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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INEC: NBA ASKS SENATE TO DUMP BUHARI’S NOMINEE

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged Nigeria’s Senate not to confirm Ms. Lauretta Onochie as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner.

In a statement by the Chairman of the Governing Council of NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Monday Ubani, the lawyers’ body said that “Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, a clearly partisan individual by the President, an individual who has in recent years publicly displayed her partisanship and undying support for the ruling Party in her utterances, conduct and interaction with the Public cannot and should not serve as INEC Commissioner, a role reserved for an unbiased Umpire. I on-behalf of the Nigerian Public urge the Senate to righteously reject her nomination and confirmation forthwith.”

The Senate leadership had recently directed its Committee on INEC to screen Onochie for possible confirmation.

Below is the full text of the statement.

Distinguished Senator Kabiru Gaya
Chairman Senate Committee on INEC
National Assembly Complex,
F.CT,
Abuja.

Dear Sir,

OBJECTION FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF LAURETTA ONOCHIE AS INEC COMMISSIONER.

I write this letter of objection to your sir at this critical and turbulent times in our Nation’s history, and I strongly believe that the Senate as a democratic institution of this great Country, has what it takes at this trying times to save and preserve Nigeria from heckling down to hell.

Sometime in October 2020, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as an INEC Commissioner. Mrs Lauretta Onochie, who until her nomination by the President, served as the President’s Personal Assistant and was an unapologetic member of the ruling Party the All Progressive Congress (APC) hence, her nomination by the President as INEC Commissioner, a position that the law prescribes the holder of same should be non-partisan, is ultra-vires and unconstitutional.

Recently her name came up for confirmation by the senate after an initial set back, therefore, as a concerned Citizen of this great Country, and as a Constitutional Legal Practitioner with grave concern for the preservation and sustainability of our very fragile democracy, I hereby strongly object to the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie by the President and her intended confirmation of her nomination by the Senate.

Distinguished Senate Chairman, considering the reality of Nigeria today, with the high level of insecurity, ethnic tensions and mistrust among Citizens, the decline in trust and confidence by the Citizens in their elected officials and democratic institutions to mention a few, it is very important, that as the next election draws closer, whoever is to be nominated by the President to serve as INEC Commissioner, Chairman or as an unbiased Umpire for National elections must be in compliance with the law and must be persons that, the general public view as not being partisan or compromised in any form or manner.

Sir, Section 152 of the Electoral Act, provides that. “no person holding an elective office to which this act relates or a registered member of a Political Party shall be eligible for or be appointed to carry out duties of a returning officer, an electoral officer, presiding officer or Poll Clerk”. Therefore, the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie, a clearly partisan individual by the President, an individual who has in recent years publicly displayed her partisanship and undying support for the ruling Party in her utterances, conduct and interaction with the Public cannot and should not serve as INEC Commissioner, a role reserved for an unbiased Umpire. I on-behalf of the Nigerian Public urge the Senate to righteously reject her nomination and confirmation forthwith.

For emphasis;

As a card carrying member of the ruling party or any other party for that matter, she is unfit for the position she is nominated. I also doubt that Section 154 (3) of the constitution was complied with, which prescribe that the President nominates INEC Commissioner in consultation with the Council of State. Paragraphs B of Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule of the constitution provides that the Council of State shall have power to advise the President in the exercise of his power with respect to (iv) the INEC including the appointment of members of the Commission. When was this Section and paragraph complied with? If I may ask.

Most importantly paragraph 14 of part I of the third schedule of the constitution as amended in Section 30 No. 1 of 2020, a member of INEC should be “non partisan”, can Mrs. Lauretta Onochie be regarded by anyone in Nigeria, knowing her antecedent as the Special Assistant to the President as “non partisan” under the Nigerian context? The right answer is No.

I therefore, on behalf of the Nigerian Bar Association urge that her nomination be rejected and her confirmation be denied forthwith.

Thanking you in advance for the positive consideration of my request.

Dr. Monday O. Ubani, Esq.
Chairman
NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law.

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NBA VP HEADS SPIDEL ELECTORAL COMMITTEE

  • AS ANANABA IS SET TO BOW OUT AFTER SPIDEL REVIVAL

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) has set up a 9-member Electoral Committee to midwife the next leadership for the section.

A statement by the NBA-SPIDEL Council Chairman, Prof. Paul Ananaba SAN named fiery human rights activist and current NBA First Vice President, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins as the Chairman of the Electoral Committee. Mr. Chisom Onuoha is to act as the committee’s Secretary.

Other members of the committee are Funmi Adeogun Esquire, Godspower Edoga Esquire, Emeka Eze Esquire, Daniel Asomeji Esquire, Rabiu Ayuba Esquire, Akintayo Akinyemi Esquire, and Umoru Jibrin Esquire.

The committee has the mandate to conduct election of the section leading to the emergence of a new team to spearhead the activities of the resurgent section.

It is recalled that Prof. Ananaba has been instrumental in reviving the then moribund section after it became comatose for several years. The section – which is one of only three NBA sections – organisaed the much-talked-about Annual Conference at Aba, Abia State in November 2019.

The Ananaba Administration is on the verge of holding another landmark annual conference in Ibadan, Oyo State. Given the array of famous speakers that have confirmed participation at the conference and the strong support of key stakeholders, the conference promises to be widely attended and discussed for years to come. It is the first NBA-led in-person conference for almost two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The conference has as its theme, “The role of public interest in governance in Nigeria.” Registration for the conference opened early in the year at https://nbaspidel.ng/nba-spidel-conference/, while early bird registration closes on May 15, 2021.

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.

NBA-SPIDEL ANNUAL CONFAB HOLDS FEB. 17

The popular Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) will hold between February 17 and 20, 2021 in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State. The theme of the conference is “The Role of Public Interest in Governance in Nigeria.”

According to a statement made available to CITY LAWYER by the Planning Committee headed by fiery human rights activist and former NBA Vice President, Mr. Monday Ubani, the conference will hold at the prestigious Jogor Centre, Off Liberty Road, Ibadan.

Below is the full text of the statement:

THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF SECTION OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND DEVELOPMENT LAW (SPIDEL) OF NBA 2021

The National Conference of Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) is billed to hold between the 17th and 20th of February, 2021 at Ibadan in Oyo State.

Recall that the last Conference of the Section took place in Aba, Abia State and was a tremendous success as everyone that participated attested to the richness of the Conference that was clinically executed by the Chairman of the Section, Mr Paul Ananaba SAN and the Conference Planning Committee headed by Mr Chibuike Nwokeukwu SAN. Next year’s conference with the central theme of “The Role of Public Interest in Governance in Nigeria” promises to be an earthquaking event that will attract the creme de la creme of the noble profession and the political class in Nigeria.

The three day event will be enriching with various sub topics like “Public interest and the respect of the rights of citizens to protest against certain policies of government, The legality of Commission of Inquiry of the State Government over Police Brutality, Enforcement of Judgement that has become burdensome in our jurisprudence and the matter of Locus Standi in the light of the recent Supreme Court case of Centre for Oil Pollution Watch Vs NNPC amongst other topics.

The event taking place in the ancient city of Ibadan in the South West promises to be an experience every lawyer whose interest is geared towards serving the cause of the masses will treasure for a long time. The various speakers that will be Resource Persons for the Conference will include the best array of experts on Public interest litigation, top political decision makers and the shakers and movers of the Nigerian Economy.

The Conference shall be declared open by the hardworking Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Mr. Seyi Makinde who has in his cabinet two active members of the Bar that were recently elevated to the rank of Silk. We are talking about the Chairman of the Local Conference Planning Committee, Mr Abiola Olagunju who is heading the State Independent Electoral Commission and Professor Oyelowo Oyewo (SAN designate), the current Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the State. These two men will be pivotal for the successful hosting of the Conference next year in Oyo State.

The indomitable President of the Nigerian Bar Association Mr Olumide Akpata, the Head of the Secretariat Mrs Joyce Oduah, and the entire National Officers, including the National Executive Committee of the Bar have expressed their support to the forthcoming conference that promises not to be forgotten in a hurry for a long to come in the annals of NBA. The following are the Chairman, Secretary and Members of the Conference Planning Committee that was approved by the National Executive Committee in a meeting held sometime in 2020. They are:

1. Mr. M. O. Ubani – Chairman (08033019746)
2. Mr. Israel Usman – Alternate Chairman,
3. Mr. Wole Jimi-Bada – Secretary
4. Mr. Abdul Fagge – Member
5. Mr Abiola Olagunju (SAN Designate) Chairman LOC
6. Ms Ada Nwafor – Member
7. Mr Adamu Barde – Member
8. Mr Kunle Adegoke (SAN Designate) – Member
9. Ms Agi Anne – Member
10.Ms Aisha Mohammed
11.Mr Ayo Ademuliyi Member
12.Mr Edmund Biriomoni – Member
13.Mr. Emeka Nwadioke – Member
14.Mr Frank Agbaedo – Member
15.Mr. G. R. Ayuba – Member
16. Mr Ibrahim – Member
17.Mr Kola Omotinugbon – Member
18.Ms. Nkem Agboti – Member
19.Dr. Paul Ebiala – Member
20.Mr President Aigbokhan – Member
21.Ms Princess Chukwuani – Member
22. Ms Queendaline Ubani – Member
23.Mr Stainislaus Mbaezue – Member
24.Mr Sylvester Udemezue – Member
25. Mr Chukwuka Ikwuazom (SAN Designate) – Member
26. Mr. Kunle Edun – Member
27. Ms Otti Edah – Member
28.Mr Osita Okoro – Member
29. Mr. Paul Ananaba SAN, Chairman of SPIDEL – Member.
30.Mr Aliyu Binali – Member
31.Mr Abdullahi Karaye – Member
32.Mr Umar Isa Sulaiman – Member
33.Chimezie Iroka – Member
34. Sunday Abednego – Member
35.Jesse Nwaenyo.
36. Okechukwu Barrah
37. Daniel Asomeji

Of interest is the venue of the Conference which is at palatial Jogor Centre, Off Liberty Road, Ibadan with a capacity for 3000 (Three thousand) persons. It is a well air-conditioned environment with a vast parking space for guests. Every lawyer with flair for public interest litigation should endeavour to be at Ibadan next year. Ibadan is one of the ancient cities in Nigeria with so many monumental sites, scenes and tasty meals for those who love their stomach. Mark your diary now, 17th to 20th of February, 2021. Details of Registration shall soon be published from the National Secretariat in Abuja. Let us make this conference one to treasure for a long time to come.

M. O. Ubani,
Chairman, Conference Planning Committee.

Wole Jimi-Bada
Secretary, Conference Planning Committee.

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AKINJIDE WAS AN OUTSTANDING LAWYER, SAYS GADZAMA

Bar Leader and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) has described late former Attorney-General & Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) as an “outstanding multi-jurisdictional lawyer” who “contributed monumentally” to the growth and development of the legal profession in Nigeria.

In a statement sent to CITY LAWYER, the pioneer Chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) said he was “saddened” by the demise of the former Chairman of Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), adding that Nigeria has lost “one of its finest” legal minds.

The statement reads:

“I was saddened to hear of the death of former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN who passed away at the ripe age of 88 in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Until his death, he was the Chairman of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN).

“He was an outstanding multi-jurisdictional lawyer called to both the Nigerian and English Bar. As Minister of Education in the first republic and later as Minister of Justice in the second republic, he distinguished himself. No doubt, he was a decent politician who played politics without bitterness.

“Chief Akinjide, SAN contributed monumentally to the growth and development of the legal profession in Nigeria. He was indeed a great achiever who lived a life worthy of emulation. Nigeria has lost one of its finest who will always be fondly remembered for the great legacy he left behind. May his soul rest in peace.”

Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN
Pioneer Chairman, NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law, (SPIDEL)

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. 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.