The Nigerian Law School is working on a new project to educate Nigerians and Africans about Nigerian Law through Drama.
The project, which is an initiative of the Lagos branch of the School, has been tagged “Eko Law”.
It is an offshoot of the legal clinic which the school introduced a few years ago.
Thinking out of the box, the leadership at the Lagos campus of the Nigerian Law School have created a drama series of real legal issues faced by everyday people.
The Deputy-Director General and Head of Campus at Council of Legal Education, Nigerian law School, Lagos Campus, Mrs Toun Adebiyi, told Channels Television, “We want to let people know about their rights though dramatization. The initiative is the first of its kind in Africa and it’s called Eko Law.
“We have the legal stories, we have the students analyse the legal issues in the stories and we get Nollywood actors to act out the stories just like you have in Suits, The Good Wife or Law & Order.”
The Law School curriculum was widened in 2013 to include clinical education. The legal clinics provide pro bono services and also give law students an opportunity to learn first hand some of the issues they will confront in practice.
The Lagos campus of the Law School has also partnered with the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership.
With this partnership, some of the students get to serve in top law firms in the state and offer free legal services to solve some of issues they take on at the law clinics.
The Board of Studies of the Council of Legal Education has directed that henceforth, re-sit candidates are to attend at least eight weeks compulsory revision classes at the Nigerian Law School.
This is in view of the poor performance of re-sit candidates at the August 2014 examinations.
According to the press release signed by the Head, Public Relation of the Nigerian Law School, Mr Chinedu Ukekwe, no re-sit candidate shall be allowed at the bar final examinations until he or she has undergone the stipulated revision classes.
The release also gave a break down of the performance of the Law School candidates for the August bar final exam.
A total number of 5,841 regular candidates took the exam out of which four had a first class honours, while 96 candidates had 2nd class upper division and 620 had 2nd class lower division.
However, a total of 2,610 passed while 501 had conditional pass and 1,932 failed the exam.
The release also indicated that a total of 1,335 re-sit candidates sat for the exam while 88 passed, 26 had a conditional pass and 1,168 failed.
The Law School authorities said that anyone who is not satisfied with the result can call for a review in line with the extant laws of the school.
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, said that it has uncovered a plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to set the stage to reject the results of the 2015 general elections.
Speaking at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisah Metuh, alleged that the APC is using its ongoing party registration as a means to hype and give a false impression of massive public followership.
“We wish to alert Nigerians therefore, to the evidence at our disposal to the effect that APC is sadly and currently using every foul means at its disposal to build a particular membership figure running into tens of millions which it intends to use as a justification to fault, dispute, reject and subsequently take to violence when it loses in 2015.
“It is our strong belief that the APC wishes to announce a figure of 28-29 million registered voters in Nigeria. Subsequently, after the elections when maybe they do not have half of it or 14 or 12 million voters as usual, they will declare the election rigged, illegal.”
He further alleged that “the APC officials and members have been going round the wards and polling units, using INEC polling locations and materials and in most cases lying to people that the exercise is being embarked on by INEC or by the Federal Government.
“Unsuspecting Nigerians who think that it is census or INEC or any Federal Government registered exercise are currently being hoodwinked into registering as members of the APC.
“We reliably gathered also that in states controlled by the APC, especially in the South-West, pupils and students in schools are lured or persuaded to get the passport photographs of their parents and guardians and fill in forms of their names, which are thereafter secretly affixed to the APC membership forms without the knowledge of the innocent students or their unsuspecting parents.”
The party also wondered why the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not taken any action against the APC on the matter.
In the meantime, the APC is not taking the PDP’s allegations lying low.
The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, said “if planning to win an election is a crime, then we will play guilty, but we plan to win and we shall win by the grace of God.”
Speaking with Channels Television, Mr Mohammed said “It was exactly a year ago, February 5, the first meeting of the merger took place, this is the same way they mocked us and said it would never work.
“Everybody was in the glare of all our discussions, through our debates, all our steps. It took almost 6 months for the merger to be approved. We set the building blocks of this party almost immediately and we’ve been fortunate that the implosion in the PDP again helped the party to become a phenomenon.
“Today what we are witnessing is a movement,” he said.
The latest redeployment in the Nigerian Police is a step to reposition the service for a smooth electoral process come 2015.
These were the words of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on Friday in Lagos at the pull-out parade of five senior medical officers.
Mr Abubakar pledged the readiness of the Police to ensure the safety of Nigerians.
“You will see a lot of things, first of all, we are doing training and retraining programme. As I’m talking to you we have a very large number of officers of units of Mobile Policemen in Gaza, Pakistan, Israel and in India for training.
“We have intelligence courses being run in the country and outside the country with the FBI on the assistance of the United States Government and the Embassy of America in Nigeria.
“So, so many things will unfold, since it is something to do with safety and security, it is better left on the chest but you will see them unfolding one after the other.” He said.
Speaking on the redeployment, he said, “You can see that we tried to reposition the force with the posting of 25 Commissioners of Police, 25 Deputy Commissioners of Police and probably about 29 Assistant Commissioners of Police all over the country, and this is just the beginning of it.”
A senior lecturer at the Nigerian Law School, Nelson Ogbuanya has faulted the decision of the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, to schedule the 2015 Presidential Election for the 14th of February which is popularly known as Valentine’s Day.
Speaking on Sunrise, the legal practitioner said elections for the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly should hold first, followed by the governorship elections and finally, the presidential election.
Mr Ogbuanya said fixing elections for a day when people generally want to celebrate love may be opposed by some persons based on their social rights. He also stated that the arrangement is not the best in terms of structure.
“If you want to cure rigging, you must look at the structural aspect,” he said.
Ogbuanya who predicted issues in the arrangement averred that it will overheat the polity. He further explained his position by saying that the governors are very powerful as they influence elections at the grass root levels which goes a long way to determine who emerges president.
He added that elections into the National Assembly and State Houses should be first as they are representatives of the people. Such arrangement, he explained, would be devoid of external influence because the new governor is yet to be determined.
This will also ensure that senators and representatives are elected based on their popularity.
“We don’t want the governors to determine who becomes elected into the Assembly,” he said.
Speaking about the timetable of the election, Ogbuanya said the success of the time table would be determined by INEC’s ability to follow it religiously. “I think the time table is feasible to the extent that it is religiously followed.”
Although he was of the opinion that “INEC ought to have brought the calendar earlier than now” as early release would ensure speedy corrections if need be.
He further called on the electoral umpire to be careful in dealing with pre-election matters because if that aspect is poorly done; it would affect post-election matters, which would cause set-backs.
Commenting on arguments that election disputes be sorted before candidates are sworn into office, Ogbuanya said speedy justice doesn’t guarantee quality. He posited that if election tribunals are rushed, it draws focus to the time and not the quality of the judgment. “It affects true justice,” he added.
On why there are usually several litigations after elections, Ogbuanya said politicians lack the spirit of sportsmanship.
“Nigerians are bad losers,” he said, attributing the struggle for position to selfish interests. He however said that “If you are popular and you are rigged out, you have a case.”
While speaking about violence and intimidation which results in rigging, the legal practitioner called on the government to pay close attention to the smuggling of illegal arms. “Intimidation is a major element of rigging,” he said.
He stressed that the government must curtail the trend of illegal arms as this would discourage voters from participating in the elections out of fear for their lives.
He highlighted a few issues INEC would have to deal with concerning the voters’ register. He said that the problem with the voters’ register is database as there is no way to cross check the status of the electorate. Also those who have newly attained the age of 18 would not be able to vote.