Renowned professor of jurisprudence and international law, Professor Akin Oyebode will today deliver the keynote address at the eagerly awaited Opening Ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch Law Week.

The Law Week kicked off last Friday with a jumat service for Muslim faithful as well as a Thanksgiving Service at Good News Baptist Church, Surulere, Lagos, setting the stage for today’s opening ceremony. This year’s Law Week has as its theme, “Democracy and Legal Order: Shaping the Future.”

Speaking at a press conference to herald the Law Week, the Chairman of the Law Week Committee, Mr. Wale Adesokan (SAN) said the programme would explore the need for deliberate action in utilising Nigeria’s democracy and the law in shaping the future that Nigerians desire. He added that the event would emphasize the consequences of inaction in the face of ills plaguing the polity.

His words: “This year’s Lagos Law Week comes against the backdrop of Nigeria’s multifaceted crisis and the resulting mounting pressure that threatens the future of the country. By leading this discourse, NBA Lagos Branch seeks to chart a new course for the redemption of the nation’s legal system and the freedom that citizens should enjoy in a democratic nation.

“It is a chance to listen, contribute, learn, unlearn and relearn, as we all work towards building a working system and a free world, in the most relaxing and comfortable environments.”

Speaking on the eight plenary sessions slated for the Law Week, the Branch Chairman, Mr. Ikechukwu Uwanna said: “To set the tone for the most important event of our legal year is the unveiling of our plenary sessions. Spread out over a period of two days, March 21 and 22, our plenary sessions will explore the role of good governance and legal order in curbing societal ills that threaten to define and shape the future of our country, explore the role of the private sector in ensuring accountability in governance and contributing to good governance, touch on the adequacy of the current fiscal arrangement within Nigeria and examine impediments to the actualisation of Nigeria’s full potential as an investment destination.

“It would also examine the introduction of more practical aspects to the study of Law in tertiary institutions, discuss the alternative business rescue options introduced by the 2020 CAMA and the challenges being faced in implementing them; explore the leveraging of technology to increase efficiency in case scheduling and management; and most importantly, the role of the judiciary, legislature, and the executive in the forthcoming 2023 elections.”

The plenary session will feature NBA Trustee, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba and the Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives, Mr. Bismarck Rewane. They will speak on the “Role of the Private Sector in National Development.”

CITY LAWYER gathered that Goodwill Messages will be received from the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and the NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata.

Scheduled to run from March 18 to 25, 2022 the Law Week will also witness visits to Ikoyi Correctional Centre and the Macy Children Centre, Lagos where donations would be made to the facilities. A Health Walk is also billed as part of the Law Week.

Before his retirement, Professor Oyebode served as an erudite Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

In 1967, he left Nigeria to study International Law at Kiev State University, Ukraine where he secured an LLB and an LLM with the highest distinction. He returned to Nigeria in 1973 to begin his career as a Graduate Assistant Lecturer at UNILAG. 1n 1975, he obtained another LLM from Harvard Law School, Cambridge.

He subsequently enrolled at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada, the largest and leading law school in Canada, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence (D.Jur.) in 1988, having specialised on the Law of Treaties.

In 1991, Professor Oyebode was appointed Professor of Law and founding Dean of the Faculty of Law of then Ondo State University, a position he held until 1997 when he returned to the University of Lagos.

Two years later, he was invited back to be pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ado-Ekiti. Upon completion of his term in 2004, he once again returned to the University of Lagos, where he occupied the Chair of International Law and Jurisprudence. It was from there that he retired with an unblemished record.

Oyebode has 7 books and over 200 learned papers to his credit. He has been an assessor for professorial appointments and external examiner to many universities at home and abroad. He is a member of numerous notable organisations.

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