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Gist+: Hushpuppi has not been released – Lawyer speaks

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Gal Pissetzky has revealed that his client Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi has not been released from prison as widely reported.

The reports were former based on an information on the Website of the prison where the Instagram celebrity was held in the US.

Speaking to Media (known to Noble Reporters Media), Pissetzky revealed that Hushpuppi was only transfered to another prison.

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“He has not been released and I am still his lawyer. He is on his way to California. Not everything you see on court documents is accurate.

“Just because the jail record says ‘released’ does not mean he has been released. He is being transferred to California,” he said.

Hushpuppi was arrested in Dubai and extradited to the US on allegation of fraud in the tune of N168 billion


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Cuba has drug to cure pandemic – Falana (SAN) write to FG.


Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has written to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire to seek the help of Cuba as the country has a drug that has so far proven effective in the fight against Coronavirus.

Falana said “We have confirmed that the Cuban drug known as ‘Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2B’ developed by Cuba has so far proven to be the most effective weapon against COVID-19.


“Apart from the Chinese Government which has chosen ‘Interfron Alpha 2B’ as one of the drugs for combating COVID-19, the Italian Government has adopted it and secured the services of Cuban doctors along with Chinese experts in combating the dreaded disease.”

According to Falana, the right wing Brazilian Government which had expelled Cuban doctors two years ago on ideological grounds had been compelled to request for the assistance of Cuban medical team amidst conovarious pandemic.


“Similarly, other Latin American, Caribbean and European countries are reported to have requested the Cuban drug and also help from Cuban medical professionals to fight the COVID-19 scourge,” he said.

“In view of the foregoing, we call on you to use your good offices to confirm the efficacy of the Interfron Alpha 2B’ and recommend same for the treatment of COVID 19.

“Having regards to the selfless role of the Cuban medical professionals in eradicating the Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2017 we call without any further delay. The health of humanity should not be sacrificed on the alter of ideological disputation,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

12 SANs move Sanusi’s battle for freedom

…Ex-Kano Emir sues IG, DSS boss, fights to leave detention

…Soyinka hits Ganduje

…Nasarawa gov, emirs, security chiefs meet deposed monarch


The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, on Thursday instituted a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order for his release from the post-dethronement detention and confinement.

NobleReporters learnt early on Friday that former Emir’s preliminary ex parte application seeking an interim order for his release had been assigned to Justice Anwuli Chikere.

Barring any last-minute development, the judge will hear the ex parte application on Friday, our correspondent learnt.

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Monday deposed Sanusi because of what the state government called “total disrespect to lawful instructions from the office of the state government.”

On Monday, the dethroned monarch was banished to Loko, a remote location in Nasarawa State. On Tuesday, he was relocated to Awe, where he is currently being detained in a guest house.

But Sanusi’s team of lawyers led by Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on Thursday filed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020 before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge his banishment and continued detention in Awe by security agencies.

The respondents to the application are, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; the Attorney-General of Kano State, Ibrahim Muktar, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).

In the application, which is a prelude to the main suit, the deposed monarch specifically prayed for an interim order for the restoration of his rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association, and movement around Nigeria, apart from Kano State, pending the hearing and determination of his main suit.

“An interim order of this honourable court releasing the applicant from the detention and or confinement of the respondents and restoring the applicant’s rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, (apart from Kano State) pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s originating summons,” the prayer read in part.

Alleging a breach of their client’s rights provided under sections 34,35, 40, 41 and 46 of the Nigerian Constitution, Sanusi’s legal team comprising 12 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, contended, “the applicant’s fundamental right to life, human dignity, personal liberty and movement are seriously under challenge and continually being breached by the respondents.”

The battery of SANs comprises, Fagbemi; Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi; a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmoud; Adeniyi Akintola, the incumbent NBA President, Paul Usoro; Ifedayo Adedipe, Dr. Garba Tetengi, Suraj Sa’eda, Funke Aboyade, Nesser Dangiri, Ernest Ojukwu, and H.O. Afolabi.

In addition to the interim order, the lawyers sought an order granting leave to the applicant to serve the order to be issued by the court and the main suit on the four respondents through substituted means.

He prayed for an order permitting him to deliver the processes meant for the IGP to any officer in his office at the police headquarters at Louis Edet House, Garki, Abuja, the ones for the DG DSS to any officer at the DSS headquarters at Aso Drive in Abuja, the ones for the AG of Kano State to any officer at state’s Ministry of Justice, Audu Bako Secretariat, Kano, and the ones for the AGF to any officer at the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja.

His grounds for the application are, “The applicant’s originating motion and all other processes were filed on March 12, 2020.

“Considering the status of the respondents, it would be difficult to effect personal service on the first second and third respondents (IGP, DG of DSS), unless this application is granted.

“First, second and third respondents will have knowledge of the originating motion for the enforcement of the applicant’s fundamental right, if they are served by substituted means as stated on the motion paper.

“There is an urgent need to grant this application so that service can be promptly effected on the first, second and third respondents.

“Applicant’s fundamental rights to life, human dignity, personal liberty and movement are seriously under challenge and continually being breached by the respondents.”

Nasarawa Gov, Emirs visit Sanusi in Awe

There were reports earlier on Thursday that the deposed monarch had left Awe for Lagos. But an aide of Sanusi and one of his lawyers, who confided in The PUNCH, said the deposed monarch was still in Awe.

One of our correspondents reported that the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule and some traditional rulers in the state met with Sanusi on Thursday evening in Awe.

The governor, who arrived at 5pm with the Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Dauda Bage, met with the former Kano monarch.

Our correspondent gathered that the governor alongside Bage and the Emir of Awe, Alhaji Isa Umar II, spent about one hour with Sanusi. The visitors were said to have left Sanusi’s residence by 6:15 pm. An aide to the governor confirmed the visit to the media

Some of the security chiefs in the governor’s convoy were the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Bola Longe; representatives of 177 Guard Battalion from Shittu Alao Barracks, Keffi; the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

Some family members of deposed monarch also visited him.

There were reports earlier on Thursday that the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, would visit the deposed monarch in Awe after a meeting of the power sector reform committee in Abuja.

But an aide to the governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said El-Rufai did not go to Awe again. “He did not go there because the meeting (power sector reform committee meeting) did not end on time.”

UNIZIK defers award for dethroned Sanusi

In a related development, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, on Thursday deferred the award of a doctorate earlier approved for the deposed Emir of Kano.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Charles Esimone, announced the deferment of the award during the 14th convocation ceremony of the university. Esimone said the deferment was due to prevailing circumstances in the country.

Soyinka hits Ganduje, says Sanusi a reformer

Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, on Thursday berated Ganduje, saying he lacked friends who could have prevailed on him to save himself before dethroning and banishing Sanusi.

The playwright stated this in a statement titled, “For whom the gates open wide’ following Monday’s dethronement of Sanusi and his banishment to Nasarawa State by the state government.

The Nobel laureate described Sanusi as one of the greatest reformers of the feudal order.

Soyinka recalled a similar scenario which he said nearly played out in his home state, Ogun, some years ago, when a governor wanted to dethrone and banish a monarch before his (the governor’s) friends keenly appealed to him to reconsider the action.

He said, “His office was invaded by some of the panicked chiefs and stalwarts of Ogun State who rushed to ward off the impending order. One of them stopped at my home after the pacification session to narrate what had transpired, and how some of them had actually gone on their knees to plead with that governor to stay action.

“I was furious. I knew every detail of that affair, had listened to a recording of the speech that was supposed to have given this mighty offence. It was pure piffle.

“Why did you people plead with him? Don’t you realise you were making him feel a god? You should have let him carry on, then we would see what a cataclysm he had launched on the state!’

“The man, an independent businessman of absolute integrity, and one of that governor’s intimate circle, smiled and said, “No, we couldn’t do that. We are his friends. We were pleading with him to save him from himself.”

“What a pity Ganduje lacked friends who could have saved him from himself! Insofar as one can acknowledge certain valued elements in traditional institutions, the man he thinks he has humiliated has demonstrated that he is one of the greatest reformers even of the feudal order.’’

The social critic further said these were depressing times–stemming from different factors of course–for a large sector of the nation.

“Insecurity, economy in a coma, a leadership in name only, having vanished into ether, permanently AWOL in a time of serial crisis. No wonder mimic and debased forms of leadership assertiveness rush in to fill the vacuum! The latest in the stakes of such power appropriation makes one wonder which is the more reactionary order: the so-called feudal institution, or the self-vaunting modernised governance whose apex can bring the feudal to heel quite arbitrarily, without check and without seeming consequence. To rub pepper in the wound, the protagonist of that “progressive” order enjoys near-absolute immunity, thus, even when it has disgraced its status and violated its oath of office, caught literally with its pants down in open defecation, it can still pretend to act in the interest of progress, modernity and public well being. Such are the ironies raised by the purported dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, with one stroke of a pen!,’’ he said.

Describing Sanusi as a one-man EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) sanitisations squad in the banking system taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution, Soyinka stated that he trod on the interests of powerful beneficiaries of a worm-infested sector and, in the process, created permanent enemies.

He added that Sanusi sounded much aware of the impending fall of the axe of vengefulness and power primitivism when they spoke via phone in London during his visit.

He stated that though uncertain, he had a feeling that the palace gates of the Kano emirate were not yet definitively slammed against Sanusi.

Soyinka said, “It is just a feeling. Closed and bared, or merely shut however, the doors of enlightened society remains wide open to Muhammadu Sanusi. As for his current crowing nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.”


#Newsworthy…

Shehu Sani visit Abuja court again to support Sowore.


A former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, has arrived the Federal High Court, Abuja, in solidarity with rights activist and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, who is standing trial for treason.

Sani walked into the courtroom shortly after the commencement of proceedings for the day.

During the trial in February, Sani together with Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and Prof Chidi Odinkalu all made appearances to support Sowore.


#Newsworthy…

Court adjourns sowore’s case to April 1 since no witness show up.


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has adjourned the trial of rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare until April 1, 2020.

Ojukwu, who was angry at the way the prosecution was delaying the trial, adjourned the case at the instance of the objection raised by lead defence counsel, Femi Falana, when the first prosecution witness, Rasheed Olawale, was giving evidence out of the summary statement.


Falana urged the court to limit and restrict the witness to the summary of the statement that was made available to them by the prosecution.

He argued that the evidence being given by the witness was mischievous and alien to section 36 of the constitution that guarantees fair hearing.


In his own submission, prosecution counsel, A.A Aliyu, asked the court to dismiss Falana’s objection on the grounds that the evidence given by the witness would not amount to miscarriage of justice as painted by the defence.

The trial judge therefore asked the prosecution to reproduce the witness statement in details to accommodate whatever evidence the witness want to give whenever it was called upon.

The judge said, “Serve them these evidence, I don’t know what is difficult in that. Serve them all the evidence you want to rely on.

“That should not be difficult and that is the provision of the law.”


#Newsworthy…

Senate decries $4m ECA paid to lawyer.


The Senate on Tuesday asked the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, to supply details of the lawyer who was paid $4m from the already depleted excess crude account.

The accountant general was in the red chamber to explain the Federal Government’s achievements so far on the revenue projection for 2020. He was also expected to give reasons for the depletion in the ECA.

Idris said the country currently had $71.8m in the ECA from $2.2bn which the administration of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), inherited from the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015.

The money in the ECA, according to Idris, rose to $2.6bn in 2016 and reduced to $2.4bn in 2017.

He added that the money was further depleted in 2018 to $631.4m; $324.9m in 2019 and reduced drastically to $71.8m.

He said the sum of $254m was paid out this year from the $324.96m balance carried over from 2019.

He explained that $250m was invested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority while a lawyer got $4m.

Idris, however, drew the anger of the Senate Committee on Finance led by the Chairman, Solomon Adeola, when he failed to supply details of the lawyer who was paid $4m as professional fee.

Adeola directed Idris to furnish the panel with details of the beneficiary and what he did to qualify for the amount.

The accountant general pledged to supply details of the information demanded to the committee before the end of the week.

According to Idris, the ECA is an escrow account set up by the Federal Government and into which the difference between the benchmark price of crude and the actual sale price thereof in the world market is paid.

He said, “The money in this account is used to serve as buffer in the event of fluctuation in oil price or reduction in supply to the international market.

“The inflows into the ECA have been fluctuating due to the positive and negative variances in the price of crude.

“The transfer into the account has witnessed downward trend in view of the low oil prices, particularly from year 2015 to date. The balance in the ECA as of 2nd March, 2020 is $71, 813,941.84,” he added.

Idris said the country had realised N10tn so far this year for the three tiers of government, even as he said personnel cost had gulped N493bn; consolidated pension, N59.77bn; overhead, N46.65 and capital supplementation, N20.76bn.

He, however, said no money had been released so far this year to fund capital projects.

When the committee probed further, he said N340bn would be released before the end of the first quarter as capital expenditure.

Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has raised the alarm over the dwindling oil revenues in recent days.

He, therefore, asked four of its standing committees to immediately start discussing with relevant government agencies and experts on economy with a view to addressing the negative effects of the dwindling oil revenues.

The country had pegged its oil benchmark at $57 per barrel but the outbreak of the coronavirus has led to the crash of crude oil price to $35.

Lawan directed the committees on Finance, National Planning, Appropriation and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to start working out the solutions to the economic issue.

The committees, he said, were expected to meet with relevant Federal Government’s agencies and experts to find out what government could do to get out of the looming crisis.

He said, “The purpose is to ensure that we are able to control the situation, because if the crude price is $31, that is almost $26 off what we budgeted.

“That is so significant and it can affect the implementation of the budget. While we pray for the best, we should also prepare for the worst.”


#Newsworthy…

Harvey Weinstein lawyers plead 5 years prison term amid 29 years rape sentencing.


Disgraced Hollywood Producer, Harvey Weinstein has asked a New York Jury for a five-year sentence as he faces 29 years behind bars, ahead of his rape conviction sentencing on Wednesday.

The TV producer/film maker was last month convicted on two out of five counts – criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree and faces almost 29 years behind bars.

The jury convicted the 67-year-old after he went on trial in early January over charges of rape and sexual assault.


Harvey Weinstein seeks mercy ahead of rape sentencing as his lawyers ask for 5-year prison term

Weinstein was ordered to go to the notorious Rikers Island jail, and ahead of his conviction on Wednesday, his legal team are now pleading for mercy, as they want the jury to give him a 5 year jail term arguing he is already suffering from a ‘historic fall from grace’ and serious health issues.


Now, according to NobleReporters sourcing, they cited his charitable contributions, while also claiming the harsh public backlash should be taken into account when pronouncing a judgement.

‘Mr. Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,’ the attorneys wrote.


‘Deserved or not, this is certainly a unique and extremely severe consequence that Mr. Weinstein had to endure, and in the age of social media and given his fame, virtually unrivaled when compared to any other defendant in the state of New York if not nationally.’

‘The grave reality is that Mr Weinstein may not even outlive that term’ making it ‘a de facto life sentence,’ according to the reports.
“His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles, are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of the jury’s verdict,”

The move by the defense team comes after the prosecutor Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, on Friday filed her own 11-page memorandum, in which she documented 36 additional uncharged allegations against Weinstein ranging from sexual assault to workplace harassment and bullying, urging the jury not to reduce his sentence.

“These acts, viewed in the totality, establish that throughout his entire adult professional life, defendant has displayed a staggering lack of empathy, treating others with disdain and inhumanity,” Illuzzi wrote.


#Newsworthy ..

Emir sanusi’s lawyers make threats on legal actions amidst sanusi’s dethronement.


Lawyers of the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi (II), have threatened to take legal action if the state authorities don’t release him within the next 24 hours.

The lawyers said this while briefing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja while the emir was being moved from Loko Development Area of Nasarawa State to Awe Local Government Area.


This comes barely 24 hours after the Kano State Government removed Sanusi as Emir of Kano.

The Secretary to the State Government, Usman Alhaji, made the announcement during the State Executive Council meeting which held at the Government House in Kano.


Alhaji explained that the state government took the decision to remove the traditional ruler over allegations of consistently refusing to abide by instructions given to him.

According to him, the removal was in line with the recommendation of the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission which had summoned the emir.

The commission had asked the traditional ruler to respond to a petition accusing him of selling lands belonging to the Kano Emirate to the tune of N2 billion.

But in documents obtained by Channels Television and signed by the chairman of the commission, Sanusi was accused of obstructing the investigation of the commission by securing a restriction order from a court.


#Newsworthy. ..

Emir sanusi’s layoff, reversible by law – Senior lawyer, Mahmoud.


The removal of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of Kano is reversible in the court of law, says one of his senior lawyers, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN).

Sanusi was unanimously dethroned on Monday by the Kano State Government led by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who immediately announced a replacement for the former governor of Central Bank.

But Sanusi’s lawyer said on Monday evening that the removal was not surprising though most embarrassing given that Sanusi was not given any fair hearing just as due process was not observed in the matter.

Mahmoud, who spoke on Channels Television monitored by newsmen, said though Sanusi was yet to make a decision whether to challenge his removal in court or not but had he decided to seek redress, the decision of the Kano State government would be reversed.

He said, “He has been in various legal tussles with the state government over the last two to three years. So, this did not come to us as a surprise. We were so much embarrassed at the manner in which it was done without giving him any fair hearing or observing any due process.

“However, the government has announced its decision dethroning him and he was this evening (Monday evening) taken into custody and flown to Abuja.

“We are going to be in touch with him to discuss which line of action to take as his lawyers. And we as lawyers, of course, we believe that this action was illegal and unconstitutional. And more so, the aspect of banishment, under the constitution, nobody can be deprived of his liberty under the manner he has been deprived of his. Nevertheless, we will be in touch with him and hopefully, come up with the next line of action in due course.

“The next line of action would depend on the instruction from the Emir. There are two aspects to it – the dethronement and the banishment. We will be consulting with him.

“I had a meeting with him before he was taken to custody and at that point, he has not taken a decision on whether he is going to pursue this matter in court or not.

“Of course, we will give him time to come up with a decision on his dethronement. But as far as his liberty is concerned, we are very firmly clear that this is an illegal act and we will be considering what line of action to take hopefully by tomorrow (Tuesday) when I speak with him.”

When asked of the possibility of a reversal, Mahmoud said he and his team were confident that the court would reverse the decision of the Kano State Government should Sanusi decide to challenge the action.

“An action that is illegal can be reversed by the court of law and that is why we have the written constitution and courts in place. Under the constitution of the country, whenever the executive branch of government takes an action that is unconstitutional or illegal, the courts are there for all citizens to seek redress.

“We are confident given the fact of this case that if the Emir was to challenge the action, it would be reversed because the action, in our view, is repressing and illegal,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

Money laundering: Atiku’s lawyer re-arraigned.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday re-arraigned Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, for allegedly laundering $2m during the 2019 general elections.


Atiku contested in the elections against Nigerian Ruler, Muhammadu Buhari, but he lost.

In the three counts filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, the EFCC accused Atiku’s lawyer and his younger brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, of conspiring to make a cash payment of $2m without going through a financial institution during the electioneering.


The anti-graft agency said the transaction violated the provisions of Sections 18(a) and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, adding that the defendants were liable to be punished under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

But the Giwa-Osagie brothers pleaded not guilty before Justice C.J. Aneke.


They had earlier been arraigned August last year before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the same court.

Their re-arraignment on Friday followed the transfer of the case file from Justice Oweibo to Justice Aneke.

Following an application by their lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), Justice Aneke permitted them to continue on the bail earlier granted them by Justice Oweibo.

The judge later adjourned till Monday, March 9, to rule on Atiku’s lawyer’s application seeking permission to travel to London for a medical appointment.


#Newsworthy. …

Abuja Lawyer Says His Colleague Lied About Over 4000 Couples Applied For Divorce


Abuja-based lawyer, Firsts Baba Isa has debunked claims by his learned colleague that 4000 divorce applications have already been filed in 2020 in Abuja

Recall that a lawyer, Annebrefa, made the claim on Twitter last Friday, adding that some of the marriages involved were just a year old.


However, Barr. Firsts Baba Isa described the claim as a “lie from the pit of hell” adding that the total number of all cases including divorce filed at the FCT High Court since the beginning of 2020 is not even up to 2000.


Read Isa’s post below:

This is a lie!
Immediately I saw this tweet, I knew it was a big fat lie. But I still called the appropriate authorities to confirm, it is a lie from the pit of hell.
I don’t know why anyone will put up such a lie out there. But if the purpose is to get people to bash marriage and lose faith in the institution, I think they have succeeded, a lot; see how a massive lie has gone viral. Even those who should know better have been broadcasting this falsehood.
I’m a core litigation lawyer. Family law is one of my practice areas and I handle quite a number of divorce, custody, adoption, maintenance, etc cases. I’m based in Abuja. Bottomline? I know what I’m talking about.
The total number of cases (all cases o, not just divorce) filed at the FCT High Court since the beginning of 2020 is not even up to 2000, yet. So where did she get her figures from? And note that the High Court is the Court that has jurisdiction to entertain divorce proceedings for marriages contracted under the Act (Court Marriage).
Though other inferior courts like the Customary Court have jurisdiction to entertain divorce proceedings for marriages contracted traditionally, but only a negligible number go there for divorce proceedings. So where did she get her 4000 figure?
How many couples dey this our Abuja sef?
Another crazy angle of this lie is that some of these marriages are less than a year old. In law, you can’t bring a divorce proceeding to dissolve a marriage that is less than 2 years old, unless you satisfy some stringent conditions to get the permission of the court.
And less-than-a-year-old marriages have satisfied these conditions and gotten the permission of court to commence divorcé proceedings in two months? Mtcheew.
Na wa o.
Now that it has been proven that Aunty Madam was lying, oya, make una follow share this post o.
– By Firsts Baba Isa (FBI)


#Newsworthy…

Falana: FG fails to account for $4bn Abacha loot


Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has accused the Nigerian Government of failing to account for the $4bn recovered from late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Falana also said that since 1999, the government had recovered about $4bn of public funds stolen by Abacha but that Nigerians were not aware of how the fund was expended by the government.


Falana, who spoke at the Anti-Corruption Situation Room conference organised by Human and Environmental Development Agenda, which focused on reviewing efforts of state and non-state actors in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Falana said it was lack of accountability by the Nigerian Government that prompted the cautionary insult of a United States Department of State official, who mocked Nigerian leaders, asking them to ensure accountability in the disbursement of the latest over $308m warehoused in the Island of Jersey but recently released to Nigeria.


“About $4bn recovered Abacha loot is yet to be accounted for.

“One young state house official told Buhari government officials that the money must not be stolen.


“It is the most successful recovery of stolen public funds in the world. We have not been able to account for the money,” Falana said, lamenting that a former President said he recovered $2bn in eight years but when he was asked to account for the funds after a court order, he said the “judge was foolish”.

Falana said Nigerians had been battling public officials to make open the assets declared, noting that declaration was from the Latin word declare, which means to ‘declare open’.

He said the Code of Conduct Bureau should be told the secrets surrounding asset declaration in Nigeria is illegal.

An official of Transparency International, Mr Anwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the TI report is not about corruption by the Nigerian Government but rather focuses on perception and the corruption trends in the country.


#Newsworthy…

Falana (SAN): Buhari is breaking the law


Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari is running afoul of the law in his decision not to terminate the current crop of security Service Chiefs.

Mr Falana, who appeared on Sunrise Daily, argued that the laws regulating military officers require the retirement of military officers who have served for 35 years or have reached the age of 60.


He added that a lawsuit would be filed this week in respect of the matter.

In an interview that lasted more than 20 minutes, Mr Falana also said President Buhari “must be prevailed upon” to acknowledge the possibility of “internal sabotage” within the military in the war against insurgency.


Responding to statements from the Presidency cautioning against public protests against the government, Mr Falana said such comments should be “embarrassing” to the President who, before he took the country’s reins, had led public demonstrations.

What Falana Actually Said
“Under the public service rule, under the harmonised rules for military officers in Nigeria and under Section 6 of the armed forces act, which empowers the President to make rules and regulations for the military, there is no provision for extension of tenure (for Service Chiefs) beyond the period stipulated by law. It has been done in the past, but that does not make it right. There is equality before the law, so you can’t extend the service of certain officers while you ask others to go after 35 years of service or the attainment of 60 years of age.


“To the best of my knowledge, a suit will be filed during the week, in respect of this matter.

“The President must be prevailed upon to appreciate that we may also be undergoing what you might describe as internal sabotage (in the fight against insurgency) by many members of the armed forces who simply feel since these are the people who can stop insurgency or terrorism, let them go ahead. Because the Chief of Army Staff himself has had an occasion to accuse members of the armed forces of not doing enough.


“The Service Chiefs are retiring officers who have served for 35 years or have reached the age of 60 – it is their fault not to appeal to the President for them to go or to resign.

On Caution Against Public Protests
“Is the Nigerian state telling us that a protest by 2,000 people cannot be managed? What on earth is going on? We have to recognise the right of Nigerians to protest for or against the government. And just last week in Abuja sponsored agents of the government staged a protest asking the government to expel Amnesty International from Nigeria. Even against me, the government had sponsored some elements to demonstrate in Abuja. I have evidence. If the government can mobilise support and get its agents to demonstrate in favour of its own policies; Nigerians must also be given the opportunity to demonstrate against policies of the government considered inimical to their interest.


“I want to believe that some of these statements oozing out of the Presidency are meant to embarrass the government, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari. Because the case of ANPP and Inspector General of Police decided by the Court of Appeal in December 2007 on the rights of Nigerians to demonstrate without police permit, without the fiat of the government, was handled for the former leaders of the ANPP, who are now in the APC, by my humble self, from the High Court to the Court of Appeal; and that is the law today.

“Following that judgement, the National Assembly in 2015 amended the Public Order Act by imposing a duty on the police to provide security for Nigerians who wish to demonstrate. That is the law today.

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana

“Whenever I have had cause to lead a demonstration or participate in one, we have always written to the police for protection, not for permit. And I must confess, so far, I have not had any case where we have been told not to demonstrate. The only time, I think, was last year when Professor Soyinka and I were supposed to address a meeting and the police said it won’t take place; I said no, call the authorities, this is the right we have fought for and won. And in fairness to them, we were allowed to have the program.

“What is particularly embarrassing is that on the 20th of November 2014, the Presidential Candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, now President Muhammadu Buhari, the then APC Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, two current Ministers, Dr. Sylvester Onu and Rotimi Amaechi, led others to demonstrate in Abuja against insecurity in the country, and they were more than 2,000. Heavens did not fall and heavens will not fall this time around.”


#Newsworthy…

#RevolutionNow: Court demands N200,000 damage for Sowore from DSS


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Security(DSS) to pay N200,000 as damages to the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.

The judge said the cost is the consequence of the prosecution’s attempt to delay the trial.

At the court session on Wednesday, Aliyu Halilu, prosecution lawyer, said the charges against the defendants have been amended but that they are yet to be served on them.


Haliyu asked the court to adjourn the case till Thursday for the trial to commence.

Olumide Fusika, Sowore’s counsel, opposed Halilu’s request for an adjournment and asked the court to strike out the case for “lack of diligent prosecution”.


He said even if the adjournment is granted, the trial cannot commence on Thursday because the prosecution is yet to comply with the order of the court which asks it to furnish the defence with statements of the witnesses they intend to call.

Fusika said the prosecution is more interested in subjecting his client to ridicule than trial.


He said Sowore has not seen his family since he was arrested and that if not for “the support of well-wishers, maybe he would be sleeping under a bridge”.

Sowore’s lawyer also said: “This morning, my colleague Marshal approached Mr Halilu to request if there was anything to be served on us and he gave the impression that there was nothing.”


When asked by the judge, a clerk in the court, said indeed Marshal came to him to inquire if the prosecution had filed new processes. He said he directed the counsel back to the prosecution lawyer.

But the prosecution denied the inquiry and asked the judge to reject the submissions of the defendant.


Delivering a ruling, the judge said: “The honourable court views the delay as uncalled for and the application for adjournment as frivolous in view of the reasons for the adjournment sought.”

“Each party is entitled to five adjournments. The prosecution has almost exhausted her five adjournments even before the commencement of trial. There are consequences for every infraction.

“Premised on the provision of section 396(6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the prosecution has earned the award of cost against them. Prosecution shall pay a cost of N200,000 to the defence as a consequence of frivolous adjournments.”

Sowore and Bakare are standing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting the president.


#Newsworthy…

I’d rather be locked up in Kuje prison than EFCC prison

…Adoke did not run away,

…He went for his masters degree abroad


Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN), on Monday, said he preferred to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mike Ozekhome (SAN), spoke on Adoke’s behalf shortly after he was arraigned on fresh money laundering charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.


Adoke was arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar, who was accused of paying dollar equivalent of N300m in Adoke’s account in September 2013 in violation of the Money Laundering Act.

Ozekhome was arguing his client’s bail application when he noted that his client was produced in court by the EFCC from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabi, Abuja, where he had been admitted for treatment.


After the defendants took their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand them in the custody of the EFCC pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined. NobleReporters learnt

The defence lawyers immediately noted that they already filed their bail applications and had been responded to by the prosecution.


Ozekhome appealed to the the court to grant bail to Adoke in liberal and affordable terms and conditions, saying that his client would prefer to be remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre, instead of the custody of the EFCC.

“The first defendant voluntarily returned to the country. There is his statement attached to show that he returned to the country voluntarily. He did not run away. We have attached an exhibit to show that he went for his Masters’ study abroad.

Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN)


“We have deposed to the affidavit about his health conditions. The prosecution themselves brought him to court from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabib in Abuja, this morning. We also plead that he be taken to the Kuje Correction Centre, a euphemism for Kuje prison pending when he meets his bail conditions to avoid the mental psychological strictures he goes through in the custody of the EFCC.

“My lord we pray that he be granted bail in liberal and affordable terms and conditions so that he can take care of himself. The law says, ‘come and stand trial’, it did not say ‘come and sit trial or come and prostate trial. My lord as you can see, the first defendant who is less than 60 is already bent with age,” he said.


#Newsworthy….

Cross Rivers’ Gov behind Agba Jalingo’s ordeal – Lawyer


Lawyer representing Agba Jalingo, journalist being prosecuted for raising questions about the whereabouts of N500m earmarked for the establishment of Cross River Microfinance Bank by Governor Ben Ayade, Daniel Kip, has said that the state government is responsible for the trial of the journalist.

He said, “There is no way anybody can run away from the fact that Agba Jalingo’s ordeal is strictly tied to Cross River State and not the Federal Government.


“The amendment that was done subsequently to the charge to make it Federal Republic of Nigeria against Agba Jalingo was just to escape that impression which was glaring. It was to make it seem that it was the Federal Government that was prosecuting Agba Jalingo.

“If it was the Federal Government that was prosecuting Agba Jalingo, why wasn’t the Attorney-General of the Federation prosecuting him? Why were legal officers from the office of the Inspector-General of Police not prosecuting him? It is an irrefutable fact that the government of Cross River State is involved in Agba Jalingo’s ordeal.

“If you read one of the counts preferred against him, it is that he made an allegation against the governor of Cross River State in relation to about N500m channelled towards a microfinance bank. Was that allegation made against the Federal Government?

“To me, the inclusion of the counts in relation to Omoyele Sowore and the RevolutionNow protests that were planned in other places was just to deviate from the actual substance of why Agba Jalingo is being prosecuted. “He is being prosecuted in Cross River State because he has been questioning a lot of executive actions taken by the government of Cross River State. This trial is to intimidate him so that he can keep quiet.”


#Newsworthy….

Nigeria, U.S to sign pact on looted assets


Dr Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations in the Office of the Minister disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The Minister is expected to, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sign a tripartite agreement with Nigeria, the Island of New Jersey and the United States of America.


The agreement is for repatriation of 321m US dollars looted assets and as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to recover more stolen funds stashed abroad.

He said the meeting is an annual event between Nigeria and U.S.aimed at reviewing bilateral relations and taking necessary steps to advance mutual interest in all diplomatic areas among the two countries.

“The meeting is not an ad hoc event for addressing impromptu concerns, but a friendly binational meeting that holds annually devoid of intervening concerns or relating to the internal affairs of the participating states.”

Some other Nigerian government delegates expected to be part of the meeting include: the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) as well as Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Sadiya Umar Faruk.


#Newsworthy…

Falana seek inquest into death of Alex Ogbu ..


Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has written to Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory, seeking an inquest into the killing of a journalist, Alex Ogbu.

NobleReporters had reported the gruesome killing of Ogbu on January 21 during a demonstration by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Abuja.


The journalist, who was covering the protest, was shot in the head by armed policemen when they opened fire on the protesters.

Falana’s request was contained in a letter obtained by NobleReporters on Wednesday.


The letter reads, “Since the said Mr Alex Ogbu died in such circumstance as to make an holding of an inquest necessary or desirable, and particularly since the extra-judicial killing was carried out at Berger Area of Abuja, within your jurisdiction and sphere of authority, we request that you employ your good offices to cause an official notification to be issued to the coroner with respect to holding an inquest as to the cause and nature of death of Alex Ogbu.”

Falana noted that the request was predicated on the provisions of the coroners law L.L of Northern Nigerian 1963 CAP 27 as applicable to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He said that failure by the police to comply with the request within seven days would force him to approach a competent court of law for an order of mandamus.

Police authorities have tried to change the narrative around Ogbu’s death, claiming that he was an accident victim and not killed by policemen.


#Newsworthy…

Abuse of power, not crime – Trump’s lawyer ..


The defense team on Trump’s impeachment trial on Monday night argued that charges leveled upon the president by the House of Representatives – Abuse of power, and Obstruction of congress- were not impeachable offenses and that the US president should be cleared of all charges immediately.


Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and former O.J. Simpson attorney, one of Trump’s star lawyers, made the well-crafted plea at Trump’s impeachment trial on Monday night, appearing after other defense lawyers at the second day of Trump’s defense.

President of the United States of America, Donald Trump is being tried in the Senate over allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of congress after he allegedly withdrew military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival – Joe Biden in a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president Zelensky.


Trump has since denied being involved in a quid pro quo and said the attempts to impeach him by Democrats started immediately he became president, first with the Russia collusion reports and now with Ukraine.

Dershowitz had to make the controversial argument that ‘Abuse of Power’ does not constitute an impeachable offense, telling senators that the Founders of the constitution specifically rejected such vague terms when creating the Constitution in Philadelphia.


He said though he voted for Clinton, and he is not a fan of some of the president’s policies and actions, however from a legal standpoint, impeachment is only meant for presidents who commit high crimes and misdemeanors not obstruction of congress and abuse of power.

“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,’ said Dershowitz.’ If a president, any president, were to have done what the [New York] Times reported about the contact of the Bolton manuscript, that would not constitute an impeachable offense,’ Dershowitz continued.

‘It is inconceivable that the framers would have intended so politically loaded and promiscuously deployed a term as abuse of power to be weaponized as a tool of impeachment,’ he said.

At one point he turned to opposing Democratic lawyers and said: ‘I’m sorry, house managers, you just picked the wrong criteria. You picked the most dangerous possible criteria to serve as a precedent for with you we supervise future presidents,’


#Newsworthy…

Presidency did nothing wrong – Donald Trump’s Lawyer


President Donald Trump’s lawyers opened their impeachment trial defense on Saturday by asserting that he “did absolutely nothing wrong” when he asked Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden. They accused Democratic prosecutors of omitting key evidence when they presented their case.


The president’s lawyers are pressing the Republican-led chamber to acquit Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Trump’s legal team planned an aggressive, wide-ranging defense asserting an expansive view of presidential powers and portraying him as besieged by political opponents determined to undo the results of the 2016 election and ensure he won’t be reelected this November. The lawyers also aim to put Democrat Joe Biden on the defensive as he campaigns for the leadoff Iowa caucuses next month.


“They’re asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election, but as I’ve said before, they’re asking you to remove President Trump from an election that’s occurring in approximately nine months,” said White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. “They’re asking you to tear up all the ballots across this country on their own initiative.

The opening of the defense’s case comes after a three-day presentation by House Democrats. As they wrapped up on Friday, they asserted that Trump will persist in abusing his power and endangering American democracy unless Congress intervenes to remove him before the 2020 election. They also implored Republicans to allow new testimony to be heard before senators render a final verdict.


“Give America a fair trial,” said California Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead Democratic impeachment manager. “She’s worth it.”

Schiff closed Democrats’ case after methodical and impassioned arguments detailing charges that Trump abused power by asking Ukraine for politically motivated probes of political rivals, then obstructed Congress’ investigation into the matter. Trump’s lawyers contend Trump was within his rights as president when he asked Ukraine for the investigation.


House managers made the procession across the Capitol before the trial resumed Saturday to deliver the 28,578-page record of their impeachment case to the Senate.

The seven Democratic prosecutors peppered their arguments with video clips, email correspondence and lessons in American history. Republicans who found the presentation tedious and redundant can expect differences in tone and style from Trump’s lawyers, who planned to attack the impeachment as much on political as legal grounds.


“It’s really trying to remove the president from the ballot in 2020. They don’t trust the American people to make a decision,” attorney Jay Sekulow said.

Defense lawyers were expected to press the argument that Trump was a victim not only of Democratic outrage but also of overzealous agents and prosecutors. The lawyers probably will cite mistakes made by the FBI in its surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide in the now-concluded Russia investigation. In response to allegations that he invited foreign interference, they already have argued that it was no different from Hillary Clinton’s campaign’s use of a former British spy to gather opposition research on Trump in 2016.


Acquittal was likely, given that Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and a two-thirds vote would be required for conviction.

Trump, with his eyes on the audience beyond the Senate chamber, bemoaned the trial schedule in a tweet, saying it “looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”


Arguments were scheduled for just a few hours Saturday in what defense lawyers called a sneak preview. They’ll continue Monday.

The president is being tried in the Senate after the House impeached him last month on charges he abused his office by asking Ukraine for the probes at the same time the administration withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. The second article of impeachment against Trump accuses him of obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe.


The Senate is heading next week toward a pivotal vote on Democratic demands for testimony from top Trump aides, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton, who refused to appear before the House. It would take four Republican senators to join the Democratic minority to seek witnesses, and so far the numbers appear lacking.

“This needs to end,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump confidant. He said he doesn’t want to hear from Bolton or from Joe Biden or his son Hunter. The younger Biden who served on a Ukraine gas company’s board.


Democrats on Friday tried to preempt anticipated arguments from Trump’s lawyers, attacking lines of defense as “laughable.”

Those include that Trump had a legitimate basis to be concerned about potential corruption in Ukraine and to pause military aid to the country. One of the president’s lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, was expected to argue that an impeachable offense requires criminal-like conduct, even though many legal scholars say that’s not true.


With Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, the final day of the Democratic arguments opened with Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, a former Army ranger, saying the only reason Trump eventually released his hold on the aid Ukraine desperately relied on to counter Russian aggression was because he had “gotten caught.”

“The scheme was unraveling,” Crow said. The money for Ukraine was put on hold after Trump’s July 25 call to Ukraine that launched the impeachment probe, and released Sept. 11 once Congress intervened.


Throughout the three days, Democrats balanced the legal and history lessons with plainspoken language about what they see as at stake: the security of U.S. elections, America’s place in the world and checks on presidential power. The Democrats argued that Trump’s motives were apparent, that he abused power like no other president in history, swept up by a “completely bogus” Ukraine theory pushed by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

“Let me tell you something. If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is,” Schiff said in an emotional plea to a pin-drop-quiet room. “If you find him guilty you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters.”


They argued that Trump’s abuse was for his own personal political benefit ahead of the 2020 election, even as administration officials were warning off the theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

The Democrats’ challenge was clear as they tried to convince not just senators but an American public divided over the Republican president in an election year.


A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the public slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 45% to 40%. But a sizable percentage, 14%, said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

One issue with wide agreement: Trump should allow top aides to appear as witnesses at the trial. About 7 in 10 respondents said so, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, according to the poll.

After both sides have concluded their arguments next week, senators will face the question of whether to call witnesses to testify. But that issue seems all but settled. Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to get Trump aides, including Bolton and Mulvaney, to testify in back-to-back votes earlier this week.

As for the Ukraine connections, evidence has shown that Trump, with Giuliani, pursued investigations of the Bidens and sought the investigation of the debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.


#Newsworthy…

Smartwork pays, Hardwork kills! – Reno Omokri tweeted..


Nigerian Author and Lawyer, Reno Omokri has taken to micro-blogging website, Twitter, to share his thoughts about the topic – HARDWORK.

In his tweet, Reno disclosed that although being hardworking is not bad, it does not pay and it ages one before his/her time. Reno further added that SMARTWORK pays, not HARDWORK.

His tweet reads ;


HARD-WORK is not necessarily a virtue, though it‘s not bad. HARD-WORK doesn’t PAY. It KILLS! It ages you before your time. If HARD-WORK PAID everyone will want to be a labourer. What PAYS, is SMARTWORK. A SHARP ax cuts a TREE faster than a DULL one.

I read an actor’s write up about a poor, hardworking and honest man who treats his wife like a Queen. Not possible! If you are poor, hardworking and honest, you can treat your wife well. But even in Scripture, it takes MONEY to look after a Queen!


#Newsworthy…

Cross river lawyer gets N10m bail


A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar has granted bail to Joseph Odok, a lawyer charged with terrorism.

The presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, in his ruling said the defendant had shown “exceptional circumstances” to permit the court to exercise its discretion and admit him to bail.

According to the judge, the terms include a bail bond valued at N10m with two sureties in like sum and one of the sureties must be a civil servant with either the state or the Federal Government at Salary Grade Level 13 or above while the other must be a “close relative with a verifiable address.”


Both sureties are also expected to depose to an affidavit and provide two passport photographs.

The defence team was made up of E. E. Osim, Oliver Osang and Assam Assam Jr.


They represented the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The matter was stood down for a few minutes after it was called due to the absence of the prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba.


Another prosecutor from the Cross River State Police Command, C. I. Eze, entered appearance for the prosecution.

Osim thereafter moved the motion for bail dated and filed January 15, 2020.


Justice Amobeda in his ruling held that granting of bail pending trial remained a right enshrined in the constitution.

He said the counter affidavit of the prosecution was “bare as the deponent is a police officer who has no expertise in medicine.”


The judge ruled that the “mere claim” of the prosecution that the defendant was not sick was not enough to discountenance the material evidence placed before the court by the defence.

The matter was adjourned until January 28 and 29 for trial.

Odok, who arrived the court in company of two correctional officers, was arrested at his Abuja residence on September 26, 2019 and was arraigned on October 22, 2019 on two charges bordering on terrorism and cybercrime.

He pleaded not guilty and was remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service.


#Newsworthy…

How Lawyers’ impact affect societies – FG


Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has charged legal practitioners to use their intellectual know-how to impact positively on the nation’s administration of justice.

This is even as he urged them to use their position to uplift the lot of the society, especially the less privileged.


He said this on Saturday, at the law students’ valedictory ceremony and public lecture of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.

The Minister who was represented by Zonal Director, NTA, Benin Zonal Centre, Barr. Pauline Igbanor, noted that there is shortfall in the number of legal practitioners in the country.


He, therefore, challenged Nigerian universities to churn out more law graduates to fill the gap.

“As a lawyer, you must use your degree to improve the lot of the society. It’s a certificate that gives you opportunity to uplift the less privileged; it’s a degree that tells you that you can impact on the society, particularly in the administration of justice.


“Right now, we don’t have enough lawyers in the country, we have many problems and many legal issues. So, this crop of young lawyers that are going into the profession, there is a lot out there that they can do to improve the administration of justice.

“We have several universities coming up daily and so, more lawyers are being trained. You can see what the legal council have done, they have decentralized the law school, you now have law school in the six geo-political zones of the country, so more lawyers are coming out to fill the gap.


The guest lecturer at the occasion,Hon. Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye of Kogi State High Court, traced the growth of legal education to the setting up of the E.l.G. Unsworth Committee of 1959, with the mandate of considering and making recommendations for the future of legal profession in Nigeria, with particular reference to legal education, admission to practice and the right of audience before courts.

He noted that a lawyer is trained to be sober, honest, hardworking, of good behaviour, respectable and be of integrity.


“Law is not about academic work, law is not of character, good character.

“Have a higher sense of purpose and hold on to it. Do not be afraid to embrace and champion bold ideas for a stronger and better legal system. Stand firm for the truth always,” he counselled the students.


Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, described the legal profession as “very critical to the administration of justice in the country.”

He urged the graduating law students to see themselves as major players in the administration of justice and in changing the trajectory of the country.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed


“Do not push yourselves too much, do not sell yourselves too cheap but always assert yourselves, and you will succeed,” he said.

A total of 210 students graduated at the ceremony.


#Newsworthy…