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Oct 31, 2017

Lawyer Profile - Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb


Paul Usoro, SAN is the Senior Partner and founder of Paul Usoro & Co (PUC), a top commercial law firm headquartered in Lagos with offices in Abuja and Uyo. He heads the Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Practice Group and the Communications Section of the Firm. 

The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria” (BOSAN) to host Party

An historic event is set to occur in Nigeria’s legal history. For the very first time, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) will come together in Lagos to hold its maiden Dinner on the 11th of November 2017. The event will be held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Senate Urged To Intervene In Failure To Complete The National Library After 11 Years



The Senate on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 criticized the inability of the Federal Government to complete the National Library Building Project eleven years after the contract was awarded.  Which has become a preventable economic loss and a national embarrassment.  The matter was recently brought to the fore of burning national issues during Tuesday’s senate plenary via a motion sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East senatorial district captioned “The Preventable Economic Loss and national Embarrassment arising from the failure of the Federal Government to complete the National Library.”

Oct 30, 2017

The Future of Petroleum in Nigeria – Why the FUPRE Bill, signed into law, is a failed venture


Introduction
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, 17th October 2017, signed into law the Bill establishing the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State. 

Oct 28, 2017

Paul Usoro's Goodwill Message to the Eastern Bar


The quarterly meeting of the Eastern Bar Forum which is an association of lawyers who practice or come from Abia, Imo, Enugu, AnambraEbonyi, Cross River, Akwa-IbomBayelsaand Rivers State began today in Abakaliki the Ebonyi State capital.

Paul Usoro Supports the African Women Lawyer’s Association


Yesterday the 27th of October, 2017 was the 1st year anniversary celebration / shelter fund raising event, organized by the River State branch of the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) Nigeria.

Oct 26, 2017

WIN 100k via #PAULUSOROCHALLENGE - My Pro Bono Story


Instructions:

Share a touching Pro-Bono story on a case you have “handled” via a short Instagram video using #PaulUsoroChallenge as the hashtag on the video and you stand a chance to be a part of the 6 outstanding heroes who will win 100k each.

My Pro Bono Story | Adedunmade Onibokun


Several weeks ago, I visited all 3 Kirikiri Prisons, including the Maximum, Medium and Female Prisons. My experience that day has stayed with me till now, I remember walking into the Medium Male Prison and thinking it was the most hostile place, I had ever visited, particularly due to its over crowdedness and the look in the hundreds of stares that followed us around as we were given a tour of the Skill and Acquisition Centers in the prisons.
 It’s where I met one of my Pro Bono clients who is currently in remand at the prison while awaiting Trial. The visit had been coordinated by my friend and Mandela Washington Fellow, Ahmed Adetola Kazeem who is the Executive Director of Prisoners' Rights Advocacy Initiative (PRAI),a non-governmental organization providing pro-bono legal and rehabilitation services to prison inmates, follow the link to read about  My Kirikiri Prison Tour.

Oct 25, 2017

Text Of Nba President’s Tribute Delivered By Paul Usoro San In Honour Of Paul Nwokedi Jsc


A special session of the Supreme Court was held today in honour of Late Honourable Justice Paul Nwokedi who died on the 3rd of September 2017.
Paul Usoro SAN who was officially requested by the President of the NBA, Abubakar B Mahmoud SAN to represent him  and the entire bar delivered  a heartwarming tribute that demonstrated leadership,experience,intelligence and excellence.

The tribute read thus:
TRIBUTE DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BARASSOCIATION ABUBAKAR BALARABE MAHMOUD, OON, SAN, FCIArb (UK) AT THE SPECIAL COURT SESSION IN HONOUR OF THE LATE HONOURABLE JUSTICE PAUL KEMDILIM NWOKEDI, CON, HELD AT THE SUPREME COURT ON WEDNESDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2017

My Lords
The Nigerian Bar Association today mourns with the Nigerian Nation, the passage of one of our icons and beacon of hope, the late Honorable Justice Paul Kemdilim Nwokedi, CON.  In mourning His Lordship, we also celebrate his life and give thanks to God for a number of reasons.  For one, we thank God that His Lordship lived a full life and passed on at 90 years having seen his succeeding 3 generations – his 5 children, grandchildren and a great grandchild.  That is not given to all.  His Lordship evidently passed on, on 03 September 2017, a contented man, having raised successful succeeding generations, amongst them, our colleague and member of the Inner Bar, Uche Gringory Nwokedi, SAN.  Even though His Lordship passed on 2 months shy of his 91st birthday which would have been marked on 03 November 2017, His Lordship lived well beyond the three score and 10 years that is given to man and this, by itself is cause for celebration and thanksgiving.

For us as lawyers and members of the Nigerian Bar Association, His Lordship’s life remains a mirror and an exemplar.  In x-raying His Lordship’s life, we perhaps should start from the middle and recall that His Lordship had a very successful stint as a private legal practitioner in a partnership that was then known as P. K. Nwokedi, Ibianwu, Okolie & Co before joining the Bench in 1974 in the then East Central State of Nigeria.  The Bench is traditionally enriched by the diversity of its members’ backgrounds and experiences, constituted as it most often is by legal practitioners coming inter aliafrom the private and official bars, the lower bench and the academia.  Sometimes, making the leap from the private bar to the bench warrants real sacrifice and deprivation particularly where the practitioner was adjudged by his peers to be running a successful legal practice. Honourable Justice Nwokedi made that sacrifice and was a stellar example of the service calling that compels or propels the successful private legal practitioner to abandon his lucrative private practice for service on the Bench.

It is a tribute to His Lordship’s hard-work, intellect and competence that in 1985, about 11 years after his appointment as a Judge, he was found worthy of further elevation to the position of Chief Judge of the old Anambra State which then comprised the current Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States. We however celebrate His Lordship today as one of the extremely few jurists who successfully made the transition from the High Court Bench to the apex Court Bench as a Justice of the Supreme Court without intervening service years as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.  The ranks of those Justices who made that leap included Oputa JSC, Kawu JSC and Usman JSC and of course Honorable Justice Paul Kemdilim Nwokedi.  His Lordship was elevated to the Supreme Court in 1990 at the time that the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices remained fixed at 65 years.  Thus, did it happen that His Lordship spent a rather brief period at the Supreme Court, retiring therefrom in 1991.  But then, those few years were memorable, with His Lordship leaving his mark and pronouncements in the annals and sands of the Supreme Court and indeed our jurisprudence.

As an Association with the primary goal of protecting, promoting, advancing and fortifying the rule of law, we cannot but highlight, in this occasion, His Lordship’s prescient pronouncement in Agbai & Others v Okogbue (1991) LPELR-225(SC) where the Supreme Court, in His Lordship’s lead judgment pronounced thus:

“Much as one would welcome development projects in the community, there must be caution to ensure that the fundamental rights of a citizen are not trampled upon by popular enthusiasm”.

These immortal words are as relevant, applicable and germane today as they were in 1991 when His Lordship pronounced them. Those words speak to all circumstances and incidents when and where fundamental rights of a citizen may be threatened “by popular enthusiasm”.  As His Lordship reminded all of us, in Agbai v Okogbue (supra) “these rights have been enshrined in legislation, that is, the Constitution”.  These rights are protected even in circumstances where public sentiments, described by His Lordship as “popular enthusiasm” presses for their abridgement. The “popular enthusiasm” that provided the excuse for the abridgement of the appellant’s fundamental rights by the respondents in that appeal was a “community development” project promoted by an age-group in the appellant’s village.  Laudable as the scheme was, His Lordship had no hesitation in striking down the aspect of the community’s custom that constituted an infringement on the fundamental rights of the appellant. This indeed is an object lesson for all of us vis-à-vis“popular enthusiasm” that sometimes threatens the rule of law and the fundamental rights of citizens.

We also fondly remember His Lordship in relation to the principles that guide and gird the interpretation of statutes.  Your Lordships are called upon, on a daily basis, to interpret provisions of legislation, sometimes in circumstances where the draftsman’s words lend themselves to more than one interpretation or are ambiguous.  What should be Your Lordship’s guiding principles in those circumstances?  That was the situation faced by Your Lordships in Idehen & Others v Idehen & Others (1991) LPELR-1416(SC) where His Lordship, Nwokedi JSC made the following immortal contributions in his concurring judgment:

“Where there is an expression used in an enactment which may be susceptible to two interpretations, the Court may consider the consequences of either interpretation in arriving at the intention of the legislature.  That interpretation which appears to defeat the intention of the Act should be bye-passed in favor of that which would further the object of the Act – Hill v East & West Dock Co. (1884) 9AC 488 at 456.  See also Lord Green MR in Hankey v Clevering (1942) 2 KB 326 at 330.  In Rein v Lane (1867) 2 LR QB 144 at 15 Lord Bowen LJ stated the position as follows:

‘It is, I apprehend, in accordance with the general rule of construction that you are not only to look at the words, but you are to look at the context, the collocation and the object of such words relating to such matter and interpret the meaning according to what would appear to be the meaning intended to be conveyed by the case of the words under the circumstances.’

“Our Courts have often adopted the same line of construction of Statutes.  In Savannah Bank (Nig) Ltd v Ajilo (1989) 1 NWLR (pt.97) 305 at 326, Obaseki JSC held that a statute should not be given a construction that will defeat its purpose.  He further held as follows:

“Where alternate constructions are equally open, that alternative is to be chosen which would be consistent with the smooth working of the system which the Statute purports to be regulating and that alternative is to be rejected which will introduce uncertainty, friction or confusion into the working of the system – Shannon Realities Ltd. v Ville de St. Michel (1924) AC 185.’”

Earlier in his Judgment in that Appeal, His Lordship had pronounced on the general and abiding principles of statutory interpretation thus:

“It is a canon of construction, that a statute may be construed ‘ut res magis valeat quam pereat’, that is to say, that the construction should ensure that the intention of the legislature is not frustrated or defeated.  It is the duty of the Court to give meaning to an ambiguous expression.  Bowen LJ in Curtis v Stovin (1889) 22 QED 513 put the position as follows:

‘The rules for the construction of statutes are very much like those which apply to the construction of other documents, especially as regards one crucial rule – viz, that if possible, the words of the Act of Parliament must be construed so as to give a sensible meaning to them.  The words ought to be construed ut res magis valeat quam pereat.’

“Fry LJ in the same case at page 519 held as follows:
“The only alternative construction offered to us would lead to this result – that the plain intention of the legislature has entirely failed by reason of slight inexactitude in the language of the section.  If we were to adopt this construction, we should be constructing the Act in order to defeat its object rather with a view to carry its object into effect.’”

The legislation that fell for interpretation in Idehen v Idehen (supra)was Section 3(1) of the Wills Law, Cap 172, Laws of Bendel State which provided as follows:

–(1) “Subject to any customary law relating thereto it shall be lawful for every person to devise, bequeath or dispose of, by his will in manner hereinafter required, all real estate and all personal estate which he shall be entitled to, either in law, or in equity at the time of his death and which if not so devised, bequeathed and disposed of would devolve upon the heir at law of him or if he became entitled by descent, of his ancestor or upon his executor or administrator.”

The contest in that appeal was whether the proviso that prefaced the provision, to wit, “subject to any customary law relating thereto”, applied to the testamentary capacity of the person making the Will or to the “customary law relating” to the real estate or personal estate that was being disposed of or bequeathed.  In applying the afore-quoted principles, His Lordship, in his Judgment concluded thus:

“One then asks what is the manifest intention of the Wills Law of Bendel State.  The obvious answer is, to give generally testamentary capacity to “every person” of that State.  If Dr. Odje’s construction is applied, every Bini citizen is deprived of this testamentary capacity thereby frustrating the object of the Law.  From the evidence adduced and on the authority of Olowu v Olowu above, on the death of a Bini, all his estate is vested in his eldest surviving male child.  Acceptance of the construction advanced by Chief Williams would help to further the objective of the Law.

“It seems to me therefore that the phrase ‘subject to the customary law relating thereto’ would be referable to the customary law regarding the particular devise or property sought to be devised.  It is my view that Section 3(1) of the Wills Law, Cap 172 Bendel State, did not compel a Bini man to make his Will in accordance with his customary law except where, from the nature of the property devised, Bini customary law deprives him of the capacity to dispose of that particular property.”

Indeed, the facts of that Appeal related to Bini customary law vis-à-visthe provisions of the Wills Law, Cap 172 of Bendel State, but the principles that were pronounced upon by His Lordship and which were applied for the determination of that appeal, were and are of universal application and apply equally to interpretation of statutes generally.  These principles are particularly relevant and applicable in circumstances that Your Lordships are called upon, on a daily basis, to interpret and apply legislation, sometimes in manners and in matters that could impact upon the fundamental rights of the Nigerian citizens and/or the promotion and preservation of the rule of law.

Time and space would not permit me, My Lords, to proceed with any further review of His Lordship’s outstanding expositions in the Supreme Court Bench – and there are several more in our Law Reports.  Permit me, My Lords, however, to point out that the common threads which I find run through the judgments of His Lordship, Honourable Justice Nwokedi are his scholarship, his lucidity, the logic in his espousals, his feel for humanity, his sense of history, and, not least, His Lordship’s abiding interest in the use of law for the advancement of the rule of law and the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens.  Possibly, if His Lordship was asked the underlying philosophy for his judgments, he would have pointed to his Catholic upbringing and his socialist bent – a rather ironic twist, i.e. His Lordship’s socialist streak, considering that not only was His Lordship born into royalty, but the practice of His Lordship’s chosen law profession, arguably, has aristocratic history and bearings.

It would actually appear that law practice, in some form, is and was embedded in the Nwokedi family DNA.  His Lordship’s father, Chief Joseph Ndubisi Nwokedi, was a colonial court interpreter who rose through the colonial judicial system to become a customary court judge, working in the different districts of colonial administration in Eastern Nigeria.  As an aside, it would have been interesting to know what the older Nwokedi would have thought of his brilliant son’s expositions on customary laws in the two authorities that we have reviewed in this Tribute! The older Nwokedi went on to become the 3rd Uthoko of Achalla and was married to Mercy Nwaugoye, the mother of Honourable Justice Nwokedi, herself, from the royal Amobi family of Ogidi.  Thus, when we say that His Lordship was born into royalty, we speak, not only of the older Nwokedi but also of his wife, the mother of His Lordship.

Honourable Justice Nwokedi’s brilliance shone through quite early in his life.  His Lordship had his primary education at St. Joseph Catholic School, Onitsha and Holy Trinity Primary School Onitsha.  From there, he gained admission to the prestigious St. Gregory’s College, Lagos where he excelled in academics and passed the Cambridge Senior School Certificate in 1945 in Division 1 with exemption from London Matriculation.  His Lordship studied on his own to earn a University of London BA degree in History in 1951 – a rare feat then and even now.  He subsequently proceeded to the London School of Economics to study Law and graduated in 1959 with an LL.B degree.  He passed his Bar Finals (Part II) and was published as a member of the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 1959 and thereafter returned to Nigeria where he went into private legal practice in Aba.  Not to be forgotten is the fact that His Lordship was a devout and practicing Catholic – we have already mentioned this as His Lordship’s possible abiding philosophy in his Judgements.  In his post-retirement years, His Lordship devoted his life particularly to seminarians and charity works.

As we mourn the physical passage of Honorable Justice Nwokedi, we are comforted that he remains alive in his succeeding generations but more importantly, in our hearts and in our Law Reports.  His Lordship indeed comes alive daily each time his pronouncements are read by and/or inculcated in our law students in the various Law Faculties of our Universities and the Nigerian Law School or cited by Your Lordships and lawyers in the various court hierarchies of our land, starting from the magistracy right up to the Supreme Court.  That indeed is what it literally means to live in the hearts and minds of succeeding generations and that is a most befitting memorial to His Lordship.  He cannot and will never be forgotten; he lives on, with us.  That is and should be a consolation to his immediate family and indeed to all of us even as we pray for the forgiveness of his sins and his gentle repose.

Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN, FCIArb (UK)
President, Nigerian Bar Association


Source: Courtroommail

Oct 24, 2017

PUC Wins Transport Law Award


Leading commercial Law Firm, Paul Usoro & Co has been adjudged the Transport Law Firm of the Year.

The Firm, led by one of Nigeria’s foremost and most astute litigators, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, received the Award from the Global Law Experts (GLE), the premier guide to leading attorneys throughout the World.

Doing Business in Nigeria - Immigration Visas And Their Tax Implications (Part 2)


Find Part 1 here

BACKGROUND
Essentially, the tax implication of a visa or permit held by a foreigner may be dependent on the reason for which the visa or permit was applied for and granted and whether the foreigner worked and earned income in the course of that visit to Nigeria. In this regard, the Nigerian Personal Income Tax Act as amended (“PITA”) and the Double Tax Agreements (“DTA”) between Nigeria and several other contracting States spell out rules in determining the liability of foreign individuals to the Nigerian personal income tax and the quantum of their incomes that would be so liable to tax though PITA provisions are not clear enough on all possible instances when foreigners may be liable to Nigerian tax and thus, leaving room for conjectures and speculations in certain instances.

Oct 23, 2017

National Transport Commission Bill laying Foundation for Smart Mobility in Nigeria - Senator Ashafa


The Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, Senator Gbenga Ashafa has stated that the National Transport Commission Bill will set the tone for an integrated, multi-modal and smart transport Sector in Nigeria.

The LTTO Legend: Titilayo Osagie


The buzz around the LTTO event was raring up; it was a few hours till expected kick off at the indoor hall of the national stadium. 

Oct 22, 2017

Martins Topple Osagie To Lift Mfon Usoro Cup



Lawyers, Yetunde Martins and Tunji Abdulhameed have emerged winners of the prestigious Lawyers Table Tennis Open (Mfon Usoro Cup).

The memorable tournament which held at the Tennis Hall of the National Stadium yesterday saw Martins upset the odds to topple Titilayo Osagie, ending her 7 year reign.

A tense affair was settled in the final set that saw Martins win by 2-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9)

Commenting on her victory, the delighted Martins stated that it was a testament of her hard work over the years. She also commended the organizers for providing the sporting platform for Lawyers.

“I’m very happy to have won today. I practiced real hard for this game and I’m glad I got the results I wanted. I’d like to thank the organizers and sponsors for this initiative. It’s has been very helpful for us Lawyers, helping us to network and bond,” she said

In the male category, Tunji Abdulhameed successfully defended the title he won last year. He defeated Raphael Ipinyomi in two straight sets

In his remarks, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and husband of the patron of the competition, Paul Usoro expressed delight at the spirit of sportsmanship exhibited by the participants.

“I am quite happy at the scenes here today, the spirit of sportsmanship exhibited here by all the Lawyers. Everyone is a winner,” he declared.

While congratulating the winners, Usoro also noted that the tournament was inspired by a vision to promote a culture of healthy living among lawyers using sports as a platform.

“In 2009, we saw a gap. We saw the need to create a platform for Lawyers to meet, relax and compete in a friendly manner away from the rigours of practice and we decided to come up with this competition. Our aim as always is to promote healthy living among Lawyers and we are delighted with the progress we have made,” he said.

The event was well attended by Lawyers such as the National Welfare Secretary of the NBA, Barrister Adesina Adegbite, Provost of the NBA Lagos Branch, Emmanuel Orhoroh, Table Tennis enthusiasts and journalists.

5 things That Made LTTO 2017(Mfon Usoro's Cup) The Best Ever


Since the Lawyers Table Tennis Open tourney made its debut nine years ago, the tournament has stealthily grown to become one of Nigeria’s foremost sporting events for lawyers in the country. 

Oct 20, 2017

What to prove to get a divorce in Nigeria | Adedunmade Onibokun


Official statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics suggest that divorce is exceedingly uncommon in Nigeria with just 0.2% of men and 0.3% of women having legally untied the knot and well under 1% of couples admit to being separated. But as a Legal practitioner, I seek not to agree with this statistic especially as I witness many divorce proceedings in family courts and the newspapers are regularly awash with reports of petitions for dissolution for marriages.

Oct 19, 2017

The solution to Nigeria's problems | Adedunmade Onibokun


What is Nigeria’s biggest problem?

What is the single factor responsible for the myriad of socio –political and socio - economic problems Nigeria is faced with?

Recently, I attended a social event and the main theme was discovering Nigeria’s problems and how the youth could engineer solutions to our various challenges. Speakers included senior lawyers, politicians, former and current senior security personnel and members of the civil society. I watched as each speaker put the blame on the other, the police blaming the politicians and elite of the society, politicians blaming former elected government officials and only a few accepting the blame for our country’s woes.

Oct 18, 2017

Lawyers Table Tennis Open Finals To Hold on Saturday


The final of the prestigious Lawyers Table Tennis Open (Mfon Usoro Cup) will hold this Saturday at the indoor hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. 

This year's edition will feature members of the Calabar Bar, who will be making their first appearance in the tourney while their Ibadan counterpart will also be aiming to clinch the trophy.

Human Rights In The Ivory Tower | Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, MCIArb(UK)


I thank the Students’ Judicial Council of the Lagos State University Students’ Union, for inviting me as a speaker at this auspicious occasion. I am particularly pleased to be delivering my 1st official speech in Lagos State University when my friend and mentor is the Vice-Chancellor. I congratulate the Vice-Chancellor, Lecturers and Students of this great school on its recent strides both home and abroad.

Oct 17, 2017

ǼLEX sponsors 2nd edition of the annual Nigeria Mining Week


ǼLEX is pleased to sponsor the 2nd edition of the annual Nigeria Mining Week organised by the Federal Ministry of Mines & Steel Development and the Miners Association of Nigeria. The Nigeria Mining Week is taking place from the 16th to the 19th of October 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria. It will provide a unique forum and opportunity for discussing the legal, regulatory and policy issues regarding Nigeria’s mining sector and the available financing options. It also offers exclusive networking opportunities for stakeholders and service providers who are seeking new investment opportunities and reliable business relationships.

Oct 15, 2017

PRAI holds motivational session at Ikoyi Prisons


MOTIVATIONAL EVENT FOR INMATES OF IKOYI PRISON ON 6TH OCTOBER, 2017

The program started about 10:45am with an opening address from the coordinator, Mr Ahmad Adetola-Kazeem where he enlightened the inmates on the purpose of the organisation as well as the reason for our being there today. He stated clearly that the purpose of our presence today was to motivate the inmates on the importance of being educated or attaining certain skills which will help them become relevant upon their release to the outside world.

Oct 14, 2017

PRAI holds motivational speaking session for Kirikiri Prison Inmates


PRAI’S MOTIVATIONAL EVENT HELD AT KIRIKIRI MAXIMUM AND MEDIUM PRISON ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 14, 2017

The program at Kirikiri maximum prison started at 11.10am an introduction by the Welfare Officer of the prison. There was a brief talk by the Director of PRAI, Mr Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, about  the aims and objective of PRAI, its past events and goals, and an introduction of the PRAI’s three volunteer schemes (“Represent and Inmate”, “Educate an inmate” and “Empower an Inmate’) and few of PRAI’s achievements in assisting inmates and ex-inmates. He added that those skills began in the prison and encouraged the inmates to be a part of the scheme.

The Deputy Controller of Prisons in charge of the Maximum Prison, also confirmed PRAI’s numerous efforts in terms of pro bono litigation and rehabilitation programmes and other efforts towards making the prison system in Nigeria a better one.  The welfare officer called out inmates, who are beneficiaries of the Prison’s educational system, to share their experiences.


Moshood Oladipo a former death row inmate and lifer appreciated the officers at maximum prison, all prison authorities that saw to the establishment of school in the prison. He gave his testimony of how he started learning shoe making in the prison before he wrote GCE and enrolled at the National Open University of Nigeria for his first degree and then Masters degree, despite awaiting his death. He informed everyone present that his release warrant was recently signed by the Oyo state government  because of the Masters degree he obtained from  NOUN. He advised the inmate to be good influence to other inmates and be known for something good in the prison because that could aid their release. He advised those who don’t want to attend school to learn a vocational skill.



The general pastor of the inmates was also called upon; he said he was detained in 2003 and was condemned to death before and later the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment . He appreciated the opportunity that was given to him to acquire both PGD and MSc. Degree at the Maximum Prison. He advised inmates that their aim of going to school shouldn’t be about the certificate but to acquire knowledge and be well equipped with skills.


The catchyst of the prison catholic church who is also an inmate was called upon to share his experience; he appreciated PRAI and acknowledged that education a very important key to success.  He took the audience through his journey from Ikoyi prison where he wrote jamb, taught fellow inmates, learnt soap making and enrolled at the Open University. He admonished inmates to take the step and start now, saying if inmates are not reformed and are being released they go outside to cause more problem just like the case of an ex-inmate that killed a one-time Gulder Ultimate Search winner. He said that with his education, once he is out of the prison he can become a Special Adviser to the President on prison issues, based on his knowledge of the prison system and the reformation he has gone through. He concluded by saying that the prison should be reformatory  and not defamatory.


Barr. Adetola Called out for inmates interested in registering in the school today and quite a number signified by raising their hands and a list went round to collect their names.

The head teacher in the prison yard, appreciated the yard officials and the representatives of PRAI, he called them the instrument God is using to change their lives. He sought for assistance in the rehabilitation of the school structure which is always leaking during rainfall. He also sought for fainacial support for the inmates who are teachers in the school as well as books, markers, pens, boards etc. He showed appreciation to the welfare officer of the prison,  Alhaji Rasheed  for always assisting the teachers with food supply .




Mr.  Ogbonaya the prison  psychologist appreciated PRAI and its representatives. He said education is a continuum which starts from birth to death. He added that human thoughts are products of what they know and what they know is what they acquire through education. He introduced a club called 3R’s and invited inmates to be a part of the various sessions such as  entertainments, sports, catering services and other activities. He advised that inmate should be mindful of the people they move with because some inmates have PhD in pulling people down. He concluded by appreciating the organizers of the program and said some prayers for them.

PRAI’s director,  appreciated all attendees and encouraged inmates who indicated interest in studying to fulfill their promises by attending the school. He introduced the volunteers of PRAI present at the event from Mr. Nathaniel Jamgbadi, Miss Nelly D, Miss Aramide Adedeji, Mrs. Yewande and Mr. Kehinde Ibrahim.  He appreciated the prison authorities for allowing the program. The inmates showed appreciation by giving PRAI 3 gbosas.

The inmates were told to queue up to collect the food items that was brought for them and they all matched out afterwards.




There was a short meeting with 7 of the school teachers. They all introduced themselves and the subject they teach. Ibrahim Kamil Ogun an inmate who has been sentenced to life imprisonment but seized the opportunity to enroll in the prison nursery school to university and now teaches in the school was one of the teachers at the meeting.

The head teacher indicated that they need teachers in the following subjects; BIOLOGY, MATHEMATICS, ACCOUNTING, HISTORY, ENGLISH and LITERATURE respectively and  they also need MARKERS, EXERCISE BOOKS, and BIROS. He also said teachers needs encouragements in form of stipends.

There were about 150 inmates in attendance.


The program at Kirikiri medium prison commenced at about 2:15pm. The Executive Director of PRAI, Mr Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem appreciated the pastor for allowing the use of the church for the program because the school was extremely small. He introduced PRAI and how it’s set up to liberate, educate and empower inmates. He informed the inmates that PRAI will no longer be taking up random cases on behalf of inmates , and only cases of those enrolled in the school and workshops will be handled by PRAI henceforth.

 The principal of the school spoke about the needs of the school and that they have three inmates currently enrolled at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). He said that they need computers in their computer school, markers, books and other materials important for the running of the school. He also said he is looking forward to meeting the new teachers and advised fellow inmates to take advantage of this opportunity.

Mr. Oyeleye, another inmate appreciated PRAI and other Initiatives that are making impart in the lives of many inmates. He said that the government hasn’t been looking at human capital development and investments programs and that the school should be given a lift so that proper impartation can be made. He added that there should be a platform for empowerment and if the government can see all these, they would do a broader one.

Barr. Adetola responded by saying we will keep trying our best, however we cannot do more than we can do. He made emphases on their involvements in school because we can only help those we know and PRAI is looking into human capital development programs.

Frank an inmate who is a beneficiary of PRAI’s pro bono legal services, said  his coming to the prison is not a mistake, but God’s divine directions and that the life he lived that got him to prison was nothing compared to what he has achieved while in prison. Before he became an inmate he had no skill and had no knowledge but now he is a 200 level student in the Open University studying criminology. He is also a website designer and developer; he told inmates that he works with Onesimus Ventures, which is in partnership with the prison service and Covenant University, where they produce paint, soaps, hand wash, car wash e.t.c and he said their products are better that the ones we find outside. They have established business with Wema bank and have sold 5 cartons of soap to them, now he has no reason to go back to committing crime when he leaves the prison. He encouraged other inmates to take advantage of the school and workshops and that he is not impressed with the turn up of inmates in the school and the workshops.

Mrs. Yewande Omotayo, a volunteer and great supporter of PRAI, buttressed his view and further encouraged more inmates to join the school, and called for those who would promise to attend school and workshops. Several of them indicated interest by raising their hands and a list was passed to them.

An inmate asked that after inmates have acquired these skills and have gone through school what would be the end result since the government has made the rule that freed persons would wait 10 years after being released to be fully integrated into the society again and he suggested such law be removed. Barr. Akinola responded by saying, no education is a waste and that it is the duty of the ex-convicts to show that they are reformed and worthy of pardon and he won’t advocate that the law be scrapped.

Another inmate opined that most of the inmates do not understand the meaning of human capital development and how they can take partake in what they do not understand, he also said that many of them went into crime because of lack of skills and knowledge and they need more help from initiative like this in other to expand the training facilities to accommodate more inmates. He added that ventures in prisons like Onesimus Ventures needs to have partnership with initiatives and foundations such as  PRAI the purpose of marketing and awareness.

ASP Tony , who represented the DCP, said he is aware that the population of inmates in the prison is much and they all want to leave and are not interested in education, but what they do not know is  when they will leave and that is why they need to acquire vocational skills. He told them about the department in the welfare unit called the after care and ones they are empowered the after care unit will follow up on them. He appreciated PRAI for the program and the gifts of Bread, eggs and tea that was brought to feed the inmates.

The program ended few minutes after 4 and there were over 330 inmates in attendance.

Tax Incentives for Start-Ups and Venture Capitalists in Nigeria|


Developing countries tend to use both targeted and general incentives to attract investors. Such incentives may be included in tax laws, financial regulations, investment laws, government directives and the likes. The mere fact that tax incentives do not require upfront use of government funds makes them a preferable option for developing countries, unlike developed countries that are generally more open to grants or subsidized loans.

Ease of doing business is about to disrupt these 11 bottlenecks | Ibiyode Ibikunle


The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) through its secretariat has released the national action plan in its continuous bid to facilitate ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Oct 13, 2017

Committed Leadership in Lagos State | Senator Ashafa


The Senator representing Lagos East has described His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State as a visionary, committed and courageous leader.

How is Technology redefining Legal Profession and Law Office Management?


Part 1
Technology has significantly impacted most industries and fields in the world and the legal profession is not an exception especially in the area of law office management. The legal profession like other professional services is dynamic and it has shown this by adapting to the socio-economic realities around the world through the integration of technology into legal practice. 
This article examined the beneficial relationship between law and technology, its impact on law office management and current trends in the global legal industry.