SPIDEL APPOINTS FALANA, AMADI TO HEAD KEY GROUPS

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) has appointed fiery human rights lawyers, Messrs Femi Falana SAN and Sam Amadi to head its two key groups.

Speaking at the recent NBA National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC) Meeting in Abuja, the Chairman of SPIDEL Governing Council, Dr. Monday Ubani stated that the Section has two main objectives which are pursuit of public interest issues and development of legal framework for accelerated economic development in the country.

He informed NEC that the leadership has established two groups, namely The Public Interest Law Group and The Development Law Group for the Section, adding that there is a strong link between law and economic development. While The Public Interest Law Group will be chaired by Mr. Femi Falana SAN, The Development Law Group will be chaired by Dr. Sam Amadi. The membership of the two groups would be announced soon.

He stated that would soon “engage in aggressive membership drive across the entire branches of the Federation. Towards this end, we have laid out a plan to appoint Coordinators and Secretaries in all the branches of the NBA. The Coordinators and Secretaries will recruit and at the same maintain existing membership of the Section in their various branches. Their second task is to help SPIDEL realize its objectives at the grassroot level in the pursuit of citizens’ rights generally.”

According to Ubani, “Membership of the Section is critical to its activities and a fulfillment of our mapped out objectives. Already we have started with aggressive gospel that every lawyer with conscience must first and foremost be a registered member of SPIDEL.

“We therefore solicit that every lawyer of conscience should without any further prompting from us register and join all the suitable committees to help actualize our dream country and legal practice. We need you and the nation needs you more as a lawyer with conscience.”

He informed NEC that the Section has set up an operational office in Abuja and employed a Program Officer to man the office. This is to accelerate the institutionalization process of the Section. The Section has also established SPIDEL Young Lawyers’ Forum. This is part of the institutionalization process and mainstreaming of SPIDEL objectives in the consciousness of young lawyers. “We must consciously and strategically groom our young lawyers to take the legal profession to the next level,” he said.

The Chairman stated that SPIDEL would engage in strategic litigation to push the frontiers of public interest, adding that this would be in collaboration with other NBA Sections and Committees such as the Public Interest Litigation Committee. According to Ubani, the recent Practice Direction issued by the Federal High Court in favour of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), a prospective litigant, “requires timely intervention by NBA as the only body that stands as a bulwark against oppression by any government in power.”

On the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria, the SPIDEL Chairman said that the Section is collaborating with the Public Interest Litigation Committee to seek legal reliefs, even as Ubani had in his personal capacity filed a lawsuit against the action.

He listed other thematic areas for the new SPIDEL leadership to include Niger Delta Development Project, Promoting the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Federalism Project, and 2023 General Election.

Ubani informed the meeting that NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata launched a human rights App at the just concluded NBA-SPIDEL Annual Conference in Ibadan code-named “SOROSOKE”. The App is to aid victims of human rights abuses in reporting and tracking such abuses. He said that SPIDEL members at the branch level “would be utilised effectively to seek reliefs on behalf of victims of human rights’ abuses throughout Nigeria.”

He stated that the Section held a successful election after its sold-out Annual Conference, commending members of the Conference Planning Committee which he led as well as the Local Organising Committee and NBA Ibadan Branch “for a job well done.” According to Ubani, the election “marked the end of the eventful tenure of Prof. Paul Ananaba SAN.”

The Council consists of Ubani as Chairman, Dr. Princess Chukwuani (Secretary), Mr. Steve Abah (Vice Chairman), and Ms. Funmi Adeogun (Treasurer). Other Council Members are Dr. Paul Ebiala, Mr. Emeka Nwadioke, Ms. Anne Agi, Chief Kunle Adegoke SAN, Mr. Kunle Edun, Mr. Abdullahi Karaye, Mrs. Igbeaku Evulukwu, Mr. Echo Godfrey, Mr. Kola Omotinugbon and Prof. Paul Ananaba SAN.

The report was received by Akpata. Meanwhile, some NEC members commended the new SPIDEL leadership for paying attention to the Development Law mandate of the Section as well as its resolve to appoint Coordinators at the branch level.

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BREAKING: ECOWAS COURT TO HEAR SUIT ON TWITTER BAN TODAY

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice is about now hearing the suit filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) challenging the “suspension” of micro-blogging site, Twitter by the Federal Government.

In a tweet monitored by CITY LAWYER, SERAP stated that the government had filed an objection against the suit, adding that SERAP would take steps to respond to the objection.

Said SERAP: “BREAKING: Twitter ban: The Nigerian government this evening served us a notice of preliminary objection and counter-affidavit to the ECOWAS suit by SERAP and 176 Nigerians.

“Since the suit is coming up tomorrow [22 June 2021], we are filing our response electronically tonight.”

Several commentators commended SERAP for its decision to challenge the ban, even as one Cletus Nwafor @CletusNwafor said: “#TwitterBaninNigeria is a human rights crisis that must be resisted. #StoptheNigerianGovt #Resist #KeepitOn.”

Many individuals and organisations including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have lampooned the ban on Twitter, even as many have continued to access the site through virtual private network (VPN).

Among the plaintiffs are the Registered Trustees of SERAP as well as former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili and co-founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, Aisha Yesufu.

The court, in a notice to the plaintiffs’ counsel, Femi Falana (SAN) and respondent’s counsel Mrs. Maimuna Lami Shiru, stated that the hearing of an application for an injunction would be virtual.

“Notice is hereby given that this application has been fixed for hearing of the application for Interim Measure on June 22, 2021, at 10:00 AM and will be heard on that day if the business of the court permits or otherwise on some adjourned day of which you may not receive further notice,” the court stated.

In the suit numbered ECW/CCJ/APP/23/21, SERAP is seeking “An order of interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from implementing its suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and subjecting anyone including media houses, broadcast stations using Twitter in Nigeria, to harassment, intimidation, arrest and criminal prosecution, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

SREAP asserts that “if this application is not urgently granted, the Federal Government will continue to arbitrarily suspend Twitter and threaten to impose criminal and other sanctions on Nigerians, telecommunication companies, media houses, broadcast stations and other people using Twitter in Nigeria, the perpetual order sought in this suit might be rendered nugatory.”

“The suspension of Twitter is aimed at intimidating and stopping Nigerians from using Twitter and other social media platforms to assess government policies, expose corruption, and criticise acts of official impunity by the agents of the Federal Government,” added SERAP.

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. 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.

 

 

OLEJEME SAGA: MAGU’S EFCC WAS LAWLESS, CLUELESS – UBANI

Former Nigerian Bar Association Vice President, Mr. Monday Ubani has taken a swipe at disgraced former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, describing his tenure at the anti-graft agency as “lawless, clueless and brash!”

The Bar Leader in a statement made available to CITY LAWYER also revealed that he prayed “dangerous” prayers for Magu to be humiliated out of office for detaining him for 23 days due to failure of his then client and former Chairman of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Olejeme to honour subsequent invitations by the commission.

His words: “The truth of the matter is that I did not breach any rule of professional conduct of NBA in the first instance, as the said Rule is only applicable to a lawyer who is defending an accused in court and stands surety for the same client in the court. The matter at hand then was not yet before any court; it was an administrative bail by the Agency pending formal charge before any court. That was how EFCC under Magu operated; lawless, clueless and brash!”

Ubani stated that Magu criminalized a civil matter when his client jumped bail, warning succeeding chairmen of the commission not to play God but to operate in line with the law and international best practice. He said: “Let everyone accused of crime in Nigeria be given fair trial and let those who are guilty be jailed, while those who are innocent be discharged and acquitted. That is how it is done in every civilized clime.”

Below is the full text of the statement.

GOD JUSTIFIES THE RIGHTEOUS ALWAYS.

About four years ago or thereabout a woman by name Dr Mrs Ngozi Olejeme sought my legal representation over an allegation that she converted about N69 billion of Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to herself while she held sway as the chairman during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan. She was declared wanted by EFCC after she refused to honour their invitation because she was abroad and according to her, was undergoing critical medical treatment over her ill health.

I inquired from her if she committed the crime as alleged and she denied the veracity. Secondly, she opined that her medical condition made it impossible for her to honour their previous invitations, however she was prepared to honour them if she can be guaranteed fair trial without illegal detention.

I demanded her medical reports which she graciously provided, and straightaway I sent a letter to the then EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu attaching the medical papers and informing him that I have advised my client to come down to respond to the allegations against her. My client naturally was afraid having been abreast of the antecedent of EFCC under Magu but I assured her that she will get a fair trial as we were not under a Banana Republic.

On the date we agreed, she returned from abroad and on the following Monday morning I took her to the office of EFCC in Abuja. They were shocked to see her because several persons like former Attorney General, Mohammed Adoke SAN and former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Deziani Allison Madueke whom EFCC had declared wanted did not respond to them let alone coming down to face their trial.

Her interrogation on the first day lasted about eight hours after which they told me politely that they will not allow her to go home that day, but because of my personality and previous explanation about her health condition, she will be taken to a hospital of her choice and be under their watch so that her subsequent interviews will proceed without unnecessary interjections. My team of lawyers and I raised objection because the bail conditions they gave her were complied with but the Head of the Investigating Unit, overruled and insisted on his position. We obliged, and got a good hospital in Abuja for her under the watch of about two security personnel of the Agency.

Her detention that we all thought will be short later entered the ninth day. I convinced my client that we should sue for the enforcement of her fundamental human rights as her long detention was contrary to the provisions of the constitution as regards investigation and detention. She agreed and we filed the court process and served EFCC. In response, they attached a court order granting EFCC power to detain her for 14 days. It was shocking for me as we were not aware of this secret court order that was never served.

On the date slated for the hearing of the application, the court did not sit but the EFCC prosecuting counsel wrote and convinced the then Acting Chairman to release the woman on administrative bail.

We provided two senior civil servants of grade level 14 and 15 as sureties as required by their condition of bail and presented to them. When the application was presented before Magu, he blatantly refused to approve, insisting that the sureties must be ‘Elder Statesmen’, contrary to the bail condition. We were wondering who these elder statesmen should be. The Unit head then quipped that the chairman will not mind if I will stand surety for her since I was the one that convinced her to come down for her case. My client heard him clearly that my suretyship will grant her freedom to go home. At that point I had a moral burden to get her out of detention having been denied that opportunity after returning from abroad for 14 days.

Secondly, her health was deteriorating due to staying in one place for that long, and thirdly she was complaining of not taking proper bath for those days due to the condition of her health. Finally, she was under severe psychological stress by virtue of her ugly situation. Despite my assurances that she will get fair treatment and trial, she felt that her coming back to Nigeria to respond to the allegations has not been reciprocated by the EFCC by virtue of her long detention. She was very distraught!

When that window of opportunity was given that my suretyship will let her go home and get her prepared for trial, I felt mutually obliged to be of assistance to a woman who honoured my word when I promised the Agency that she will come down for her trial. She did come down as agreed. If I had refused to stand for her at that point, she has every right to conclude that I was in league with EFCC to bring her down to humiliate and embarrass her person. That would not have been the truth and I needed to prove that point to her. For me, I desired her to come down in order to respond to the myriads of allegation that was not good for her reputation.

On the path of EFCC, I also desired them to prove and convict the woman if she was liable or discharge and acquit her if she was innocent. On the basis of the two desires, I provided the link for both parties to satisfy their need.

To cut a long story short, Mrs Olejeme was granted administrative bail that night (at about 9pm) by virtue of my singular signature despite that the condition of bail was that they needed two sureties. The second surety, Hon Christopher Enai, came to sign his own papers two days later after her release to fulfill all righteousness.

After her release, Mrs. Olejeme was honouring their invitations except one or two occasions when she was ill and which she explained in writing through her solicitors. I ensured that whenever she had interview sessions with them that I will be there physically in accordance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and I was doing this regularly coming from Lagos to Abuja.

In course of the investigation, two things happened that startled me. One was that EFCC’s investigation was anchored only on one witness whose evidence was mere hearsay and uncorroborated. It was the witness’s words against the accused and secondly, EFCC was more interested in the properties of the woman more than the facts of the case that will secure her conviction. I was wondering how EFCC will forfeit the property of an accused person facing trial without first securing her conviction except that can happen in a country run by the likes of Ibrahim Magu.

From December to April the following year, the EFCC that published to the whole world how Olejeme stole N69 billion remained static and was not able and keen to prefer any charge against her. However, something strange happened one morning in April 2018. EFCC operatives numbering over 18 from Enugu invaded the home of Mrs Olejeme over a matter that was purely civil and stayed in the woman’s house searching her for over 10 hours. They blocked every entrance and exit on the street. Having failed to convince her to follow them to Enugu, they left her for another assignment according to them. My client fearing for her life escaped from her home and was not heard or seen until this Thursday April 15, 2021 when I heard that SHE IS BACK TO NIGERIA AND HAS REPORTED TO EFCC, possibly to face her trial.

When she escaped and went abroad due to the treatment she got from EFCC, I was called upon by the same EFCC to produce her. I felt that it was very wicked of the Agency to drive the woman back abroad and still have the audacity to request that I produce her. I felt outraged but as patriot I went after the woman through INTERPOL and finally got her placed on RED ALERT by Interpol headquarters in France. That piece of good news got Magu infuriated as he needed unwarranted evidence to embarrass himself and not me. In his clueless fury, he ordered my arrest and detention.

If an accused person jumps bail, the surety certainly has not committed any offence under our law. It is a civil matter which is to the effect that the surety forfeits the bail bond. It is only when the surety is unable to pay the stated sum in the bail bond that he or she will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Ibrahim Magu’s EFCC read their own law upside down and criminalised a purely civil matter. I even over heard that they said I breached the Rules of Professional Conduct of NBA. When did EFCC start to enforce Rules of Professional Conduct for NBA?

The truth of the matter is that I did not breach any rule of professional conduct of NBA in the first instance, as the said Rule is only applicable to a lawyer who is defending an accused in court and stands surety for the same client in the court. The matter at hand then was not yet before any court; it was an administrative bail by the Agency pending formal charge before any court. That was how EFCC under Magu operated; lawless, clueless and brash!

I immediately instructed my lawyers to enforce my fundamental human rights before the court, and quickly process was filed and served. The court ordered my release or a formal charge if I have committed any offence. Ibrahim Magu disobeyed the court order and kept me in detention for 23 days contrary to the order of the court. My lawyers commenced contempt proceedings and with avalanche of criticisms from all quarters including the harshest from NBA, CLASFON, OTU OKA IWU (Lawyers), Femi Falana SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN and several NGOs and well-meaning Nigerians, Ibrahim Magu was dazed as he ordered my release by 11:00PM. I refused his release by that ungodly hour and remained in detention till the following morning to be sure of my safety.

I prayed two “dangerous” prayers while in and out of detention. Yes you heard me right. One, is that as long as Ibrahim Magu has refused to see the wrong he has committed against me and several others and has not apologised including making peace, that God should disgrace him out of office. Those who are close to me and those inmates with me at the EFCC facility in Abuja remembered this prayer point when it was answered. I am not rejoicing at Magu’s fall but how I wish that men in power both in Nigeria and elsewhere will know and understand that POWER IS TRANSIENT AND EPHEMERAL.
In his glory, Ibrahim Magu felt he has become “God”. God will never share his glory with anyone. His rise and fall is a story for another day.

The second prayer I prayed was that Mrs Olejeme will never have peace of mind wherever she is on planet earth until she comes back to answer to her charges and prove to the world that I neither wronged her nor Nigeria.

Just this Thursday, the 15th of April, two years after I was wrongly detained by Magu’s EFCC, I got a call from Hon Enai, my Co-surety that Mrs Olejeme is back to the country and has dutifully reported herself to EFCC.

To say the least, I was elated and grateful to God for answered prayers. Since she escaped, she has intentionally refused to call or speak with me. She has her reasons, it may be out of fear or for some other reasons best known to her. For now it is no longer my headache. I have my plans. She is back to face her case and the ONUS IS ON EFCC TO PROVE THE THEFT OF N69 Billion against her. Newspaper and public trial characterisation of Magu era is gone, perhaps for good.

Let everyone accused of crime in Nigeria be given fair trial and let those who are guilty be jailed, while those who are innocent be discharged and acquitted. That is how it is done in every civilized clime. I further plead that let everyone note “that anyone ACCUSED OF CRIME, NO MATTER HOW GRIEVOUS, that person is ENTITLED TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION”. It becomes even compulsory under the law if the crime is grievous and carries death penalty. On no account should public opinion be used to scare any diligent lawyer from defending any accused person especially if the accused story is contrary to the “spurious” allegations by the Prosecutor. In saying this, I am not pronouncing Mrs Olejeme innocent but from what I saw during her interview sessions, the spurious figure of N69 billion is not only ridiculous, it is downright stupid to market that kind of figure to the public when the evidence on ground is nothing near that!

While we await the trial proceedings or whatever EFCC wants to do with her, my ultimate joy is that I have been vindicated as I have no hand in her escape. I never knew her while she was the chairman of NSITF. I only played the role of a patriot in bringing her back and I am here giving glory to God for vindicating me that I did not commit any crime in doing that or while doing that.

I have applied and withdrawn my suretyship of the woman from EFCC. The letter to that effect was written and acknowledged on the 16th of April, 2021.

All in all, “the just shall live by faith”, the word of God says so. It further says “Say to the righteous and it shall be well with him”. “No weapon fashioned against any Child of God shall prosper”. My trust is on God, and He alone will continue to direct my path.

My profound gratitude goes to my comrades, friends, senior friends and colleagues, family members and workers including silent and distant admirers who stood with me at those trying period. They shall make heaven, Amen.

God shall also bless my haters and unknown enemies. They may have their reasons since I am not perfect and never claim to be. We all need God’s forgiveness and Grace on this planet earth.

To God be all the glory, honour and praise for honouring His name. I am wantonly grateful to this awesome God!

M. O. Ubani Esq. (MOU).
Barrister & Solicitor

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APPEAL COURT JURIST, FALANA, AKPATA, NGIGE, OTHERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS BOOK LAUNCH

Leading jurists and human rights activists will on Thursday gather for the unveiling of a seminal book on human rights written by foremost human rights author and litigator, Chief Frank Agbedo.

Titled “Casebook on Human Rights Litigation in Nigeria: With Landmark Cases From Other Jurisdictions,” the event which will be held virtually is expected to be witnessed by the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mohammed L. Garba and the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba.

Others expected at the book presentation are the Chairman of Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN; Lagos State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN; Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Olumide Akpata; fiery human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, and former President of Otu Oka-Iwu Lagos, Chief Chuks Ikokwu.

With renowned text writer, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu SAN as Book Presenter and The Guardian columnist, Mr. Sonnie Ekwowusi as Book Reviewer, others slated for the book presentation are Chief Babatunde Ogala and Mr. Yemi Akangbe (NBA Lagos Branch Chairman) as Guests of Honour;  corporate and commercial law guru, Mr. Mbanugo Udenze as Host and popular Bar Leader, Mrs. Tolani Edu as the Moderator. 

Available on AMAZON at https://www.amazon.com/Casebook-Human-Rights-Litigation-Nigeria/dp/6200313415, “This book painstakingly addresses the predicament of lawyers and judges in accessing relevant cases of interest, by providing and updating the practitioners with a comprehensive collection of (both current and locus classicus) reported cases mainly from decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, on all notable issues of law and procedure relating to human rights litigation in Nigeria.”

An announcement on the book presentation states as follows:

Team Nominees Limited is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Book Presentation of Case Book on Human Rights Litigation in Nigeria by Chief Frank Agbedo.

Date: Thursday 24th September, 2020 Time: 02:00 PM West Central Africa

Join Zoom Meeting

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EXCLUSIVE: EGBE AMOFIN CRACKS, GAGS MEMBERS ON NBA ELECTION

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

• EGBE BLOC CONGRATULATES AKPATA, ASSURES SUPPORT
• ADESINA PETITIONS NBA TRUSTEES 

Cracks have emerged within Egbe Amofin O’odua ranks as a major bloc in the influential regional group has congratulated Nigerian Bar Association President-elect, Mr. Olumide Akpata on his victory at the poll.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Egbe Amofin O’odua may have barred its members from commenting on the outcome of the NBA Elections. The gag order was made after a meeting of the group at the weekend, CITY LAWYER can authoritatively report. Firebrand human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN is among the two persons appointed as spokespersons on the election.

Egbe Amofin ni Eko, the Lagos bloc of the group, has congratulated Akpata on his victory, assuring him of “our individual and collective support for your administration and for our noble mother association.”

The bloc had in the run-up to the hotly contested NBA Elections endorsed Adesina, saying: “We are true sons and daughters of Oduduwa and we stand on the decision of Egbe made in Ibadan over the endorsement of a single candidate. Another meeting of the Egbe is only 13 days away. Any aggrieved candidate should approach Egbe. But for us, we stand on the decision of the mother group.”

But in a statement made available to CITY LAWYER and signed by the Chairman of the bloc, Mr. Martin Ogunleye, it said: “On behalf of the leadership and members of Egbe Amofin ni Eko, I hereby convey to you our congratulations on your emergence as President-elect of the Nigerian Bar Association.

“We are optimistic that your track record of service to the bar, especially as Chairman of the Section of Business Law, and your promise to take a 24 month sabbatical from law practice to serve the association, would be brought to bear to take our association, the NBA to greater heights.

“Please accept the assurances of our individual and collective support for your administration and for our noble mother association.”

While a leading member of the association had assured CITY LAWYER that he would proffer his opinion on the conduct of the election, things took a new today early today when he sent an apology saying: “I regret to inform you that we, members of Egbe Amofin ODUA have been barred from commenting, writing, granting interview and or posting on social media platforms any comment, write up and article on issues relating to the recently concluded NBA 2020 elections. Asiwaju Niyi Akintola, SAN and Femi Falana, SAN have been appointed as spokespersons for Yoruba Lawyers on the election. In deference to this directive, I will be resiling from my earlier commitment to send my write up on the election to your blog.

“The decision was taken at the last Egbe meeting held on Saturday. Please note that the directive affects only those who subscribed to Egbe Amofin ODUA ideals.”

It was unclear whether the gag order is linked to the congratulatory message by Egbe Amofin ni Eko. When CITY LAWYER contacted the Secretary of Egbe Amofin O’odua, Dr. John Akintayo at the time of going to press, he pleaded that he was “very busy” but assured that he would be available to speak subsequently.

It is recalled that Egbe Amofin O’odua had adopted Adesina as its sole candidate, even as erstwhile NBA presidential candidate, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN opted out of the adoption process, arguing that it was devoid of transparency.

Meanwhile, Adesina has again petitioned NBA Trustees on the outcome of the election. In his latest petition, the senior lawyer alleged that the election “breached the fundamental provisions of the NBA Constitution itself in material particulars,” adding that provisions on publication of the Voters Register 28 days and appointment of Service Provider by ECNBA were violated.

He also alleged that while the ECNBA is expected to be independent, “Representations made by me to the ECNBA were very strangely responded to personally by the NBA President without any such response from the ECNBA which was the primary addressee of the complaints. The entire election looked like it was a personal show or project of the incumbent President including selection/appointment of service providers et al. Mr. Chairman, sir, what the NBA President did by comparison can be likened to a situation where the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conducts a Presidential election, hijacked the constitutional responsibilities by assuming the duties and responsibilities of INEC, appointing Service Providers, nominating and paying those who would print ballot papers, warehousing the ballot boxes, providing INEC Server etc.”

Continuing, he said: “In this connection, NBA will never be taken serious by Nigeria and Nigerians as well as other law associations outside our shores, including the International Bar Association (IBA) if these crass, abnormalities, illegalities and deliberate wholesale breach of our constitution are not redressed. Our dear Association must not be allowed to descend to opprobrium. We must not be made or subjected to a laughing stock.”

EGBE AMOFIN EKO

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NBA DATABASE: OLANIPEKUN, NGIGE, FALANA IN ‘OBOLLO-AFOR’ BRANCH

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There is palpable anxiety over the current state of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) database as uploaded on the NBA website. While some members have their data correctly inputted, prominent Bar Leaders such as former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); former NBA presidential candidate and Chairman of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) and Mrs. Funmi Falana, wife of fiery human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) are among those whose data have errors. The trio are listed as members of NBA Obollo-Afor Branch. Continue Reading