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Dec 28, 2020

Jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court over Service Conditions in the Military | Michael Dugeri


Introduction

Case law authority is that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NIC) has jurisdiction over service conditions in the military but only upon fulfillment of prescribed condition precedents. This means that when a dispute arises over service conditions in the military there is a multi-tier dispute resolution procedure that requires the aggrieved soldier, rating or aircraftman and officer to undertake certain steps in an attempt to settle the dispute internally before resorting to court action. It is important to note the binding nature of the multi-tier dispute resolution procedure in the military; whether it constitutes jurisdictional condition precedent to the commencement of action at the NIC, and the consequences of a party’s failure to comply.

Dec 21, 2020

Lawlexis: We Manage Social Media Accounts For Lawyers And Law Firms



You will agree that advertising legal services in Nigeria has remained complex and is somewhat of a taboo topic, especially due to the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC). However, times are changing and progressive law firms are using social media, not only to grow their online reputation, but to attract new and high – paying clients.

Some of the advantages of using social media for lawyers and law firms include;

a.     Create brand awareness
b.     Attract new clients
c.      Establish thought leadership, and
d.    Engage your target audience

At Lawlexis, We combine unique resources across the media to shape conversations and build enduring brands in the minds of audiences. For years, we have specialized in serving the needs of clients seeking exciting and engaging marketing and communications strategies. In that time, our work has been distinguished by qualities such as strategy, collaboration and integration.

Most importantly, we help lawyers and law firms manage their social media accounts and help create visibility by harnessing social media resources to grow their business. We will love the opportunity to do the same for you.

Call us on 09029755663 or email lawlexisinternational@gmail.com for free consultation.

Dec 15, 2020

Can the President Disobey National Assembly Summons? – Nonso Anyasi



It has now become a quadrennial occurrence for the Nigerian polity to experience debates on the constitutionality or otherwise of the President’s disobedience to summons/invitation by the National Assembly to account for executive actions/inactions.  This debate largely arises from the perceived conflict between the provisions of Sections 67(1) and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). 

Force Majeure vs. Frustration: The Clear Difference | Deola Osifeko

 


Usually contracts not only spell out rights and obligations of parties, it defines the scope of the legal or commercial relationship as well as anticipates unforeseen situations (like we have experienced and are still experiencing the effect of the outbreak of Covid19 which has not only altered daily living but how we discharge our duties in the workplace and other legal/commercial arrangements).

Dec 11, 2020

The Role Of Msmes In Nigeria's Post Covid 19 Recovery Plan | Olabimpe Oladokun (Mrs)



Small businesses (MSMEs) represent about 90% of businesses worldwide. They account for 96% of businesses and in Nigeria, they account for 84% of the country’s employment.

The global economy was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and from the above data, it is clear that small businesses must drive the global economy to recovery.

Dec 7, 2020

NDPR Implementation Framework 2020: My thoughts! By Olumide Babalola



After over 16 months as a draft, the NDPR Implementation Framework (the Framework) was finally and thankfully released by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in the first week of December 2020, albeit dated July 2020.

As a privacy litigant and litigator, while I will continue to be grateful to NITDA for taking up the unprecedented gauntlet of regulating data protection in Nigeria, we cannot afford to, with respect, spare the Agency's blushes within and outside the courts as far as their regulatory duties are concerned and this is done in good faith, for the betterment of the industry and its players.

First, it is highly commendable that, NITDA, like other supervisory authorities in the western World, has issued this Framework to provide further guidance towards clear compliance with the provisions of the NDPR which it describes as a "regulatory guideline" at paragraph 1.2 of its background. This description is a bit confusing to the extent that, if the NDPR is a regulatory guide, then where is the regulation itself and what does this framework seek to achieve if not to guide as well?

I am particularly concerned by the use of the term "Guideline" because it somewhat waters down the efficacy of the NDPR in the light of the Court of Appeal decision in Ogunniyi v Hon. Minister of FCT (2004) LPELR-23164(CA) that:

"The word " Guidelines " … simply means " rules or instructions that are given by an official organization telling you how to do something.

With respect to the drafters of the Framework who have delivered this very momentous document at this very significant time, referring to the NDPR as a guideline does not, in my modest view, do justice to the status of the regulation which the courts have expressly and/or impliedly ruled as an extension of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) under section 37 thereof. (See the decisions in Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative v National Identity Management Commission (Unreported Suit No. AB/83/2020)  delivered on the 15th day of July 2020 by the High Court of Ogun State, per A.A. Akinyemi, J. and Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative v LT Solutions & Multimedia Limited (Unreported Suit No. HCT/262/2020) also delivered by the High Court of Ogun State, per Ogunfowora, J.


On data minimization under article 2.2(b), the Framework is, sadly unclear on which of the provisions of the NDPR represents the principle especially since article 2.1(1)(b) of the NDPR muddles adequacy with the principle of accuracy, the Framework also jumbles consent under the principle of lawfulness with data minimization without making reference to the provision of the NDPR it seeks to clarify. This, with respect, does not help the professional or data subject who seeks clarity on the import of some convoluted provisions of the NDPR.

On the principle of accuracy, the Framework at article 2.2(c), like the NDPR, mishmashes it with the indices of data minimization – "adequate" and partially ignores the message of data accuracy which requires personal data to be updated and/or kept up to date. What is more, the Framework introduces "abuse" into the principle of accuracy at the expense of the principle of integrity and confidentiality.

Article 2.2(d) on retention schedule requires data controllers to communicate data retention schedules to data subjects but one would expect the document to be more explicit as to the modus of compliance. Is this also supposed to be in form of a (privacy) notice or contract or public announcement. For example, how does a data controller inform online visitors of its data retention schedule? It is hoped that further clarity would be given on this.

Surprisingly, article 2.2(e) on confidentiality and integrity is the first provision where cross reference is made to the NDPR albeit it refers to a non existent "article 2" under the NDPR. It is our modest view that, some form of referencing ought to run through the entire Framework to avoid further confusion. Again, the Framework refers to confidentiality as a right while its existence under the NDPR remains unclear, this Framework could have, with respect, done better in resolving this puzzle here.

On its extraterritorial application, the Framework repeats the same legislative "wonder" at article 1.2(b) of the NDPR yet omits to demonstrate how the NDPR will be enforced outside the shores of Nigeria in the light of conflict of laws and extraterritorial limitation of certain laws. Will the NDPR afford me protection anytime I am outside Nigeria even within the regions where, GDPR is, for example applicable?

On exceptions to the NDPR, the Framework at article 2.3 has amazingly created its own provisions outside the NDPR. There exists no provision of the NDPR which this provision of the Framework seeks to implement, hence it is our respectful opinion that, it cannot, outside the NDPR, create its own stand alone exceptions as the only one contemplated by the NDPR is found at article 2.12 with respect to transfer of data to a foreign country.


On compliance, article 3.2(iv) of the Framework offers the regulator an unutilized opportunity to give some clarity on the confusion of privacy policy with privacy notice in the NDPR but it seems this ambiguity will continue for a while.

On appointment of Data Protection Officer (DPO), article 3.4 of the Framework which provides conditions for appointment of a DPO appears to be on a collision course with article 4.1(2) of the NDPR which expressly and mandatorily provides that "Every Data Controller SHALL designate a Data Protection Officer for the purpose of ensuring adherence to this Regulation". How can the Framework for implementing this section validly make exception for some data controllers?

On sample of privacy policy at Annexure B, the Framework suggests that a privacy policy is a contract between data controller and data subjects and that, access to online platforms automatically translates into consent. Although, the law is not settled on the status of privacy policies on a website, this kind of simulation coming from the supervisory authority is a dangerous precedent which, in itself, negates what privacy policies or notices represent, especially since the NDPR does not give such status to privacy policies.
Ultimately on the Annexure C on Countries with adequate Data Protection Laws, what stands out is the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks of the United States of America!!! For everything NITDA stands for, I will make this excuse on their behalf that, the inclusion of this data protection law is a regrettable error which was not corrected in the draft before the Framework was released.
Following the Schrems II decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") that invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework in July 2020, the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), the body responsible for the protection of personal data in Switzerland ruled, on the 8th day of September 2020, that the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework in its entirety does not provide an adequate level of data protection for cross-border data transfers to the US.

Flowing from the foregoing, it stands to reason that, if the Swiss supervisory authority could have passed such damning verdict on the law that directly affects it, as far back as September 2020, then it is our modest view that, such should not have found itself in a document released by its Nigerian counterpart in December 2020.

In conclusion, the Framework is not only a right step in the right direction, it is a highly commendable and progressive one which should be timely updated and finetuned with the widespread input of as many stakeholders and technocrats to minimize avoidable errors and oversights before its eventual release to the public.

Once again, I congratulate NITDA for spearheading Nigeria's baby steps in this very essential and highly technical industry.

Dec 6, 2020

Out-of-Court Settlement of Employment Dispute | Kayode Omosehin



There are good reasons to explore early settlement of employment dispute. To cut costs; avoid distractions to the Mgt or other workers; prevent floodgates of future litigation; protect and project a brand with a good corporate conscience.

 

Whenever settlement is suggested or possible, it should be genuinely pursued and expedited by those who have authority to commit a company. Litigation lawyers should know when the other party is stalling. Sending a low level staff to a settlement meeting is a waste of everyone's time.

 

In Rasheed v A.C. Ltd, a claim of N300,000 was delayed for 6 years due to a protracted settlement process!


Litigation hardly pays a company. The most enduring discretionary power of a company can be yanked off in just one litigation.

Dec 5, 2020

An Appraisal of the Regulatory Framework for Investment in the Nigerian Agricultural Sector – Uche Matthew and Demilade Odutola

 


The Nigerian agricultural sector is brimming with massive investment opportunities, across the value chain, for both local and foreign investors, with the current favourable policies of the government aimed at making the sector a viable base of the economy. The development framework for the agricultural sector is captured in the Agriculture Promotion Policy (“APP”) 2016-2020, which sets out strategies for stakeholders to build a sustainable agribusiness economy with the capacity to attain food security, import substitution, economic diversification and job creation.[2] The APP identifies viable investment areas including agricultural production,[3] distribution and supply of production inputs,[4] provision of enterprise specific infrastructure, agricultural produce storage, processing and marketing of farm produce, agricultural research and development, commodity export and agricultural support services. The latest policy also prioritises private sector participation, in partnership with government, as the vehicle to fast track agricultural growth and development. In recognition of the government’s effort to boost investment in agribusiness, this article provides a regulatory guide to agricultural investment in Nigeria.

Revisiting the use of “Injunctions Pending Arbitration” in Nigeria through the Case of Intels v. Nigerian Ports Authority – Abdulkabir Badmos

 


1.      Introduction

Arbitration is one of the alternative dispute mechanisms recognized by law in Nigeria. Parties, in making their contracts, sometimes have an Arbitration clause that prescribes referral of any dispute arising from the contract to arbitration. It is therefore not unusual to find parties, in response to court summons, apply that a case currently being litigated be stayed pending arbitration. On the other hand, it is uncommon to find cases in Nigeria where a party, who after commencing arbitration proceedings, approach the court for an injunction in aid of arbitration. In this article, the author examines the legal framework for this injunctive relief vis-a-vis the recent decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos per Oweibo, J. in the case of Intels & Anor v. Nigerian Ports Authority.[2]  The writer is mindful of the fact that the decision is currently a subject of appeal hence, this commentary shall be limited to the law, arguments of parties in the matter and the eventual decision of the learned trial Judge. The issues submitted for determination at the appellate court are deliberately excluded from this article while ending the piece with some recommendations for law reform.

Non-domestication of Treaties in Nigeria as a breach of international obligations – Sandra Eke

 


 Introduction

The rationale behind the signing of international treaties is to foster peace, unity and cooperation amongst member states, each member state is expected to enforce the provisions of the treaties in accordance with the modalities prescribed by their laws. However, some state parties have devised a scheme of ratifying international agreements without taking the necessary internal steps to ensure the enforcement of their treaty obligations, while continuing to derive various benefits from these multilateral arrangements. The stringent requirement of domestication of international treaties before enforceability was introduced into the laws of some dualist state parties like Nigeria, causing a hindrance to the speedy enforcement of treaty provisions and also creating a leeway for member states to evade their international obligations.

A Critique of the Procedure for Enforcement of Monetary Judgment through Garnishee Proceedings at the Nigerian National Industrial Court – Olalere Olaoye

 


Introduction

The National Industrial Court (“NIC”) has been listed as one of the superior courts of record in Nigeria by the third amendment to the 1999 constitution. Hence it has full constitutional capacity at par with any High Court in Nigeria.[2] Garnishee proceedings is one of the ways (and a generally preferred one) monetary judgments can be enforced in Nigeria and our jurisprudence is rich with the interpretation of the provisions of the Sheriff and Civil Processes Act, (the overriding and generally applicable law), decided cases and even commentaries of legal scholars and authors.

Dec 2, 2020

Ms. Funke Giwa: NBA President’s Fact Finding Panel Recommends Establishment Of A Framework For The Welfare Of Young Lawyers.

 

 


On 26th Nov, 2020, a video of Miss Giwa went viral when her friend and popular comedian, Woli Arole, shared a video to promote her new food business. What caught the attention of many was that Miss Giwa is a lawyer who passed both the Nigerian Law School and her University degree with a 2nd Class Upper grade.

 



The NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata in response to the video and due to his passionate interest on the general welfare of lawyers, instituted a Fact Finding panel to meet with Miss Giwa.

 


Members of the panel included Mr. Tolu Aderemi as Chairman, Mrs Funmi Roberts as Honourary Member, Mr. Kanu Stephen and Mr. Jonathan Agbo as members as well as the NBA YLF Ibadan Branch Chairman, Mr. Sile Obasa. The members were able to meet with Miss Giwa and her former employers, Mr. and Mrs. Seun Falade, with the aim of identiying how the Bar could be of support to her.

 

The Committee resolved to report its findings to the NBA President and key amongst its recommendations is whether the NBA should propose an Articleship arrangement and also, the establishment of a framework for the welfare of young lawyers.

 

The Committee also recommended that upon the conclusion of Miss Giwa’s Masters programme, she should be assisted in getting a lecturing job.

 

@Legalnaija  

 


The Legality Of The Social Media And Hate Speech Bill | Freda Odigie



Imagine being arrested for making a tweet on twitter or making an instagram post. The Federal Government is attempting to legalise the prosecution of anyone who they believe posts any statement on social media which they deem as hateful or fake. The “Hate Speech”and “Social Media Bill” have been a major issue for debate ever since the legislative arm of government introduced these billsin 2019 as an attempt to put a restriction to the use of social media in Nigeria. To justify theseproposed bills by the legislature, the President refused to sign the Digital Rights Bill which was a bill to protect the rights of Nigerians in the digital space.

The Future Of Agriculture In Nigeria: From Cutlasses To Drones | Oyetola Muyiwa Atoyebi, SAN

Introduction

Agriculture largely contributes to the Nigerian economy accounting for over 25% of the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP), it is also responsible for 30% of the existing employments in the country. However, the country remains behind its counterparts in developed countries as it still relies on crude implements and obsolete technology in the agribusiness, a practice fuelled by Nigerian farmers opting for subsistent agriculture as a means of survival and not with the goal of contributing to the nation’s economy.

Nov 20, 2020

Cybersecurity: Are Fintech & I.T. Gurus Cyber-Criminals Under The Ambit Of The Law?


Introduction

The perception of the Nigerian cyber infrastructure and the legal apparatus for the sustenance and governance of the cyber space, is one which has been largely left in the dark, as such enough misconceptions abound as to trending legal and socio-economic issues arising in respect of cyber security.

Nov 18, 2020

Opportunities For Nigerian Lawyers In The Global Entertainment Industry



Christmas has come early; Greysage consulting will host a webinar that adequately caters to lawyers, law graduates, and law students who are enthused and fascinated by the global entertainment industry.

The webinar will be held on the 12th of November, 2020, via zoom, at 11am – 1pm and Greysage has recruited famed Nigerian entertainment lawyer, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa, to share important tips that would help guide Nigerian lawyers to explore, pursue an interest, and build a practice area that caters to the entertainment industry.

In recent times, there have been countless credible reports from many institutions who have conducted extensive research on the economic viability of the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Greysage Consulting believes that Nigerian lawyers have significant roles to play with helping to build the burgeoning Nigerian entertainment scene. With their mastery of law and eye for detail they are well equipped to take on responsibilities that would provide them professional and economic gratification.

This webinar would lay bare the world of possibilities available to lawyers in the entertainment industry.

To attend, reserve a spot at https://greysagehq.com/createyourfuture/

The zoom link will be shared after notification of payment.

Get ready for this webinar, if you miss it…you may have to wait till the next time we re-launch it again and that might be next year.

The webinar is supported by Legal Naija and Lawyard.
Have a wonderful week.

With Love,
Opeyemi Akanni
GreySage Consulting Ltd.

Nov 11, 2020

Powers And Functions of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)


National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a public service institution established by NITDA Act 2007 as the ICT policy implementing arm of the Federal Ministry of Communication of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It has sole responsibility of developing programs that caters for the running of ICT related activities in the country. NITDA is also mandated with the implementation of policies guideline for driving ICT in Nigeria. The Board shall have power to formulate overall policy for the management of the affairs of the Agency; and manage the National Information Technology Development Fund established under Section 12 of the Act including;

Nov 9, 2020

BUY NOW: The Ultimate Guide To Social Media For Lawyers



Everyone that has read Social Media For Lawyers has found the book useful for creating online visibility for their law practice, and they also say they will recommend the book to a colleague, but don’t just take our words for it, read some of their remarks below;

 

“Social Media for Lawyers is a book every 21st century lawyer needs to read especially in a digital competitive world”.

-       Oluwatobiloba, Lawyer

 

“This is an awesome book coming at the right time. It spells out the good way to leverage social media for corporate bodies and Professionals and not necessarily lawyers alone. I'm glad Mr Adedunmade Onibokun saw this need and addressed it keenly.”

- Deji, Lawyer


“In a time where lawyers are for the most part restricted from advertising their services, it is imperative that we learn to harness the power of social media to not only amplify our voices, but carve a niche for ourselves in the legal market. "Social Media for Lawyers" is without a doubt, the perfect tool for lawyers in this regard. I recommend this for not only lawyers, but professionals from every discipline."

- Charles, Lawyer

If you would like to join the exclusive league of innovative practitioners who are using social media to create visibility for their practice and establish themselves as thought leaders, while also attracting the right type of clients who require their services? Then take advantage of the ongoing Independence Day Promo and ORDER your SOCIAL MEDIA FOR LAWYERS for N2500 here https://paystack.com/buy/socialmediaforlawyers


Nov 7, 2020

Learn The Nigerian Constitution By Registering For This Class

 


Learn the provisions of the Constitution as a Nigerian citizen or visitor. Our speakers, Derin Fagbure and Adedunmade Onibokun are seasoned legal professionals who will be sharing an in-depth analysis of relevant provisions of the Constitution that all citizens should be aware of.

Nov 4, 2020

#EndSARs: Can Live Video Evidence Be Relied Upon? | Freda Odigie



On the 20th day of October 2020, what started as a peaceful protest for over two weeks turned bloody after the Nigerian Army allegedly unleashed it’s bullets at unarmed protesters leading to loss of lives and many injured. The protest tagged #ENDSARS was carried out across many cities in Nigeria and other countries.

Nov 2, 2020

Visas And Permits Under The Nigerian Immigration Law[1] | KHALID ABDULKAREEM


1.0.      Introduction

            The sources of the Nigerian Immigration Law are divided into primary and secondary sources. The primary sources mainly consist of the Immigration Act, 2015, Immigration Regulations, 2017 and the Nigerian Visa Policy, 2020, while the secondary sources are the 1999 Constitution as altered and Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010. Embedded under these laws are visas and permits that must be obtained by foreigner desirous of entering into the country for one reason or the other. The Nigerian Immigration Service is the body statutorily mandated and empowered to issue or grant such visas and permit.  This article serves as a summary exposition of these relevant visas and permits.

Oct 31, 2020

DRLI sues NBC over punitive fines against ARISE TV, Channels TV and AIT


The lawyers' group known Digital Rights Lawyers Initiative (DRLI) has filed a suit against the National Broadcasting Commission for the fines the agency recently imposed on three television stations namely ARISE TV, Channels TV and AIT. In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday 30th October, 2020 and marked FHC/ABJ/1441/2020 the NGO, whose main objective is to protect and promote digital rights of citizens including freedom of expression, essentially alleges that the sanction and fine imposed on the television stations creates a chilling effect on freedom of expression and constitutes an unjustifiable interference of its members' right to freedom of expression particularly, their right to receive ideas and information from the sanctioned television stations.
The suit, which was filed by the organization's lawyers, Solomon Okedara and Olumide Babalola, seeks the following reliefs from the court:
i. A DECLARATION that the Respondent's arbitrary act of sanctioning and imposing fine of Three Million Naira (N3,000,000) on each of ARISE TV, CHANNELS TV and AIT purportedly in line with Sections 5.6.3 and 5.6.9 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code creates a chilling or stifling effect on freedom of expression and is likely to interfere with the right of the Applicant's members to freedom of expression, particularly, their right to receive ideas and information without interference as guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.


ii. A DECLARATION that the fine of Three Million Naira (N3,000,000) imposed on each of ARISE TV, CHANNELS TV and AIT indeed constitutes an interference to the Applicant's members' right to freedom of expression, particularly, their right to receive ideas and information without interference guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

iii. A DECLARATION that the respondent not being a judicial body lacks the power to impose fines on any broadcaster, including fines imposed on ARISE TV, CHANNELS TV and AIT and the imposition of such fines is null and void. 

iv. A CONSEQUENTIAL ORDER of setting aside the fine of Three Million Naira (N3,000,000) imposed on each of ARISE TV, CHANNELS TV and AIT as same was unlawfully imposed.

v. A PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Respondent, its officers, agents and/or representatives from imposing sanctions or fines or excessive, disproportionate, unlawful and indeed unconstitutional restrictions on television stations including ARISE TV, CHANNELS TV, AIT and other television or radio stations which will interfere with the Applicant's members' right to freedom of expression, particularly, their right to receive ideas and information without interference.

vi. AN ORDER of award of sum of One Million Naira only (N1,000,000) to the Applicant as the cost of this action.

vii. AND SUCH OTHER ORDER (S) as this honourable Court may deem fit to grant in the circumstance.

Speaking, after the suit was filed, Solomon Okedara noted that the protection of the Applicant's members' right to receive ideas and information is not just required for proper for their proper development in all facets of life but it is indeed a matter of their fundamental right to freedom of expression which cannot just be toyed with by any person or entity. Okedara further noted that ensuring a free and independent media is not just a matter of discretion of the government or regulatory agency but a mandatory requirement for a democratic society.

  


Oct 28, 2020

What You Need To Know About The World Trade Organization


The World Trade Organization is an intergovernmental organization that is concerned with the regulation of international trade between nations. It was founded on the 1st of January, 1995 and has 165 members.

The WTO was born out of negotiations, and everything the WTO does is the result of negotiations. The bulk of the WTO's current work comes from the 1986–94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is currently the host to new negotiations, under the 'Doha Development Agenda' launched in 2001.

Some of its duties include;
-  It is an organization for trade opening.

- It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements.

- It is a place for them to settle trade disputes.

- It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.


Nigeria has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and  a member of GATT since 18 November 1960. Nigeria, on 9 June 2020, nominated Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Mr Roberto Azev√™do, who has announced he stepped down on 31 August 2020.

The nomination period for the 2020 DG selection process ended on 8 July, with eight candidates nominated by their respective governments. On 31 July, the General Council agreed that there would be three stages of consultations with WTO members commencing on 7 September to assess their preferences and to determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.

The General Council Chair announced on 18 September the results of the first round of consultations and the five candidates advancing to the next stage. On 8 October, he announced the results of the second round of consultations and the two candidates advancing to the third round.

Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is slated to be the first woman & African to lead the institution. However, the US has has refused to support her candidacy. Final outcome will now be decided Nov 9!

Oct 26, 2020

Security, Welfare And Legitimacy – Nonso Anyasi



The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is guided by the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy as contained in Chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The most fundamental objective and primary purpose of any government that is founded on the Constitution shall be the security and welfare of the people. Accordingly, the Government (including the federal and state governments) must prioritize the security and welfare of its Citizens at all times. This is by virtue of the provisions of Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution.

Oct 22, 2020

With Only About 20 Months Left, Sign This Petition For INEC To Resume Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) | Adedunmade Onibokun




The Nigerian Electoral system is a work in progress, and one of its challenges is voter registration and collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVC). During the last election cycle, Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) across the country commenced on 27th April, 2017 and ended on the 31st of August, 2018. Though the exercise lasted for about 16 (Sixteen) months, many stakeholders and citizens called for an extension of the exercise.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as at the 11th of February, 2019, out of the 84,000,484 registered voters, over 11 million registered voters were yet to collect their PVCs, a figure that represents 13.7% of the total PVCs produced. Out of this figure, 7,817,905 PVCs were carried over from the 2014 to 2016 registration exercises, while 3,410,677 are from the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise held between April 2017 and August 2018.

 


Beginning the process of voter registration early allows INEC enough time to clean up the provisional register and print the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in good time for the general elections. Most importantly, it allows citizens enough time to be duly registered and obtain their Permanent Voters Card in order to be eligible to vote. The INEC Chairman has stated that we are now 848 days from the 2023 Presidential Elections, which allows INEC 27 months to plan for the election but only about 20 months to carry out its Continuous Voter Registration, assuming it resumes the exercise immediately.  

If 16 months was not enough time to carry out a voter registration exercise in 2018, I believe we should be taking advantage of the remaining 20 months. Moreso, because of the millions of voters who reached voting age, after the 2019 Elections, and the number of voters who were left unregistered in 2018, it is safe to assume that INEC has its work cut out for it as we prepare for the 2023 Elections.

So why hasn’t INEC resumed the Continuous Voters Registration exercise, despite the promises made in 2018, that the process will resume immediately after the 2019 elections? Are we already planning to fail at the 2023 elections?

Please sign this petition for INEC to resume Voter Registration ahead of the 2023 General Elections http://chng.it/tkzkp2JY via Change.org

Adedunmade Onibokun 

Partner, AOC Legal 

dunmadeo@yahoo.com 

The #EndSARS Protest: What Next - Adedunmde Onibokun

 



 My fellow Nigerians,

The last few days have been pivotal in our desire for a Nigeria, where justice, equity and fairness are the order of the day, where our fundamental human rights to life, personal dignity and humane treatment shall be respected. Our leaders, neighbours and the international community have heard our call to action.

Oct 21, 2020

Why Impeachment Proceedings Should Begin Against President Buhari Immediately


If you are a friend, visitor or lover of Nigeria, you are definitely aware of what is going on in the country at the moment. Young Nigerians who signified their discontent with police brutality through the #EndSARS hashtag had been staging peaceful protests all over the country until recently, when the process led to loss of lives and what is now being described as a full scale massacre of innocent demonstrators, perpetrated by state agents and security forces.

Oct 16, 2020

Federal High Court Sets Aside N24 Billion Naira Order Against CBN


On Tuesday, 13th October 2020, the Federal High Court, delivered a ruling, setting aside the Garnishee Order Nisi made against the Central Bank of Nigeria in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/563/2020 between Bendu Peter Services Nigeria Limited & Anor V. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc & Anor.

Oct 14, 2020

The Menace Of The Nigeria Police Force Special Anti - Robbery Squad (The Group of Death): Beyond Its Existence | Debo Oladinni Esq.

                                                         

In recent days, the clamour by Nigerians across the country that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) be proscribed due to the apparent excesses of members of the death squad (which has reached an alarming crescendo), is fast gathering momentum. Prior to this time, SARS, as a unit was an elephant in the room that no one was willing to frontally confront or demand for the curbing of the excesses of a good number of its dare devil personnel masquerading as law enforcement officers.

Arbitral Awards As Sovereign Debt Risks: Impact Of P&Id And Eurafic Cases | OAL

 


Background

Deriving from the sovereignty principle, sovereign debt literary refers to how much a country's government owes. Often times the primary source is through outside borrowing hence it can be defined as national or government debt because the word "sovereign" connotes national government. However, due to its nationalistic nature and the fact that internal national borrowing is rarely existent especially in developing economies like Nigeria, it generally refers to how much a country owes to external creditors. While borrowing remains the principal source of sovereign debts, debts also accrue from other sources and one of such is Judgement Debt(s) from Court Cases or Arbitral Awards arising from Arbitral proceedings in disputes involving federal government. Simply explained, it implies what a National government owe to foreign Judgement Creditors. It is imperative that developing nations focus on mitigation, reduction or management of judgement debts or arbitral awards that are of such critical importance or volume that they portend risk for a country in form of sovereign debt risk. The reason is that huge exposure to national debts of whatever nature and form has adverse economic and investment implications.

Oct 12, 2020

The Special Anti-Roberry Squad: The Necessity For A Total Structural Overhaul | Motunrayo Olaleye ACArb


INTRODUCTION

The Nigerian Police (NP) is the principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria and its functions, duties and powers are contained and regulated by the Police Act (CAP P19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004). Additionally, Police Officers are subject to the code of conduct for Police Officers.

Oct 9, 2020

Robot Rights In An Evolving Employment Market | O. M. Atoyebi, SAN

 


 INTRODUCTION

Technology is ever evolving and the parameters of determining what is the latest technology is constantly shifting. The issues for discussion during these technological shifts are as well constantly changing. Today, the technology we have has given rise to discussions about data protection, Cyber Security, and the rights of Robots vis a vis employee rights. The increasing use of trending technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotics technology in education, manufacturing, justice delivery, etc. means we must begin to reconsider the concept of “employees” and “employee rights”.

Legal Regulation of Surrogacy Contracts in Nigeria: Is the Consumer Delving into Delving Into Murky Waters | Emaediong Ofonime Akpan (Esq. LL.M)

 


     

Introduction

The pioneer record of surrogacy had Hagar as the surrogate mother with Abraham and Sarah as the commissioning parents. This form of surrogacy commonly referred to as a partial surrogacy where the child born is only genetically related to one of the commissioning parents was prevalent in pre-colonial Nigerian societies. The practice of surrogacy was common in Nigeria long before its legal recognition around the world. The practice of surrogacy in pre-colonial Nigeria was regulated by unwritten customs and practices. The surrogate mother was married in to the family by the commissioning couple usually the wife. Children birthed by the surrogate were deemed children of the marriage and the commissioning parents had sole rights. These partial surrogacy arrangements were borne out of the need to continue a family legacy. However, this is not the case today as surrogacy arrangements are taking a new shape with gestational surrogacy taking the lead. Furthermore, couples turning to surrogacy do so because of fertility issues, health complications, and terminal illness etetera.to further complicate issues there is a lack of specific legislation to cater to the unique legal issues of surrogacy.

Oct 6, 2020

Securing The Socio-Economic Welfare Of Nigerian Lawyers: Beyond The “9-5”|Fifehan Ogunde


The Nigerian legal profession is in a very delicate condition, particularly as it relates to the socio-economic welfare of lawyers. There are reports detailing concerns about the wellbeing and remuneration of lawyers with some lawyers said to earn between 15,000 and 20,000 Naira monthly (US$39-US$52) which is less than the average hourly pay of lawyers in Western economies such as the United States or Canada. In a Twitter poll,  65% of respondents indicated that they either earned or knew a lawyer who earned below 50,000 Naira monthly. In view of the ever rising costs of living in the cosmopolitan cities where the majority of Nigerian lawyers are based, it is not unreasonable to conclude as follows: a significant number of Nigerian lawyers whose only source of income is derived from legal practice are living in poverty.

Gas Flaring In Nigeria: Risks And Recommendations | B. Adeniran


When oil was discovered in the 1950s, the country was full of gaiety thinking the ‘god of wealth’ had finally visited Nigeria. The discovery of oil is however also one of the worst things to have happened as the Niger Delta region is afflicted by environmental degradation induced by oil spillage and gas flaring. Flares from Niger Delta account for a major percentage of global flares. It is reported that over 386 million cubic feet of natural gas is flared every day in Nigeria. How the environment is managed has a direct bearing on the quality of life of every living being. Thus, the poor management and pollution of our environment is bound to cause irremediable damage to human existence and could make the earth inhabitable for man, if urgent care is not taken.

 

Oct 2, 2020

Emerging Trends in Legal Practice; From Analogue Lawyers to Legal Engineers | Stephanie Etiaka

The growing interplay between the legal industry and emerging technologies has pushed the once conventional and traditional sector to a tipping point. These emerging cross-connections are challenging the legal industry in novel ways, giving rise to new fields such as Legal Engineering, Legal Architecture, and Legal Entrepreneurship. The Legal business sector is more complex and competitive today than ever before and is only set to become more so with the continued evolution of business models, pricing structures and rapidly evolving client expectations.

Emerging Trends in Legal Practice: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms are transforming the legal profession in many respects. These systems have been developed to improve what lawyers do by automating routine, mundane tasks enabling them to focus on complex higher-value duties, such as understanding client needs and negotiating deals.

Leveraging AI will enable law firms and in-house legal departments to offer better legal services and representation for their clients. Here are ways the legal profession will be shaken up by AI and analytics:

  • Contract/ Document Review: A major chunk of the work law firms do on behalf of their clients is to review contracts in order to secure their business interests and avoid the negative consequences of misleading clauses. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can review contracts and documents to look for risks, and suggest modifications that help clients make better business decisions in a fraction of the time it would take a human to perform the same task and since these algorithms rely on machine learning frameworks, they get better, smarter and faster with continuous use.
  • Document Generation: Another task that AI can assist with is drafting the first copy of a legal brief. Lawyers put so much time into producing well-written and persuasive legal briefs, but by allowing these algorithms to compose the first drafts of these briefs, the lawyer/ legal teams will save time as all they'd have to do is revise and tweak the document to create a final copy.
  • Eradicating Research Errors: Research is an essential part of the legal process and even though over time, lawyers become seasoned researchers, they are still prone to error. Machine learning algorithms can find relevant documents, cases, and data that are relevant to a specific case, they can also highlight existing laws and how certain laws have changed over the years within various jurisdictions. This ensures that the lawyer utilizes up to date information collected containing little or no errors.

Emerging Trends in Legal Practice: Enter the Legal Entrepreneur

Technological advancement, the speed of innovation, and changing clients' needs have created an opportunity for the emergence of legal entrepreneurs. Legal entrepreneurs are individuals or firms that are innovating the delivery of legal services. These entities have developed efficient, cost-effective, predictive, digitized, and scalable legal products and services for corporate legal buyers.


Until recently, lawyers controlled all the competitive facets of their market — education, licensure, practice and ethical standards, organizational structure, economics, and delivery but that is fast changing as legal entrepreneurs have come to tip the scale.

Increasing competition from non-traditional legal service "alternative legal service providers" is one of the biggest challenges facing law firms today. Although the Nigerian legal market has not witnessed so much of this, it is only a matter of time before the tide catches up with us.

Emerging Trends in Legal Practice — New Roles for Legal Professionals

Legal Engineering

A Legal Engineer is a person that sits at the interface of technology, law, and data, who Is trained and skilled in the construction of designed legal solutions. The idea was first raised by Richard Susskind in his book The End of Lawyers? In the book, he predicts the need for a new role in law firms, combining legal knowledge with technological expertise, which he names the legal knowledge engineer. This role is the fusion of legal expertise and technology expertise. It harmonizes both sides of the equation.

What Does the Legal Engineer Do?

The legal engineer understands the challenges the firm faces and his/her sole responsibility is to come up with creative ways to resolve them. Most times, they are business professionals or project managers who will import the principles of business and project management into the firm to improve its efficiency. Rather than building systems from scratch, legal engineers and their innovation teams leverage a Firm's available technology toolkits to weave platforms together to do new and interesting things to address the needs of the Firm and its clients.

Legal Architecture

In a way, legal architecture has always existed. It was called taxonomy and has remained the same for centuries. It generally is an old way to categorize legal information for teaching or for research. The new wave in Legal Architecture in the on-going Industry 4.0 wave is the deployment of digital tools for simplifying the law and court rules, and making them usable, understandable, and accessible to users whenever they may need it.

In a general sense, we can say that Legal Architecture is the practice of categorizing, harmonizing, and designing relevant aspects of the law on various subject matters/ areas of interest into unified digital databases that can be accessible to individuals when the need arises. It is aimed at simplifying the usability and understanding of the law and the improvement of the user's legal experience.

Routes to Becoming a New Breed of Legal Experts — Legal Engineer/Legal Architect/legal Entrepreneur

  • Sometimes legal engineers or architects are technology experts who have become familiar with legal processes. This could be as a result of working in technology roles in law firms over a long period of time. During this period, they gain that knowledge of legal processes and services over time and can then form a core part of legal process innovation teams, to solve legal problems with technology and process solutions.
  • Other times, legal engineers or architects are lawyers who are technologically adept and see the opportunity to improve legal processes with the intelligent use of technology, so they move from a fee earning role to an innovation role.

Ultimately it doesn't matter how this new crop of professionals is formed, the important thing is that they have a deep understanding of both technology and legal practice and an appetite to drive innovation, efficiency, process improvement, and client engagement.

Skills Needed for a Successful Career in the Emerging Legal Business Environment

  • Project Management
  • Knowledge of Law/ Legal Processes
  • Big Data Analysis
  • Business & Strategy
  • Marketing and Consumer
  • Product Management
  • Advanced computer programming skills

The Big Questions to Ask

  • Is the role of the Legal Practitioner Changing?
  • Do I feel threatened by this change?
  • How is my organisation preparing our workforce for the future of work?
  • Am I ready for this Change?

How can Lawyers and Legal Teams prepare themselves for Law 4.0?

Lawyers, law firms, and in-house legal teams can prepare themselves for the emerging legal business landscape by doing the following:

  • Learning Relevant IT Skills — It is no longer news the future of work report places a premium on modern-day technological skills such as coding, data analytics, SEO, Design Thinking, Digital Marketing, and the likes. They go a long way to put you ahead of the pack in the industry.
  • Being open to change and embracing it: As the saying goes "change with the times or become extinct". Wishing the change away will not make it disappear. The sooner legal practitioners embrace the changes staring the industry in the face and respond to them, the higher their chances of survival.
  • Adopting an Agile work approach across law firms: While we understand that 'agile' is not a word synonymous with the legal industry, however, there are elements of agility, especially within a project management context, that could benefit the legal industry, particularly in terms of adopting technology adoption to meet clients' needs. 'Agile' focuses on shared ownership of projects and, by encouraging quick feedback and collaboration, team members are more likely to become responsible for the success of law firm projects and deliverables. People support what they help to create.

It is evident that the cheese is moving for law firms. While this presents a challenge, it can also be harnessed as an opportunity for forward-thinking firms (old players and new entrants) who strategically position themselves as the tides turn.

Written By: Stephanie Etiaka. — Communications/Innovation Officer, Olisa Agbakoba Legal