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Law gradiates: We still await response from Council of Legal Education – NOUN

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The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says It is still awaiting response from the Council of Legal Education as regards admitting NOUN graduates into the Nigerian Law School.

The Vice Chancellor of NOUN , Prof Abdalla Adamu, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

 

Adamu said that following the removal from NOUN enabling law, of the clauses – correspondence and part-time – which had generated the assumption that it was a part-time school and its law graduates wouldn’t be able to go to law school, NOUN notified the council of the removal.

“Correspondence and part-time are  the modes of delivery but that does not mean the university is part-time.

“The law establishing the university said that the university is to deliver via multiple means including CDs, tape, correspondence and part-time, so it is not part-time university at all.

“Because of moral mandate, the university decided to remove the correspondence and part-time from the law.

“Thankfully, the National Assembly was able to do that, and by Dec. 7, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari  signed the law,” he said.

Adamu said that following the development, the university wrote to the Council of Legal Education to inform it and clarify the misunderstanding arising from the correspondence and part-time clauses.

He said that since then, the institution was still awaiting response from the council.

“The purpose of any university is to provide grounded theory in any discipline.

” We don’t produce accountants but we teach accounting, we don’t produce nurses but we teach nursing; so, we don’t produce lawyers but we teach law.

“If law graduates from this institution are prevented from going to the next level upon graduation, it is between them and the law school, not NOUN.

“Ours is to teach them law according to National University Commision guideline, and we have done that, ” he said

According to him, the NUC  sent officials to come and inspect NOUN law programme and the university was given full accreditation.

The vice -chancellor said that those who accredited the programme were lawyers and professors of law.

The Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN), had recently  said that the council, being conscious of standard of education, resolved  that products of part-time, evening law  and open law programmes would not be admitted  into the Nigerian Law School.

He, however, said  that the Director-General of Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Ciroma, had suggested that NOUN graduates should be admitted into Bar Part 1 instead of Bar Part 2.

According to Ngige, NOUN graduates  will have to run the Bar Part 1 for a full academic calendar year as in place of  three months which foreign students spent.

He said that  when such students would have passed Bar  Part 1 examination, he or she would be admitted to do Bar Part 2.

He said that failing the examination  would mean not doing Bar Part 2, adding that there would no chance of rewriting the Bar Part 1 examination.

Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)

Judiciary

Court reinstates 5 suspended Kano lawmakers

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A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Wednesday set aside the suspension of five members of the Kano State House of Assembly.

The lawmakers were opposed the dethronement of Emir Muhammad Sanusi II, by the speaker of the House,  Abdulaziz Gafasa

The lawmakers are: Labaran Abdul Madari, APC representing Warawa Constituency, Bello Bututu, APC, representing Rimin gado/Tofa Constituency, Isyaku, PDP Gezawa, Garba Yau APC Kunci/Tsanyawa and Maje Gwangwazo PDP, representing Kano municipal.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on March 16, the assembly had suspended five members over alleged involvement in snatching a mace during plenary, while hearing a motion for the investigation and dethronement of former Emir Sanusi.

The lawmakers in an originating summons urged the court to declare their suspension as a violation of Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

They said that the section stipulates and guarantee their tenure in office.

The five lawmakers had opposed to a motion for investigation and dethronement of the former 14th Emir of Kano on March 16 leading to a fight at the assembly.

Nuraini Jimoh, Counsel to the lawmakers, said that the suspension contravenes article 13 of the African Charter on people’s and human rights and Section 109 of the Constitution.

The presiding Judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa, however, agreed with the submission of the counsel to the lawmakers.

Allagoa, in his judgement, said that the suspension was unconstitutional, null and void.

He also ordered the Speaker and the Kano State House of Assembly to pay salaries and allowances of the five suspended members.

Counsel for the speaker and the assembly, Mr  Marcelenious N. Duru, had earlier urged the court to dismiss the prayers made by the plaintiffs.

“I am satisfied with the court verdict, the truth had resurfaced at the end of the day,” Madari told newsmen


Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Judiciary

Lagos govt to enact law to protect crime victims in trauma

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The Lagos State government says it will soon enact a Victims Right Law that will enable victims of crimes receive urgent medical attention in the state.

Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, revealed this on Wednesday while given account of his stewardship to commemorate the first anniversary of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

According to Onigbanjo, with the law hospitals in Lagos will render immediate first aid to victims of trauma such as accidents, stab wounds, gunshot injuries and other medical emergencies.

Onigbanjo said the Victims Right Law would form part of the proposed legislative reforms of the state government.

The Victims’ Rights Law is to address situations where victims of crime or emergencies are not given initial medical treatment.

“This is highlighted in the case of late Miss Moradeun Balogun, a 28-year-old lady, who was stabbed by armed robbers in Gbagada area of Lagos and was denied emergency treatment in the hospital.

“Other proposed laws are the Domestic and Sexual Violence law that will lead to the creation of an Agency; Amendment to Cultism Law, Amendment to Administration of Criminal Justice Law to address innovations and developments in Criminal Justice System.

“Others are the Administration of Civil Justice Law to develop and articulate a Civil Justice System and Animal Law to address the issue of domestication of wild animals in the state,” Onigbanjo said.

The commissioner said in the last 12 months, 2,249 offenders were sentenced to community service for various offences.

He noted that the sentences were served at various public institutions, including hospitals, remand homes and markets.

The Community Service Unit participated in a legal clinic to sensitise magistrates and community stakeholders on non-custodial sentencing.

“The unit also supervised the COVID-19 lockdown violators and offenders, including Nollywood celebrities, sentenced to community service recently,” Onigbanjo said.


Edited By: Joe Idika/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Judiciary

Alleged certificate forgery: Court admits lawmaker to N5m bail

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An Abuja Area Court on Wednesday admitted a lawmaker, Ahmed Ndakene, charged with alleged certificate forgery to bail in the sum of N5 million.

Ndakene, who represents Edu/Moro/Patigi Federal Constituency of Kwara, appeared before the Court over alleged criminal breach of Section 88(1), 89(3) and 109c of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 brought against him by Mahmud  Babako.

Babako, a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election that Ndakene emerged as winner, under the APC alleged that the defendant forged his certificate.

Babako also alleged that the said forged document was presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the form he used to contest for the 2019 election.

He alleged that the defendant deposed on oath to facts which were not true and his occupying the seat of his constituency was based on false information and forged documents.

Babako lead counsel, Labio Orji prayed the court to allow Ndakene to take his plea instead of seeking for police investigation into the matter before he would be arraigned.

Alex Edim, the lead counsel to Ndakene, however, opposed the application and predicated his objection on Section 89 (5) of the ACJA, 2015.

In the stated section, according to Edim, the court has the powers to refer any matter before it to the police for investigation before any further action can be taken.

He said that it was wrong to arraign his client over an investigation by the complainant without following the due process of informing the police.

“All complaints made directly to the court may be referred to the police for investigation before any action can be taken,” Edim said

He added that sections 106 and 89 of the Act did not give any private individual any right to prosecute or commence criminal proceedings or matter before following the due process or seeking for approval and fiat of the Attorney-General

He, therefore, urged the court to use its discretion and for the interest of justice to allow the police to investigate the matter and by so doing the case would not be prejudiced.

But Orji urged the court to disregard Edim’s argument because the Sections of the Act use the word ” may” and not ” shall” as “may” in the context meant a discretionary word and not mandatory.

Orji said that by allowing the defendant to take his plea, the interest of justice would not be prejudiced as the stated Sections of the Act said a Legal practitioner authorised by the Attorney General and any Act of the National Assembly can conduct criminal proceedings.

The Judge, Inuwa Maiwada, after listening to the submissions of both counsel, pointed out that the Sections quoted did not specify that only the police could investigate a matter but any government security agency.

Maiwada also said the law stipulated that where an issue cropped up before an arraignment, the defendant woul remain in the custody of the court.

The judge said due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to decongest the correctional facility he would grant the defendant bail.

He, therefore, admitted the defendant bail in the sum of N5 million and one reasonable surety in like sum with a financial standing for the bond to be entered.

Maiwada equally ordered that the surety must reside within the court jurisdiction, which must be verified by the court officials.

He adjourned the matter until June 11 for ruling on submission of the points raised by both counsel.


Edited By: Joe Idika/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Health

CCSI seeks enforcement of law against rape, violence against girl-child

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An NGO, Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) has called on governments at all levels and the judiciary to ensure strict enforcement of law against rape and violence against women and the girl-child.

Mrs Babafunke Fagbemi, Executive Director, CCSI, said on Wednesday in Lagos, that the Nigerian authorities must be more deliberate in protecting women and girls.

Fagbemi noted that the call became imperative following cases of violence perpetuated against women and children in different states during the past one week.

According to her, the cases include the rape and gruesome murder of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year-old Microbiology student of University of Benin, the killing of Tina Ezekwe, allegedly by a trigger happy policeman in Lagos.

The other is the rape of a 12-year-old girl by 11 men in Jigawa state.

“It is unacceptable what has happened to the young girls who met untimely death in the most gruesome manner.

“The question we should be asking is why this dastardly act should continue in spite of the myriad of laws that we have in this country.

“Is it that those who commit rape are let off easily or the laws themselves are grossly insufficient to act as a deterrent?

“We need to look at the issues of our laws, if they are insufficient with a view to strengthen them while the security agencies must ensure the enforcement of such laws.

“We are losing our precious daughters and those who survive this violence are left to live with the painful memories for a long time,” Fagbemi said in a statement.

Fagbemi added that the world of women and girls kept shrinking as sexual and domestic violence continued to affect their ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.

She maintained that the issue had debilitating effects on their mental and physical health, which also limited their ability to compete fairly and contribute to a better society.

“Nigeria needs her women and girls and must defend and protect them from the hands of predators to serve as deterrent to other intending perpetrators,” she said.

Fagbemi commended the Edo State government and the Inspector General of Police for prompt actions, while urging the public to continue to demand for a thorough investigation and application of the full weight of the law against the perpetrators.

She commiserated with the families of the victims, adding that CCSI would continue to play a key role in enlightening the public against sexual and domestic violence.


Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Foreign

Malawi plans to reopen schools in July

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As one way of easing COVID-19 restrictions, the government of Malawi through the Ministry of Education announced that a presidential task force on COVID-19 has recommended to the president a possible reopening of all school institutions by July 13.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Education, the development came after consulting several stakeholders in the country.

“It is worth pointing out the re-opening of schools, colleges and universities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to loss of lives globally including four in Malawi, is an attempt to ensure a proper balance between the right to education and the right to life. It is for this reason that the taskforce resolved to consult various stakeholders to come up with a common position that ensures safe return to learning,” the press release read.

Meanwhile, the task force also announced that it is working in a systematic and fact-based way to ensure that all of its decision making is informed by the best of public health data and global best practices to ensure a safe re-opening of schools.

There is a growing debate in the country on whether Malawi should reopen its schools as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the country.

(XINHUA)

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Judiciary

Sen. Kalu’s release from prison is rule of law in action — NCDD

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A non-governmental organisation (NGO) National Council for Democratic Development (NCDD) has hailed the order of a Lagos High Court for the release from jail of former Abia governor, Chief Orji Kalu.

The Executive Director of NCDD, Mr Onu Nwaeze, in a statement on Tuesday in Enugu, described the court decision as a ‘reinforcement’ of the independence of the judiciary.

Nwaeze also said that the court pronouncement was an indication that the Federal Government’s anti corruption crusade was anchored on the rule of law.

He said that the release of the senator representing Abia North District in the National Assembly had signaled a new dawn in the politics of the South East region.

He said the development was a clear testament that the current administration’s crusade against corruption was equally anchored on respect for institutions.

“We hereby join millions of Nigerians to celebrate a new dawn of hope and victory that the judgement has brought to our country.

We appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment in the fight against corruption. It is now evident that the crusade is anchored on the rule of law and respect for institutions,” he said.

The executive director noted that the NCDD had carefully followed the entire judicial journey in the voided trial of the senator.

He said that only an atmosphere that guaranteed rule of law and respect for institutions could guarantee the rights of all to seek and get judicial remedy where necessary.

He described Kalu as a detribalised Nigerian and a leader who had built bridges of hope for the various peoples of Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Mohammed Liman of a Lagos High Court had on Tuesday ordered that Kalu who was serving 12 years jail term be released from jail..

The latest court pronouncement followed an application filed by Kalu’s lawyer seeking that his December 2019 conviction be set aside.

It will be recalled that the Supreme Court had earlier quashed the conviction of Kalu and others on the grounds that the trial judge came from his new position as Court of Appeal justice to give the judgment.


Edited By: Chidi Opara/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Britain urges China to step back on Hong Kong security law

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British Foreign Secretary Dommic Raab on Tuesday urged China’s ruling Communist Party to step back from the brink and drop a new security law for Hong Kong.

According to him, it would undermine Beijing’s commitment to political autonomy for the territory.

Britain “strongly opposes such an authoritarian law being imposed by China,’’ Raab told parliament after discussing Hong Kong with his United States and other counterparts late Monday.

China’s nominal parliament approved the security law last week, prompting more protests in Hong Kong and criticism from Western governments.

“We have not yet seen the detailed, published text of the legislation, but I can tell the house that if legislation in these terms is imposed by China on Hong Kong it … would be a clear violation of China’s international obligations,’’ Raab said.

Britain handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of colonial rule.

Beijing agreed to uphold basic freedoms in the territory under a 1984 Sino-British declaration.

“There is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect China’s own international obligations,’’ Raab said.

“We urge the government of China to work with the people of Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong government, to end the recent violence and to resolve the underlying tensions based on political dialogue.’’

China on Monday threatened `counter-attacks’ after U.S President Donald Trump said he would `begin the process’ of revoking Hong Kong’s special trading status if Beijing persists with the security law.


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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General news

Archbishop wants children to be law abiding law

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Archbishop Alexander Ibezim of the Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Anglican Communion, has called on children to be law abiding citizens  for the development of the society.

 

Ibezim made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Awka.

 

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had limited the children from having their usual programmes in schools and social activities.

 

The cleric, however, urged children to always keep the law of the land no matter the situation.

 

He said that children should be well-monitored  by their parents, to prevent them from getting involved in criminal activities.

 

Ibezim advised parents and guardians to draw life-giving programmes for their children and wards at all times.

 

He said embracing such habits would make them become good and responsible citizens in the society.

 

He said that parents and guardians must inculcate the value of self-worth in their children and wards, to enable them know and be able to differentiate  what is either  wrong or right.

 

The clergyman advised parents to give proper attention to the social development of their children, urging governments at all levels to ensure that children of good characters were raised.

 

Ibezim called for collaboration by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), civil society groups, community and faith-based organisations, to ensure the rearing of responsible children in the country.

 

He urged human rights groups to continue to clamour against child trafficking and other forms of abuses now on the increase in the society.

 

The cleric attributed the high incidence of sexual exploitation of young girls by adults and trafficking of children for sex and labour to poor parenting.

 

Ibezim warned young girls, particularly those who had been admitted into the Girls’ Guild in the Anglican Communion, to desist from all forms of sexual immorality, fornication and prostitution.

 

He urged them to accept Jesus Christ and allow  the Holy Spirit to dwell in their lives.

 

Ibezim said that the 2020 Children’s Day and Anglican Children Ministry (ACM) Sunday,  held on May 31, was to remind children of their place in God’s Kingdom and the need for good parenting.

 

The theme of the 2020 Children’s Day was:“Promoting Girl-Child Education for Sustainable Development”.

 

According to him, the theme of the celebration shows that the church is serious on good parenting, especially,  of a girl-child.

 

“ The proper training of a girl-child is very important in our Communion because of the responsibility the girls are saddled with as mothers  in future.

 

“We hope our young girls are well-groomed, to train the society,” he said.

 

The archbishop advised parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards make the good use of the information and communication technology (ICT) devices in their possession.

 

“Mobile phones should be used for good intelligence and not evil scheming.”

 

 


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Foreign

National security laws in Egypt help reduce terrorism: Egyptian legislator

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