lagos-state-lawLagos State Law Reform Commission has disclosed that it has identified the need to review certain provisions of the existing Lagos State Tenancy Law of 2011 with a view to further ensuring fairness and reposition the law to reflect present societal values and realities.

Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, made this known at the stakeholders’ meeting on Tenancy Law of Lagos State organised by the Law Reform Commission.

Mr Kazeem noted that the modernization of Lagos into a smart city made it imperative for its legislations to reflect modern day realities, especially in the provision of shelter.

The Commissioner added that the proposed review of the law was also part of the ease of doing business drive of the state government aimed at drastically reducing all bottlenecks capable of hampering commerce and other practices that negate global practices applicable in developed countries of the world.

Mr Kazeem said that feelers from members of the public reveals that the citizens were not pleased with the present state of the law, hence the need to consider the introduction of rules of procedure to help fast-track proceedings for recovery of possession and propose time limits for the disposal of tenancy matters, among other grey areas contained in the law.

The Attorney-General stated that “like every other piece of legislation, this law requires periodic review in line with the government’s housing policies as a way of dealing with insufficient housing problem due to the fast growing population of the state.”

He reiterated that the existing Lagos Tenancy Law was a compilation of the reviewed Recovery of Premises Law Cap 118 Laws of Lagos State 2003 and the Rent Control and Recovery of Residential Premises Edict No. 6 of 1997.

The Commissioner maintained that some aspects of the law have not really been obeyed by the concerned stakeholders, noting that the section of the law on advance payment which makes it unlawful for a landlord to receive more than a year’s rent in advance was still being flouted.

He expressed hopes that the Lagos State House of Assembly would ensure speedy adoption and passage into law, the resolutions that would be inserted in the proposed bill as would be presented by the Law Reform Commission upon review of the law.

On her part, the Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Mrs Funmilayo Tejuosho, promised that the Assembly would ensure fairness in the passage of the review of the law through a call for public hearing to reflect the opinion of the majority.

She urged concerned stakeholders to also consider the issue of Agreement Fee charged by landlords, adding that whatever amendment that would be made to the law should be able to stand the test of time and bring comfort to all residents of the state.

Delivering a welcome address at the event, the Chairman, Lagos Law Reforms Commission, Prof Gbolahan Elias (SAN), disclosed that the goal of the commission was to introduce revised tenancy legislation that will be sensitive but pragmatic, just and efficient.

He added that the proposed review would focus on the role of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, legal practitioners and the judiciary in tenancy matters.

Participants at the stakeholders’ meeting acknowledged the fact that the law cannot absolutely favour both parties involved as either of the parties would be seeking to justify their stance at the expense of the other.

The stakeholders looked forward to a situation where individuals who run afoul of the provisions of the law will be prosecuted by the state government to serve as a deterrent and boost public confidence in the law.

DE7vNmkXUAAW8hkNigerian Bar Association President A. B. Mahmoud OON, SAN, signed a memorandum of Understanding on partnership with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria

After Inaugrating the NBA committees that will assist him in achieving the objectives of #ABraveNewBar, the President of the NBA proceed to a “One Day National Stakeholders Consultative Workshop on Pro Bono Legal Services and Paralegalism in Nigeria”, organised by the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association at Reiz Hotel Abuja, where he gave the welcome Address.

Furthermore, the President signed a memorandum of Understanding on partnership with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria.

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has given a major boost to the offering of pro-bono legal services in Nigeria with the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACON).

The ceremony which took place at the Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja on Monday, July 17, 2017, had the President of the NBA, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, OON, SAN, and Mrs. Joy Bob-Manuel, Director-General, LACON formally sign the MoU, between the two bodies to provide a practical framework for the partnership in furtherance of the administration of Pro Bono legal services in Nigeria to enhance the justice delivery system.

Speaking prior to signing the MOU, A. B. Mahmoud, SAN, said

“The reform of the Justice sector is a very critical project in this country. Two days ago we had a roundtable discussion with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo over the need for a reform of the Justice Sector and criminal justice system in Nigeria. Also, a visit to the prisons reveals a congestion in which the overwhelming majority of prisoners are awaiting trial. This indicates a dysfunctionality of our criminal judicial system. We are very delighted to partner with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria to deliver the Pro Bono legal services, which, hopefully, would ease this difficult situation”.

Buttressing the necessity for the partnership with the LACON, the NBA President whilst alluding to the MacArthur Foundation grant for boosting the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria; talked about the NBA North-East Task Force, Niger-Delta Task Force, and the NBA engagement in the resolution of the Southern Kaduna crisis. He concluded that “It is worthy of note that part of the conditions for the award of the prestigious Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is an evidence of contribution to Pro Bono legal services”, and admonished all lawyers within the NBA to take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to the administration of justice system in the country.

In response, the Director-General, LACON, Mrs. Joy Bob-Manuel lamented the predicament of the multitude of prisoners who were on the ‘awaiting trials list’ in the prisons for many years. She stated, “We want to make sure that indeed this perennial problem of having 70% to 80% of prisoners on ‘awaiting trials list’ across the country simply because they cannot afford legal services or they don’t even know that they have a right becomes a thing of the past. We hope to turn this around immediately after signing this MoU”.

Professor Ayo Atsenuwa, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), traced the 25 years’ efforts to establish Pro Bono legal services within the legal profession and concluded that all the challenges they met were surpassed all in an effort to promote and encourage Pro Bono legal services in Nigeria.

Bukar Alhaji Waziri, Esq.
National Publicity Secretary
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
July 18, 2017

IMAG0122-e1498197917584Preston Development Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in Nigeria, on Thursday organised a program in Abuja to campaign against female genital mutilation.

The World Health Organization said Nigeria has the highest prevalence rate of FGM in the world, with about 40 million women said to have undergone the practice in the country, thus indicating about 41 per cent prevalence.

The awareness stunt, held at the Federal Ministry of Health car park at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, required the campaigners to lie on the ground as a sign of advocating against the practice, and to symbolise the harm it does to women, especially during child birth.

According to the WHO, FGM includes all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for cultural and non-medical reasons.

Zikar Elendu, programme officer, PDF, said the organisation embarked on the awareness campaign because of new cases in the country.

She urged the federal government to take stringent measures to campaign against the practice, especially within the hospital environment.

“Our lying down here symbolizes what happens to many of those cut during child birth. Many of them die during child birth, many of them have difficulty during labour because they have been cut, most of them cannot enjoy the sexual aspect of life and it is wrong”.

Ms. Elendu said women cut were punished for crimes they were yet to commit.

“It is like sending them to jail for a crime they have not committed. Female Genital Mutilation makes girls pay a lifetime price for an “offence” they did not and might never commit.

“Promiscuity which is arguably the major reason for female circumcision in Nigeria has been proven to be more related to poverty, peer influence, poor parental supervision and drug use and not necessarily being uncircumcised. FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women”.

She said 40 million women and girls in Nigeria have undergone FGM and urged government to take serious measures to fight the practice.

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“At PDF, we believe that FGM is more than a policy. We believe that behind every statistical expression is a victim, a girl child that has paid a lifetime price. We want the layman on the street to know about the dangers of FGM. We want every mother to know that FGM is in no way an empowerment. We want women to know that FGM has never been about the girl’s good or happiness.

“That is why we have organised this awareness stunt and social media campaign to demand action in order to end FGM. We hereby urge urgent action from the government as well as communities to end FGM,” she said.

Ms. Elendu said government passing a law against it would go a long way to reduce the practice and pains women go through during child birth.

Nwando Onuigbo-Chatta, the knowledge management officer of the organisation, said Nigeria might be able to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality if FGM is stopped as it is one of the causes of death during child birth.

“Though there is no statistics in the country to specify how many people lose their lives during child birth due to complications of FGM, it is a known fact that some people die during the process because they have been cut.

“We want more than just words for the government to ban the practices, we want action, as we believe if the government join hand with us to prosecute people who carry out these acts, we will be to discourage people and get an end to it,” she said.

A survey conducted by the United Nations Population Funds, UNFPA, in 2015 showed that the practice was high in the South-West in spite of the geo-political zone’s high literacy and awareness rate.

The report said Osun State still ranked highest in the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation practice in Nigeria with over 76.3 per cent, followed by Ekiti which had 71.2, Oyo, 69.7; Ebonyi, 55.6; Imo, 48.8; and Lagos, 44.8 per cent.

Conveyed by: PREMIUM TIMES

courtThe Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has held that the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, was not entitled to pre-action notice before any legal action can be brought against it.

Delivering judgment in an appeal by a former Governor of Edo State, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, against the decision of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which struck out his case against the commission, the court, in a unanimous decision, upheld the appeal and ordered that the case be remitted to the Chief Judge of the court for reassignment to another judge.

The commission, at the lower court, had raised an objection that the action was incompetent on the grounds that at least one month notice was not given to it before the suit.

Citing a plethora of authorities, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in law by striking out the case.

In the substantive suit, Professor Osunbor had asked the lower court to declare that his purported indictment by the commission for electoral violence was unlawful and unconstitutional because the commission did not give him any opportunity to defend himself before arriving at the indictment.

In addition, he prayed that the purported indictment be set aside because the rights commission went outside its powers by reviewing the judgment of the election petition tribunal which nullified his election and drawing a conclusion different from that reached by the tribunal.

He contended that no allegation of electoral offence was made against him by anybody and that the rights commission on its own and without any evidence from any witness indicted him for electoral offence.

But the commission filed an objection to the suit, arguing that the former needed to give it at least one-month notice before proceeding to court.

Reacting the judgment, Professor Osunbor hailed the Appeal Court judgment for stating the correct position of the law.

He added that the judgment would bring to an end the reign of impunity by the commission and its penchant for violating the rights of Nigerians and always shielding itself from legal action with a defence that it does not have.

The professor of law stated that the judgment would also make the commission to be more responsible in its operations and respect the human rights of Nigerians that it is meant to protect.

Conveyed by: VANGUARD

rape-690x450Dr. Eunice Abiola, the Coordinator of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Hope Centre for Widows and Orphans, on Saturday called for the caging of anyone found guilty of rape.

Abiola said this in Ibadan that rapists were not fit to live among decent people.

She was reacting to the life imprisonment verdict passed on a former vice- principal who raped a 12-year-old student in Ekiti State.

Recall that one Taiwo Ajayi, a former vice principal, who had been on trial over alleged rape of his 12-year-old female student since March 2014, was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment.

Abiola said that rampant cases of rape in the society required stiffer penalty that would discourage the menace.

“For what reason would a man take advantage of his female pupil?

“The thought of lust over someone who is young enough to be his grand-daughter would not even cross his mind if the teacher is in the right frame of mind.

“In view of this, the convict and other rape offenders caught should no longer be allowed to live in the society but caged for life.

“So the Ekiti judgment is commendable and we believe that it will serve as deterrent to other animals in human skin.

“We also urge our judges to follow the same mode of judgment because rapists deserve no leniency due to the gravity of the crime they perpetrate,’’ she said.

She further urged victims of rape to speak out and shun the culture of silence so that perpetrators could face prosecution.

Abiola further admonished mothers to be conscious of their environment, urging them to always monitor the movement of their female children.

Conveyed by: TODAY

PSN0Pharmaceutical-Society-Nigeria-690x450The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has called on the Federal Government to ensure stiffer punishment for perpetrators of drug trafficking to curb the menace in the country.

Mr Jelili Kilani, Chairman of PSN FCT Branch, made the call in an interview with NAN in Abuja on Monday to mark International day of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

The day is marked on June 26 annually by the United Nations and the 2017 theme is ‘Listen first’.

Kilani noted that listening to children and youths was the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.

Kilani, who is also the Assistant Director, Drug Information Services and Pharmacovigilant Activities, National Hospital, identified drug trafficking as detrimental to health and society at large.

He said that drug trafficking was a global trade involving the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and sales of substances, which were subject to drug prohibition law.

Kilani decried the rate of drug trafficking and other substances in the country, and blamed it on Nigeria’s porous border, inappropriate measures to checkmate the menace and lack of stiffer punishments.

He described drug abuse and trafficking as poison to the well-being of youths which posed greater challenges to the socio-economic and political stability of the country.

“Our borders should be more tightened in terms of security to prevent easy access to illegal drugs into the country.

“The government should ensure that whoever is caught will be made to face the law.

“The problem we have with our legal system is that once somebody is guilty of the offence and able to afford lawyers he is set free.

“This is not the case in other countries as soon as you are caught trafficking heroin or cocaine the perpetrator is sentence to death.

“In Nigeria no capital punishment is applied hence people still engage in such unwholesome practices without caution.

“We should always think of implications or havoc to individuals and the larger society.

“Considering its harmful effect on individuals and society, government should ensure that anybody or group caught indulging in the act are severely dealt with to serve as deterrent to others.

“Unless we reduce demand for illicit drugs we can never fully tackle cultivation, production or trafficking.

“Government have a responsibility to counteract both drug trafficking and abuses,” Kilani said

The International day of drug abuse and illicit trafficking is set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness on the major problems that illicit drugs represent to the society.

UN General Assembly in December, 1987 set aside June 26 as International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking in view of the growing menace of drug trafficking to the deterioration of quality of life,

The day is commemorated to make people aware and emphasised the hazards of drug addiction and illegal trafficking.

The day is supported by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world to chart a course to rid the society of illicit drugs.

Conveyed by: TODAY

NAPTIP-chief-Julie-Okah-Donli-690x450The Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli, has said the agency is set to clamp down on illegal football academies involved in human trafficking abroad.

The DG Stated this when she received a delegation of Ambassadors of Human Trafficking on the Platform of the Devatop Centre for Africa Development,led by the Consultant/Project Advisor Arinze Egemonye in Abuja yesterday.

Speaking at the event Ms Okah-Donli said “it has become urgent for the agency to clamp down on fake football Academies because many of them are being used to promote human trafficking while their victims are often raped,but cannot come out to cry out.

“Apart from football Academies we also have them promising people jobs abroad,modelling agencies taking them for Hajj,Pilgrimages and some of them are even abducted and do not even know where they are going and what they are going for,so we are beginning to find them out and clamp them down” She said

Lamenting that human trafficking is a not just a crime against humanity but God, the DG said there can never be too many partners in the fight against trafficking.

She stressed that the Agency is very effective and not over stretched,noting that there are so many factors responsible for increasing human trafficking including greed, poverty,illiteracy, peer and family pressures among others.

The DG stressed the need to partner with Devatop and other partners in areas of awareness which she assured the agency is very passionate about.

She commended the Group in it’s efforts in empowering over 5000 Volunteers and urged them to continue to feed the agency with necessary data on the number of rescued victims.

She maintained that volunteering is another vital aspect of the fight against human trafficking and stressed the need to partner with them towards producing a movie that will create awareness to curb human trafficking.

Speaking earlier, Mr Egemonye said Devatop was set up in 2013 for the need to join voices in the fight against human trafficking.

Mr Egemonye said Devatop had empowered over 5000 as advocates and also working on enlightenment campaign through a mobile app tagged ‘if you see am talk am”

He added that the target is to get the youths involved and build a nation without human trafficking even as he stressed that they had trained 100 volunteers in partnership with NAPTIP

He lamented that with 27million women and girls bring trafficked globally,there was the need to empower and encourage people to volunteer to have more people in the field.

Also speaking one of the Anti trafficking Ambassadors, John Fashanu, stressed the need to curb the activities of illegal football Academies as many of the young people taken are trafficked are and raped abroad.

Conveyed by: TODAY

badgeThe Benue Command of the Nigeria Prison Service, on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government for operational vehicles to enhance its effectiveness in conveying inmates to courts.

The State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Peter Pevigo, said this in Makurdi that the command has no single official vehicle for the movement of inmates.

Command now uses all kinds of buses, including ambulances to move inmates to courts.

Pevigo explained that the command had no option but to improvise, by exploring alternative means of conveying inmates to court to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the prisons.

“We do not have any Black Maria, the official car for the movement of inmates from one place to the other, so we have to improvise alternative means of solving the problem.

“This is a very sensitive issue, because if we fail to take inmates to court at the appropriate time, they may cause havoc or cause any unlawful thing within prisons yards.

“At the moment, we have 858 inmates out of which only 86 are convicts.

“It is incumbent on us to take 772 inmates awaiting trial to court as at when due, that is why we are using our discretion to solve the issue.” he said.

The comptroller explained that the command had officially communicated to relevant authorities about their condition and expressed the hope that the situation would be addressed soon.

He commended prison warders under the command for their hard work and dedication to duty, and ensuring peaceful coexistence at all times.

Reacting to allegations of misappropriation of inmates’ food, Pevigo said there had been no such complain in the state, but warned that anyone caught would be dealt with severely.

He explained that inmates have representatives in the store where their food are weighed and shared.

“You can’t touch inmates’ food and have peaceful prison yard, they would react because food is their right.”

Conveyed by: TODAY

Governor-Malam-Nasir-El-RufaiGovernor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered for the release of 24 convicts as part of activities to mark this year’s Democracy Day.

He made this known during a special broadcast to the people of the state on Monday.

“On this day, as we celebrate democracy, our mid-term and the third day of Ramadan, we seek to also discharge our obligation to demonstrate mercy.

“Accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by law, I have acted on the recommendations of the state committee on the prerogative of mercy, chaired by our Attorney-General, in respect of 24 prisoners. Release orders have been signed for 23 convicts, including 15 who have three years or less to complete their terms.

“Four have been pardoned for good behaviour, two are released on grounds of age and one person serving life is pardoned, after 25 years in jail. One convict who has spent 23 years on death row is released, while the death sentence of one convict has been commuted to life in prison.

“As we observe Democracy Day, I call on the people of Kaduna State to continue to pray for the good health and safe return of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari. Across our diverse faiths, I humbly request that we pray in unison for peace in land, that harmony will replace strife in the places of conflict and that we all can rediscover, uphold and protect a common humanity.

“In two years, we can proudly say that much has been done, but more remains. Let us do it together. Let us remain united, respecting each other, celebrating our diversity and shunning all those who seek to prosper by setting us asunder. Let us not waver in making Kaduna great again,” he concluded.

Source: TRIBUNE