Falana Counters INEC, Says Campaign Can Continue Till 24hrs To Election

Prominent lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Sunday, criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission’s barring of campaign activities of political parties till the new date of elections.

INEC had postponed the presidential and national assembly election earlier fixed for yesterday owing to what the commission called logistic problems.
Falana, in a statement, said political parties were by section 99 of the Electoral Act, allowed to campaign up till 24 hours to the election.

He said with the shifting of the election by one week, campaign period by political parties had shifted and would only end 24 hours to the election.

According to him, INEC in taking the decision prohibiting parties from re-opening campaigns following the postponement of the elections originally scheduled for last Saturday to February 23, failed to pay attention to the provision of the said section of the Electoral Act.

He stated, “Meanwhile, INEC which has shifted the general election by seven days is alleged to have turned round to ban political parties and their candidates from further campaigning for votes.

“With respect, INEC has not paid attention to Section 99 of the Electoral Act which provides that the period of campaigning in public by political parties shall end 24 hours before polling day.

“Since elections have been shifted the period of campaign has also shifted and will end 24 hours to the new polling day.

“Therefore, the limitation of campaign imposed by INEC should be reversed without any delay.

“Furthermore, INEC should comply with all valid and subsisting court orders with respect to the candidates sponsored by political parties for the general elections.

“Otherwise, the courts may annul some of the elections conducted by INEC on grounds of exclusion of qualified candidates.”
Source: Oyo Insight

Vice Chancellor wants Makerere University school of law closed

Makerere University vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe on Tuesday asked the university to close School of Law indefinitely for allegedly being defiant and continuing with the sit-down strike.
Prof Nawangwe accuses the School of Law dons of deliberately refusing to return to class to teach and inciting their fellow colleagues to continue with the strike despite some lecturers in other colleges resuming work.

Continue reading Vice Chancellor wants Makerere University school of law closed

Onnoghen Asset Declaration Dispute: A Dispassionate Look at Nigerian Bar Association, its traducers and the Verdict of History


There are insinuations in some quarters that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is in support of the embattled CJN, Hon Justice WSN Onnoghen in his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on charges related to non-declaration or late declaration of his assets as required by the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in the 5th Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN), 1999 (as amended). Those who hold this view are quick to suggest that NBA’s support is a deliberate attempt at derailing the “war against corruption” in Nigeria. It is my humble view that neither the NBA leadership nor the NBA as a body is in support of CJN Onnoghen as a person. All I think the NBA and its leadership have been doing is merely to demand and insist on decorum and observance of due process of law, as opposed to arbitrary desecration of the Constitution. NBA’s stand is made more rational when one recalls the famous declaration in a 1998 book titled, Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince: A Dispute for the Just Prerogative of King and People written by Samuel Rutherford whose view I would paraphrase or re-phrase to read, “arbitrary application of laws has no alliance with God.”

Continue reading Onnoghen Asset Declaration Dispute: A Dispassionate Look at Nigerian Bar Association, its traducers and the Verdict of History

Law firms either keep up with tech or get left behind

By Gabriel Teninbaum

I spend a lot of time thinking about a version of that classic interview question where applicants are asked to envision their future. But, instead of thinking about my own future, I think of the legal profession’s future. If you haven’t done it, give it a try: What will legal work look like in 15 years?

There is a reason to think it’ll look very different from it does now. E-discovery software now does the work once handled by new associates. Legal process outsourcing (LPO) companies have pulled due diligence work, and much more, to offshore locations (and away from domestic midsize firms). LegalZoom—now valued at $2 billion—is drawing millions of consumers every year choosing to handle legal matters without local attorneys.

If your vision includes the idea that the biggest legal employers may someday not even be law firms, then you’re correct. It’s already happened: The largest private provider of legal services in the world today is no longer a multinational law firm. It’s Deloitte, the Big Four accounting firm. Looming super-technologies—like AI and blockchain—are somewhere on the horizon, with the potential to upend legal work in ways that some believe will be unprecedented.

Continue reading Law firms either keep up with tech or get left behind

Kenya: End of an era as Judiciary’s old hands prepare to exit the stage

A new dawn in the Judiciary is unfolding, following the retirement of the first batch of senior judges trained in the 1970s.
In the new wave of retirement, three of the most experienced judicial officers are poised to exit the stage after collectively dispensing justice for over 100 years.

Continue reading Kenya: End of an era as Judiciary’s old hands prepare to exit the stage

Five dead after disgruntled ex-worker goes on gun rampage

Five people have been confirmed dead after a gunman went “ballistic” in an industrial building in the US.
Five police officers have also been shot whole multiple people have been injured.
The “active shooter” has been “neutralised” but officers are still urging nearby residents in Aurora, Illinois, to stay indoors.
Police chief Kristen Ziman said that Gary Martin shot at officers as soon as they entered the Henry Pratt company building in Aurora.
Ms Ziman said that Martin, 45, was also killed.
Clayton Muhammad, the director of communications for the city of Aurora, said the officers were in a stable condition.
The mother of Martin said he was laid off two weeks ago and became “stressed out”.
“He was way too stressed out,” the woman, who declined to give her name, told the Chicago Sun Times.

Continue reading Five dead after disgruntled ex-worker goes on gun rampage

INEC rules out sabotage, says nobody forced it to postpone elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the decision to postpone the 2019 general elections was entirely that of the commission and not due to any external influence.
The commission also ruled out the activities of internal saboteurs in the incidences that led to the postponement of the elections. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja at a meeting with stakeholders in the electoral process held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) which serves as the National Collation Centre for the polls. “I want to appeal to Nigerians and all other stakeholders for their understanding in what has been a very difficult decision for the Commission. But we believe that ultimately this is for the good of our democracy and country. I wish to assure you of our commitment to free, fair and credible elections”, Yakubu said. “As Chairman of INEC, and on behalf of the Commission, we take full responsibility for what happened and we regret any inconvenience our decision might have caused”. He recalled how the plan for the 2019 general elections was ready in November 2017 and the subsequently issued the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections over a year ago, that is, January 2018. “We carefully followed the timetable and implemented 13 of the 14 activities as scheduled. We kept to the time frame and have not missed the date fixed for any single activity”.
Speaking on how the postponement of the polls became inevitable, the INEC boss said, “In preparing for the 2019 general elections, we have come face-to-face with the realities of conducting such an extensive national deployment of men and materials in a developing country like ours. It is said that elections constitute the most extensive mobilization of men and materials that any country could undertake in peacetime. The challenges of doing so, even under the best of circumstances, are enormous. Within a period of 16 months, we registered over 14 million Nigerians as new voters, collecting their names, addresses, photographs and their entire ten fingerprints. Beyond that, we prepared, printed and delivered their permanent voter’s cards for collection. 1 should note that of the 14.28 million Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) made available for collection, about 10.87 million or 76.12% have been collected.

Continue reading INEC rules out sabotage, says nobody forced it to postpone elections

NBA statement on postponement of national election

The NBA released a statement signed by the president of the NBA on the shocking postponement of the Elections in the wee hours of the Election day.

The statement read:

16 February 2019

  1. The Nigerian Bar Association is confounded by and disappointed with the postponement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC”), in the wee hours of this morning, of the elections that were scheduled to hold today, 16 February 2019 and on 02 March 2019. We are confounded by the postponement, considering the serial assurances that INEC had, prior to this morning, given of its preparedness for the conduct of the elections; INEC had also expressly assured that postponement of the elections was not howsoever in contemplation. Our disappointment is compounded by the fact that none of the reasons that INEC has proffered justifies the postponement; all the reasons, with some diligence, could have been remediated.
  2. It was particularly unkind for INEC to announce the postponement only hours
    to the opening of the polls for the national elections today, knowing as we all do that
    most Nigerians register for elections in their States of origin and had traveled there
    from their various stations to exercise their civic rights. The cost in manhours,
    resources and inconveniences cannot be readily quantified not to mention the risk
    to personal safety. Worse, we run the risk that some who may have to return to their
    work stations early next week may not be able to travel again for the rescheduled
    polls next weekend. We read the INEC announcement and listened to its broadcast
    to hear how INEC intends to mitigate that possibility and nothing was said in that
  3. INEC needs to be reminded that a free, fair and credible election starts with
    the preparations therefor by the Electoral Commission. If the Commission is unable
    to exercise its functions without avoidable glitches, it is difficult to see how it could
    justifiably impose sanctions on infracting political parties who give excuses for their
    infractions similar to the ones that INEC has given today for the postponement of the
    elections. Regulatory authorities such as INEC require discipline and
    foresightedness to carry out their functions. It is only by imbibing those twin virtues, amongst others and showing same by conduct that they can justifiably sanction
    infracting parties over whom they exercise regulatory control.
  4. NBA hopes that the new dates of 23 February 2019 and 09 March 2019 for
    the rescheduled elections are sacrosanct and the preparations therefor will be
    foolproof and glitch-free. Our democracy can only prosper and be strengthened if
    our electoral umpire does not give room for disputation of election results through
    sloppy arrangements and inadequate preparations. Our elections can only be
    adjudged free, fair and credible if INEC does not give room for speculations or
    concerns about its readiness and preparations for the elections. Nigerians can only
    have faith in the electoral process if, amongst others, there is no room for
    suppositions as to the motives – hidden, ulterior or unknown – of INEC for taking
    certain actions, including but not limited to the postponement of elections.
  5. In concluding, we urge Nigerians not to give up or tire out. We must give INEC
    the benefit of the doubt and turn out in our numbers to vote for the parties of our
    choice on the rescheduled dates for the elections i.e. 23 February 2019 and 09 March
  6. As the NBA pointed out in its 2019 New Year Message:
    “This is the year that we would decide both at the national and States levels
    how we wish to be governed and into whose hands we will entrust our affairs
    and lives . . . The decisions of our rulers directly impact and determine the
    course of our lives. It determines the quality of our lives, not only from an
    economic standpoint but also from our health, longevity and developmental
    standpoints. Our decisions at the polls will determine the quality of life for
    our youths and children from an educational prism as well as from the
    perspectives of employment and self-development opportunities. The quality
    of rulers that we will vote into power this year will determine whether we move
    from a perennially consumptive economy into a productive and hopefully an
    industrialized economy; it would determine whether we would, in our lifetimes
    ever be assured of such basic necessities like pervasive energy supply and
    provision of potable water and primary health care for our citizens. The
    Elections of 2019 should and must therefore serve as a defining moment for
    our country.”
    Paul Usoro, SAN

Breaking: INEC reschedules elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission has after a meeting on friday rescheduled the general elections exoected to hold today the 16 February 2019.

The presidential and National Assembly elections will now hold on the Saturday 23 February 2019 while thos of the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and FCT Area council will now hold on the Saturday 9 March 2019.