NBA 2020 Elections: Food For Thought For Nigerian Lawyers


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Why It Is Better To Elect One Who Is Experienced in Both Courtroom Advocacy & Commercial/Solicitor’s Work, as the NBA President In 2020

(By USMAN BAMALA ESQ)

▪️I will start by referring us to a statement by Ben Heineman, Jr., former general counsel of General Electric, about the nature of experience necessary to render one fitting or befitting for bar leadership. ▪️He said, “Someone will have to provide the vision, wisdom and energy to lead. Such leadership will require many skills and multiple perspectives. No one is totally suited for such tasks, but no one is better suited than a lawyer with broad training and experience.” ▪️Called to Bar In 1982, Mr Paul Usoro, SAN, was ordained a Notary Public on 23 June 2003. ▪️I repeat that he is a distinguished Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), conferred on him as result of his immense contributions to the advancement of the Nigerian Legal Profession through COURTROOM ADVOCACY. ▪️ An experienced and Practicing Advocate a Distinguished Solicitor, he was elected the NBA President in 2018. ▪️His rich experience in all
aspects of the legal profession has contributed immensely in making him him an exceptionally pragmatic and an outstandingly performing leader.▪️See for yourself.

(A)
ADVOCACY
Matters Reported in The Law Report
A.SUPREME COURT:
1️⃣A.G Rivers State v A.G Akwa Ibom State (2011) 8 NWLR (Pt. 1248) 31 (SC)
2️⃣Engr. Frank Okon v INEC (2015) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1463) 113 (SC)
3️⃣INEC v Umana (No. 1) (2016) 12 NWLR (PT 1526) 260 SC
4️⃣INEC v Umana (No. 2) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526)289 SC
5️⃣PDP v Umana (No. 1) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526)299 SC
6️⃣PDP v Umana (No. 2) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526) 307 SC
7️⃣Udom v Umana (No. 1) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1526) 179 SC
8️⃣Udom v Umana (No. 2) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526) 270 SC
9️⃣A.G Lagos v A.G Federation (2003) 12 NWLR (Pt.833) SC
?A.G Ondo v A.G Federation (2002) 9 NWLR (Pt. 772) 222 SC
1️⃣1️⃣Societe Bancaire (NIG.) Ltd v De Lluch (2004) 18 NWLR 341 SC
1️⃣2️⃣Nitel v Okeke (2017) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1571) 439 SC

?COURT OF APPEAL:
1️⃣3️⃣Archibong v State (2006) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1000) 349 (CA)
1️⃣4️⃣A.G. Federation v A.G. Abia State & Ors (2002) 6 NWLR (Pt. 784) 542 (CA)
1️⃣5️⃣A.G. Abia State v A.G. Federation (2005) 12 NWLR (Pt. 940) 542 (CA)
1️⃣6️⃣Idiok v State (2008) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1104) 225 (CA)
1️⃣7️⃣SEC v Osidero (2009) 5 NWLR (Pt. 1134) 377 (CA)
1️⃣8️⃣Habeeb Bank v Opomulero (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 690) 315 (CA)
1️⃣9️⃣Technip v AIC Ltd (2011) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1270) 326 (CA)
2️⃣0️⃣Union Bank v Sadiku Lawal (2008) 7 NWLR (Pt. 1087) 613 (CA
2️⃣1️⃣NITEL v Ugbe (2002) 3 NWLR (Pt. 753) 1 (CA)
2️⃣2️⃣Mobil v Yusuf (2012) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1304) 47 (CA)
2️⃣3️⃣Leasing Company Nigeria Ltd v Tiger Industries Ltd (2007) All FWLR (Pt. 347) 659 (CA).
2️⃣4️⃣Star Deepwater Petroleum & 3 Ors v AIC Ltd Limited & 3 Ors (2010) LPELR – 9165 (CA)
2️⃣5️⃣NITEL v Emos Dynamic Nig. Ltd (2008) LPELR – 4618 (CA)
2️⃣6️⃣Hon. Iquo Nyong of PDP v Elder (Dr.) Ini Akpan of Achan Congress Party (AC) & 3 Ors (2008) LPELR – 4656 (CA)
2️⃣7️⃣Scanad Nigeria Ltd v Prima Garnet Communication & Anor (2014) LPELR- 23313 (CA)
2️⃣8️⃣Hon. Minister of Environment & Anor v County & City Bricks Development Co. Ltd (2011) LPELR – 4256 (CA); (2011) All FWLR (Pt. 644) 66
2️⃣9️⃣Edet Udo v Akpabio (2013) LPELR-22119(CA)
3️⃣0️⃣Nigerian Agricultural Co-op & Rural Development Bank Ltd. Anor. v Mbio Oku Ikot Oku Odung Multi-Purpose Co-op Society Ltd. & ORS. (2013) LPELR-20202(CA)
3️⃣1️⃣Gordon Tom Iwok & Ors. v. University of Uyo & Anor (2010) LPELR-4345(CA)
3️⃣2️⃣Ogundipe v NITEL (2015) LPELR – 24920 (CA).

(B)
*Experience in the Solicitor work (commercial & Corporate Transactions)
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1️⃣Paul Usoro has been involved in virtually all major transactions and regulatory reforms in the Nigerian communications sector.
2️⃣The world-acclaimed, first-ever and all-round successful Nigerian Digital Mobile Spectrum Auction conducted in 2000.
3️⃣Has been the primary adviser to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in most of its reform initiatives
4️⃣Served as and was the only African and the sole Legal practitioner in the six-member Auction Control Team for the Global Systems of Mobile Communications (GSM) Spectrum Licence Auction that introduced Econet Wireless Networks Limited (now Airtel), MTN Communications Limited and NITEL GSM to the Nigerian market.
5️⃣Acted as sole legal consultant to the NCC in respect of the Mobile Number Portability;
6️⃣Preparation, on behalf of NCC, of a National Carrier Licence and an International Gateway Licences for NITEL, a hitherto unlicensed monopoly;
7️⃣Acted as lead legal consultants to NCC for the Second National Operator licensing processes,
8️⃣Preparation of the Interconnectivity Agreement between NITEL and licensed private network operators;
9️⃣Represented NITEL in the negotiation of the Construction and Management Agreement for the laying of the SAT-3/SAFE/WASC trans-continental fibre-optic cable project
?Akwa Ibom State Government appointed and relied on him to manage its portfolio investment in Airtel in 2001.
?Paul led the Airtel Shareholders Committee in negotiating the Celtel Transaction as the Committee Chairman, which, at the time, ranked as one of the biggest private sector equity transactions in Nigeria’s history.
1️⃣1️⃣A founding Secretary General, Telecommunications Law Association, Mr Usoro was named ‘Best Pan African Telecoms Lawyer of All Times’ by the IT and Telecom Digest, Nigeria’s leading and one of Africa’s foremost ICT magazines
(see http://www.nigeriabar.com/2018/07/paul-usoro-san-skills-experience-activities-and-contributions-to-the-development-of-legal-practice-in-nigeria)
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?Now, I ask, would it not be better to elect a man or woman with deep experience in both ADVOCACY & SOLICITOR’s as the next NBA President, rather than electing any lawyer that has no practice experience as an Advocated? ▪️It think one who practices as both an advocate and a solicitor is in a better position to understand and tackle the core challenges of the judiciary (which is a major sector in the legal profession), administration of justice, and practicing courtroom advocates.
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Thank you ?
USMAN BAMALA ESQ
(JIGAWA STATE)
(21/05/2020)

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