Experts Recommend Post-Traumatic Stress Counselling For Terror Victims

Terror victimsMedical experts have recommended post-traumatic stress counselling for victims of terror attacks in Nigeria.

According to them, apart from giving relief materials to survivors of terror attacks and other disasters, government agencies with such responsibilities should include counselling for effective rehabilitation.

The experts made the recommendations in Abuja at a forum organised by the Aart of Life Foundation on post trauma counselling.

Emotional and psychological trauma were identified by participants at the forum as the most common types of trauma suffered by people.

Referring to the situation in Nigeria’s northeast region, the organiser of the forum and Founder/Chairman Aart of Life Foundation, Mrs Taiwo Taiwo, said that the essence was to create a rallying point for stakeholders and set agenda for effective intervention for traumatized victims.

The keynote speaker, David Ndetei, also drew a relationship between post-traumatic stress and other psychiatric conditions. He also spoke about the need to help terror victims in Nigeria.

Recently, thousands of people have been displaced and traumatized by acts of terrorism and other natural disasters across the country.

The participants were optimistic that the recommendations given at the event, if adopted, would go a long way to reduce the pains being felt by the terror victims in Nigeria.

Lawyers Should Desist From Writing Frivolous Petitions Against Judges -Taiwo Taiwo

The chairman of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Taiwo Taiwo has been speaking about the swearing in of more judges in the courts across the country.

In this episode of Law Weekly with our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, he looks at the likely impact of more judges on the judicial system and condemns the practice of writing frivolous petitions against judges.

Court Stops NBA From Collecting New Practicing Fees

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has stopped the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, from collecting the newly introduced practicing fee for lawyers in the country.

The court ordered the association to revert to the status quo, pending the determination of the substantial suit filed by some lawyers.

The national executive committee of NBA had announced the new rate of practicing fees, payable from 2013 and this generated ripples amongst lawyers, who said it was 250 per cent increment compared to the fees paid in past years.

Plaintiffs in the suit; Mr Seth Amaefule, Miss Amaka Aneke, Mr Celestine Nwankwo, Mr Charles Ola-Oni, and Mrs Tayo Arojo.

They had asked the court to make an order of mandatory injunction, compelling the defendants to continuously collect the fees as it were on January 1, 2012.

The plaintiffs also challenged the upward review in the practicing fees for legal practitioners in the country and averred that with the current fees regime, lawyers with less than five years standing at the bar, were now to pay N10,000, as against the previous fees of N2,000.

Presiding judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, made the order, following an interlocutory application of injunction by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr Tunji Gomez, praying the court to halt the collection of the new fees.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Gomez, who moved the motion for application of the interim order, asked the court to grant the prayer of the plaintiffs and make an order restraining the NBA from collecting or enforcing the new fees regime. The plaintiffs averred in their motion that these fees were rather too exorbitant for some lawyers who cannot afford same.

Mr Gomez also asked the court to stop the defendants from sending text messages to lawyers, persuading them to pay the new practicing fee, until the case was finally determined.

Defendants in the suit are: NBA President, Mr. Okey Wali; General Council of the Bar; the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, chairman NBA Lagos Branch, Taiwo Taiwo and the Chairman, Ikeja NBA, Monday Ubani.

In their response, the defendants urged the court to dismiss the suit as lacking in merit.

They argued that the plaintiff’s suit had no legal basis and was merely aimed at wasting precious judicial time.

The court in a short ruling agreed with the submissions of the plaintiffs’ counsel and granted their prayers, while further hearing was adjourned till May 30, 2013.


Meeting over Lagos doctor’s strike deadlocked

A meeting to address the on-going crisis in the health sector of Lagos state hit a deadlock over the weekend as all the participants failed to reach a compromise.

The meeting which held at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, was between officials of the Lagos state Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and it was mediated by a committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

The meeting which lasted for over six hours, however failed to produce the needed resolution of the crisis which has led to the dismissal of 783 doctors serving under the employ of the Lagos state government for embarking on an ‘illegal’ strike.

In attendance were Mr G.O.K. Ajay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Mr Taiwo Taiwo on the part of NBA, the Lagos state head of service, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris and the Vice-chairman of the Lagos NMA, Dr Emene among others.

The meeting has however been adjourned till Tuesday for further discussions.