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Law week: Osinbajo calls for tech-driven legal system



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday called for a technology-driven legal system in Nigeria to enable it to remain relevant in the dynamic world.

Osinbajo made the call while opening  the 2021 Law Week of  the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the  Law Week had the theme: “Disruption, Innovation and the Bar”.

In an address he delivered virtually, Osinbajo said that technological changes had become a major threat to the survival of even the legal profession.

He urged that the profession must keep in tune with changes.

According to him, as in some  other sectors that have deployed technology tools, there is now a tilt toward replacement of human legal services with artificial intelligence.

He said that it then meant that the survival of the legal profession was being threatened.

He added that the practice of lumping law students in classrooms for purpose of teaching is fast becoming archaic with technological changes.

“The theme of this year’s law week –  Disruption, Innovation and the Bar – is of tremendous importance today,” he said.

According to him, the theme provides the basic idea which legal services will now have to grapple with.

“According to a 2019 Report, 31,000 jobs in the American industry were lost due to automation, and by 2036 that number will grow to over a hundred thousand legal jobs.

“With a continued progression in technology, It is only a matter of time before the times also catch up with us in Nigeria,” he said.

Osinbajo noted that artificial intelligence had become a business model being developed and adopted to solve day-to-day problems.

He said: “For example, Ross is a technology system that can research and offer legal opinion.

“Questions are put to it and it provides answers even touching on case and statute law.

“These phenomenon raises pertinent questions for the legal profession as to how it will deal with these competitive process.”

According to him, it is important for the legal profession to change with the changing circumstaces.

“It is interesting to see that during the recent JUSUN strike, the Supreme Court delivered some judgments by Zoom,” he said.

Osinbajo said that the changes  were happening taking place fast.

He, consequently, urged the NBA to rise up to the challenge,  take charge and pay attention to the rules of engagement of legal services.

NAN reports that other dignitaries who participated in the event include the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN); President of the NBA represent by General Secretary of the Bar, Mrs Joyce Oduah; Mr Femi Falana (SAN), a former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili. (NAN)

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27 Rivers Assembly Lawmakers Dump PDP For APC



Rivers State Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike
Rivers State Assembly Complex. Insets: Governor Siminalayi Fubara (L) with FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike


The Current political drama in Rivers State has taken a new turn as 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A member of the Assembly, Enemi George, confirmed to Channels Television that the 27 lawmakers were under the leadership of Martin Amaewhule.

He said the decision was taken during their sitting on Monday morning.

For weeks, Amaewhule and another member, Edison Ehie, have been embroiled in a Speakership tussle. Amaewhule is believed to be loyal to ex-governor Nyesom Wike while Ehie is known to be in the camp of Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

The Assembly under Amaewhule had in October served an impeachment notice on the governor and removed Ehie as the House leader. However, some members of the Assembly loyal to Fubara immediately impeached Amaewhule and made Ehie the new Speaker.

The crisis in the 32-member Assembly had begun as a result of a rift between Fubara and his predecessor, Wike, who is now the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Though the two politicians have both attended same public events in the last few weeks and all seemed to have been settled but with Monday’s defection of 27 lawmakers from the PDP to the APC, more drama might unfold in the state’s political arena.

Meanwhile, some political players from other parties over the weekend announced their defection to the PDP.

Leading the defectors from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the APC were the deputy governorship candidate of the SDP in the 2023 election, Patricia Ogbonnaya; and former Ahoada-West Chairman, Karibo Wilson.

They decamped alongside their supporters and other party excos.

The politicians dumped their former parties to pitch tent with the PDP group loyal to Fubara.

Also in attendance were some of the Ehie-led group of lawmakers, with the member representing Ahoada West, Goodboy Sokari representing the governor alongside Oko Jumbo from Bonny Constituency.

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NJC Recommends Appointment Of 11 Supreme Court Justices



Entry Point to Supreme Court Complex Abuja

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of 11 justices to the Supreme Court.

A statement by the apex court’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, said the recommendation was made at the 104th meeting of the council in Abuja on Wednesday.

The recommended candidates would be sworn-in after the approval of their recommendation by President Bola Tinubu and the subsequent confirmation of their appointment by the Senate.

With this appointment, the apex court will have the full complement of 21 justices, as envisaged by the Constitution.

Those recommended for appointment to the Supreme Court are:

Hon. Justice Jummai Hannatu Sankey, OFR
Hon. Justice Chidiebere Nwaoma Uwa
Hon. Justice Chioma Egondu Nwosu-Iheme
Hon. Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani
Hon. Justice Moore Aseimo A. Adumein
Hon. Justice Obande Festus Ogbuinya
Hon. Justice Stephen Jonah Adah
Hon. Justice Habeeb Adewale O. Abiru
Hon. Justice Jamilu Yammama Tukur
Hon. Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar
Hon. Justice Mohammed Baba Idris

The NJC at its last meeting for the year also recommended the appointment of Justice Mohammed Ramat to the Court of Appeal, as well as six heads of courts and 26 other judicial officers.

The various Heads of Court recommended would also be sworn-in upon the approval of their appointment by their various State Governors and subsequent confirmation of same by their respective State Houses of Assembly.

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CJN Urges Judges To Remain Fair In Judgements



Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has asked Judges to maintain the integrity that the Judiciary is known for and remain fair and firm in their Judgements.

The CJN was speaking at the opening of the special session of the 2023/2024 Legal year and Swearing-in of 58 newly conferred Senior Advocates of Nigeria In Abuja.

Ariwoola added that he expects every judicial officer to work very hard and also be very honest and courteous to the litigants, witnesses and members of the bar, and discharge all their judicial functions with all the humility at your command.

While pledging to safeguard the rule of law, the holistic independence of the judiciary and the trust and confidence of the public, the CJN further reiterated the determination of the Judiciary, not to be overwhelmed by the sentiments of the public in their decisions.

He stated that the law remained the law, no matter whose interest was involved.

He charged them that In all they do, as interpreters of the law, they should endeavour to severe the strings of emotion from logic and assumption from fact.

The CJN further reminded the judges that it is necessary to have at the back of their minds that public opinions, sentiments or emotions can never take the place of the law in deciding the cases that come before them.

He stated that the Judiciary, as it is today, is more deserving of public trust and confidence than ever before; and they are poised to reposition it for effective justice delivery to make the country a destination of note in the observance of the rule of law and tenets of Constitutionalism.

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