record about inconvenient issues. If so, that would be the height of judicial malefaction.”

The Labour Party had in a statement issued on Tuesday by its National Secretary, Umar Farouk Ibrahim, raised an alarm that the Supreme Court has refused to give the party the ruling on Obi’s appeal since October 26.

The party had stated that “On the 26th of October, 2023, LP and her lawyers were in Court. The Supreme Court proceeded to read the judgment in Appeal No. SC/CV/935/2023 filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). After that, the Presiding Justice, His Lordship John Inyang Okoro JSC, verbally stated that the decision in the LP appeal would abide by the judgment just delivered in respect of the PDP appeal!”

The party further stated that “The two appeals were not even consolidated at the Supreme Court but were heard separately.

“At the separate hearing of both appeals, the question was never raised, the parties never agreed, and the Court neither gave a directive nor ordered that the judgment in one appeal would abide by the decision in the other.

“The petitions from where the two appeals arose were heard separately at the Court of Appeal based on separate pleadings and different sets of witnesses. Thus, the facts of the two petitions were remarkably different.

“The LP finds it very embarrassing and depressing that the Supreme Court would, after hearing the appeal by our party, refuse to deliver any judgment and also fail to avail our party of any copy of whatever it considers to be its decision.”

Quoting the party, SaharaReporters writes: “With every sense of responsibility, the LP believes that the Supreme Court’s conduct is regrettable and unprecedented. This constitutes an unmitigated breach of the constitutional right of LP and her candidate to a fair hearing.”

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AFAM OSIGWE HAILS OMOAKA ON ICMC PRESIDENCY, SERENADES YOUNG COUPLE

Afam Osigwe, SAN Congratulates Mr. Godwin Omoaka, SAN, FCIArb, FICMC, on his appointment as the President of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators

I extend my warmest wishes on your remarkable appointment as the President of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators. This prestigious role is undoubtedly a testament to your outstanding twenty years of active engagement in the realms of arbitration, mediation, and courtroom advocacy.

Your extensive experience in navigating the complexities of a diverse array of disputes speaks volumes about your legal acumen and the depth of your professional journey. The wealth of knowledge you bring to this esteemed position is not only a reflection of your legal expertise but also a commendable commitment to the principles of mediation and conciliation.

Your leadership is poised to elevate the institute to new heights, and I do not doubt that your tenure will be marked by transformative initiatives that contribute significantly to the field of alternative dispute resolution. Your dedication to fostering resolution and understanding is an inspiration to all, and I am confident that under your guidance, the institute will flourish.

May this new chapter be filled with achievements, growth, and the continued pursuit of excellence in the realm of mediation and conciliation. Congratulations once again, Mr. Godwin Omoaka, on this well-deserved appointment.

Best regards,
Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN

“Unity in Legal Bonds: Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, Chairs Wedding Ceremony of Mr. Adekunle Olanikpekun, Esq. (Past Chairman of the Young Lawyers Forum, Abuja), Showcasing Support for Young Lawyers”

In a momentous celebration of union, Mr. Adekunle Olanikpekun, a distinguished former chairman of the Young Lawyers Forum Abuja branch, officially tied the knot with his beloved today. What adds a profound layer to this matrimonial bliss is the presence and involvement of Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, who graciously chaired the marriage ceremony.

Mazi Afam’s active participation in such a significant life event exemplifies his robust support for young lawyers. By taking on the role of chairman, he not only symbolizes leadership but also signifies a mentorship that extends beyond the courtroom. His poignant speech, wherein he wished the newlyweds a joyous and harmonious married life, serves as a beacon of guidance and encouragement for the couple stepping into this new chapter.

The well-attended ceremony, graced by legal professionals and friends, underscores the sense of camaraderie within the legal community. Mazi Afam’s presence in this gathering is not merely symbolic but a tangible manifestation of his commitment to fostering a supportive environment for young lawyers. This act reflects the belief that success in the legal field is not just an individual pursuit but a collective journey where experienced professionals uplift and guide emerging talents.

In essence, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, through his pivotal role in this wedding ceremony, showcases a commendable dedication to the growth and well-being of young lawyers. This event serves as a testament to the interconnected nature of the legal profession and the importance of mentorship in shaping a vibrant and resilient legal community.

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AFAM OSIGWE HAILS EASTERN BAR FORUM ON QUARTERLY PARLEY, EXCITES NBA ASABA

Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, Extends Warm Congratulations to the Eastern Bar Forum on the Quarterly General Meeting

Dear Esteemed Members of the Eastern Bar Forum,

With immense pleasure, I extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes to you on your Quarterly General Meeting, scheduled from the 17th to the 19th of November 2023, at the prestigious Crescent Spring Hotel in Anambra. Your unwavering dedication to the legal profession is commendable, and I am honoured to convey this message of support.

The Eastern Bar Forum has consistently been a beacon of legal excellence, upholding the highest standards of professional ethics and playing a pivotal role in the development of the legal community in the region.

Your Quarterly General Meetings have become synonymous with intellectual rigour, providing a platform for legal minds to engage in meaningful discussions, share insights, and collectively strategize for the advancement of the legal fraternity.

As you convene for this meeting, I am confident that it will once again catalyse fruitful deliberations, innovative ideas, and exchanging invaluable experiences. In the ever-evolving landscape of the legal profession, collaborative efforts and informed discourse are essential for progress and transformation.

May the period from the 17th to the 19th of November 2023 be characterized by productive discussions, the emergence of innovative solutions, and the strengthening bonds among legal practitioners. I hope this gathering inspires you to persevere in pursuing justice and excellence in the legal field.

Wishing you a prosperous, enlightening, and enjoyable event at the Crescent Spring Hotel in Anambra. May your collective efforts contribute significantly to the advancement of the legal profession and the betterment of society.

Warm Regards,

Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN

Meanwhile, the NBA Asaba Law Week 2023 cocktail event witnessed an electrifying atmosphere courtesy of Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN’s passionate presence. The annual gathering of legal luminaries kicked off on a high note as Osigwe’s infectious enthusiasm unleashed glitz, sounds and camaraderie.

Held as a prelude to the main NBA Asaba Law Week, the cocktail brought together distinguished legal practitioners, scholars and professionals. According to attendees, Osigwe’s engaging and gregarious nature amplified the already vibrant ambience.

Clad in his ceremonial regalia, Osigwe was the cynosure of all eyes as he partook in animated discussions on contemporary legal issues. His fervor and dedication to the legal profession proved contagious, inspiring fellow lawyers to delve deeper into legal intricacies.

“Osigwe’s presence added an extra layer of enthusiasm that embodied the Asaba legal community’s spirit,” noted participants. “He set the tone for a week of intellectual discourse, networking and celebrating the principles binding professionals.”

The electric atmosphere was characterized by sophistication, intellectual stimulation and harmonious exchange of insights. Glasses clinked rhythmically amidst passionate conversations on justice and rule of law.

Osigwe’s reformist zeal promises to highlight reforms required to strengthen legal practice and education. Participants described the cocktail as a curtain raiser for thought-provoking sessions in days ahead.

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‘SUPREME COURT JUSTICES APPOINTED OUTSIDE JUDICIARY DID VERY WELL,’ – AFAM OSIGWE

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Afam Osigwe, shares his thoughts with SOLOMON ODENIYI on the poor welfare of judicial officers, prison congestion, and the delay in the dispensation of justice, among sundry issues

In the retirement speech of Justice Muhammad Dattijo, he said the Chief Justice of Nigeria had too much power as the Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the National Judicial Institute, and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee. What is your take on this?

During the Nigerian Bar Association Conference in 2011, which was held in Port Harcourt, the NBA under the leadership of J.B. Daudu made recommendations for the amendment of the constitution to remove the CJN as the head of the National Judicial Council since the CJN is still subject to discipline by the NJC, which he heads. I support his position but I think the CJN should be the head of the Federal Judicial Service Commission. However, the power of the CJN to appoint a larger percentage of members should be watered down to allow some independent bodies and some civil society organisations to have a better say in the appointment process to the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

I have always opined that it is somewhat of an anomaly that the Chief Justice of Nigeria is the Chairman of the FJSC, which recommends justices for appointment to the NJC for consideration. And then, the same person who has chaired the FJSC moves over to the NJC as the chairman to deliberate on recommendations made by the FJSC, which he also chairs. I think there is merit in looking at the over-centralisation of power in the CJN. I recall that Justice Dattijo made reference to the National Judicial Institute and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee. I think that proper amendments need to be recommended to the National Assembly.

If they find them worthy, they should consider them. However, the one that I think is of utmost importance is the composition of the FJSC and NJC. There is a need to give them some level of independence and separate their heads from one person. I say this with no particular reference to the current occupant of the seat. I believe in building an institution and ensuring that the institution brings out provisions, regulations, and recommendations that people will see have passed through an objective test, but since the same person heads the recommending body and the appointing body, it gives the impression that objectivity and independence of thought have not been gladly exercised in the process.

The number of justices of the Supreme Court has reduced to 10 with Justice Dattijo’s retirement. Don’t you think there is a need for the Federal Government to be concerned, and what do you think are the challenges or barriers in appointing more justices to the apex court?

I don’t think the Federal Government alone needs to be worried; Nigerians should be worried. Some of the vacancies on the court’s bench have been going on for more than a year and a half. So, it makes you wonder why the vacancies have yet to be filled. Some died and some retired, and they have not been replaced. It is worrisome that we have vacancies, and we also have to talk about the proactiveness of the respective bodies before making a recommendation to the President for the appointment of these justices. We also have to talk about the fact that we seem to appoint Justices who spend very little time in the court.

The apex court had its full complement for the first time around 2020, and within three years, it had been reduced to 10. What does that tell you? It brings to the fore the age of persons who get appointed to that court and the process of appointing them. I am of the view that our insistence on appointing only justices from the Court of Appeal is largely responsible for it. Now, this becomes clear when you take into cognizance the fact that those who get appointed by the Court of Appeal are usually justices who have less than three to four years to retire. So, you bring about 11 justices who will retire around the same time. You will now be in a situation where under a year, about six to eight justices will be retired, and we keep crying about the depletion in the number of Supreme Court justices.

So, we need to have a situation whereby, we broaden the scope of the appointment process to include those who are in academic and private practice and also pay particular reference to the age of the people being brought to the court to avoid bringing people who will spend just two years and retire. While bringing them in, we should ensure that the minimum they can spend in court is five years so that they won’t retire at the same time and will have a lot of time to stay in court.

We should not think that only Appeal Court justices are competent or should be appointed to the Supreme Court, as this creates a problem for us. We should appoint lawyers in legal practice, even High Court judges if they have merit to be appointed to the Supreme Court bench. We will continue to have a reduction in the number if we retain this current system. Professors of Law should be brought in to deepen the knowledge of the Supreme Court.

But will they be able to understand the workings of the court at that level, especially when giving judgment?

Everybody can learn how to write judgments, and even if they don’t know, train them. They are not novices in law. Those who wrote the Nigerian constitution knew that a person who has spent 15 years practising law should be able to write a judgment, and that is why they did not state that only justices of the Court of Appeal should be employed. Let us do the right thing and bring in the right people from across the board as long as they have what it will take and are of good age and in good health.

Taslim Elias was appointed to the Supreme Court from a private bar. Also, Anthony Aniagolu served as the Chief Judge of Anambra State from 1976 to 1978 and was a justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court from 1978 to 1987. These people did brilliantly well, and we have many examples of them in the past. The military seems to have done well in appointments to the Supreme Court. They appointed people who were much younger and stayed for longer periods. We must begin to look at how long the justices to be appointed can stay and what they can contribute to the court.

Justice Dattijo said the government failed to appoint replacements for justices from two regions before the election tribunal. Don’t you think it is an aberration not to have all regions represented for a presidential election judgment by the Supreme Court?

That will suggest that the decision of the court is based on where people are from and not the issue for determination. I didn’t know it to be a fact that each region must be represented in the panel. We don’t know the process by which the Chief Justice set up the panel and I wouldn’t want us to make it the issue of region. I believe the apex court deals with facts and law and not based on the region the appellants are from. I will not want to join those with the argument that the decision of the election tribunal would be different based on the composition. That will be very unfair to the court, and I won’t want to be a part of that.

Several litigation have followed the 2023 general elections and people are beginning to complain that they are becoming too much. The CJN also complained that political cases were becoming too much for them to handle. What can be done to reduce the number of political matters in court after elections?

The political parties have refused to be democratic and to be guided by the due process of law. A lot of arbitrariness of these political parties has led to an increase in the number of cases in our courts. With the amendment of the Electoral Act in 2022, many thought it would cure some of the defects in the previous Act, but the 2022 Act has engendered much more litigation than the previous one. So, we have to look at how the parties’ internal democracy works, and how they select their candidates. We also need to look at the propriety of continuing to litigate intraparty disputes. Also, whether the court should be involved in how political parties reach their decision on who they choose to sponsor as candidates.

Another point is that many politicians are bad losers. When they don’t win, they refuse to congratulate those who win and even when the process is right, they will still want to go to court than accept defeat. Another thing we may need to look at is the penchant of our society not to let things go, but to ensure that everything ends in a fight.

Also, the system is a quantity-driven one rather than a quality-driven one. For instance, for you to apply for a SAN title, you must get four Supreme Court judgments, five Court of Appeal judgments, and 20 judgments of the High Court. Every lawyer, especially at the appellate level, tries to pluck every matter into the Court of Appeal so that they will get requisite judgments and be able to apply. We should have a situation where we look at some other criteria for applying for the award of the rank. If we take a second look at it, we would be able to limit the number of cases. Another one is the failure of our court to let the losing party that has unfairly brought the matter to court bear the cost of the winning party. So, it is against public policy that when a man has lost a case, he should not bear the cost of the other person. In the Western world, if you bring a person to court and the court finds out that there is no reason for the person to be sued, you pay the legal cost incurred by the person. So, somebody makes you pay for a lawyer in a case that is status barred or it has no business in court, and is allowed to walk away?

There must be consequences for the action. People who litigate a matter that has no business in court should be made to pay for their actions. Lawyers ought to advise their clients that they have no case, but then they must file a case and charge a fee to do so. There should be appropriate sanctions for this or the court should award a cost against them. When we take a proactive measure, maybe we will be able to reduce the number of people who go to court. Until we do that, I’m afraid the number of cases will continue to mount.

Politicians have continued to amend the Electoral Act and the constitution so that their cases can be prioritised before the court by making them time-bound so that the court will stop other activities and hear them. Commercial, criminal, and other cases are not given that priority.

Nobody will come to invest in Nigeria if they know that their commercial disputes will not be expeditiously resolved in case they have one. We must handle our cases in a way that will not affect our foreign direct investment, or even for the populace to have confidence that our court will not only cater to the politicians, but also to the commercial rights of the people.

There has been public outcry about the welfare packages of judges in the country. Is the claim that judges in Nigeria earn less than their counterparts in other parts of the world true?

I agree with them. I read a report that a justice takes home about N850,000 and then the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court takes home about N1.2m. If you want your judges to give fair judgments and not subscribe to corruption, I think they should be well paid so that they will not have any excuse to be tempted to look at other means to address their welfare. It’s an unfortunate fact that the salary of judges was last reviewed in 2007. The constitution said that the salaries of judges must be periodically reviewed and presented to the National Assembly for backing.

What I think is that we should have a law that will automatically allow the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to review it by a certain percentage, so that we don’t have to go back to the National Assembly. When the salary was last reviewed in 2007, I think the dollar was less than N120, and now, in 2023, 16 years after, the naira exchange rate tolls at N1,125. So, this is about the extent to which we have reduced the purchasing power of the take-home pay of these judges. We should be able to bring it to the current economic reality because the institution doesn’t allow them to do any other business. So, we should be proactive in reviewing their salaries so that they don’t have any reason to complain.

It is not a good sign for judges to be lamenting and advocating better salaries and welfare all this while without anything being done to address the situation. We should set in motion machinery to solve this problem and ensure it does not become a recurring issue.

A worse situation applies to judges at the lower courts, especially the magistrates’, who are poorly funded by the state governments. What do you think should be done to address the threat?

All judicial officers from the Magistrate’s Court to the Supreme Court, as far as I am concerned, have been neglected. It varies from state to state. There was a picture from my home state in Anambra of a magistrate going to work on a motorcycle. I was moved by that picture. It did not portray a good image of the judiciary. I am using this opportunity to call on the Anambra State Government to provide the magistrates and other judges with vehicles. Judicial officers across the country should not be subjected to that kind of treatment. Imagine a situation where that commercial motorcyclist is standing trial in her court, what do you think will happen to her?

It sounds funny, but that is the unfortunate situation our judicial officers, especially the magistrates, find themselves. I was also told that in some states, they board tricycles and commercial buses to court. This is unfortunate. Growing up, I knew magistrates had vehicles and orderlies. Tell me, how will a magistrate, who goes to court using a bike, have an orderly? Of what use will that orderly be to the magistrate in that situation? If we want them to do away with every form of inducement or enticement, their welfare must be improved.

But the government is always complaining about paucity of funds. Do you think increasing salaries will not cause another financial crisis for the country?

I know the economic situation is not the best, but if we must protect the welfare and security of the citizens, we must prioritise law and order. The judiciary is the first point of call to help achieve this. We must improve the welfare of judicial officials so that they can help the government in discharging its duties as enshrined in section 14(2) of the constitution, which says that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be the primary objective of the government. There is an urgent need for us to improve their welfare, especially for magistrates. However, some justices have complained that their official vehicles have not been changed for years. This should be a wake-up call for the needful to be done, especially as we don’t have an organised public transportation system so that they can go about their jobs with dignity.

There are many people awaiting trial and currently in correctional centres across the country. This is amidst worries about the centres being congested. Don’t you think there is a need for the government to urgently address this challenge?

When you divert your mind to the fact that many of them could be innocent; when you consider that these awaiting-trial inmates may have spent more years than the years they would have spent if they had been convicted by the court; when you also consider that the medical facilities available in these prisons are poor and many of them come out with terminal or life-threatening illnesses contracted from the prison, then you will see the correctness of ensuring that people don’t spend a long time awaiting trial.

The causes of this are also many. More often than not, law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies are more interested in getting people remanded without a follow-up action to ensure their trials proceed as quickly as possible. Many magistrates grant these remand orders without being certified as required by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. There is a prima facie ground for ordering a remand and putting measures in place to ensure that these people don’t obtain this remand and walk away.

There is a need to look at our criminal administrative system and reform it so that suspects or inmates don’t return to society with a lot of bitterness and anger. Again, persons who go to these prisons become hardened criminals and become a bigger danger to our society. We need to do a lot to decongest these prisons and ensure that people don’t end up suffering for what they didn’t do or even die while awaiting trial and never have the opportunity to clear their name or have their day in court.

Some proposed a special court that will try non-criminal offences to ensure quick dispensation of justice. Do you think this is achievable?

We keep creating courts in the country. We created a magistrate. In the North; they have an area court. When there was an outcry that there was a need for a court to hear Federal Government-related cases, the Federal High Court was created. The National Industrial Court was created when we felt there was a need to have a court to settle industrial disputes. We keep creating courts, and at the end of the day, all we end up doing is creating jobs for the ‘boys’.

Some say we should create courts for anti-corruption cases, while others say we should create a special court that will hear political cases. Who does that? It is not about creating more courts; it is about ensuring that the courts we have work and that those manning them are well remunerated and taken care of so that they will do their cases. Whatever court we create, we end up having the same problems. Let us not deceive ourselves. We don’t need more courts; we need to make the ones we have to work. It is not about the number of courts or designation but what they do and to what extent the public perceives that our courts are living up to their responsibilities. This should worry us and not the clamour to keep creating courts.

The Nigerian Bar Association has been in operation for several years. How will you rate its relevance to Nigeria’s democracy?

The NBA is just like a pressure group providing an umbrella for its members to articulate their points and advance their aims and objectives. The NBA’s relevance cannot be underemphasised; it has done a great job by being a watchdog of society and living through its motto of promoting the rule of law. We are an advocacy group and not a government. We are also not an opposition political group. There has to be a balance between what the NBA gets involved in and how it engages with the government without taking sides. The NBA is a non-profit organisation and it is non-partisan.

What the NBA does should be placed within this context to the extent that the organisation has produced great leaders whose impact has been felt in society. Society keeps looking at the NBA, and the association’s interventions at critical times are reckoned with by persons in government. To this extent, I can tell you that the NBA has been living up to its billings in society.

Many have accused your colleagues (lawyers) of contributing to the delay of cases in court through frivolous applications. How will you react to this?

I had earlier said that some of our colleagues file cases that have no business in court. In an appropriate situation, the cost should be awarded against the lawyers personally. I agree that some of our actions have contributed to some of the delays we have in our courts. I will be playing the ostrich if I pretend that lawyers have no role to play in it.

What will be your advice to the Minister of Justice?

He should help to drive any needed reforms that will sanitise the judiciary, especially if there are justice sector reforms that need to be carried out or a need for a bill to be presented to the National Assembly. I believe the Attorney-General of the Federation will work with the apex court to ensure that some of these justice sector reforms are carried out. Again, the review of the allowances and salaries of judges is a matter that should be taken to the National Assembly and passed. Other things that can be done to improve the administration of justice should be looked into.

  • This interview was originally published by THE PUNCH.

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AFRICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS TO CELEBRATE CEPACS AT 50

Catholic Bishops across Africa who represent the regions of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) are poised to gather in Lagos for the landmark 50th anniversary of the Pan African Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) slated for November 18 to 21.

CEPACS, the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications was founded in the year 1973 by SECAM in Ibadan. It is geared towards the management and operations of the communications apostolate in Africa.

It is also African region’s arm of the Catholic Church that handles all matters concerning the activities in the realm of media in Africa and Madagascar – press, radio, television, video, traditional, social media, and a host of other new forms of media.

Speaking on the epochal event, the President of CEPACS and Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo said that the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the body would help promote the synodal Church in Africa through social Communications.

The theme of the assembly is, “CEPACS at 50: Towards promoting a Synodal Church in Africa through Social Communications.” The 50th anniversary with an assembly of communication experts and Catholic Bishops across Africa will feature Dr. Paolo Ruffini, Prefect for the Dicastery for Communications, Vatican as Keynote Speaker in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to Bishop Badejo, “The purpose of the Synod in Africa is the need for every segment to be given access, be given a voice, and be given a place and recognition in the affairs of the Church. The emphasis is that every segment of the Church be given the attention it requires to attain holiness, and eventually, to attain salvation.”

The symposium embraces the bishops of Africa and Madagascar who work through the eight different regions in Africa.

“CEPACS helps bring to the grassroots teachings of the Church on communications, the teachings of the Church on the modern media, the teachings of the Church on what the lives of the professionals of media ought to be, what their role, contribution ought to be,” Bishop Badejo said.

“CEPACS also helps to emphasise the importance of the accompaniment of these communication professionals even in their own private life because what happens in their private lives; their family, their daily activities has an impact on the work that they do in reporting news, in reporting events in the Church.

“That is why it is important that everybody takes interest in this assembly which is organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of CEPACS, so that together, the representatives of the different segments of media that work in the Church, we can all deliberate together on the way forward and how to chart that course together for a Synodal Church, a Church that cares for every segment, everybody, without leaving anyone behind”, the President of CEPACS added

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SOLAR4ALL: SOUN OF OGBOMOSHO IS OUR ‘STAR CLIENT OF THE WEEK’

Solar For All: His Imperial Majesty, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye (The Soun of Ogbomosho) is our “Star Client of the week”.

From the Pulpit of the RCCG to the throne, His Majesty stands tall as a pillar of Light to this generation.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria with 25 years warranty and “Pay Small Small”, call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

Visit: SolarForAll.ng
(Abuja) Suite A8, Kenuj O2 Mall ,Behind Games Village.
(Lagos) No 113A, Mainland Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
(Enugu State) Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka.

The Solar For All Lagos/South-West team are grateful to have been hosted in Ogbomosho by the great King, Oba Ghandi A. Olaoye.

Oba Olaoye is a descendant of the 9th Soun of Ogbomoso, the late Oba Laoye Orumogege from Baiyewuwon ruling house of Aremo House, Ode-Aremo, Ogbomoso. Until his ascension to the throne he was the pastor of RCCG, Jesus House, Washington DC, USA.

He is a king cherished and dearly loved by God and the people.

It was a Giant 5 KVA Solar System, with Eight Tubular batteries and 16 German Solar Panels that can power An Air Conditioner, Water Pumping Machine, freezer, Tvs, FANS, cameras, sound systems, computers, printer, decoders, Washing Machine, electric fence, automatic gate opener, Blenders, clippers and all other essentials.

This ensures steady power supply and reduces power cost by at least half; such that within the first two years of installation, His Majesty would have recovered his total cost of installation from his savings.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include Amb. Gen. Tukur Buratai (COAS Rtd), Hon. Justice Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd), Sir James Ononiwu of NBA Ikeja, Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja, Hon. Sir Ebuka Igwe of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN, Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP), Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE), Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq of J.B Daudu SAN & Co; Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN of SPA Ajibade SAN & Co; FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokumbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs Ayorinde of Ayorinde SAN & Co; Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN of Liman, Liman SAN & Co; Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi of the Anambra State Judiciary; Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. of Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd; Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna of Abia State University, Uturu; Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo of S. I. Ameh SAN & Co; Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu of the Trademoore Estate, among many others.

Some of the benefits of Solar/Inverters include:
*Solar is cheaper at long-run!

*24 hours Power Supply for homes/offices

* Your current Power cost will drop by at least 50% after we install.

*No noise!

*No Pollution!

*Automatic change over!

*No fueling

*25 years warranty on the German Solar panels.

In case of any challenge with the Inverter Machine, another Inverter is deployed before we take the one that needs attention for troubleshooting/repairs.

To view the price list, click here. Old prices still apply. New prices to take effect soon.

To join our CITY LAWYER Channel on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on “X” (TWITTER) at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

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.

SOLAR4ALL: CHIEF TRANS EZUGWU IS OUR ‘STAR CLIENT OF THE WEEK’

Solar For All: Chief. Trans Emmanuel Ezugwu (Anyichie 1 of Eha-alumona) is our “Star Client of the week”.

With his Trans Petroleum Ltd fuel stations/Trans Table Water littering the South East for over 30 years, Chief Trans Anyichie is one of the largest employers of labour in Enugu State.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria; with 25 years warranty and “Pay Small Small” for up to two years, call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

Visit: SolarForAll.ng
(Abuja) Suite A8, Kenuj O2 Mall ,Behind Games Village.
(Lagos) No 113A, Mainland Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
(Enugu State) Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka.

The Solar For All South-East/South-South team are grateful to have been hosted by one of the greatest sons of Enugu State, a renowned industrialist of over 30 years, an astute Leader of his people and a highly respected Senior Citizen who just clocked the glorious age of 72 years.

It was a giant 5 KVA Solar System; with 8 Tubular batteries, Sixteen German Solar Panels etc at the Trans Petroleum Petrol Station, Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka Enugu State.

The system can power Water Pumping Machine, Two Fuel-pumps, freezers, Tvs, FANS, cameras, sound systems, computers, printer, decoders, washing machine, electric fence, automatic gate opener, blenders, clippers and all other essentials.

This ensures steady power supply and reduces power cost by at least half, such that within the first two years of installation, Chief Ezugwu would have recovered his total cost of installation from his savings.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include Amb. Gen. Tukur Buratai (COAS Rtd), Hon. Justice Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd), Sir James Ononiwu of NBA Ikeja, Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja, Hon. Sir Ebuka Igwe of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN, Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP), Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE), Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq of J.B Daudu SAN & Co; Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN of SPA Ajibade SAN & Co; FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokumbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs Ayorinde of Ayorinde SAN & Co; Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN of Liman, Liman SAN & Co; Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi of the Anambra State Judiciary; Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. of Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd; Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna of Abia State University, Uturu; Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo of S. I. Ameh SAN & Co; Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu of the Trademoore Estate, among many others.

Some of the benefits of Solar/Inverters include:
*Solar is cheaper at long-run!

*24 hours Power Supply for homes/offices

* Your current Power cost will drop by at least 50% after we install.

*No noise!

*No Pollution!

*Automatic change over!

*No fueling

*25 years warranty on the German Solar panels.

  1. In case of any challenge with the Inverter Machine, another inverter is deployed before we take the one that needs attention for troubleshooting/repairs.

To view the price list, click here. Old prices still apply, but for outright payment only. New prices to take effect from November 30, 2023. 

To join our CITY LAWYER Channel on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on “X” (TWITTER) at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

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.

 

SOLAR4ALL: SIR OLUWABIYI IS OUR ‘START CLIENT OF THE WEEK’

SIR. EMMANUEL S. OLUWABIYI, ESQ, PNM (NBA Abuja Branch) is our “Star Client of the week”.

Called to the Bar in 1989, Sir. Oluwabiyi is one of the most respected Senior members of NBA Abuja Branch, with a stellar record of serving the Bar meritoriously in different capacities.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria  w ith 25 years warranty and “Pay Small Small” for up to two years, call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

Visit: SolarForAll.ng
(Abuja) Suite A8, Kenuj O2 Mall ,Behind Games Village.
(Lagos) No 113A, Mainland Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
(Enugu State) Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka.

The Solar For All Abuja/Northern team are grateful to have been hosted twice by the outstanding Senior Lawyer, Pastor, and father of Lawyers. First in his Office and now at his home.

For both the office and home, there were 4 batteries, Nine Panels Solar System that can power Pumping machine, freezer, TVs, Fans, cameras, sound systems, computers, printer, decoders, Washing Machine, electric fence, automatic gate opener, Blenders, clippers and all other essentials in the home

This ensures steady power supply and reduces power cost by at least half, such that within the first two years of installation, Sir. Oluwabiyi would have recovered his total cost of installation from his savings.

Born on 22nd day of November, 1964, Sir Oluwabiyi, an ordained Pastor of Living Faith Church Worldwide (aka Winners’ Chapel), preaches and teaches the Word of God with passion, is a man of integrity. Married to Mary Adesola Oluwabiyi, a Quantity Surveyor, they are blessed with four children, two of whom are lawyers.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include Amb. Gen. Tukur Buratai (COAS Rtd), Hon. Justice Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd), Sir James Ononiwu of NBA Ikeja, Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja, Hon. Sir Ebuka Igwe of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN, Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP), Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE), Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq of J.B Daudu SAN & Co; Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN of SPA Ajibade SAN & Co; FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokumbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs Ayorinde of Ayorinde SAN & Co; Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN of Liman, Liman SAN & Co; Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi of the Anambra State Judiciary; Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. of Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd; Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna of Abia State University, Uturu; Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo of S. I. Ameh SAN & Co; Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu of the Trademoore Estate, among many others.

Some of the benefits of Solar/Inverters include:
*Solar is cheaper at long-run!

*24 hours Power Supply for homes/offices

* Your current Power cost will drop by at least 50% after we install.

*No noise!

*No Pollution!

*Automatic change over!

*No fueling

*25 years warranty on the German Solar panels.

In case of any challenge with the Inverter Machine, another Inverter is deployed before we take the one that needs attention for troubleshooting/repairs.

To view the price list, click here. 

To join our CITY LAWYER Channel on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on “X” (TWITTER) at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER or for Special Features, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

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.

SOLAR4ALL: DR. IKENNA ANYANWU (NBA ABA) IS OUR ‘STAR CLIENT OF THE WEEK’

FEATURED

Solar For All: Dr. Ikenna Anyanwu (NBA Aba Branch) is our “Star Client of the week”.

Dr. Anyanwu is a great teacher, a prolific writer and an astute Scholar of great repute.

To get an efficient Solar system anywhere in Nigeria with 25 years warranty and “Pay Small Small” for up to two years, call/chat Solar For All Ltd: 08060266163.

Visit: SolarForAll.ng
(Abuja) Suite A8, Kenuj O2 Mall ,Behind Games Village.
(Lagos) No 113A, Mainland Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
(Enugu State) Ehalumona Junction, Nsukka.

The Solar For All South-East/South-South team were hosted by the distinguished Abia son. It was the 4 batteries, Nine Panels Solar System that can power Pumping Machine, freezer, Tvs, FANS, cameras, sound systems, computers, printer, decoders, Washing Machine, electric fence, automatic gate opener, Blenders, clippers and all other essentials in the home

This ensures steady power supply and reduces power cost by at least half; such that within the fist two years of installation, Dr. Anyanwu would have recovered his total cost of installation from his savings.

Other beneficiaries from whom the efficiency of delivery can be verified include Amb. Gen. Tukur Buratai (COAS Rtd), Hon. Justice Oguntade (Justice of the Supreme Court Rtd), Sir James Ononiwu of NBA Ikeja, Chief Ejiofor Onwuaso of Otu Oka-iwu Abuja, Hon. Sir Ebuka Igwe of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Sir Ebun Olu Adegboruwa SAN, Mrs. Amina Agbaje Esq (FIDA Nigeria CVP), Prof. Dr. Olusola Oke (UNILAG COLLEGE OF MEDICINE), Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, High Chief Emeka J-P Obegolu SAN, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN; Chief J-K Gadzama SAN; Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN; Prince Adetosoye Adebiyi Esq; Mr. Paul Daudu Esq of J.B Daudu SAN & Co; Mr. Benedict Daudu Esq; Chief Peter Ilegogie Esq; Aare Muyiwa Akinboro SAN, Aare Isiaka Olagunju SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN of SPA Ajibade SAN & Co; FIDA Nigeria (FIDA House Abuja); Prince Adetokumbo Kayode SAN; Dr. Mrs Ayorinde of Ayorinde SAN & Co; Mrs. Mariam Agbaboka; Barr. Mrs Rachel Ebun Akerele; Mr. Anthony Malik SAN; Chief Tawo E. Tawo SAN; Chief Kemi Pinheiro SAN; Mr. I. M. Dikko SAN of Liman, Liman SAN & Co; Hon. Justice Emeka Nriezedi of the Anambra State Judiciary; Dr. Hassan Liman SAN; Chief J. U. K. Igwe SAN; Mr. Chike Ekeocha, Esq. of Alex Izinyon SAN & Co/SUEX Nig. Ltd; Mummy Sylvia Okoregbe Esq; John Ochogwu, Esq; Hon. Rodrich Ugwu Esq; Prof. Godson Ogbonna of Abia State University, Uturu; Sir Austin Mwana Esq; Mr. Thony Lyiod Onyemaizu Esq; Dr. Agada Elachi Esq; Mr. Zach Akubo of S. I. Ameh SAN & Co; Mr. Ime Edem-nse Esq; Mr. Edafe Mrakpor Esq; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ebedebiri Cottage Hospital, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State; Federal College of Education, Warri; Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council; Institute Of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC); Chief R. N. Okeke and Sons Ltd, Wukari, Taraba State; Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu of the Trademoore Estate, among many others.

Some of the benefits of Solar/Inverters include:
*Solar is cheaper at long-run!

*24 hours Power Supply for homes/offices

* Your current Power cost will drop by at least 50% after we install.

*No noise!

*No Pollution!

*Automatic change over!

* No fueling

*25 years warranty on the German Solar panels.

In case of any challenge with the Inverter Machine, another Inverter is deployed before we take the one that needs attention for troubleshooting/repairs.

To view the price list, click here.

To join our CITY LAWYER Channel on WhatsApp, click here

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on “X” (TWITTER) at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

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.

TINUBU: SUPREME COURT TO HEAR OBI, ATIKU APPEALS MONDAY (NOTICE)

The Supreme Court will on Monday, October 23, 2023 begin hearing of the appeals by Mr. Peter Obi and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on the tribunal judgement that affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.

CITY LAWYER gathered that hearing notices for the appeals were sent to the legal teams of the presidential candidates today.

Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, filed an appeal at the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) affirming Tinubu’s election.

Another appeal was filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, challenging the PEPC’s verdict which was delivered on September 6, 2023.

Obi and Atiku had filed separate petitions at the PEPC accusing Nigeria’s electoral umpire, INEC, and Tinubu of electoral malpractices. They contested Tinubu’s qualification to stand for election and urged the PEPC to set aside the election.

But the court, in its decision, held that they failed to substantiate their claims of electoral fraud against INEC and the president.

In his notice of appeal dated September 19, Obi’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, predicated his client’s appeal to the Supreme Court on 51 grounds, stating that the five-member panel of the Presidential Election Petition Court led by Haruna Tsammani “erred in law and thereby reached a wrong conclusion” when it dismissed Obi’s suit.

Obi argued that the lower court’s conclusions caused “grave miscarriage of justice” when it held that Obi did not identify the specific number of votes he polled at polling units where he accused INEC and Tinubu of suppression of votes.

IMO TRIBUNAL: ‘MY HANDS ARE CLEAN,’ SAYS DODO

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Damian Dodo, has denied any complicit involvement with the Court of Appeal justices handling the Imo State House of Assembly and National Assembly election cases in Lagos.

In a statement, the renowned lawyer said he was not a counsel in the appeal before the tribunal, describing the imputations that he compromised the judges as untrue, wicked and malicious, and calculated to embarrass him and the panel of Justices.

A report by a national newspaper had indicated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Echezona Etiaba (SAN) presented two petitions allegedly written by his clients accusing the three-member panel of being compromised.

It also accused Dodo, whom the report alleged to be counsel for one of the appellants of being the conduit to reach the panel headed by Justice Danjuma Mohammed, the presiding judge of Makurdi Division of the Court of Appeal.

Other members of the panel are Justice Peter Affen from Yola Division and Justice Asmau’u Musa Mainoma, who is one of the newly appointed justices to the Court of Appeal.

However, in a statement, Dodo stated that he had never met any of the parties in the said appeal, stressing that even if he had, he would never attempt to bribe any judge.

He noted that the petition was never served on him, and he never sighted same, and was therefore shocked and horrified by the audacity of the false, ridiculous, absurd, and callous allegations made against him and their lordships.

“I categorically deny all the allegations in the said petitions as being false, wicked, untrue, malicious, and calculated to embarrass the panel of Justices and myself.

“In the first place, I was neither a party nor counsel in the appeal and I do not know and have not met any of the parties in the said appeal. Even if I was a party or counsel in the appeal, I would not have in any way sought to compromise the panel or exert any influence to secure a favourable judgment for my client,” Dodo stated.

Noting that he had been in the legal practice for 37 years and had always endeavoured to carry on the practice in accordance with the highest ethical standards of the legal profession, the senior lawyer said that he had never sought to influence the outcome of any case beyond his legitimate professional efforts.

“In the same vein I have never offered a bribe or sought to bribe any judicial officer to obtain a favourable judgment for any client in all the years of active legal practice, and I never will, in this life or the next.

“It is out of character for me to brag about anything, let alone brag about some phantom governors giving any kind of assurances about the outcome of a matter in which I was not a counsel to any party on record.

“I am therefore shocked and horrified by the audacity of the false, ridiculous, absurd, and callous allegations made against their Lordships and myself,” he explained.

While expressing his sympathy with their lordships on the panel who he said had been scandalised by this most virulent and vile attack on their integrity, Dodo said the allegation was so horrendous that one of the Justices, he was told, broke down in tears.

“It is very sad for the profession. It is indeed a big shame. Regrettably, their lordships are in no position to openly defend themselves against these pack of lies from the pit of hell, beyond comments made in court. It is indeed very sad and most unfortunate.

“I expect that the petitioner will step out to substantiate the allegations in the investigation to be carried out or face the full consequences of his malevolent, wicked and inhuman attack against their lordships and myself.

“At the very least, I expect Mr. Echezona Etiaba (SAN) to issue and publish an apology in the media for this most unfortunate event.

“Those who orchestrated this most horrific attack on the integrity of their lordships and myself will definitely face the wrath of Almighty God in this life and in the life hereafter. The attack was clearly a hatchet job.

“Let me conclude by offering to their Lordships my sympathies and prayers for God’s grace against unjustified and scurrilous attacks on their reputation and integrity, for which there can be no insurance. There can be no insurance against the wicked and extremely desperate,” he stated.

According to him, the strategy of the petitioner, his sponsors and collaborators was to truncate the hearing of the appeal on October 16, 2023.

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SOLUDO SET TO BOOST VIRTUAL COURTS IN ANAMBRA

NEWS RELEASE

The seamless integration of virtual court hearing facilities in Anambra State will enable the journey to a livable and prosperous homeland.

The Press Secretary to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, Mr. Christian Aburime, who stated this in a statement titled “Soludo: Transforming justice dispensation with technological innovation in Anambra State”, said the move will revolutionize the justice system and ensure timely and efficient resolution of criminal cases for the benefit of all Ndi Anambra.

He noted that the journey to transform the state into a livable and prosperous smart megacity as envisioned by Governor Soludo has continued in full throttle, adding that there cannot be a progressive society without an efficient, proper dispensation of justice, and that the Soludo administration has been intentional about implementing crucial judicial reforms.

He described the enhancements as significant forward leap in advancing the criminal justice system in Anambra, markedly reducing delays in proceedings, as no longer will cases be held up due to logistical challenges in transporting defendants from correctional centers to the courts, or from the courts to the correctional centers.

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‘WHY WE APPOINTED UBANI AS GOVERNING COUNCIL MEMBER,’ BY AFBA

The African Bar Association (AfBA) is set to admit immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Monday Ubani, as a member of its Governing Council.

According to a letter signed by the Secretary-General of AfBA, Flaviana Charles, the Executive Council of AfBA arrived at the decision at its August 2023 meeting in Pretoria, South Africa. The decision followed Ubani’s recommendation by the association’s Qualifications Committee based on his leadership qualities and contributions to the legal profession in Nigeria and Africa.

The Governing Council is AfBA’s highest decision-making organ led by a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General. It sets policies, makes vital decisions and provides oversight on the association’s activities. Members are selected from registered AfBA members to further the association’s interests and foster a united African legal community.

If confirmed, Ubani will be admitted as an ‘African Bar Councilor’ (ABC) which is the title for council members. He will serve an initial two-year term and pay an annual membership fee starting from $300. Councilors who contribute $1000 or more in a year get exempted from paying conference fees.

In her letter, the Secretary-General said Ubani’s impending admission into the council is an honour and rare privilege. He has been requested to indicate acceptance of the offer and provide a 50-word profile to complete the process.

CITY LAWYER recalls that Ubani’s tenure as NBA-SPIDEL Chairman witnessed many significant milestones especially in human rights protection and advocacy. His fiery activism and readiness to speak truth to power has earned him many awards and accolades.

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‘WHY WE WANT POLICE COMMANDER SUSPENDED,’ BY NBA OWERRI

RESOLUTION OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, OWERRI BRANCH ON THE ASSAULT, HUMILIATION, TORTURE AND UNLAWFUL DETENTION OF CHIGOZIE CHINAKA, ESQ., BY ACP DAVID OGENYI

At the Monthly General Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Owerri Branch held at the NBA Owerri Banch Bar Center on Saturday the 30th day of September, 2023, the members of the Association deliberated on the complaints of assault, humiliation, torture and unlawful detention meted out to a member of the branch – Chigozie Chinaka, Esq., by ACP David Ogenyi (the Police Area Commander, Owerri Municipality, Imo State), and resolved as follows:

1. The NBA Owerri Branch condemns in strongest terms the despicable and barbaric acts of assault, humiliation, torture and unlawful detention meted out on Chigozie Chinaka, Esq., by the ACP David Ogenyi, the Area Commander, Owerri Municipality, Imo State and men under his command and control on Monday and Tuesday the 25th and 26th September, 2023, in the course of providing legal services to his client.

2. The NBA Owerri Branch demands the immediate suspension of ACP David Ogenyi as Area Commander, Owerri Municipal, to guarantee a thorough and impartial investigation of the grave allegations leveled against him and other officers within the command.

3. On the strength of the above, the Nigerian Bar Association, Owerri Branch, constituted a three (3) man Committee with a concise terms of reference which inter alia include: (a) To interface with the National Body in collaboration with NBA Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC) and present petitions against the ACP David Ogenyi and concerned officers to the Commissioner of Police Imo State, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 9 Umuahia, the Inspector-General of Police, the Police Service Commission and the Attorney-General of the Federation. (b) To immediately institute fundamental rights actions against the ACP David Ogenyi and concerned officers and demand immediate redress and compensatory justice for the victim.

4. The NBA Owerri Branch assures our colleague – Chigozie Chinaka, Esq., members of the legal profession and the general public that the Bar remains resolute in the promotion and protection of the rule of law in the society. Torture, inhuman treatment and abuse of power do not have any place in a civil society, and the Bar will ensure that justice is not only served, but seen to have been served. The perpetrators of these acts of unlawful detention, humiliation, assault and torture of our colleague must be made to face the full weight of the law.

DATED THIS SATURDAY THE 30TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2023.

UGOCHUKWU ALINNOR, ESQ.
Chairman

M. CHUKWURAH ONUORAH, ESQ.
Secretary.

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AFAM OSIGWE EXTOLS RULE OF LAW, AS CJN SWEARS IN FHC JUDGES

NEWS RELEASE

MAZI AFAM OSIGWE, SAN ATTENDS THE SWEARING-IN OF FEDERAL HIGH COURT JUDGES AT THE SUPREME COURT

Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, graced the solemn occasion of the swearing-in ceremony of Federal High Court judges today at the prestigious Supreme Court of Nigeria. The event, a testament to the commitment to justice and the rule of law, drew a distinguished assembly of legal practitioners and jurists from across the nation.

The ceremony, presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, served as a momentous milestone in upholding the integrity of the judiciary and reinforcing its vital role in our society. Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, among many others, lent his esteemed presence to underscore the significance of this event.

The presence of legal luminaries and seasoned jurists from different corners of the country added a profound layer of gravitas to the occasion. It symbolized unity in the legal profession and a shared dedication to the principles of justice, equity, and fairness that underpin the Federal High Court.

As the judges took their oaths, pledging their unwavering commitment to the pursuit of justice, the attendees bore witness to a crucial moment in the nation’s legal history. Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN, and his fellow legal practitioners in attendance reaffirmed their dedication to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that the judiciary remains a pillar of strength for Nigeria.

The swearing-in of Federal High Court judges at the Supreme Court of Nigeria was a momentous occasion that highlighted the unity and commitment of the legal community in promoting justice and the rule of law in the nation. It serves as a reminder of the critical role that the judiciary plays in upholding the principles of democracy and ensuring a just and equitable society.

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