Expert advises legal practitioners to explore Alternative Dispute Resolution



The Register, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators  (ICMC), Mr Segun Ogunyannwo, has advised legal practitioners to explore the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as the cheapest and fastest way of resolving dispute.

Ogunyannwo gave the advice on Wednesday in Jos in a paper presentation at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Jos Branch  2019 Law Week.

The registrar said that the focus of the paper was on the role lawyers could play in mediation in a Multidoor  Court House.

ADR that uses Multidoor Court House can provide enhanced, cost effective and user friendly access to justice.

“Lawyers may be gatekeepers in justice delivery system.

“When people get issues, they go to lawyers, when the lawyers are ADR compliant, it becomes easier for them to advise their clients to also explore the ADR option,” he said.

He said that the Rules of Conduct of Professional Lawyers 2007, clearly and specifically stated that a lawyer shall not fail or neglect to inform his clients of options including ADR before resorting to litigation on behalf of his client.

According to him, the provision adds that if a lawyer acts in contravention of any of the rules, or fails to perform any of the duties stated by the rules, he/she shall be guilty of professional misconduct.

Ogunyannwo further said those lawyers that failed to explore the option were also liable to punishment as provided for in the Legal Professional  Act 1975.

“Lawyers that are ADR compliant can add a lot of value to justice delivery system in Nigeria.

“Lawyers can tell their clients that there are ways that are faster,  that can preserve relationships.

“Lawyers play two roles in the ADR by first advising the client to use the option and also advising the client on who the mediator should be.

 “They can also be part of the mediation as neutrals,” he said.

Mr Akinropo Omoware, Senior Advisor, Trade Policy and Environmental Evaluation of GIZ, sponsors of the lecture for the Law Week said that ADR was not new in Nigeria.

Omware said that ADR as a way of resolving disputes using a third party or the parties themselves was and is still practiced by traditional rulers and some Churches.

The only difference according to him, is that more formal institutions like the courts, the ministries of justice were integrating ADR as part of formal justice system.

“We don’t think that anybody including lawyers should be agitated about it because it something that has come to promote the justice system.

“For us at GIZ, we are supporting the Plateau Government in the area of promoting investment, creating enabling environment for business to thrive.

“And one of the things investors would want to see is that you have system where disputes are resolved between parties amicably.

“The state has set up a Multidoor Court House and we are working with them to train people that will serve as neutrals.

“Today we felt there was need to talk to lawyers about ADR  on how we can promote justice system especially for commercial disputes,” he said.

Mr Yakubu Bawa, Chairman, NBA Jos Branch, said that ADR was important option of dispute resolution that took into consideration mediation, conciliation, arbitration and other options.

“In fact, the establishment of Plateau Multidoor Court which I am a member as NBA Chairman, a law has been established and we are trying to come up with the rules of the court.

“What we explained to lawyers is the that there is also a charge scale that would be attached to rules may be per hour or per session.

“We always told them to look at it from the perspective that lawyers are created to promote peace and advance the course of justice,” Bawa said.

The NBA chairman lauded GIZ for bringing ICMC to give the lawyers training and for agreeing to train and certify lawyers in the branch for just 50 per cent  of the fees.

He said that several issues were looked at during the week that had it theme as: “Efficacy of the Constitution in the Face of the Current Realities’.

He said that there was need to look at the country’s governance architecture to see which would be best for the country.

According to the chairman, the week also looked at the relationship between the Bar and the Bench that would promote justice delivery in the country.

Edited & Vetted By: Abdullahi Yusuf



Climate change: Experts advocate collaboration to address severe threats



Climate change experts have called for greater collaboration among funders to address the severe threat that climate change poses to Africa’s development.

The experts made the call at the virtual session of the 2020 Global Philanthropy Forum organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday.

The session was titled: “Inclusive Green Economies – Harnessing Opportunities and Innovative Solutions for Investments in Climate-Resilient Development in Africa”.

Participants highlighted the critical role of innovative approaches to mobilising climate adaptation finance in Africa and called for sustainable ways for the continent to emerge stronger from the pandemic.

AfDB Manager of Climate and Green Growth, Al Hamndou Dorsouma said: “The path to a sustainable COVID-19 recovery will therefore require investments that simultaneously tackle the pandemic and prevailing climate risks while offering attractive co-benefits.”

Dorsouma said that the bank was on track to mobilise 25 billion dollars between 2020 and 2025 to support investments in climate change.

Arame Tall, Senior Adaptation and Resilience Specialist, Climate Change Group, World Bank said this was the moment for investment in climate change adaptation.

“Interestingly, we have the attention of philanthropy, private sector and non-traditional investors, who want to invest in harnessing new opportunities in climate change adaptation.

“We need the ministries of finance to be involved in outlining adaptation investment opportunities in countries to better harness these opportunities, including clear investment and sectoral plans.”

Atsuko Toda, Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development, AfDB, said that collaboration was important toward achieving “a greener post-COVID future”.

Toda called for a paradigm shift in adaptation financing, stressing the bank’s willingness to work with partners to accelerate Africa’s adaptation.

She recalled that the bank in October 2018, approved a framework for the implementation of the Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) Programme.

The programme offered regional member countries an opportunity to pool and transfer their climate-related risks by paying a sovereign insurance premium.

“The payout is made immediately after a disaster happens,” Toda said.

She noted that the bank partnered with the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company (ARC) to implement ADRiFi.

The participants also noted that the COVID-19 crisis had underscored the urgency of building healthier, more inclusive and more resilient economies.

Chief Executive Officer, ARC, Lesley Ndlovu, pointed out the need for countries to plan for exposures and build resilience.

“At the African Risk Capacity, we work with countries to prepare them for the risk exposure they have and help them prepare for how to respond including helping them to establish a rainy-day fund.

“We have also partnered with the African Development Bank for the Africa Disaster Risk Financing initiative and other financing instruments.

“We need broader collaborations to solve the problem that our continent faces. The problem is so big that all of us have a role to play,” Ndlovu said.

According to the AfDB, the bank in 2019 prioritised adaptation finance with 55 per cent of its climate-focused financing invested in adaptation actions.

The bank’s adaptation finance rose from 500 million dollars in 2012 to two billion dollars in 2019, cumulatively representing 18.6 billion dollars over the period.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN

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More reactions trail removal of NBA stamp, seal



Reactions have continued to trail the removal of Nigerian Bar Association stamp and seal as a requirement on court processes, with some lawyers on Wednesday saying it was beyond attorney-general of the federation’s powers.

The Lagos-based lawyers said that the removal by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), could fuel activities of fake lawyers.

They spoke in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

NAN reports that the AGF amended the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for Legal Practitioners, 2007, removing the requirement for the stamp and seal on court processes.

Nigerians have been reacting to the development, with some saying that the removal has weakened the powers of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

NAN also reports that sale of the stamp and seal was one of the major sources of NBA’s revenue.

With the amendment of the RPC, the use of the stamp is no longer necessary.

Mr Ademola Owolabi, a Lagos-based lawyer, said that removing the use of stamp and seal on court processes would make it easier for fake lawyers to operate in courts.

He said that RPC was aimed at eliminating activities of fake lawyers, among other things.

He noted that a former AGF had in 2007 amended the RPC and brought about the use of NBA stamp and seal on court processes which was geared toward eliminating activities of fake lawyers in courts.

Owolabi said the amendment then was widely accepted.

“Stamp and seal is not a destination, it is a journey toward identifying lawyers.

“It makes it easier to detect fake lawyers.

“When a lawyer files a process in court, the stamp and seal will be used to check at the Supreme Court if the lawyer is genuine.

“The use of stamp and seal of NBA is a very important aspect of the legal practice which should not be removed,” Owolabi advised.

Another lawyer, Mr Chibuikem Opara, said the AGF had no legal powers to solely amend the rule.

“The clear reading of the Legal Practitioners Act shows that the making and reviewing of the Rules of Professional Conduct is the function of the General Council of the Bar.

“The AGF heads the council, but that does not make him the council.

“The act cannot be performed by the AGF unilaterally.

“Is the amendment not retrogressive in nature,” Opara asked.

However, a former Chairman of NBA, Ikorodu Branch in Lagos State, Mr Bayo Akinlade, said that lawyers would not suffer from removal of NBA stamp and seal.

“We were called to the bar and not NBA.

“Some people have sought to distort history to keep lawyers under their control.

“Let’s face the real issues and think outside the box,” he told NAN.

The former chairman said that NBA was not about the sections that were deleted.

“It is our lack of foresight that makes us worry over irrelevant provisions such as the ones purportedly removed.

“We need to rebrand ourselves as lawyers. The RPC, as it is, cannot work for the times we are in.

“Lawyers must restructure and reorganise,” Akinlande advised.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ijeoma Popoola
Source: NAN

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FG lauds Igbokwe on chairing world leading entertainment coy



The Federal Government has congratulated Nigerian-born Pearlena Igbokwe on her recent promotion to Chairman of the Universal Studio Group, a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.

In a statement, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government is very delighted at the news of the promotion, which is the latest in a string of successes that have been recorded by Igbokwe.

The statement was made available to newsmen by Mr Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture on Monday in Abuja.

”The fact that, in her new role, Igbokwe will lead the American company’s growing global television studio business, which includes Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBC Universal International Studios, is a pointer to the huge responsibility that comes with the promotion and a testimony to her capability.

”Igbokwe is an inspiration to millions of youths around the world and, in particular, those in our country’s burgeoning Creative Industry. We wish her success in her new role,” the minister said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports igbokwe, who hails from South-East Nigeria but born in Lagos State in the mid-1960s, is the first black woman to head Universal Television.

Igbokwe moved to join her father in the US at the age of six shortly after the civil war,

Prior to her appointment, Igbokwe was Executive Vice President, Drama Development, where she oversaw the development of all NBC dramas.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN

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Southern Kaduna crisis: MURIC urges FG to deploy security task force



The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an NGO, has called for the deployment of joint security task force to stop the incessant killings in Southern Kaduna.

The Director of the group, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, gave the advice on Monday in a statement.

Akintola said, the measures will go along way in curtailing the ethno-religious killings and other forms of criminality been perpetuated in the area.

The group however condemned the recent killings of some youths in Zangon Kataf, which according to him violated the peace agreement initiated by the Agwa Atyap, Sir Dominic Yahaya between the Atyap and Hausa/Fulani.

MURIC strongly condemns these killings and attacks on law-abiding Muslims. We call for stronger presence of security agents.

 ”It is high time soldiers are drafted to Southern Kaduna to enforce law and order. 

”We advocate long term military presence until the inhabitants of Southern Kaduna learn how to peacefully coexist” he said.

He said, the group was formed to promote peace and dialogue.

”As an organization whose motto is ‘Dialogue, No Violence’, we frown at violence in all its ramifications.

” We are fully committed to a peaceful approach to the Southern Kaduna crisis, we therefore call on both parties to sheath their swords” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Aug. 28,  assured that the Federal Government will not sweep the major issues underlying the conflict in Southern Kaduna under the carpet so as to effectively deal with the situation.

Osinbajo stated this during the virtual Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Annual General Conference.

The Vice President identified the major issues to include, ‘ensuring justice, fixing economic marginalization and the prosecution of persons responsible for these killings, this is to ensure that the impunity doesn’t worsen.”

On the way out, he stated: “I have been involved since 2001, through the work of the Macedonian initiative, an NGO that focused on providing relief materials to displaced per

”There have been judicial commissions and all sorts, but the problem remains. So, there is the need to address the underlying issues.

The fact is that we must prosecute persons responsible for these killings. ‘The mindless, callous killings in Southern Kaduna are heartbreaking. And again, we must condole those who have lost loved ones and those injured or who have suffered loss of property. These tragedies are unacceptable and they are avoidable.”

NAN also reports that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) deployed additional special forces to southern Kaduna, to boost the ongoing fight against bandits and suspected ethnic militia who have been terrorising residents of the area.

The Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command, Air Marshal Musa Mukhtar, asked the team of security operatives, numbering 32 and trained in all aspects of counter-insurgency operations, to crush the bandits.

The deployment of additional troops comes as the military steps up operation to combat the rising cases of attacks by bandits and suspected ethnic militia in the area.

Also, on Aug. 14, the military deployed Special Operations Forces to curb the recent attacks and isolated killings in the southern part of Kaduna State.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said that troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) had continued to intensify efforts aimed at securing lives and property in the area.

He said: “Particularly, Special Operations Forces have been deployed to the Joint Operations Area covering the various flash points.

”This move is expected to achieve the desired result with the provision of credible and actionable intelligence specifically from primary sources..

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

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