State Governors Have Shown They Are Not Responsible, Agbakoba Slams NGF

A former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) took a swipe at state governors on Saturday saying they do not respect the Nigerian Constitution and have not shown that they are responsible towards it.

Agbakoba said despite court judgement, the state governors are yet obey court orders in respect of financial autonomy.

“The state governors have paralysed the judiciary and they are looking for more power. They haven’t shown that they are constitutionally responsible because they are not obeying the constitution.

“The governors seem to have retreated and do no more than go to Abuja and collect. We want to see more action on the part of our governors.

“I am happy that Kayode Fayemi my good friend will be on because he is the Chairman of the Governors Forum yet they are not obeying the constitution,” Agbakoba said this during ThePlatform, a programme organised and hosted by the Senior Pastor of Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade.

He added that the country’s problem lies with its leadership, insisting there is nothing wrong with the constitution.

The NBA president believes with the right leadership, Nigeria can soar above its challenges.

“The trouble with Nigeria is not the constitution. The trouble with Nigeria – leadership,” Agbakoba said during The Platform, a programme facilitated and hosted by the Senior Pastor of The Covenant Nation, Poju Oyemade.

While making reference to the United Kingdom, the legal practitioner explained that the place is working well even without a constitution because there is strong leadership.

He said the power of strong leadership played out in the US when governors were able to curb the excesses of President Donald Trump.

“It was strong leadership by the governors that restrained Trump’s undemocratic practices,” he added while charging the governors in Nigeria to do more than relying on the Federal Government.

“So, a lot depends on accountability; on leadership qualities coming out of our governors because, at the end of the day, the federal government is only a small fraction of the Nigerian equation,” Agbakoba said.

Abducted Taraba NBA Vice-Chairman Regains Freedom

 

Abducted Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Taraba State, Zainab Kashimi, has regained her freedom. 

Mrs Kashimi, according to a family source, who preferred to be anonymous, was set free unhurt in the early hours of Sunday without any ransom paid.

READ ALSO: Abducted Seminarian Found Dead In Kaduna

According to the source, she has reunited with her family.

She was kidnapped on Friday evening by gunmen who whisked her away to an unknown destination.

The abduction of Mrs Kashimi brings to two, the number of top lawyers kidnapped and released with Joel Daniel, the former NBA Branch chairman in the state being the first.

NBA Offers Free Services To 1000 IDPs In Borno

NBA Offers Free Service To 1000 IDPs In BornoThe Borno State chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said it has offered free legal services and counselling to 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The State NBA Chairman, Babakura Kaka, stated this on Wednesday at the 2017 Legal Year celebration, during a court session at the Borno State High Court in Maiduguri.

Mr Kaka said that so far the NBA has treated and won 300 cases bordering on IDPs free of charge in courts.

He explained that the project, Legal Protection for IDPs, was designed to provide justice for all and ensure the people get the required justice.

“We are partnering with UNHCR to carry out humanitarian assistance to the IDPs by providing free legal services,” said the chairman.

Collective Duty

In his address, the Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah, urged members of the NBA to reflect on sad events that happened in the state and learn from the lessons.

“An exclusive society that pushes the weak to the extreme margins is always susceptible to hateful demagoguery.

“It is time for rolling up our sleeves, not rolling out drums. It is not over until it is over.

“It cannot be over until the several widowed wives regain their charming smiles.

“It wont be over for anyone until it is over for the thousands of orphaned children.

“Not until they all come to view the society without bitterness, if not with gratitude. It is our collective duty to ensure that.

Oneness Of Humanity

“We must particularly appreciate and extend our gratitude to the international community, state and non-state actors for their assistance in reaching this tipping point and continuing empathy and assistance in our rehabilitation and reconstruction.

“They have rekindled our confidence in oneness of humanity.

“We should be careful not to allow the activities of very few opportunists lead us to expressions that may earn us the tag ‘ingrates’.

“In addition, for us in the legal community, our task is cut out. We must redouble our efforts and ensure that justice is done to all,” Zannah said.

Osun NBA Protests Over Increased Filing Fees, Shuts Down Courts

osun-nbaActivities at the Osun State high courts have been brought to a halt on Tuesday, following a peaceful protest by members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Osun state chapter.

Members of the association were protesting over what they termed as the “unilateral and arbitrary increment in filing fees” by the Osun state government.

With placards placed around the entrance gate, men of the bar declined to work, asking all its members to down their tools until government reverts to the old fees.

Addressing journalists in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, Chairman of the NBA, Oshogbo branch, Ashafa Sanusi, said the government had through the Principal Registrar of the State High Court, Taiwo Jacob, announced increment in filling fees with immediate effect.

Mr Sanusi said to fill a writ of summon, has now been increased to 4,000 to 40,000 Naira, while a divorce petition has also jumped from 3, 000 to 25,000 Naira.

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Inscriptions by NBA protesters

This according to him, was unacceptable to the NBA, hence, they would not allow the new fee regime to be effected.

“We are gathered here to protest against the unilateral and arbitrary increment in the filling fees which the NBA generally is opposing vehemently and we a have instructed our members that no process should be filed ‎based on this arbitrary increment in the filling fee until the government reverse to the normal filling fee.

“The court should not be made as a source of making money, we all know that courts is the last hope of the common man but with this increment in the filling fee, it clearly indicates that court is no longer the last hope of the common man.

“The NBA we all know, is a stakeholder as far as bar and bench is concerned, the NBA was not consulted before the increment in the arbitrary fee and that is why as the mouthpiece of the common ‎man, we are strongly opposing increment because it is not fair, it is unreasonable and not in the interest of the common man.

“The court should not be given access to rich people alone. We believe that the bench cannot be alone without the bar and that is why we are calling on government to quickly reverse its decision otherwise we will continue our strike,” he stressed.

While, the Chief Registrar, Lawrence Arojo, was not available to comment on the development, the Permanent Secretary, Minister Of Justice, Biola Odewemimo, said the government would react later.

Solid Minerals Minister Solicits Synergy Among States

Solid Minerals, Kayode FayemiThe Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has urged state governments to work together to extract minerals to enhance development of the sector.

Dr. Fayemi made the appeal at the 10th annual business law conference of the Nigeria Bar Association on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Giving a speech on ‘Law Reform and Economic Development’, he said such synergy among states would save time, resources, infrastructure and cost of tapping common resources.

The Minister noted that development in the extractive sector would only be successful if the states were turned into economic resource corridors with the realisation that minerals are not defined by boundaries.

He stressed that beyond the major challenge of getting investors to see Nigeria as a mining destination was the need for them to work together.

Dr. Fayemi also believes the approaches will shorten and fast track work, as well as bring tangible results in the short term, in line with the present economic diversification plans of the Federal Government.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, on his part promised that a fund of 750 billion Naira with six per cent interest rate would be unveiled soon.

However, he said that the government might be discouraged from giving cash to farmers.

Court To Hear NBA’s Suit Challenging NDDC Boss Removal On July 5

Court on NDDC boss Bassey Dan Abia removal A Federal High Court in Akwa Ibom State will on July 05 hear a case filed by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), challenging the removal of Bassey Dan Abia as Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The lawyers association is also questioning the replacement of the NDDC boss with Mrs Ibim Semenitari.

Honourable Justice F. Riman presiding over the case had adjourned hearing till July to ensure both parties had enough time to respond to the issues raised.

The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the NBA is asking the court to nullify the removal of Mr Abia as MD of the NDDC and his replacement with Mrs Semenitari by President Mohammadu Buhari.

It further sought the appointment of an indigene of Akwa Ibom State to complete the tenure of the state on the board of the body.

Mr Abia was appointed MD of the NDDC in 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

His appointment was terminated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 before the end of a five-year tenure.

NBA Calls For Synergy Among Anti-Corruption Agencies

nigeria-bar-association-nba-logoThe Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission of the Nigeria Bar Association, Dr Theo Osanakpo, has advised the federal government to ensure a synergy among anti-corruption agencies.

Addressing a news conference at the headquarters of the association in Abuja as part of activities marking the International Anti-Corruption Day, Dr Osanakpo said the effective collaboration of anti-graft agencies will reduce the cases of corruption, which the NBA Anti-Corruption Commission recognizes as endemic in Nigeria.

The NBA Anti-Corruption Commission also advised the National Judicial Council to ensure that corrupt persons are prevented from becoming judicial officers.

 

Nigerian Lawyers Pledge Support For Buhari’s Anti-corruption Fight

NBAThe Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has promised to work with President Muhammadu Buhari to stamp out corruption.

While briefing reporters on Friday, after a meeting of the association held in Abuja, the President of the NBA, Mr Augustine Alegeh, said that the decision was part of the resolutions reached by the bar association at the end of its 55th Annual General Meeting.

According to Mr Alegeh, the issues discussed by the association at the meeting include corruption and the petroleum sub-sector of the economy.

When the NBA conference was declared open on Sunday, President Buhari urged lawyers to use their profession to help ensure justice in Nigeria and the success of the fight against corruption.

Apart from the issues of corruption, the lawyers also pushed for a quick amendment and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and removal of Fuel Subsidy.

The 55th Annual General Conference of the NBA deliberated on several issues including corruption, funding of the judiciary and the petroleum industry.

It is hoped that the resolutions reached would create the desired reforms that were canvassed during the conference.

Governor Wike Swears In Acting Chief Judge In Rivers

WikeRiver State Governor, Nyesome Wike, has sworn in as acting Chief Judge of the state, Justice Daisy Okocha and an acting President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Christiana Nwankwo.

The swearing-in of the judicial officers, Governor Wike’s first task, held in the Council Chamber of the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, South-south Nigeria.

This appointments are coming nearly a year after courts in the state shut down following the controversy that engulfed the judiciary in the state, caused by the legal tussle that ensued between the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the former State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, as to who should be appointed as the Chief Justice.

According to Governor Wike, the newly sworn in acting President of the Customary Court of Appeal is a replacement the suspended President, Justice Peter Agumagu.

Governor Wike while giving his charge took a swipe at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), for allowing the judiciary to be grounded without any fight.

Jonathan, Hero Of 2015 Election – Olisa Agbakoba

Olisa-AgbakobaFormer President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba, believes that President Goodluck Jonathan should be commended for the peaceful conduct of the election.

In a session with the media in Lagos, Agbakoba commended President Jonathan for giving room for free and fair elections and for conceding defeat to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate and new President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

The constitutional lawyer said; “Jonathan allowed the democratic space to open. He allowed multiparty democracy and he allowed free and fair elections.

“He took the shine off Buhari by calling and conceding, even before the final result was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

Similarly, Agbakoba commended the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, for his patience even in the face of outright provocation.

He also praised all Nigerians for their efforts towards the success of the elections, but noted that voting along ethnic lines was not good for Nigeria, urging the electorates to see beyond ethnic differences.

The Senior Advocate also congratulated General Muhammadu Buhari on his victory in the 2015 presidential election and urged him not to discard the recommendations made from the National Conference.

Agbakoba further called for the creation of a new anti-corruption framework and the strengthening of Nigeria’s institutions to tackle the menace.

“We need a new anti-corruption framework because the current one has not worked.

“Let the message be clear that there will be response from government that corruption will be severely punished,” Agbakoba said.

 

Ebola: NBA Educate Members On Personal Hygiene Ahead Of Conference

Ebola NBAThe outbreak of Ebola disease has prompted various organizations to join the campaign to promote the washing of hands and the need to pay attention to personal hygiene.

Ahead of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Conference, the President of the Association, Mr Okay Wali, educated lawyers on the need to ensure that proper hygiene should be  maintained during the conference as delegates prepare to attend the 54th conference of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The leadership of the association gave the advice in view of the outbreak of Ebola virus in the country. He assured members that adequate measures have been put in place to safeguard delegates.

The association has, however, urged the Nigerian Medical Association and the Federal Government to sheath their swords in view of the seriousness of the disease and the need for all hands to be on deck to fight the disease

Elsewhere, the Ministry of Water Resources has also launched the campaign for personal hygiene as a means to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

FG Reaffirms Commitment To Rescue Abducted Girls

Women-protest-Chibok-girls-abductionThe federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to rescue the abducted girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

The Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, at the National Executive Committee meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said the government has resolved to confront the Islamic sect, Boko Haram headlong.

He advised lawyers and other Nigerians to team up with the government to end all acts of terrorism in the country.

The attorney general also reeled out efforts put in place by the government to curb insurgency in the country.

The Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ibrahim Bukar, also advised delegates to arrest the declining standards in the legal profession just as the Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, stressed the need for lawyers to promote the rule of law.

The issues on insecurity dominated discussions as the president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Okey Wali, and Chairman of the FCT chapter, Desmond Yamah, appealed to the government to brace up to its responsibility of guaranteeing the security of lives and property.

The two day National Executive Meeting is expected to among other things provide guidelines for the election of a new National Executive for the Association.