Aug 18, 2018

Another Grand Deception In The NBA Election 2018

In the past 24 hours, false messages and threats have been going out to deceive lawyers to vote in a particular way citing Section 9(3) and 2.2(a-e) of the second schedule of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 and giving it a mischievous interpretation that it is the turn of the Igbos to produce the NBA President.This false hood is the oldest propaganda since the inception of this electioneering process.
It is important that lawyers know that the relevant section of the NBA constitution zoned the Presidency to the Eastern Zone which is made up of *Abia,Akwa Ibom,Anambra,Bayelsa,Cross River,Ebonyi,Enugu and Rivers.*

It is important to know  that the zone is made up of Old Rivers,Old East Central and Old Cross River. It is also important to know that all the zones have produced an NBA President except the Old Cross River where Paul Usoro comes from. Let us also be reminded that the NBA constitution recognises the sharing of power among interests in zones thus the need for Paul Usoro from Cross River/Akwa Ibom who is also eminently qualified.

Many Igbo learned friends are in support of this which they believe will create a balance in the zone and ensure equity and justice. The bigotry and threat messages to our Igbo lawyers are appalling and unbecoming of lawyers let alone persons who aspire to lead the Bar. 

We thank the astute and conscientious Igbo lawyers for their understanding especially taking into consideration the fact that ALL NBA Presidents from the Eastern zone have been Igbo speaking. We sincerely thank all Nigerians from Anambra to Sokoto from Maiduguri to Lagos,from Katsina to Bayelsa and so on who have supported our cause.
We are proud that we have maintained a clean campaign without trying to throw mud at anybody.The only mud you can see around us are the ones thrown at us.

Let us ignore this last minute propaganda and head to the polls with the best interest of the bar at heart. A new bar beckons as we vote for Paul Usoro.

Team Paul Usoro


Shortly after news went out that lawyers complained that their names were hidden from their branch voters list but was found on the database, the hidden names were  deleted from the website.

This has come as an embarrassment to many lawyers whose names were not listed on the verification list. A further check revealed that those names were not transferred to the voters list but were completely removed from the portal. This is bad news as voting is slated to commence in less than 16 hours.

Some lawyers have been unable to find their names listed in their branch or any other branch when they search their names under their branch but where able to find their name when they click on the arrow in the menu (top right) which shows another drop down menu that has two options

Check by Branch

Check Verification data

When you search some names with Check by branch, some names will not be found but when you search the names with Check verification data, the details of the names appear even with an indication of their branch. Now those names are suspiciously missing

Again the readiness of the ECNBA to conduct the election which has been postponed three times has come to question. The ECNBA has given no explanation to the suspicious removal of the hidden names on the platform.

Again,the Gombe branch of the Nigerian Bar Association Has written the ECNBA over the exclusion of more than half of its verified  members  on the list. Many other branches are gearing up for a showdown with the ECNBA for excluding their members from the voters list.

The ECNBA has so far done a good job taking into consideration the pressure this whole electioneering process has put them. I know this year's election committee will definitely be voted as the hardest committee so far in NBA'S recent history. They deserve some accolades.

Going forward, since the list of verified candidates were released, some some issues have cropped up from people who complied with the verification process who could not see their names on the list to people whose details were missing.I sincerely hope that ECNBA and Crenet anticipated these problem and will provide solutions to them before the voting begins.

Another complaint about the  verification list that calls for urgent attention is the complaints of those whose details are on the data base but not listed in any branch.

ECNBA and Crenet released two batches of names listed according to branches with the following instructions:

The final list of verified voters is hereby published and made available for members to access to confirm their status. It is important to note;

Only names in the list of members submitted by branches can be found on this final verified list
Only names of members who participated in the verification exercise can be found on this final verified list.
Members may check their verified names on either the BATCH A verified list or BATCH B verified list.
To confirm verification status, members are advised to follow the following steps;

Check your information by entering your Supreme Court enrollment number in the appropriate column
You may check your information under your branch
Some lawyers have been unable to find their names listed in their branch or any other branch when they search their names under their branch but where able to find their name when they click on the arrow in the menu (top right) which shows another drop down menu that has two options

Check by Branch

Check Verification data

When you search some names with Check by branch, some names will not be found but when you search the names with Check verification data, the details of the names appear even with an indication of their branch.Now those names are suspiciously missing

The questions now become,

What is the status of these names that are hidden in the branch list but can be found on the verification data?
Is it an issue to worry about, if not, why are those names not listed in any branch?
What are these people supposed to do if it is a problem to avoid being disenfranchised?
To ensure transparency and proper voters' education, ECNBA and Crenet must answer the three questions above with an unambiguous explanation of why those names were hidden from the branches.

Atata of Courtroom Mail 

Aug 17, 2018

Employees’ Social Media Conduct: Can Disciplinary Measures Be Taken Out On The Basis Of This? | Zeniath Abiri

One of the most important rights of an employer is the ability to take disciplinary actions against an errant employee. Usually, the employment contract will stipulate actions that are offensive and the punishment to be applied upon such offensive behaviour. The most common forms of disciplinary actions in the workplace includes; warnings, queries, suspension, termination and in extreme cases, summary dismissal.

IP ABC —Can we sue MultiEnergy for passing off? | Infusion Lawyers

Question of the Week

I am the manager of one of the most successful athletes in Africa. Please call me TJ. My client is popularly known as Ben Breeze by fans locally and internationally. This nickname has practically become a brand synonymous with speed, power, and confidence. Last week, we stumbled upon a new energy drink in Lagos called Ben Breeze. Within weeks of being launched in the Nigerian market, the energy drink has being enjoying reception, especially amongst sportsmen and sportswomen. Ben Breeze is a product of MultiEnergy Limited, a Nigerian company. We consider MultiEnergy’s act an unlawful act of passing off. I believe MultiEnergy is unduly exploiting my client’s name and popularity to sell its identically named, energy drink, Ben Breeze. My client has not trademarked the nickname. Do we have a case in passing off?

Terms of Service for Your App or Online Business: How do you get yours? | Senator Ihenyen

Bayo Folarin (tech-startup owner, FolaTech): "Hello Senator, a quick one please. I need you to prepare a Terms of Service for my app. We need it in 2 days. Please send us a pocket-friendly invoice—we have a very tight budget. Can you start working on the Terms today? We need it in 2 days. You can deliver by Friday, right?"

LEADERSHIP & CAPACITY BUILDING CONFERENCE: For Probono Lawyers and Legal Aid Service Providers in Nigeria

On the 15th of August, 2018, a network for pro bono lawyers was organized by the Prisoner’s Right Advocacy Initiative (P.R.A.I). The centerpiece of the event was basically to train and encourage Nigerian lawyers working in the legal aid unit or practicing some form of pro bono services on many ways to deliver quality services to their clients. Additionally, the conference also aimed at isolating the challenges faced by pro bono lawyers in discharging their duties.

The Fifa Statute And The Nigerian Sovereignty: A Legal Perspective | Eseoghene Palmer Esq

Matters came to head almost immediately after the conclusion of the FIFA World cup which was held in Russia between the months of June and July, 2018. With the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Jos Division giving a judgement which categorically declared Mr. Chris Giwa as the lawfully elected NFF president in opposition to Mr. Amaju Pinnick (current president, NFF). This decision has caused a widespread upheaval in the executive arm of the Federal Government, particularly with the Ministry of Sports & Youth Development and the Ministry of Justice down to the Football Parastatal. The major problem unfortunately is how this turn of events will purportedly affect the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and its healthy affiliation with the Football world governing body (FIFA).


Distinguished learned members of the inner and the outer Bar, I pay my tributes to you all and most especially our always unjustly [...] and impoverished young lawyers who are ironically in the majority but left with meagre resources, briefs and insulting wages.

I beg all of you both the Seniors and the Young lawyers in the spirit of brotherly camaraderie  existing among us as learned friends to please VOTE for PAUL USORO SAN as the next NBA President.
I have examined critically all the 3(three ) remaining contestants and I have empirically come to the a firm and resolute conclusion that Paul Usoro Esq,SAN is the best and primus inter pares among the remaining 3 candidates since the unjustifiable and arbitrary disqualification of my original candidate, Mazi Afam Osigwe Esq.

I am happy that when Mazi Afam Osigwe called me on phone on Monday this week , he told me and I verily believe him that HE HAS INSTRUCTED ALL HIS SUPPORTERS TO VOTE EN MASS FOR PAUL USORO ESQ., SAN , but he said that is without prejudice to his pending litigation in court over his disqualification.

We cannot afford to entrust the NBA to any of the aspirants without tangible visible presence both locally and internationally in terms of professional exposure.

I am a private legal practitioner with bias for civil litigations like Paul Usoro SAN and  Arthur Obi Okafor SAN. I have traversed and criss-crossed the 36 states of Nigeria in the course of legal practice pursuits since I started Advocacy under Chief Bayo Aluko-Olokun SAN (of blessed memory) in Kaduna in 1993/1994, the city where I met Masuuud Alabelewe Esq., also a Corp member with Gbenga Atoki Esq. I later joined Dele Akinmusuti Esq from 1994 till 1998 for the best mix of Solicitors & Advocacy practices. In the law firm which was the most organised and structured law firm in Ibadan after the law firm of S.P
A.Ajibade & Co. and Akin Delano & Co., where I was the Practice Manager from February 1995 to September 1998. I left the firm to join the foremost and most successful Partnership law firm in Nigeria, Olujinmi & Akeredolu in October 1998 and I was with the chambers till April 2002 when I was sacked by Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN for an alleged rudeness unbecoming of a legal practitioner.
Kazeem Gbadamosi Esq. (KGB) and my humble self teamed up to establish Adebayo & Gbadamosi, Legal Practitioners in October 2002 and we fashioned the law firm after Olujinmi & Akeredolu.
Lest I bore you with all the above mentioned details, the point that I am trying to make is that i have been a very active legal practitioner since I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1993 till date and also that I have been a very active Bar Man since NBA was brought to live again in  1999. I make bold to say that I have never heard of Arthur Obi-Okafor SAN and I have never met him throughout my progessional voyages all over the country.
The first time ever i heard about him was in 2017 through my very good friend and soul mate , Emeka Obegolu Esq who asked me to support Artur Obi Okafor SAN for the NBA President. 

I know Prof. Ojukwu very well as an erudite law teacher at the Nigerian Law School, a sound and excellent Resource person and astute trainer at NBA conferences, workshops, sections, fora and seminars. Also, he once headed or was one of the leaders of the Eastern Bar Forum which he has now despised and condemned during the ongoing Bar politicking. But, nobody can deny the fact that Professor Ernest Ojukwu SAN is a consummate Bar Man.

I have known Paul Usoro SAN since 1998 when I joined Olujinmi & Akeredolu as I used to follow Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN (Aketi) who is the incumbent Gov of Ondo State to "Paulo"s (as Aketi used to call Paul Usoro Esq,SAN) law office at NIDB Building office on several occasions between 1998 and 2012.

Paulo's law office at that time was well structured, neat, organised, fully computerised with a functioning website and full internet access that always taunted the legendary Aketi on when the Olujinmi & Akeredolu would rise up to be like his friend's law firm. Aketi would only retort and dismiss me then with " Oj , O serious. May be you dont know that Paulo was both a typist and a stenographer before he read law."

And I would reply him jokingly too that "Just exactly like your Partner"
Let me state at this juncture that Aketi is best among Nigerian Senior Legal Practitioners as he will always and at all times relate with any lawyer as an equal colleague and a friend. The Principal/ Junior relationship is alien and unknown to the legendary Aketi. I have been told by Samuel Onwukwe Esq. who had his national youth service with us that Paul Usoro Esq is also in the mould of Aketi in terms of that robust and excellent relationship with younger colleagues in chambers. To the glory of God,  I relate with my colleagues in chambers in the same manner which I learnt from the duo of Aketi & Paulo.
Let me digress and even talk briefly about Mrs Mfon Usoro who is an even more active Bar person than Paul Usoro's SAN. She is very prominent and left her indelible footprint on the sand of time of NBA and SBL in particular when SBL was evolving.
She left as DG NIMASA gracefully when she refused to compromise her stoic corporate governance principles.  Only very few Nigerians can do such.

In terms of active Bar experience, Paul Usoro Esq, SAN has the best bar experience over and above the other 2(two) candidates.
Similarly, the law firm Paul Usoro & Co. has over the years being one of the Platinum Sponsors of the NBA conferences and programmes just like Wole Olanipekun & Co.,  Banwo & Ighodalo, Olaniwun Ajayi & Co., Aluko & Oyebode, AELEX, Ajumogobia & Okeke to mention some of those top flying firms who at every conference, seminar, section and forum always sponsored NBA function while some Bar Officers are always waiting in the wings to spend some and pocket most of those donor funds.
The law firms of Arthur Obi Okafor SAN and Prof.  Ernest Ojukwu SAN both combined together cannot match a quarter of the funds donated by Paul Usoro & Co. to the NBA over the years.

I am confident that one of the nemesis of the NBA is that those who contribute little or nothing to the Bar in terms of sponsoring of the Bar programmes are in most cases the parasitic beneficiaries of the Bar as they see Bar Offices as an avenue to enrich themselves.  Such instances are more common and worst among the occupiers of the office of the  General Secretary of the Bar in the last 10 years till date. My great Egbon and reverred Silk, Aare Olumuyiwa Akinboro, SAN is an exception to this general rule as it is on record that that he never engaged in corrupt and fraudulent  practices, maladmistration and abuse of office powers when he was the NBA GS. He discharged the functions of that office creditably.

Also, in terms of international exposure, Paul Usoro SAN towers far ahead of the other 2 candidates and that sacred fact cannot be controverted. It was even alleged and being rumoured that a  candidate for a particular Bar office totally lacks exposure to the extent that the personality has never travelled out of the shore of this country and yet he is aspiring to be an officer of the Bar in this IT age.

Again, Paul Usoro SAN is the only detribalised Nigerian among the 3 contestants . Though an Akwa- Ibomite , he lives all his life in Lagos and the South-West , he schooled in the South-West and has the headquarters of his top notch law firms in Lagos since he was called to the Bar.

Also, he is ITC savvy which has placed him in the vantage position of being fully ready and prepared to take our Bar to the standardlevel of the International Bar Association.

Finally, all the powers that be within the Bar are opposed to his candidature simply because they believe and are of the firm that he is too independent  and would therefore be uncontrollable and cannot be tossed arround as they like.

Let us free and liberate the Bar from the Cabals that had held the Bar by her jugular to ransome by Voting massively for Paul Usoro Esq., SAN for a PUrified Bar.

The dawn of a new era in the Nigerian Bar is here, please VOTE for Paul Usoro Esq, SAN as the NBA President.  

I am #PU-rified . I stand with Paul Usoro SAN.
DATED this 16th August, 2018 at Liverpool, United Kingdom. 

Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo Esq,
Immediate Past Hon Attorney-General of Oyo State of Nigeria.

Aug 15, 2018

Paul Usoro, SAN: The Leader, The Example

In the few days left before the 2018 NBA General Elections, perpetrators of cheap calumny, hatred and barefaced blackmail have fuelled their ever uncultured lying tongues. This time around, they have primed and deployed desperate allegations about the person of the leading candidate of the 2018 NBA Presidential elections, Mr Paul Usoro, SAN.

This glaring desperation emanates from the unfortunate speech affirming the adoption of unpopular candidates. This act was initiated by those bent on abducting the freewill and franchise of Nigeria's lawyers for sectional politics.  Despite a widely accepted universal suffrage system of voting that the Bar aspires to, these set of lawyers would rather stick to a process that has lost popularity and legitimacy.

Not surprisingly, defectors from the adoption school of thought have resorted to the use of dark arts for their campaigning efforts. Despite the popular demand of lawyers for Mr Paul Usoro, SAN, it is not unexpected that these attacks are occurring because nobody throws stones at empty trees not bearing fruits. 

Mr Usoro, even though he was the last candidate to declare interest to lead the bar, having no godfather and adopters, has surged ahead of the others. How? It's simply goodwill, the charisma and love of his beaming supporters who read his reflections and listen to his speeches and pure pedigree.
Paul Usoro, SAN has justified as a man trained at the prestigious Harvard on leadership Best Practices graduate, what a leader really should be. He has shown this by continuing in a campaign of love, preaching oneness of the Bar and equality of all lawyers if lawyers vote him in as the next President of the NBA. 

He has displayed with a ceaseless staccato on many occasions, what a leader truly should be by not replying calumny for calumny, hatred for hatred but rather talking love back to those who hate to hear about him. It is available even for free to the adopters and mischief makers that the man has undoubtable class, style and gargantuan charisma.

While others engage in fiendishly egregious, desperately Mephistophelean publications about him, he is busy going about branches registering his loveable presence, soliciting for moral support and presenting his well mapped out plans for the Bar to the nation's learned professionals. They are willing to always hear him speak again and again.
Furthermore, proving his honest and sincere attribute as a leader, he is not engaging in unachievable promise-slinging while visiting branches. He is not making unrealistic pledges achievable only in a state of phantasmagoria, neither does he engage in campaigns of making fortunes out of peoples' misfortunes, making cheap donations to ailing lawyers and making it a campaign headline – what a gentleman! 

Learned friends and colleagues, I implore you all to aspire for the NBA of our dreams as proposed by Paul Usoro, SAN. Remember that a vote for Paul Usoro, SAN, is a vote against the undemocratic spirits and tenets of adoption. Remember that a vote for Paul is a vote for yourself.
I stand with the multitude of lawyers; I stand with the young lawyers; We stand for Paul Usoro, SAN.

Samuel Obot, Esq.

Aug 14, 2018

BNLF Launch of the Family Law Network

The British Nigeria Law Forum (BNLF) launches the Family Law Network
Recent developments in Family Law: Focus on UK and Nigeria

Tuesday, 11th September 2018
6.00 pm - 9.30 pm
Bircham Dyson Bell LLP
50 Broadway, London SW1H 0BL

Click here to book:
Arrival & Registration
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Welcome, Introduction and Launch of the Family Law Network
Seye Aina, Chair, British Nigeria Law Forum
Panel of Speakers
  • Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara, East London Family Court - FGM Orders and Forced Marriage Protection Orders. 
  • Professor Dame Carolyn Hamilton, Coram International - Family Justice in Nigeria. 
  • Janet Latinwo, AFRUCA - Modern Slavery in the UK, the work of AFRUCA. 
  • Lisa Bolger-Smith, Bircham Dyson Bell LLP - Recent Developments in International Divorce. 
  • Babs Akinyanju, East London Family Court & BNLF Coordinator Family Law Network. 
8.30pm - 9.30pm
Networking, Drinks & Canapés
Event ends 9.30pm

Event Organiser: British Nigeria Law Forum established in 2001 is a vibrant professional organisation made up of British and Nigerian Lawyers and Students. The FLN mission is to promote family justice in the UK and Nigeria by keeping practitioner members informed of latest developments in family law and procedure. See the website:

Event Host: Bircham Dyson Bell LLP is an award winning top 100 UK law firm with offices in London and Cambridge. Many of the lawyers and advisers are recognised leaders in their practice areas - their knowledge and expertise helps the firm to provide a unique, client-centred approach to law.

The Nigerian blawg

Disclaimer:- Posts and comments by the publishers of this blog do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.

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