Law & Human Rights

Only rule of law, due process will win war against graft —Awomolo, SAN

Prosecution is not a Nollywood drama,It is a serious business Chief Gboyega Awomolo, a senior advocate of Nigeria was admitted into the inner bar in July 1992 after 14 years of legal practice. In this interview, he spoke on the reason no major conviction has been secured by the government on high profile corruption cases, the controversies trailing agitation for restructuring as well as constitution review among others. Excerpts : ByAbdulWahab Abdulah PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari said he was determined to fight corruption to logical conclusion but no major conviction has been secured on high profile cases. Can we say that the President’s fear with regards to the judiciary was justified? The war against corruption in Nigeria by the Federal Government is nationally and int...

Lawyers must invest in acquisition of expertise to offer competitive services

Mrs. Mfon Ekong Usoro is a maritime lawyer with rich national and international experience. She was at a time the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Authority, NIMASA; chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) and secretary general of the Port State Control Memorandum for West and Central African Region of the World Trade Organisation, WTO. In this interview, she speaks on the maritime wealth of the country, the challenges of globalization and sundry issues. By Onozure Dania THE Mfon Usoro Lawyers Tennis Championship which you sponsor has been on for some years now. What is your appraisal of the championship? The quality of the tournament continues to improve each year. Our strategic partnership with Nig...

Rights Violation: ECOWAS Court orders FG to pay actress, 2 others N18m

By Ikechukwu NnochiriABUJA – The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, ordered the Federal Government to pay N18million to Nollywood actress, Dorothy Njamenze and two other ladies whose rights it held were grossly violated by security operatives in 2011. Dorothy Njemanze The other ladies the regional court ordered FG to compensate are Justina Etim and Amarachi Jessyford. It ordered FG to pay the trio N6m each for their unlawful arrest and detention after they were declared as prostitutes in Abuja. Justice Friday Chijoke Nwoke who delivered the lead judgment, said the ECOWAS court was satisfied that the plaintiffs were humiliated and dehumanised after they were arrested in an operation that was carried out by a joint tas...

Judges not the cause of cases delay —Adedipe

Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, is a Lagos-based legal practitioner. In this interview, he spoke on special courts designated to handle corruption and financial crime cases, causes of delays in court, true federalism, restructuring and related issues. Excerpts By Onozure Dania THE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has directed all heads of courts in the country to create special courts for the exclusive trial of corruption cases. How far do you think this initiative will help in tackling the issue of delay of cases? Well, in recent times, there has been public outcry against the judiciary. This was fuelled in part by lack of proper appreciation of how the judiciary itself works. It should be constantly borne in mind that we take our bearing from the ...

We’ll no longer tolerate frivolous adjournments, Lagos Acting CJ vows

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday urged judges and lawyers to embrace transparency and accountability in the administration of justice in the State with a view to enhancing confidence in the legal system. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); former Chief Judge of the State, Justice Inumidun Akande (2nd left); Acting Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke (left); Bishop of Lagos Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo (2nd right) and Justice Doris Okuwobi (right) during the 2017/2018 Golden Jubilee new Legal Year service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, on Monday, October 9, 2017. Governor Ambode, who spoke at a service held at the Cathedral Church of Christ in Marina to commemorate t...

Agbakoba urges NASS to withdraw NGO Bill

By Bartholomew Madukwe FORMER President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has called on National Assembly to withdraw the Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Bill, saying it is unnecessary. Agbakoba made the call in a letter entitled, “A Bill to Regulate NGOs in Nigeria is Unnecessary,” dated October 3, 2017 addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogora. * Olisa Agbakoba The letter read: “We in the Civil Society Movement note that ‘a Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of the Non-Governmental Organisations Regulatory Commission for the Supervision, Coordination and Monitoring of Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organisations etc. in Nigeria has been laid before par...

Nolle Prosequi. In whose interest?

By Dayo Benson UNDER the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and states’ Attorneys-General are regarded as the number one law officers of the country and their respective states. Specifically, the holder of the office at either level of government is vested with certain powers which can be exercised by him/her or sometimes delegated. Under Section 174 and Section 211 of the Constitution, the AG has the power to initiate, take over or discontinue (by entering nolle prosequi) any criminal proceeding in the overriding public interest. •Adeniji Kazeem, Attorney-General This seemingly awesome constitutional power comes under public scrutiny especially when it is perceived to have been exercised inju...

My stewardship as Chief Judge of FHC —Justice Auta

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri IT was the end of an era at the Federal High Court on September 16, as curtain fell on the judicial career of Justice Ibrahim Auta who vacated his position as Chief Judge having attained the 65 years mandatory retirement age. Justice Auta who hails from Marama village in Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State, took over the leadership of the court in June 2011. Called to Bar in 1977, Auta whose father was a police officer, started his journey in the judiciary as a Magistrate from 1978 to 1980 and rose to the position of Chief Magistrate. He was appointed the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Borno State from 1988 to 1989 and subsequently elevated to the bench as a High Court Judge in 1990. In line with tradition in the judiciary,...

International Day of Peace: Ambode, ex-CJ say mediation aids peace and economic devt

By Abdulwahab Abdulah LAGOS State Governor, Mr Akinwumi Ambode and the former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, have acknowledged the role of citizens’ mediation in the promoting of peaceful co-existence in the State. As Ambode promised to establish more mediation centres across the state, Justice Phillips stated that Citizens Mediation Centre, CMC stands better chance of guaranteeing peace than seeking redress in court. In an event organised to mark this year’s United Nations International Day of Peace in Ikeja by the Citizens’ Mediation Centre, Ambode, represented by the solicitor-general and permanent secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami, said that the centre has over the years recorded successes in conflict resolution on issues...

CWAG boosts lawyers advocacy capacity

By Onozure Dania AS part of efforts to further develop the justice sector  in the country, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Conference of Western Attorneys-General (CWAG) has organised capacity-building training aimed at enhancing oral advocacy of legal practitioners. The three-day training which held in Abuja in conjunction with the African Alliance Partnership (APP) was also targeted at exposing legal practitioners in the country to administration of justice system from other parts of the globe. Lawyers Speaking at the occasion, CWAG Coordinator, Ebelechukwu Enedah, stated that the training which was basically a forum for the cross fertilization of ideas among legal practitioners from different parts of the world, would impact positively on justice delivery in N...

Essential elements of unitary, federal and confederal governments: Whither Nigeria?

By Odion Ose THE name of this country is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yet, there are some who opine that, in reality, Nigeria operates a unitary system of government rather than a federal system that the name falsely proclaims. In an attempt to propose a model which, in their thinking, represents “true federalism,” the tendency has been to advocate a negation of the notion of a federation in favour of confederation. Whether the system is unitary, federal or confederal depends essentially on the allocation of powers within or amongst the entities comprised in the nation or state. In a unitary system, all powers are vested in and lie with the national government. When General Aguiyi Ironsi by Decree in 1966 scrapped the four regions (Northern, Eastern, Western, Midwe...

Anti-graft war: NJC appoints Justice Salami to head committee on looters’ trial

By Ikechukwu NnochiriABUJA – The National Judicial Council, NJC, on Wednesday, appointed former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami to head the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee, COTRIMCO, recently established by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen. …Justice Salami The legal body took the decision at the end of its 82nd meeting in Abuja. According to a statement that was signed by the Director of Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, the monitoring committee which has 15 members, will operate from the Council Secretariat situated inside the Supreme Court complex. Aside Justice Salami, other members of the committee are Chief Judge, Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice...

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