Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NBA to hold delegates’ conference in Kaduna despite security threat

THE Nigerian Bar Association at its National Executive Meeting held at Lokoja, Kogi State on Thursday, May 24, 2012, considered many pressing issues confronting the Bar and Nigeria as a nation, including but not limited to the refusal by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall the Justice I. A. Salami from suspension pursuant to the recommendation by the National Judicial Council to so do, (ii) the persistence by state governors in refusing to comply with or obey the provision of Section 121-(3) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides for financial autonomy and independence for the state judiciary as an arm of government and (iii) other matters that arose on the state of the nation: NBA/NEC hereby resolved as shown hereunder:
  • NEC considered the recent National Judicial Council’s recommendation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall Salami to the office of the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria and condemned the refusal of the President so to do on the pretext of pendency of litigation in court.

NBA/NEC considered the decision was made in bad faith as there was pending litigation when the original decision to suspend him was taken. NBA/NEC reiterates its decision reached at the 2011 Annual Conference of the NBA in Port Harcourt calling for the reinstatement of the PCA on the ground that the suspension was done while there was litigation on the correctness or otherwise of the disciplinary action of the National Judicial Council. NBA/NEC viewed the decision as capable of eroding the confidence reposed in the judiciary by Nigerians;
  • NEC took another look at the disturbing image problem of the Judiciary in particular and the justice sector in general with the resultant effect of public odium and ridicule and advised all stakeholders particularly serving Attorneys-General of the Federation, who arrogate to themselves the right of interpreting judicial decisions and legislation in such manner that strictly suits the government of the day regardless of their oath of office, the truth and the lofty standards expected of occupants of such high office, and further advised such functionaries to desist from doing so in view of the incalculable damage such unprofessional conduct is occasioning on the system;
  • The NBA NEC revisited its earlier decision to hold its 2012 Delegates’ Conference in the ancient city of Kaduna amid fears of insecurity expressed by some members and after a thorough debate and consideration of all relevant factors resolved to stand by its original decision to hold the conference there;
  • NBA/NEC acknowledged the improved security measures put in place by relevant authorities to guarantee a hitch free meeting for all participants;
  • NEC also considered with dismay the failure and or refusal of state governments in Nigeria to guarantee the independence of the states’ judiciary by ensuring their financial autonomy and in particular the refusal to implement the provision of section 121-(3) 0f the 1999 Constitution, which provides for financial independence and self-accounting of states judiciary and resolved to call on that tier of government to place the Judicial arm of government on first line charge of revenue allocation as this is one of the surest ways of ensuring total independence of the judiciary;

• NBA/NEC hereby authorises its branches to institute public interest litigation in those jurisdictions and against those states that have failed, refused or omitted to comply with the above constitutional provision.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

49 Year Rent Arrears: Court Ejects Law School From Lagos Property

49 Year Rent Arrears: Court Ejects Law School From Lagos Property

Published on April 17, 2012 by pmnews · No Comments

A Lagos High Court has ordered the Nigerian Law School to vacate the property situated at 213A, Igbosere Road, Lagos Island, Southwest Nigeria over rent arrears.

The property is being used by the school as hostel for law school students and staff. But the rent for the property had not been paid for the past 49 years.

The order of the court was sequel to a suit filed before it by a Lagos businesswoman, Hajia Bashirat Mojisola Dange and Mr. Oluyinka Awolaru for themselves and on behalf of the family of Madam Oyinkan Moyeni.

In an affidavit sworn to by Hajiya Dange, it was stated that she is the grand daughter of Madam Oyinkan who died inter state and the second claimant is the grand child of the said Madam Oyinkan.

She averred that Madam Oyinkan Moyeni owned the property formerly known as 213 Igbosere Road, Lagos Island now 213A Igbosere Road, by virtue of an indenture dated 20 February, 1957.

According to Hajiya Dange, her late mother granted a 75-year lease in favour of Mr. Basil Christos Economibes and Elias Badih Khalife, effective from 1 April, 1957.

On the execution of the lease agreement by the parties and the initial payment of £1,000, the late Madam Oyinkan Moyeni gave possession of the property to the two persons earlier mentioned.

It was also part of the agreement that the two defendants will pay rent in advance every 1 April each year. And it was also part of the agreement that if the rent or any part thereof shall be in arrears for 21 days after lawful demand or shall there be any breach of the covenant by the two defendants, the claimant will re-enter upon the demised land and immediately there upon the term shall absolutely be determined.

The property is being occupied by the Attorney-General of the Federation who is the third defendant in the suit who has not been able to explain how he came into the property.

£1,000 paid was the rent for 1957 till 1962. Since then no further payment has been made.

In breach of the lease agreement, the defendants have failed and refused to insure the property.

As a result of the breach, the defendants were reminded in 1982 and formally asked to pay rent arrears.

They were issued with quit notice and intention to recover the property, also in 1982.

The defendants did not enter any appearance and also failed to file any defence.

The Attorney-General was represented by a lawyer, Mr. I. Ehigbe, who appeared once and since then did not attend court again.

In her ruling, Justice O. O. Femi-Adeniyi said: “I am persuaded by the claimant’s counsel’s submission and upon the facts before this court that the claimants have satisfied the requirement for a grant of an order for re-entry into the premises for breach of the first and second defendants’ covenant to pay rent, and I so hold.

“The defendants shall deliver possession of the said property known as 213A Igbosere Road.”

Council of Legal Education whose application to stay execution was dismissed was given leave of appeal.

—Akin Kuponiyi

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The 2009 Annual General Conference has come and gone with reminiscences. Over the six days of 16th to 21st August 2009, the city of Lagos, particularly the Oceanview Expo Center, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, hosted about 8000 registered participants from the 88 Branches of the NBA, International guests, colleagues from the diaspora, and invited guests.

Remarks from colleagues, press comments and public opinion proved that the 2009 AGC was indeed a huge success and we owe the success of this conference to the Almighty God, the NBA President, National Officers and members of the National Executive Committee, the Lagos State Government, our Donors, CPC, LOC and all our colleagues who contributed in every way to the success of this conference. The opening ceremony and the showcase session proved to be the highlight of the conference with attendance and presentations by Governors of Lagos, Edo, and Kano states. Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney General of the Federation and other Federal Executive Council Ministers, Judges, IBA President, and-many distinguished members of the legal profession. The keynote address was delivered by His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, Governor of Lagos State on the theme, "Under Developed Nations, Failed Economies and the Future of the Legal Profession". The Conference Planning Committee (CPC) appreciates the overwhelming support of the LASG to the NBA in the hosting of this conference in Lagos state and the Governor's acceptance to deliver the keynote address.

Pursuant to the electronic capture of registration data pioneered by the CPC this year, we were able to capture with a near degree of accuracy the number of participants that registered for this conference. The registration records show that a total of 7,297 participants had their data captured electronically and now on NBA database as having registered for this conference. Of this figure however only 6,482 submitted properly completed forms while the rest had incomplete data with names, year of call, branch, etc missing: This figure consists of:
1 - 5years post call - 2,784
6 – l0years post call -1,460
It - 14years post call - 465
15-20yearspostcall - 806
Above 20years - 721
SANs, AGs & Benchers – 90

Judges - 91
Magistrates - 39
Governors/Legislators/political Appointees - 26

However, other indices confirm that actual number of participants hover around the 8000 mark. This is due to several participants who did not submit their forms, but only receipts of payment onsite, or those who held on to their forms as proof of registration to collect conference materials on the 2nd and 3rd days of the conference. Other uncaptured data are for dignitaries and their aides who attended without registration, 300 Legal personnel of the LASG for whom registration fees was waived by CPC in recognition of the support of LASG. In total, it is our estimation that apart from the 7,297 participants whose details were electronically captured, the total number of participants at the conference is in the region of about 8000. This is beside others who attended as exhibitors, service providers, ushers, etc.

Going forward, NEC may need to revisit the means of funding the AGC (particularly the conference registration, fees) so as to make registration fees the primary source of funding the AGC as our participant numbers continue to increase.

All registered participants who pre-booked hotel accommodation through the registration agency had their bookings confirmed at those hotels. Accommodation payments made to the NBA account b-y-' participants were directly remitted to the hotels.

We however noted queries that some hoteliers increased their rates contrary to previously agreed rates as we approached the conference date, while in one instance our reservations were totally cancelled for fresh bookings also by other NBA members at higher rates. While we tried to ensure the concerned hotels reverted to pre-agreed rates and succeeded with some, others justified their position with the fact that the deadline for accommodation payments was 31st July and they had to release unbooked rooms for other users since many NBA members failed/refused to pay ahead, as expected with pre-booked hotel reservations.

While we propose a review of hotel accommodation strategy, we equally encourage our members to ensure reservations are made early and payment is made at the time of their reservations to prevent such variations.

The Nigerian Law School hostel was made available to us at a fee and same was offered to Young Lawyers on first come, first served basis at N3500 per night, at not more than two guests per room. The hostel also provided accommodation for rapporteurs, and ushers.

The conference offered participants a fully robust programme covering public interest issues. Legal practice matters. Business law interests and other specialized sessions provided by the various NBA Sections and Fora. This year's innovation of a showcase session on Electoral reforms was widely acclaimed as a huge success and we look forward to similar initiatives in future.

The Oceanview Expo Center, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos proved to be a well structured and purpose built venue to accommodate the large number of participants at the Lagos 2009 conference. The facility which included 3 large purpose built Marquees to sit a total of 8000 people, overlooking the lagoon, viewing screens, food court, exhibition areas, and evening entertainment area, adequately provided for all conference requirements and conveniences.

We appreciate the cooperation received from the LASG and the management of Eko Hotels and Suites towards preparing this facility for our use.

Transportation and Logistics
The LASG released 50 BRT buses to convey conference delegates between the designated hotels and conference venues throughout the days of the conference. The CPC/LOC Transport/Logistics Sub-Committees coordinated this by designating Bus routes for the movement of the buses. The BRT bus provision contributed in no small way to the logistics of transporting participants to the conference venues. In addition, the efforts of LASTMA, FRSC, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Civil Defence are commendable in ensuring the smooth flow of traffic and overall security during the conference. It was a general opinion that in spite of the huge numbers that converged at the Eko Hotels venue, traffic was very well managed.

Conference Bags
We had ordered 8000 branded conference bags for the 2009 conference which arrived few weeks to the conference. Delay experienced with the clearing of the cargo occasioned a situation in which the bags were only delivered to the NBA secretariat by the clearing agency on Tuesday night, August 18th, during the conference. To prevent a situation where participants will be deprived of conference bags at the point of registration which commenced since Sunday 16th August, the NBA President approved an urgent request for more bags to be sourced locally (though unbranded) and an additional 9000 bags were purchased which eventually became the bags used for the 2009 conference. Presently NBA has in its custody a total of 8000+ bags now warehoused for use for the 2010 Conference dispensing with the need to order fresh bags for the next conference.

Recognizing the sponsorship of LASG of this year's bags and the branding of same, the NBA President has sought and already obtained the approval of the sponsor (LASG) to re-brand the date and re-designate the bags for the AGC 2010.

Social Events
As previously approved by NEC, ticketed Section, Forum and Committee Dinners or Lunches were organized for members, with a good turnout at each event. We observed the welcome party was not well attended as many participants left the venue early due to transportation concerns being the first day of the conference, however having been satisfied with the transport logistics in place, future evening social events witnessed larger turn out, with the climax being the Gala night which was to the credit of the LOC, very well arranged and most eventful.

Class/Set meetings, private receptions, etc also held during the conference and it is proposed for future conferences that perhaps an afternoon be kept free of conference events for such private events/class meetings/home and other hospitality events.

The NBA Friendship Center was also well managed to provide Lunch at subsidized rates to participants to supplement the subsidized lunch at the Food court located at the conference venue. CPC provided free lunch on Monday the 17th of August partly sponsored by Chief Goodie Ibru. The Friendship Center set up by the LOC equally offered evening social entertainment to participants with Lagos, Ikeja and Ikorodu branches hosting a night of entertainment each.

Our expenditure budget estimate presented to NEC for the 2009 AGC was N207,600, 000.00 only. Apart from "conference registration fees, funds were received from various individual, corporate and institutional Sponsors, and Government agencies. In total a sum of N250,619,500.00 was received as conference income, the breakdown of which is as follows:
- Registration/accommodation/dinner fees = N85,998,500.00
- Sponsorship/donor funds = N157,871,000.00
- Exhibition registration = N6,750,000.00
Total expenditure stood at N176,285,774.00.

We are glad to report that as at today no amount is owed on the conference as all service providers, and facility owners have been fully paid, leaving a credit balance of N74,333,726.00 in the Conference account to kick start AGC 2010 Conference planning. Please see attached summary.
The CPC has also submitted its final accounts to the Secretariat and same forwarded to the Auditors for final review. We use this opportunity to express our appreciation to members of the Bar for the donations received and thank you all for your kind support.

CPC/LOC Relations
To avoid the usual conflicts of roles between CPC and LOC particularly with respect to fund raising, guidelines on the relationship, functions and roles of both bodies were set out in which both bodies agreed terms for the operation of LOC fund raising. It was resolved with the LOC that fund raising shall be jointly prosecuted with the CPC. Therefore, in addition to the fund raising initiatives by the CPC, the LOC was requested to submit to CPC the names of their prospective donors, including lawyers and law firms from their respective branches. Letters of request for donations and sponsorship were jointly signed by The NBA President, CPC Chairperson and LOC Chairman and forwarded to all sponsors and donors. This was to avoid the conflicts and embarrassments caused the NBA in the past when different letters from CPC and LOC may be sent to the same prospective sponsor.

It was further resolved with the LOC that the LOC branches shall upon submission of their final accounts, and subject to the approval of NEC, be entitled to 30% of funds raised, after deductions of all conference costs as branch development commission. The CPC proposed this to encourage compliance with the joint fund raising effort, depart from previous conflicting experiences, ensure mutual accountability, encourage branches to bid to host future AGCs, and promote branch development generally.

It was apparent from our operations that there was a dearth of capacity in the NBA Secretariat. Necessary staff and skills were insufficient in required areas of conference planning, logistics training, and support operation services required in organizing Conferences of this size annually. In executing many of the tasks, we realized that many members of staff had limited experience in various important aspects of the organization of our AGC in spite of the annual nature of our conference planning. This lack of capacity within the secretariat accounted for the NBA's usual reliance on external service providers for services which in our opinion the secretariat staff could have effectively handled. It was therefore part of our obligation to use the AGC 2009 to develop capacity within the secretariat to an appreciable level, and hereby make the following recommendations, subject to the approval of NEC.

I. The 3 secretariat staff trained by CPC and assigned to handle the organization of the AGC 2009 exhibitions, which was a huge success, be constituted into an exhibition unit within the NBA secretariat. This in our view dispenses with the use of service providers for exhibitions.

II. There is a need to urgently hire a conference/event manager to head a conference unit within the secretariat and manned by suitably qualified personnel and/or other existing NBA staff previously involved in the AGC planning in-house. This will assist successive CPCs in logistics arrangement, develop in-house capacity, initiate early preparation plans for conferences, etc. We observe that some past AGC reports made similar recommendations which we hope will be accepted by NEC and implemented.

III. After several years of hosting our AGCs, it appears long overdue that. NBA has as part of its policy documents, a conference planning manual to serve as a guide to future CPCs, and the proposed NBA Conference unit. It is unhelpful for continuity of planning an annual conference, for successive CPCs to keep re-inventing the wheel annually.

IV. Planning ahead is critical to confirm conference speakers, venues etc. A situation where AGC planning starts six months to date is not helpful to proper planning, hence such plans should commence immediately upon conclusion of the last conference. It is therefore proposed that the Pre-Conference NEC meeting perhaps considers the choice of the venue of the next conference before the conclusion of any AGC and same announced at the conference AGM.

V. NEC may need to revisit the means of funding the AGC (particularly the conference registration fees) so as to make registration fees the primary source of funding the AGC. Our participant numbers continue to increase, while donor funds are not as available as before due to the economic challenges. It is better to plan based on participant funds with donor funds being a secondary source of funding.

VI. We encourage our members to always ensure hotel reservations are made early and payment is "made at the time of their reservations to prevent experienced price variations and cancellations by hotel managers.

While we appreciate the immense contributions of all members of the Bar to the success of the 2009 AGC, we recognize there were some challenges and possible omissions experienced in executing our plans for the conference, which arc associated with a conference of this size, and apologize for any inconvenience occasioned by same. We however believe that with the structure being put in place by the CPC this year, future NBA Annual General Conferences should be even better.

The NBA secretariat already sent out invitation for bids to all branches inviting bids to host the 2010 AGC. We await receipt of expression of interest from interested branches latest by the 20th of December 2009.

Thank you.

Chairperson, Conference Planning Committee

Secretary, Conference Planning Committee

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The Section of Legal Practice held its 3rd Annual Conference at the Hamdala Hotel, Kaduna from 3rd to 6th November 2009 with the theme 'Legal practice: Changing times, changing strategies'. The conference was attended by over 450 delegates from nearly all the states from the Federation. Delegates at the various session discussed (1) the need to enhance the status of judicial officers at the lower Bench to ensure the integrity of the judicial system. (2) The need to adopt new billing strategy by lawyers to avoid breaching the Rules of Professional Ethics, (3) The seemingly criminality of the financial transaction which may have an adverse effect on the Country’s economy. (4) The need for lawyers to be conversant with the Rules of Professional Conduct and comply with same, (5) Discuss the relationship between senior and junior lawyers in the way Law Firms and Chambers are established and run and; finally discussed the use of land as means of creating wealth in the Country. At the end of the three-day conference, the Section resolved as follows-

1. That the Section deprecates the attitude of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and security agencies which have turned themselves into debt recovery agents and emphasized that financial transactions between banks and their customers are contractual which cannot be criminalised by mere imputation of the regulatory agencies.

2. The Section also calls on the Federal Government to take appropriate steps that will address the inadequacies and lapses in the current regulatory regime and introduce legislations that will forestall further crisis in the Banking industry

3. The Section frowns at imposition of stringent conditions for Bail to accused persons on offences that are ordinarily bailable and recommends to judicial officers to follow laid down precedents that recognises bail as a right.

4. The Section encourages Government at all levels to put in place measures that will enhance proper and systematic registration of landed properties and eliminates the bottleneck that hinders proper capital flow.

5. The Section condemns inadequate remuneration of judicial officers by some states, especially at the magistracy level, and recommends that state governments should ensure adequate welfare for their magistrates as incentives for delivery of service.

6. The Section calls on the various governments to, as a matter national Responsibility, look into the demands of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria with a view to halting the ongoing strike which has paralysed activities at all the Courts in the Country.

7. The Section tasks members of the Legal Profession to continuously update their knowledge through continuous Legal education and other activities capable of expanding the frontiers of their skills in order to remain competitive in this era of fledgling globalised economy.

8. The Section observes that with the changing times and globalisation, lawyers should adopt such principles of charging that will enhance the good of the profession, access to justice and maintenance of justice.

9. The Section emphasizes the importance of adherence by lawyers to the Rules of Professional Ethics while stressing that the future of the profession rests on unqualified observance of these rules.

10. The Section observes that the present regime of remuneration of the juniors is undignified and a denigration of the public perception of the status of a Legal Practitioner and recommends that the senior members should pay the junior ones wages that takes cognisance of the present economic

11. The Section tasks the senior members of the profession to embrace the culture of mentoring the junior ones in order to instil in them enduring virtues as worthy legacy for the profession.

12. The Section states that partnership may assist successful practice in this era of specialisation and global approach to the practice of Law.

13. The Section acknowledges the fact that the 2007 Rules of Professional Ethics as seen currently is inadequate, it however noted that the rules were enacted after 12 years of its being drafted and therefore needs to be updated and recommended that the copies of the rules be distributed to all branches for transmission to members.

14. The Section advocates mutuality of respect between the Bar and the Bench and advises both not to employ indecent language which undermines the sanctity of the Court and exposes the profession to public odium and ridicule.

15. The Section expresses its gratitude to His Excellency Arc, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, for his support in making the conference a success and also expresses its thanks to the Governors of Rivers, Osun and Delta States, who are ably represented by their Deputies, for their collaboration and participation in all the activities at the conference.

Friday, November 6, 2009


L.L.B (Hons.) B.L.
Solicitor & Advocates of the Supreme Court of Nigeria

Tel: 08037121762, 07028058008

Office Address:
201, Ojo Igbede Road
Ajangbadi Ojo
Lagos State

13th October, 2009

Adesina Ogunlana Esq.
Squib Magazine
197A Ikorodu Road,
Palm-grove, Lagos.

Dear Sir,



That I bought your Squib Magazine on Tuesday 13th October, 2009 and on the front-page was my picture with the Question, When Can Lawyers dress Shabbily? At page four (4) of the Magazine at line 11, you made this statement, “looking frankly humble in his dirty habiliments.”

You also wrote, Akinlaja, a habitually dirty dresser had an excuse “I left home very early, around 6:00am and did not notice that my Suit was dirty.” Of course that a story best told to the Marines.”

That in the story proper at page 8 at line 14 to 21, you wrote and I quote “Mr. Olusesan Akinlaja (1991) cut such an extremely shabby appearance, that he could easily be mistaken for a tramp about loud or an academic who had just embarked on a journey of innocuous insanity.”

That describing me further at Page 22, you wrote “Akinlaja shoes were a pair of Tennis footwear, of course had no socks on. His trousers a blue khaki jeans shared no affinity with his jacket and was dirty. But the light blue stripped jacket, Akinlaja had on was even dirtier, grimer actually is the word; his shirt lost its whiteness may be as way back in time as 2007 and his bib, wrinkled and browned as it were, would serve as fair camouflage for an aparo (patridge).”

At page 43, you wrote further “To complete the story of his shabbiness, Akinlaja presented an unshaven cheeks and chin which sprouted short white hairs” At page 48, you wrote as follows:
Indeed Akinlaja was an unsightly figure on the said day. “Yet this was a legal practitioner who on the sheer terrible sight he presented on that day, properly deserved a suspension from the profession except it be proven that he was suffering from insanity.

That I have read through your Magazine and being a graduate of English Language, it is to be taken that you understood all the words deliberately used by you in that Magazine.

That I am using this medium to demand an apology from you to be published in three subsequent editions of Squib Magazine and a sum of Two Million Naira as General Damages from you for the exceptional embarrassment you caused me, my Chambers and all persons who are related to me either professionally or otherwise; knowing fully that I am also an Author.

That you have only 7 days to make amend after which I shall sue you in the High Court of Lagos State for Libel. That I know you to be a fighter and shall be glad to cross word(sic) with you legally.


Yours sincerely,

Julius Akinlaja Esq.




Office of the Hon. Chief Judge
High Court of Lagos State,

2nd October 2009

Ref. No. CJL/JUD/006/VOL.VII/13


All Magistrates
Lagos State Judiciary



1. The following postings are hereby published for general information and due compliance.

2. All Magistrates are to compile a list of part-heard matters in their Courts and forward same to DCR (Legal) High Court, Ikeja for necessary action.

3. The Magistrates who are yet to go on their Year 2009 annual leave are to liaise with the DCR (Admin.), Ikeja so as to arrange for the persons that would relieve them.

4. This posting takes effect 7 (seven) days after the receipt and acknowledgment on record of this Circular by Magistrates to enable proper compliance with the directive in paragraph 2 above.