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Sep 30, 2018

Report of The Nigerian Bar Association Election Working Group (Nba-Ewg) On The Osun State Governorship Election Held On The 22nd Day Of September, 2018.





Introduction  The Independent National Electoral Commission (hereinafter referred to as INEC) conducted the Osun Governorship Election on the 22ndday of September, 2018. 

Report Of The Nba Ad-Hoc Election Working Group On The Rerun Gubernatorial Election In Osun State Held On Thursday, 27 September, 2018





The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted the Osun Governorship Election on the 22nd day of September, 2018. The election was declared inconclusive by INEC and a supplementary election was held on the 27th day of September, 2018in seven (7)polling units in four (4) Local Government Areas of the State, namely, Osogbo, Orolu, Ife North and Ife South.   Members of the NBA Election Working Group, who had observed the elections on 22nd September 2018 and had prepared a Report thereon, were deployed to the affected Local Government Areas to observe the supplementary elections. OBSERVATION REPORTS; A. OSOGBO; Members of the NBA EWG arrived at Osogbo polling unit 17, ward 5, at about 7:00am. There was massive armed security presence with movement around the polling unit restricted to voters and observers. All the election materials were made available for the election. The electoral protocols for voting were fulfilled by the electoral officers at the unit.

OPINION: NYSC;Seven Sins of Davido and the Punishments under the Law- Richarmond O. Natha-Alade



In recent time, the calls and wakes of the need to serve Nigeria under the one year compulsory service mandated under the enabling Act had jostle with the recent realities of sacks, resignations and disqualifications (among others) of erring Nigerians who became graduates at and/or before Thirty but failed to participate in the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme at all spheres of our economy and national life.

The mandatory service is ensured by several codes and ethics that guides the program; which violations attracts penalties, ranging from extension of service year, deferment of service, termination of service year and prosecution amidst other disciplinary actions which could be taken by the  designated and/or empowered officials of the Scheme.

David Adedeji Adeleke, Davido as popularly called recently put in for the mandatory NYSC program sequel to his graduation from the University before the age of thirty. Consequently, he was mobilized to the Iyana Ipaja, Lagos Orientation Camp of the Scheme and ever since then, the story HAD BEEN OF the path of a shadow.

Davido is widely acknowledged and popular both home and abroad. And he is in no small measure classified under the privileged few as Very Important Person (VIP) made before time. His background and achievements all through the time had foisted on him some irreconcilable responsibilities that makes it very difficult for him to abide by the codes of conduct and rules of the NYSC.

That said, could we conclude that the George Orwell's view about the society by his book 'Animal farm' is in play? Whence, he said by several allegorical syllogism: "All animals are equal but some are more equal than the other". In other words, it seems we are all equal before the law but some are more equal than others. The question is; is Davido above all other Corps members currently participating in the program to the extent that he cannot be sanctioned, queried and/or at least cautioned if found wanting?

In recent time, mixed reactions had trailed Davido's failure to fully observe the rules and code of conducts attached to the one year compulsory service. Davido, 26, was one of the 2,152 Batch 'B' Stream II corps members sworn-in at the NYSC orientation camp at Iyana Ipaja in August, 2018. Ever since, he put in for the program, keeping to her rules and regulations had been the case of an arrow shot at a rock; for it is easier for the camel to pass through the needle's eye than for Davido to fully cope in respect of the Rules and regulations guiding the program.

Hence, since Davido joined the Scheme, the Following are the NYSC Rules of engagement broken by him in recent time:
1.     Davido brought into the Orientation camp a chauffeur Driven White exotic car and drove amidst fanfares among other corps members and obviously protected by security guides.
2.      Davido left the Orientation camp and never participated in the activities of NYSC at the camp.
3. Earlier this year, the Pop star jetted out of the country some days during the orientation camp to Boston in United States ahead of his 'Locked Up' Concert. Afterward, he performed at the opening day of Jay-Z's Made in America Festival in Philadelphia, United States. We were not told if he returned to the camp thereafter.
4.   Davido Primary Place of Assignment is unknown.
5. We are not sure if  Davido ever reported promptly to his Primary place of Assignment or participates in activities of secondary place of assignment.
6. Davido had been engaged in his private practice as a musician.
7. Davido fully participated in politics of Osun State, psrticularly, the just concluded gubernatorial election.

It will interest you that all the above supposed offences by Davido carries both light and heavy penalties if some of the offences considered as reconcilable are not met with the attached condition precedents.

By my findings, the 'IF' crooner, pop superstar and Chioma 'death sentenced' lover may just have broken Section 3(I)(15) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (18/19), Section 3(III)(2, 3, 5 6, 7,12, 14)) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (18/19), Section 4(9) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (18/19) among others. The Bye laws are issued annually since 1993.

For ease of reference, I hereunder reproduce the contents of the above cited sections of the Bye Laws which Davido have and/or might have broken as follows:

Section 3(I)(15) of the Bye laws provides as follows:
During the Period of orientation, every member shall not bring vehicles or motorcycles into the orientation camp.
• Any member who brings vehicles or motorcycles to camp shall not be registered, and if already registered, shall be decamped
• ii) Such member shall only be allowed to return to service to join the next batch in the orientation camp.

Section 3(III)(2, 3, 5 6, 7,12, 14) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (1993) Provides as follows:
During the Period of Primary Assignment, every member shall:

• 2. Not be late to report at duty station

Any member who reports late at duty station shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and if found guilty, be liable to extension of service on half pay double the period he is late to station. Any member who reports late at duty station shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and if found guilty, be liable to extension of service on half pay double the period he is late to station
• 3. Not fail to report to duty punctually.

o    Any member who reports late for duty shall be queried by his employer and the report sent to the State Coordinator for disciplinary action
• 5. Not fail to carry out duties diligently

Any member who fails to carry out his duties diligently shall be queried by his employer and the report sent to the State Coordinator for disciplinary action.
• 6. leave his duty station or absent himself from any official activity without the written consent of the State Coordinator.

Any member who leaves his duty station or absents himself from any official activity without the permission of the State Coordinator shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable to extension of service with half pay double the period of absence.

•    7.      Not travel outside the State without written permission of the State Coordinator

Any member who travels outside the State without the written permission of the State Coordinator shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable to forfeiture of allowance for the number of days absent and extension of service with half pay double the period of absence
• 12. Not engage in private practice

Any member who engages in private practice shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable on conviction to extension of service for a period not less than twenty one (21) days without pay
•       14. Not travel outside Nigeria without the written permission of the Director-General

Any member who travels outside Nigeria without the written permission of the Director-General shall be tried by the Corps Disciplinary Committee and, if found guilty, be liable to extension of service without pay double the period of absence

Section 4(9) of the NYSC Bye-Laws (1993) Provides as follows:
Every member shall Not take part in partisan politics.
• Any member who takes part in partisan politics is liable to extension of service for a period not less than three (3) months without pay.
From the above cited provisions of the NYSC bye-Laws, it is of common knowledge that Davido has breached almost all parts of the enabling laws and Rules that guides the Scheme, Hence:

1. Davido brought in Vehicle into the NYSC orientation camp
2.  Davido left the NYSC orientation camp.
3. Davido Travelled outside Nigeria
4. Davido engaged in his private business as a musician
5. Davido Participated in politics and fully campaigned for his uncle, Ademola Adeleke in Osun State gubernatorial Election.
6. All those period of campaigns and traveling, Davido must have been absent from his Primary Place of Assignment.
7.   No one seems to know where Davido is teaching or where his PPA is located

The big question is, if Davido is taking permission for all his engagements, how much permission can he take during his continuous participation in the schemes? By section 6(2) of the enabling law, Davido cannot get more than 14 days leave of absence during the entire program.

Davido went too far when he started to flamboyantly wear PDP dresses and campaign from town to town for his uncle, Ademola Adeleke, despite being a corps member in active service.

Despite all the breaches, ther is no record that Davido had been queried, sanctioned, brought before a court, suspended and or cautioned in any way by the authorities of the National Youths Service Corps.

Could it be that Davido is above the law or above all other corps members? The Lagos State NYSC coordinator and the Director General of the Program owes Nigerians some explanations.

Sun Natha-Alade & Partners (SNATHAP)
lordricharmond@gmail.com
www.snathap.com


Power Of Court To Order Maintenance During A Divorce Proceedings

What does the court consider when assessing maintenance in a divorce proceedings?
 
#divorce #familylaw #blawg #blog #legalnaija #lawyer #lagos #abuja

Happy 58th Independence Anniversary Nigeria

Have a beautiful 58th Independence Anniversary 

Sep 28, 2018

The National Youth Service Corps and Data Protection | Nonso Anyasi*




Good Morning Stephanie, is me okafor Stanley your 2017b copa mate in Oyo state. Am working with Shell Oil Company in Rivers State branch, call me now 4 details b/cos internal recruitment  is going on now.”


IP ABC: Comedy—Are jokes not eligible for copyright protection? | Infusion Lawyers



Question

My name is Akekuna aka MC AK-NA. I recently performed at 'Reverberations of Laughter', a comedy show in Warri. After what was a rib-cracking experience by the audience, Comedy360, one of Warri's biggest comedy studios, offered me a production contract. After over 4 months of studio work, we finally produced an audio version titled 'MC AK-NA Laughlaff Season 1'. Few months after releasing season 1, it became a blockbuster. But one opportunist who calls himself Laff MC has come up with 'Laugh of Laughlaff' in audio CD. It contains most of my jokes. I didn't find this funny. As soon as I got Laff MC’s contacts, I told him he has infringed on my copyright. But he denied it, claiming that there was nothing like copyright over jokes. Are jokes not eligible for copyright protection?

Skye Bank’s Corporate Governance Failures; Bridge Bank Solutions | Eseoghene Palmer Esq.




On the 21st of September, 2018 it was announced that the banking license of Skye Bank Plc has been revoked by the regulatory institution, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This action spurns from the long term indebtedness of Skye Bank, its permanent presence at the debt margin on the CBN index reports and the near prophetic collapse of the finance house in absence of continuous hand-out’s from the CBN.

Sep 25, 2018

Humility, A Noble Mark Of Senior Advocates Of Nigeria





I once remember sitting in the Federal High Court, Abuja waiting for the court to sit about 5 years ago. Naturally, I had arrived early and chosen to sit on the 2nd row of  benches set aside for members of the bar. I intentionally stayed away from the 1st row since it was customarily reserved for members of the inner bar and I was not sure if any Silks will be coming to court on that day.

Sep 24, 2018

Paul Usoro SAN Leads The Bar To Mark Beginning Of 2018/2019 Legal Year And Conferment Of SAN



ADDRESS BY PAUL USORO, SAN FCIArb, PRESIDENT, NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION AT THE SPECIAL SESSION OF THE SUPREME COURT TO MARK THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW LEGAL YEAR/ CONFERMENT OF THE RANK OF SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA ON 24 SEPTEMBER 2018

Sep 22, 2018

Why Nigeria Needs The Electronics Transactions Bill | Legalnaija




The Electronics Transactions Bill upon assent by President Buhari, will be an Act to facilitate the use of information in electronic form for conducting transactions in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Bill seeks to provide a legal and regulatory framework for:  (a) conducting transactions using electronic or related media; (b) the protection of the rights of consumers and other parties in electronic transactions and services;  (c) the protection of personal data; and  (d) facilitating electronic commerce in Nigeria.

The NBA Osun State Election Monitoring Team Is Very Knowledgeable And Articulate | Paul Usoro SAN

Osun state is currently in the process of electing a new governor at the #OsunDecides2018 and It's great to see the NBA playing an active role in election monitoring and governance. 

The NBA President, Paul Usoro SAN has described the NBA representatives as very 
knowledgeable and articulate. Certainly all members of the Bar and Bench are proud of them to.  

The NBA President stated in his official statement that - 

"I've just finished proudly watching our Osun State Governorship Election Monitoring Team Chairman, Tawo Tawo, SAN & member, Abibat on AIT right now. Very articulate, very knowledgeable & representing us so well. 

I am following the Team's activities real time & I'm fully satisfied with their work so far. Very proud of the entire Team. Without doubt, we have great men & women in the NBA. 

I thank & commend the entire Team for their devotion & selfless service on our behalf. God bless the NBA. God bless us all." 

- Paul Usoro SAN 



#PuttingYouFirst #paulusoroconnect #PaulUsoroSAN #nbapresident #nigerianbarassociation #blawg #legalnaija

Sep 21, 2018

The Mfon Usoro Lawyers Table Tennis Championship is back

The Mfon Usoro Table Tennis Championship For Lawyers is back 😃🏅 The 2018 finals of Lawyers Table open (Mfon Usoro)cup will hold on Saturday 27th of October at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Training will continue tomorrow at the facility of the Nigerian Table Tennis Federation, at the National stadium in Lagos and in all other parts of the country.
       
The hall will be opened specifically for lawyers from 8am every Saturday for training and shall continue to be opened every Saturday until the preliminaries begin in mid October. Lawyers  are expected to come for the training with their Rackets(bats) and balls.

The following number should be contacted as when you arrive National Stadium for training-08034543700,07082280202.

The 2018 event will be the 10th anniversary of the event . Also Lawyers outside of Lagos are encouraged to register for the Tournament. They can train where they reside but are expected to arrive Lagos for the finals on 27 October 2018.

Sep 20, 2018

ICT Vital Tool For Good Governance & Administration Of Justice | Paul Usoro SAN



Paper delivered by NBA President,  Paul Usoro SAN on Information and Communication Technology and Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria – Prospects, Development and Challenges, at the 2018 Federal High Court Annual Judges Conference today 20 September 2018.


Information and Communication Technology ("ICT") has positively impacted all spheres of modern life, increasing efficiency and the delivery of high-quality services
Globally, ICT has become a vital tool for growing sustainable economies, good governance, and administration of justice.


The Nigerian justice system, among other challenges, is marred with avoidable delays in the dispensation of justice. ICT is replete with new opportunities to improve the Nigerian justice system, particularly in proffering solutions to the issue of delay associated with traditional methods of justice delivery
ICT in the administration of justice helps to improve efficiency. For example, through adopting an electronic case filing and management system; transcribing equipment to record court proceedings; the use of Digital Evidence Presentation System etc


It helps in the Efficiency of Key professionals: The ease of access to online databases (such as legislations, case laws, articles, law offices, lawyers etc.) allows for a more efficient and speedy legal research, as against poring through voluminous paper materials.

It helps in the Ease of Access to Justice and Transparency • ICT could be used as a tool to promote public access to relevant information, such as court procedures and judgments, case reviews and law reports, amendment to legislations etc.  Adopting ICT in sensitizing the public of their rights and means to address any breach of same. For example publishing such via social media outlets, SMS alerts, blogs etc.

It helps in checking Malpractices • Obtaining court documents is sometimes aided by having to "see" Court Officials. An electronic system of obtaining such documents would eliminate or at least considerably reduce these incidents of malpractices.
It helps to reduce corruption in legal systems, the 2007 Transparency International's "Global Corruption Report" recommended, inter alia, transparency through publication of judicial activities, and providing reliable public access to law related information.

One way of making law related issues public is through the Web 2.0 (social-media based web interface).
Boosts Public Confidence in the Justice System • ICT comes in handy in speedy disposal of cases. Justice delayed is justice denied. Where justice is constantly denied, litigants tend to lose confidence in the justice system and adopt self-help methods. •

A widespread use of an ICT-based system will save time in resolving disputes, hereby instilling public confidence in the judicial system.


Easy and Faster Access to Information: Electronic storage of court documents ensures a 24-hour availability of information. Lawyers and litigants are also not hindered by distance in accessing them.


My immediate recommendation would be Implementing the NJIT Policy Document • Generally courts should endeavour to adopt the provisions of the NJIT Policy Document. • This will include the deployment of ICT infrastructure such as Electronic Case Management Software, Electronic Document Management System, Video Conferencing equipment, Voice recorders, Virtual Libraries etc. • The foregoing will encourage e-filing; easy storage, retrieval and access to court documents; clear backlog of cases etc.

Update of Court Websites • Some courts do not have functioning websites. Even the courts with functioning websites display outdated information. Ideally, a court's website should be the first point of call for information related to the court. Such information would aid compilation of statistics, which could be used for research purposes, amongst others. Training of Judicial Officers and Lawyers •


Adopting a computerized court system will rise to its full potential where the stakeholders possess the minimum skill required to operate them. It is in this vein that the training of judicial officers, lawyers and other relevant parties become pertinent.

Long Live the Nigerian Bar

See You At The #LIJC2018 Holding Tomorrow



The Lagos Innovating Justice Conference is just tomorrow, Friday, 21st September, 2018. Thank you for registering to attend. 

Sep 19, 2018

High Court of FCT Gets New Judicial Division Commissioned By Paul Usoro SAN


The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb, today, Wednesday, 19 September 2018, commissioned the Nyanya/Karu Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Sep 16, 2018

List of Bills Passed By The Saraki Led Senate Since 2015



The 8th Assembly Under the leadership of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki compared to other Assemblies has achieved great feats in regard to its legislative duties. The 8th Assembly has achieved so much more in 3 years than what the 6th and 7th Assemblies achieved in a similar period. 
The Bills passed by the Senate include: 

1. National Railway Corporation Act 1955 N129 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment Bill 2015

2. Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act CAP B2 LFN 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactm  ent) 2015

3. National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (est) Bill 2015

4. Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (est., etc) Bill 2015

5. Electronic Transaction Bill 2015

6. Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Act (Amendment) Bill 2015

7. Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (Est,etc) Bill, 2015

What You Need To Know About Saraki



Sep 15, 2018

Emmanuel Aguma SAN affected people's lives across all divides including geographical space, gender and religion - Paul Usoro SAN



ADDRESS BY PAUL USORO, SAN FCIArb, PRESIDENT, NIGERIAN
BAR ASSOCIATION AT THE VALEDICTORY SESSION HELD
ON SATURDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2018 IN HONOR OF LATE
EMMANUEL CHINWENWO AGUMA, SAN – IMMEDIATE
PAST ATTORNEY-GENERAL, RIVERS STATE OF NIGERIA


Protocols
1.​We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of our friend, brother, father and colleague, Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma, SAN who left us suddenly and without farewells on Friday, 10 August 2018.  At 56, having been born on 21 April 1961, Emmanuel's life was just beginning when he passed on.  He had barely worn his deserved rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 3 (three) years before departing to join the saintly ranks, having been elevated into the Inner Bar in 2015.  The loss of a loved one at any age is always painful, indeed most painful.  However, the loss of a young man of 56, at the prime of youth, with the future beckoning, full of promise and hope, such death is not only excruciatingly painful but extremely tragic and invariably fills and leaves the living with unsurpassable grief.  That has been our portion with the passage of our late Attorney-General.

2.​And yet, we celebrate Emmanuel Aguma life.  Why and in what circumstance do we celebrate his life?  We do so because, his life, short as it was serves as a mirror for us, the living, to ponder over and reflect on our lives.  His life serves as an object lesson for us, the living.  His life packed in so much positives, it was as if he knew that he had a short time to live and needed to cram in all he could.  The lessons of our brother's life are plenty, but I will, in the short time that I have, highlight but a few of them.  First, the outpouring of emotions across the land tells us how much Emmanuel was loved by all that came across him and all that he came across.  There are people who die un-mourned and unloved.  Not Emmanuel.  His passage has touched the core of all of us.  Clearly, he affected people's lives across all divides including but not limited to geographical space, gender and religion.  How much of other people's lives do we impact and touch?  That's one significant lesson that Emmanuel has left us with.

3.​Turning to the legal community, Emmanuel's primary constituency, his life was a lesson in service to the Bar.  Yes, he had friends across board, but we of the Bar claim him the most and he served us very well, as Secretary of NBA Port Harcourt Branch between 2000-2002, as NBA NEC Member between 2000-2002 and 2004-2016, as Chairman of NBA Port Harcourt Branch between 2006-2008, as the Secretary of the NBA Section on Legal Practice between 2007-2008 and as a member of the NBA Prosecution Team between 2012-2015.  Emmanuel was also a member of the Body of Benchers up to his death.  In these various positions and assignments, he was not found wanting howsoever.  His diligence was exemplary and so was his passion. The Bar mourns and misses him enormously.

4.​And yet, he was a successful legal practitioner and not just a Bar politician – and that is Lesson No. 3 from Emmanuel's life.  In these days that we have some professional Bar politicians, whose practice center solely around Bar politics, Emmanuel's life reminds us that it is possible to serve the Bar and still be an active and full-time legal practitioner who aspires to and attains the highest ranks of the legal profession – the coveted rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.  He did not earn that rank through Bar politics; he worked assiduously for it and was duly recognized and elevated by his peers and superiors.  Of course, he and I had and still have a mentor in our revered elder brother OCJ Okocha, SAN OON who has always shown us the pathway in combining scholarship and professional work with service to the Bar – may he, our dear OCJ live long. What rank has OCJ not attained?  Is it SAN, Attorney-General of Rivers State, President of the Bar, name it!  Same with our brother, Emmanuel Aguma, SAN, immediate past Attorney-General of Rivers State and consummate Bar man even if not the President.  We will and do miss him.

5.​The fourth lesson that Emmanuel's passage reminds us is the need to take the issues of our health seriously.  Of course, our lifespan is entirely in God's hands and by His Grace and Mercies, but He has provided us with health-tips, some of which are contained in His Word, the Bible – the Holy Book which Emmanuel coveted greatly as the Deputy Registrar of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Diocese of Niger Delta from 2008 until his untimely passage.  There are of course other health-tips that come from the fecund minds and intellect of medical experts and practitioners around us.  We do need to take advantage of these health-tips and the medical experts and practitioners and their facilities, all around us.  We all know how stressful a lawyer's work, in the best of times could be not to mention in these unusual times that we live in, with strife and conflicts all around us.  We need to take care of our health and be diligent in managing our stress levels while living a healthy lifestyle that would, by His Grace, lengthen our days.  This we must do, not only for our own sakes but, even more importantly, for the sakes of our loved ones.

6.​Indeed, our hearts go out to Emmanuel's loved ones, his immediate and extended family.  His wife, Inimefien, and children, Onyiyechi, Emmanuel (Jnr) and Ezekwesili must know that they're not alone; we, the members of Emmanuel's larger family, will always be with them.  We must show them love and care.  That's what we owe Emmanuel.  To HE Nyesom Wike, CON, the Governor of Rivers State and the people of the State who have just lost a devoted and trusted Counselor, we mourn with you and pray for Divine strength and fortitude for you all.  And finally, we must all know and believe that Emmanuel, as his name suggests, is now with His Maker and at peace even as we continue to pray for his repose.  May he rest well.

Sep 13, 2018

IP ABC: Does Sampling Music Amount To Coyright Infringment | Infusion Lawyers




We are The Dambu Guys, a rap and hip-hop group in Nigeria. In 2006, we used 20 seconds of music fromAhmed Daura’s ‘Ina Sonki’ in one of our songs, ‘Dambu Dose’. Ahmed Daura is an established and popular flute player in Nigeria. ‘Ina Sonki’ is one of the tracks in Ahmed Daura’s 1988 album published by Tarouni Times, a leading music-publishing company and record label in Kaduna. We since released ‘Dambu Dose’ and it has been enjoying air play and downloads.

Sep 10, 2018

Ashafa Picks Up APC Senate Nomination Form For 2019 Elections






Today, September 10, 2018, the Senator representing the good people of Lagos East senatorial district, Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa, obtained the senate expression of interest and nomination forms for the APC primaries scheduled to hold on September 26, 2016. He was accompanied to the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja by Party Leaders from Lagos East, teeming supporters, family friends and well wishers who were keen on witnessing the anticipated moment.

Sep 8, 2018

Nigeria needs a young president; but not just any young President |Adedunmade Onibokun



As the 2019 general elections approaches, Nigerians will have another opportunity to elect credible leaders along all strata of government. It is important that these leaders are young, intelligent and vibrant personalities who will steer the ship of our great nation into a future of prosperity, growth and development. 

Duties And Powers Of The Public Complaints Commission | Adedunmade Onibokun



 On 16th October, 1975 the Murtala Muhammed administration enacted Decree 31, which provided for the creation of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC). The Decree was based on the recommendations of the Udoji Report, following the government's desire to improve the standard of living of the generality of Nigerians.

Sep 7, 2018

Birthday Greetings Pouring In For Paul Usoro SAN

Happy birthday to you, my Presido, Paul Usoro,SAN.

May God bless you now and always. May the Lord Almighty grant you solomonic wisdom to lead the NBA and set standards that would write your name in bold prints.

Two years may be short but Gen. MURTALA MOHAMMED needed only six months to make history. Bold decisions require less than 24 hours' action!

Cheers my President.

E.B. UKIRI,Esq.

My Amiable President,
This is to wish you a very big happy birthday sir.Today is a special day to the Nigerian Legal Community worth celebrating because you are a father to most of us,a mentor and role model to all of us.I celebrate you in a very special way my dear President and I pray to God to give you long life and prosperity.May God bless your family, your practice and May HE give you good health,more strength and energy to pilot the affairs of the NBA Amen.Happy Birthday our charismatic, amiable and eloquent 29th President of the NBA!

Wada Ahmed Wada.
Immediate Past National Chairman of NBA Young Lawyers Forum

Let me use this opportunity to wish our president a joyous happy birthday. It is a sizzling and outstanding feeling as you click on 60 on the dial with a burden to move the NBA forwar d. You're there because you're the right man for the job. Hit the ground running like the proverbial cheetah Mr. President. Happy birthday to Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb.

Nuhu Suleiman Tafida

Sep 6, 2018

CBN, AGF Vs. MTN – A template for killing FDI in Nigeria




The directive by the Nigerian Federal Government via the Central Bank of Nigeria to MTN to repatriate $8.13 billion, illegally taken out of the country is a direct assault on the attraction of foreign direct investment to Nigeria. The matter is further compounded by the directive of the Attorney – General of the Federation to MTN to pay a fine of $2bn in tax arrears on imported equipment and payment to suppliers.

Doctors cannot treat patients without their consent

Particularly if that treatment is of a radical nature such as surgery or blood transfusion.‬ .

In the above case, the deceased, Mrs. Martha Okorie and her husband belonged to a religious sect known as Jehovah's witnesses who believe that blood transfusion is contrary to God's injunction. Mrs Okorie, a 29 year old woman, having had a delivery at a maternity on 29th July, 1991 was admitted as a patient at Kenayo Specialist Hospital for a period of 9 days where the diagnosis disclosed a severe ailment and blood transfusion was recommended. 

The patient and the husband refused to give their consent to blood transfusion. Dr. Okafor of the Hospital consequently discharged the patient on the request of the husband. Upon her discharge from Kenayo Hospital, she was taken to JENO Hospital by her husband where Dr. Okonkwo, the respondent proceeded to treat the patient without transfusing blood.  

Case law via Law Companion (Download in your App Store) 

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#law #legal #medicalnegligence #blawg #blog #legalnaija #lawcompanion #court #medicine #doctors #nigerianlaw #lagos #supremecourt#justice #equality

Sep 5, 2018

IP ABC—Printing a LinkedIn Mark on a Book Cover without Permission: Lawful or unlawful? | Infusion Lawyers


Question of the Week
I am Ola Peters, a digital-marketing expert. For over 7 years, I have been writing and speaking about digital marketing to help both organizations and individuals succeed. Last April, I decided to publish a book titled Connecting to Succeed: How to Get the Best of LinkedIn. I used a self-publishing platform, Dotpages. To my shock, Dotpages has contacted me over a trademark-infringement letter it received from LinkedIn. According to the letter, by printing the LinkedIn mark on my book cover without LinkedIn's due permission, I have allegedly infringed on LinkedIn's trademark. They demand I either withdraw my book from circulation or face legal action! I'm still shocked. Is it really unlawful to print LinkedIn mark on my book cover?

Brand protection – why you should not purchase counterfeit luxury goods | Davidson Oturu


The 2018 World Cup is scheduled to come up in June 2018. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are playing the NBA Playoff Finals in June 2018. Roland Garros, the French Open, is also taking place in the same month. Due to these significant sporting events, there has been an upsurge in the sale of jerseys and sporting kits worn by athletes and teams that are participating in the sporting fiestas.

We Love Law


Sep 4, 2018

Election Tribunal Constituted For Taraba by-election


In pursuance of paragraph 133 (3) (a) and (b) of the Electoral Act as amended, the President of the Court of Appeal, constituted the Taraba Assembly tribunal for the Takum 1 constituency by- election, parties in the elections are to submit their petitions by 12midnight on the 8th of September, 2018. Garba Ajiya of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the election. 



REJOINDER: Case Review; Dr. Charles D. Mekwunye v. Lotus Capital Limited & Ors. | Abayomi Asorobi Esq.



A rejoinder to the article written by Chizaram Uzodinma published on www. lexology.com on August 22 2018 captioned “In applying for stay of proceedings pending arbitration under section 5(2)(b) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, the applicant does not have to adduce documentary evidence showing the steps he has taken in respect of the commencement of the arbitration.[1]

British Nigeria Law Forum Launch of the Family Law Network



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

Sep 2, 2018

The Lagos Justice Innovating Conference happening this September


The event will see legal and justice sector experts, both within and outside Nigeria, discuss how the
Nigerian justice system can be improved.

The HiiL Justice Accelerator (HJA), a part of the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL), will host the Lagos Justice Innovating Conference on the 21st of September 2018 at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, to discuss how the justice system could be made more accessible and user-friendly, through the combination of big data, technology and innovations in Nigeria.

Acceptance Speech By Paul Usoro, San Fciarb, President Of The Nigerian Bar Association



ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY PAUL USORO, SAN FCIArb, PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION AT THE INAUGURATION  OF THE NBA 2018 ELECTED MEMBERS’ EXECUTIVE


Protocols
I am truly humbled standing before you today as the 29th President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the pre-eminent professional association in Nigeria and the largest and most vibrant Bar Association in Africa.  If I was told when I was admitted into the University of Ife in 1977 to read English Language (before switching over to the Law Faculty in 1978) that I would attain this height, even I would have been most sceptical notwithstanding the inexplicable and record-breaking successes that I had attained as at then.  But then, as all who are remotely familiar with my life history and story would confirm, mine has been a special tapestry woven by God the Almighty Himself.  I’m reminded by friends and relatives quite often that I am God’s covenant child and special project right from birth. My ascendance to the Presidency of the NBA is testimony to this fact and proof positive that the Almighty continues to watch over me, continues to order my steps, continues to protect and is not at all done with me.  I glorify Him, return all thanks to Him and dedicate my ascendance to the NBA Presidency to Him. 

God however used human beings – and plenty of them – to make today possible. None occupies as special a place as my childhood sweetheart, the wife of my youth and my best friend, Mfon.  In general terms, Mfon completes me.  In the specific context of my ascendancy to the Presidency of the NBA, she occupies a special and unique place. I’m not sure even I worked as hard as she did in making today possible.  Yes, I was the face of the campaign and, yes, I was the one who travelled those long distances and traversed the whole country to campaign and convince you, my dear colleagues, of my suitability for election as the President of the Nigerian Bar, but Mfon, at all times, remained the engine room of the campaign.  Not a few have commented on her energy and ubiquitous nature all through the campaigns and up to the night leading to the declaration of the election results.  She was everywhere and on all the WhatsApp platforms of the various groups that campaigned for me, pushing, cajoling, encouraging, motivating, playing, laughing and, when necessary, empathising with all the coordinators of my campaigns
countrywide, particularly, in those moments when some of them were exasperated by my non-communication caused by campaign pressures.  She was there, not only for me, but for all our supporters and my campaign organisation; her organizational skills and verve remained unparalleled.  She had two great and wonderful assistants, our daughter and son, Eno and Paul; these two contributed great ideas, art works and designs for the preparation of our campaign materials.  I can’t thank the three of them and in particular, Mfon, enough. I truly cannot ask for a better family or a set of companions and friends than these three.  I pray that God will continually bless and keep them for me.
If I had to list all my friends and colleagues all over the country who worked tirelessly, day and night, to make our victory at the polls possible, we would perhaps not complete these ceremonies today.  I must however illustratively (and definitely, not exhaustively) mention the Kekemekes, Davids, Limans, Glorias, Safiyas, Temples, Martins, Cordelias, Thannis, Ibros, Ogagas, Victors, Seyis, Lilians, Aminus, Tessys, Nwakwentas, UFOs, DOCs, IBBs, Uches, Idakas, Tolanis, Hafsats, Aishatus, Inimfons, Emems, Blind Bats, Fatimas, Sominas, Obadinas, Nassarawas, Sarahs, all my brothers in Ilorin, my Bauchi, Jalingo, Yola, Kaduna and Gombe families and others too numerous to mention.  Special mention must be made of My Dad, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN, CON and the family that he created and bequeathed to us (which includes family members like Funke, Nnamonso, Tunji, Rotimi and Olabisi, all SANs), Kanu Agabi, CON, SAN (our Leader in Cross River and Akwa Ibom State), DDD, Ete Offiong, Garun-Gabbas (who, with the consent of his Governor, abandoned his Attorney-General’s position in Jigawa State and followed me on my several campaign trips to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria), my Alternate, Oladoja (as I fondly call him), my dearest sister, Nella and her husband and my in-law, Lawal-Rabana, Uwemedimo Nwoko, my Akwa Ibom State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and his Cross River State counterpart, Joe Abang.  Indeed, a number of Attorneys-General believed in and fought our cause in their various States – Bauchi, Taraba, Yobe, Adamawa, Borno, Osun, Lagos – and so did most Law Officers all over Nigeria.   

I must also pay special tribute to the Chairmen of the NBA Branches in Lagos State – all 5 of them and in particular, my Lagos Branch Chairman, Chukwuka, his Vice, Bolatumi and his entire executive – as well as the 4 and 3 respective NBA Branches in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.  How can I possibly forget my friends, Justice Chukwu, Bada Emmanuel, Mubin, Salami and Babatunde, all living with disabilities. 

but such great and able-bodied enthusiasts of our cause? These gentlemen remind me every day that disability is not necessarily a handicap to success; there are too many able-bodied persons who have not and may never attain the heights of these gentlemen because they do not have the fighting spirit and grit of these gentlemen.  Indeed, these gentlemen remind me every day of my pledge to work for and develop a truly inclusive Bar where we truly could and would have standing room for all without regard to gender, physical disabilities, religion and/or tribe. In summary, my success at the polls was not just a victory for me but a victory for all of you and indeed for all of us.  Our coalition was perhaps the most pan-Nigerian coalition that fought for the NBA Presidency. 

It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the significant role of some Bar Leaders and Elders and Past Chairmen of the NBA, notably Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, SAN, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Chief Bayo Ojo, CON SAN and Austin Alegeh, SAN, my elder brother, George Etomi, my beloved brother, Prof Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN and others too numerous to mention.  You all demonstrated complete faith and belief in me and campaigned vigorously for me up to even expending your personal resources and goodwill for my cause.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and pray for God’s continuous blessings for you and your families.  
I must also thank the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) as well as the outgone Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, SAN’s executive and administration for their conduct of the Elections in a free and fair manner.  We truly couldn’t have asked for a better set of men and woman with integrity than the Yadudu-led ECNBA.  Yes, the Elections had their fair share of hitches and glitches, but no one can fault the good intentions and character of the ECNBA members.  In truth, the Elections met the standard of substantial compliance and I must particularly commend the ECNBA for being constantly available at all times to aid and support all the candidates and to address our respective concerns and issues.  I must not fail to pay special tribute to my cocontestants for the office of the NBA President, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN and Chief Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN.  The participation of the three of us in the race greatly enriched the contest and brought out the best in us.  This was a very keenly contested race and any one of us could have ended up, fittingly, as the President of the NBA.  In truth and as I mentioned in my e-mail to Prof Ojukwu and Chief Okafor, all three of us won in this Election and there was no loser.  All three of us are eminent sons of the NBA Eastern Zone and should work together to showcase the unparalleled capabilities and innate. 

strength of the NBA Eastern Zone.  I have already reached out to both of them with an invitation for them to join hands with me in working for the elevation and growth of the NBA and I shall persist, undeterred, in this endeavour until success, by God’s Grace, is achieved. The Task Ahead – NBA
I come into office as the 29th President of the NBA at a time that the Association is riven with and by acrimonious divisions of all sorts not to mention serious scepticism and distrust of the NBA leadership by our members.  Those divisions and rifts did not start with the last Elections; they were simply exacerbated and made worse by these Elections.  It is critical and urgent that we bind, heal wounds and restore unity in our House of Lawyers.  We are strong only when united and together.  Divided, we’re vulnerable and subject to external and devastating attacks – and these are the dangers we face daily.  My immediate task would therefore be to heal these wounds, seal the cracks and unite our family of lawyers. I have already started the process of such integration and healing by extending my hands of fellowship and brotherhood to my cocontestants, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN and Chief Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN.  But I will go beyond them in the days ahead.  I’ll seek to heal the wounds of the 2016 NBA Elections by reaching out to my very good friend and brother, Chief J K Gadzama, SAN and bring him back into the NBA family.  I know that he has plenty to offer to our Association.  There are also several of our Bar Elders who have stayed outside the NBA fold for several years now for one reason or the other, mostly out of disenchantment; we’ll actively work to bring them back into the fold and in the process harvest from their rich repertoire of intellectual resources, experiences and wisdom. These healing processes and integration efforts would extend to the NBA Branches where we’ve had drawn-out strives and contentions – incidents that tend to give the lie to and inhibit and erode the brotherhood and friendship in our common salutation as “Learned Friends”.
Turning to the 2018 NBA National Elections, it is common ground amongst everyone that a review of our electoral systems and values is urgently required. In the coming weeks, I’ll constitute a Committee to review and recommend required reforms for and of our electoral processes. Still on our electoral processes, one significant lacuna that came out from the last elections is our lack of electronic data in respect of our members. The most difficult and tortuous of the processes during the elections was the electronic. 

capturing of our members’ data and the verification of same.  It is rather unfortunate and regrettable that Africa’s pre-eminent Bar Association underwent such pains and pangs as we suffered in the processes of capturing and verifying our membership data. As a matter of urgency, we would set in motion the processes for electronically capturing and preserving our membership data, amongst others, for purposes of preventing a repeat of our very unpleasant data capture and verification experiences in the last Elections. As a complement to the Electoral Review Committee, we’ll also constitute a Constitution Review Committee to look at and recommend required amendments and changes to the NBA Constitution.  I qualify this as complementary to the electoral review process because, it is most likely that the review of our electoral processes would necessitate a corresponding amendment of our Constitution.  Beyond that, however, most of the reform programs which we committed to during our campaigns, would most certainly require matching amendments of our Constitution. 

Talking about reforms, it would be recalled that we campaigned on the platform of required reforms in the running and operations of the NBA. The underpinnings of those reforms, as we pointed out during our campaign, were four key objectives, to wit, reforms that would engender efficiency in the operations of the NBA, rekindle and/or boost the trust and confidence of our members in the Association, create a sustainable institution out of the NBA or strengthen the NBA as an institution and, finally, shore up our moral equity thereby emboldening us to speak out against maladministration and societal ills.  The bedrock for these reforms would be the institution of corporate governance in the running and operations of the NBA.  Post the Elections, I’ve been asked, and I’ve consistently assured our members that we intend to keep to these our campaign promises and indeed all our campaign commitments.  One of such illustrative and auditable reforms on which platform we campaigned is our plan to be financially transparent and accountable in our management of the NBA affairs by, amongst others, preparing and publishing to our members, every quarter, the NBA’s quarterly financial statements – a step that has never been taken – complete with full financial disclosures, which would inform our members on the financial health and status of the NBA.  A couple of days ago, I had a meeting with my fellow elected NBA members and they all, without exception, lustily agreed with me for the implementation of this commitment from our first quarter in office.  That promise, by God’s Grace, we shall definitely keep
– and this is only illustrative of the several other reforms that we would be initiating in the operations of our Association in the coming days and weeks. 

I congratulate the Mahmoud-led administration for the successes of the recently concluded Annual General Conference.  The Conference had a rich harvest of intellectual materials and showcased African talents and eminent personalities such as our President and Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Ghanaian President, President Nana Akufo-Addo, our most distinguished colleague and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, HE Prof Yemi Osinbajo, GCON and our most respected Chief Justice of the Federation, His Lordship Walter Onnoghen, GCON.  Without intending howsoever to denigrate the astute and formidable endeavours of the Conference organizers and planners, let me assure you, my dear colleagues, that we have listened carefully and attentively to, heard and take to heart your various pleas for improvements in the planning of our future Annual General Conference both in terms of costs and the quality thereof.  We commit to work on this and promise that our next AGC would be unparalleled in all respects.  Of course, we would be building on the foundations that are already provided by the planners of previous AGCs.   

For one, we would commence preparations therefor earlier than usual and would testrun the enhanced use of the Sections and Fora of the NBA as engine-rooms for distilling the programs for the Conference.  Not only would this make the conference planning participatory in nature for most of our members who are members of the various committees of the Sections and Fora, it would harvest for us the most topical issues in our professional practise as well as the best speakers thereon seeing as the committees and Fora are modelled after specialised fields and areas of practice.  At the macro level, we would be meeting with the executives of these various Sections and Fora to discuss and fashion out ways of improving on their performances and outputs intending as we do to turn these Sections and Fora into our sustainable intellectual powerhouse and as our Continuing Legal Education hubs.  As a corollary to this, we would at all times place emphasis on improving the quality of our skills, knowledge and practice through continuing legal education. 

That leads me to mentorship, a program which I believe should be for lawyers of all ages, but mostly for young lawyers.  Mentorship for young lawyers in particular is a program that is very dear to my heart.  In demographic terms, the young lawyers far outnumber the rest of us, older lawyers.  These young lawyers, with their boundless energies, constitute the future of our profession and their energies need to be properly, productively and positively channelled.  We need to collaborate with and listen to them and we commit to consistently and constantly do these.  We commit to institute mentorship programs that would help in moulding them into successful legal practitioners and persons.  Their welfare, in truth, is tied intrinsically to the welfare of the rest of us.  Without taking care of them, our future and indeed the future of our profession cannot be assured.  From a different prism, their compensation package cannot be improved except we protect and expand the legal market for all practitioners and make it possible for all of us to earn decent income.  The future and sustainability of our respective firms and practices cannot be assured except we motivate and take care of these young lawyers.  These are lessons and facts that are sometimes lost on the rest of us.  Continuous education of the older lawyers on these basic facts and principles is therefore required and would be complemented by my executive with the push for the regulation of the Nigerian legal market in a manner that protects and does not howsoever disadvantage or prejudice the interest of Nigerian legal practitioners.
Our various programs, including but not limited to the reform programs, would be anchored by various Committees the details of which we would work out and publish in the coming days and weeks.  Ahead of such publication, we would review and where necessary rationalize the existing Committees of the Association.  To facilitate such review and rationalisation, it is necessary that I dissolve forthwith the membership of all the existing Committees of the NBA excluding the Sections and such other Committees as I may expressly indicate.  I thank all our members who served on these Committees for their unstinting services to the Association and count on their willingness to serve the Association further when called upon to so serve.  For the avoidance of doubt, some of the members of these Committees may be called upon to serve on the same or other Committees pursuant to the planned review and rationalization of the Committees and I’m requesting you to please stand ready to provide such services when and if called upon to do so. The Task Ahead – Justice Subsector and Nigeria The lead motif or sine qua non of Bar Association worldwide, with Nigeria not being an exception, is the promotion and protection of the rule of law.  In that connection, there are a number of misconceptions and misperceptions that I must necessarily clear, at this juncture.  First, Judges and the Courts are not enemies of society simply because they discharge and or acquit persons who are charged before them for criminal conduct.  Courts, world over, make decisions based on the facts presented before them and based on applicable principles of law.  Courts do not manufacture evidence and do not descend into the arena to prosecute or defend persons charged with criminal conducts.  Judges remain impartial arbiters, even in criminal matters and our Nigerian Courts have in the main carried out these functions in a most exemplary manner.  It therefore pains us, as lawyers, when the Judiciary is erroneously perceived and characterized as the problem in Nigeria.  It pains us when they are vilified and demonized in a manner that would tend to cow and intimidate them.  Yes, like any grouping of people, there may be bad eggs amongst our Judges, but that does not call for class demonization of our Judges and Courts.  What needs to be done is to fish out those bad eggs amongst them and remove them from the pack – and there are sleuth methods and laid down procedures in this regard.  We truly damage our justice administration system when we, public officials and lawyers alike, openly vilify and condemn our entire judiciary and judges – more often than not, without any proven case of infraction.  We degrade the rule of law thereby and blackmail our judges and the judiciary. 

A corollary and second misconception and misperception is that which characterizes lawyers who defend persons charged with criminal conduct before our courts as criminals themselves or accomplices to the crimes for which their clients are charged, ipso facto.  That is entirely incorrect.  Persons charged with criminal conducts are not only constitutionally deemed innocent until proven guilty based on court pronouncements, they are entitled to legal representation by Counsel of their choice.  This is a basic principle of the rule of law and a constitutionally guaranteed right.  It is also a demand of the rule of law that Counsel, once engaged in defence of a client, must prosecute the client’s case to the best of his professional ability and most assiduously.  In some instances, such forensic and assiduous defence of clients earns the defendant a discharge and/or acquittal.  That is not and cannot be the fault of the Counsel and it should not necessarily be attributed, without proof, to the compromise of the Judge by Counsel.  Such an attribution is just as unfair to the Court and Counsel as the attribution of all convictions to the unproved undermining pressures that may be perceived by some to have been placed on the courts by agencies of government.  Indeed, both misperceptions do grave injustice to our justice administration and unduly destroy the credibility of our courts and lawyers. 

To this end, it is important that lawyers be not class-defamed and treated by our law enforcement agencies as criminals or accomplices to the crimes for which their clients may be charged.  It is perhaps this misperception that has resulted in the increasing incidents of assault and battery of our lawyers throughout the length and breadth of our country in the course of their discharge of their professional duties and functions.  The NBA is scandalized by and totally condemns, in very strong terms, these unwarranted assaults and battery of our members by law enforcement agencies including but not limited to the Nigerian Prison Service and the Nigeria Police Force.  We shall take steps to ensure that these incidents do not recur and in this regard shall meet with the top hierarchies of the various law enforcement agencies to agree on protocols for engaging lawyers and avoiding such ugly incidents of assault and battery of our colleagues in the course of their carrying out their professional duties. 

This is not to say that we do not have bad eggs in our midst.  We however have a disciplinary machinery for purging ourselves of such bad eggs.  Do we need to tweak and make that machinery more efficient?  Yes, of course, and this we would do. We would look at measures that need to be introduced in order to make our disciplinary procedures far more responsive and time-sensitive.  In truth, the image of the Nigerian lawyer is perhaps at its lowest ebb and this cannot all be attributed to misperception by government and the public.  The conduct of some of our members brings bad repute to us.  It is critical and important that we purge ourselves and, as a profession, regain the moral high ground that historically stood us out as members of the honourable profession.  Our seniors must lead by example and our juniors must emulate and follow the example of our worthy seniors.  These are indeed issues that we shall concern ourselves with continuously and constantly with the plan that, well before the end of our tenure, the glory of our profession and legal practitioners shall be truly restored in the eyes of the public. 

I must address one more misperception that sometimes colours the actions of the government, its agencies and indeed the larger public and this is the misconception that the NBA is in constant adversarial position with government.  Lawyers and their association, the NBA are not adversaries of government but partners with government in the promotion and protection of the rule of law.  The NBA’s significant role in that partnership is to serve as the watchdog of society and, in the process, call the government to account.  We shall not shirk our responsibilities in that regard.  Indeed, our role in that capacity is not much different from the role of financial auditors who highlight the weaknesses in the financial systems of organizations and governments.  I do wonder why the financial auditors are not vilified and condemned as enemies of organizations and governments similar to the misperception and mischaracterization of legal auditors, notably, the NBA, as adversaries and/or enemies of governments.  Indeed, all governments and organizations need legal auditors like the NBA and it must be remembered that no auditor worth his salt, submits himself to simply being a yesman. The NBA will not be living true to its creed and lead motif if it were to become such a yes-man to any government or its agency.  It is, in truth, not in the DNA to be such a yes-man organization. 

Rather than crave for yes-men in the NBA, government and its agencies should be craving for collaborative partnership, even if sometimes, adversarial, with the NBA so they could work together in the promotion and protection of the rule of law.  And there are indeed so many areas that we could and should collaborate, ranging from the review and/or enactment of our laws and legislation to the prosecution of crimes and criminals (including but not limited to corrupt practices), to the institution of enabling environment for investments and doing business, to law and order in our society, to our electoral processes and elections. Indeed, as we progress towards the 2019 National Elections, there is room for constant and consistent collaboration between government and the NBA with the aim of ensuring the conduct of a free and fair elections.   

Such collaboration does not, of course, mean that the NBA would not be critical of government and its agencies when necessary and required.  We would at all times be constructively critical of government, and of course, would also commend government when the occasion calls for it.  In this regard and as part of giving voice to the voiceless, the NBA would be having monthly press briefings at which event topical national issues would be x-rayed and discussed.  This would be our standard way of drawing attention to national issues that border mostly on justice administration and the rule of law as well as other issues of national concern, and issues that affect our members.  For the avoidance of doubt,  we would at all times highlight these issues in a constructive manner – which is the hallmark of lawyers generally – and, when necessary and fitting, not only criticize government actions but also commend them.  Governments must however learn to take both the commendations and criticisms, no matter how biting, in their strides and presume always on the good intentions of their critics, in this instance, the NBA. 

Conclusion
My most respected colleagues, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, time would not permit me to adumbrate in greater detail on our lofty plans for the NBA, the justice subsector and indeed the larger Nigerian society in our 2-year tenure as custodians of your sacred NBA trust.  Please, understand, that the areas I have touched upon in this Address constitute but a capsule of the activities we would be focused on during our stint as the managers of our common heritage, the NBA.  Suffice for me to say that we would be building on the solid foundations that our predecessors in office have left in place for us going as far back as our legendary Past President, the late but not forgotten Chief F R A Williams, SAN (God rest him) up to the days of the late fiery and integritysuffused Aka Bashorun (God bless him) as well as our living icon, Judge (Prince) Bola Ajibola (I do not and did not, Sir, take lightly your blessings love and endorsement), up to our more recent Past Presidents, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye, my good friends and brothers Lanke Odogiyon J B Daudu, SAN, Okey Wali, SAN, Austin Alegeh, SAN and of finally, not least, my close friend and brother, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON SAN. 

AB has not only been passionate about the required reforms for our Association but also worked assiduously at internationalizing our NBA.  I have been privy to his efforts at reforms and these constitute the much-needed resource materials for some of the reform programs that we would effect.  We would continue to lean on him and his relationships with our international partners and will count at all times on his support and assistance in the course of our navigation of our Association’s journey towards enhanced greatness.  In like manner we will continue to lean on and count on the wisdom of all our Past Presidents, Bar Elders and Leaders and indeed, all of you our dear colleagues.  We are nothing without you. We can only succeed with your support and assistance.  More importantly, we come as your servants; you are our masters and we would at all times listen to and heed your advice.  Where or when we think differently, we would patiently explain our viewpoints to you knowing as we do that communication between us clears doubts and pre-empts quarrels and misunderstandings.  Transparency and accountability, we assure you, would be our watchwords at all times.  

 I must finally thank my younger brothers, Aigboje and Herbert, whose consistent support to Mfon and I, well beyond the NBA elections, has always proved invaluable.  But then, what are families for?  We value you greatly.  There is also our mentor and elder brother, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, to whom we – Mfon, myself and my younger brothers, Aigboje and Herbert – owe a lot.  His presence today means a lot to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  There’re of course, my immediate family members who are represented today by my younger brothers, Esedo, Charles Aniedi, Nkereuwem and Ukpong and of course, my wife, Ofonmbuk (Charles’ wife), without whose support I would not be where I am today.  I reserve special thanks to my Governor, HE Udom Emmanuel.  Our relationship predates his ascendance to the Akwa Ibom State Governorship seat.  His support, just like the support of HE Godwin Obaseki – represented today by his Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yinka Omoregbe – whom I had also known and had a close relationship with prior to his assumption of office, has been most outstanding.  Mfon and I thank both Excellencies from the bottom of our hearts. 

Finally, My Distincguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to a New and Most Promising Day in the life of the NBA and thank you for your attendance at today’s event.  Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  Long live the Nigerian Bar Association.


Paul Usoro, SAN FCIArb President Nigerian Bar Association