How To Market A Law Firm Or Law Practice Online

How To Market A Law Firm Or Law Practice Online

Marketing a law firm online can sometimes like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be so if you know what to do. What is most important is that you finally take control of your law firm’s marketing strategy?

In the book, Social Media For Lawyers, Adedunmade Onibokun sets out a concise for lawyers and law firms looking to harness social media resources to grow visibility online. If your goal is to get more clients, or become a thought leader in your area of practice, Social Media For Lawyers is a good place to start, and it’s available on the Legalnaija online bookstore.

One way to market your law practice or law firm is also through subscribing to a Lawyers Directory, and a great directory for Nigerian Lawyers is the Legalnaija online lawyers directory. The Legalnaija Lawyers Directory enables Lawyers complete a professional profile in order to enhance visibility on the Internet. By subscribing to the Directory, a Lawyer increases access to prospective clients and strengthens professional reputation among peers and within the legal community. People who are looking to hire a Lawyer are more likely to visit your profile and contact you via email, or phone call, if you have an active subscription on the Directory. Lawyers who subscribe benefit directly from the high volume of visitors to the Legalnaija website, and Lawyers can also list office location(s), phone numbers and email addresses so that potential clients can make contact right away.

To subscribe, follow these 5 simple steps –

  1. Log on to
  2. Create an account
  3. Fill in your details, attach any relevant documents and submit for verification.
  4. You will be notified of your approval and listing via email.

If however your application is suspended, ensure your profile is filled and your credentials are uploaded and resubmit. Subscription fee is 1,000 Naira monthly only. Hurry, you get a 30 day free trial when you sign up. For more info, contact support at or via @Legalnaija across your social media platforms.



Provisions of the 2017 Compulsory Treatment And Care For Victims Of Gunshots Act

Provisions of the 2017 Compulsory Treatment And Care For Victims Of Gunshots Act

The law mandating the compulsory treatment of gunshot victims
was passed by the 8th Senate and signed into law by President Buhari
in 2017. Before the passing of the law, it was the norm for hospitals to refuse
treatment to gunshot victims and some other hospitals may eject such a victim
from its premises, despite the immediate medical attention needed to save the
life of such a gunshot victim. 

The reason why Nigerian doctors would turn their
backs on their Hippocratic oath and refuse to treat victims of gunshot wounds
was due to the incessant harassment and sometimes arrest of medical staff who
rendered such treatment by the police. It was customary for the Chief Medical
Director of such hospital to be questioned as to any links with armed robbery
syndicates or gangs.

While this police directive was being enforced, the lives of
many persons who had been victims of armed robberies and other forms of accidents
or incidents involving gun wounds would usually pass-on before any meaningful
help arrives. Such victim while bleeding would first be expected to be taken to
the police station, after which the statement’s of the persons who helped the victim
will be taken and a police officer dispatched with the victim to a nearby
hospital or a police report prepared by the police but to be handed over to the
hospital. Many Nigerians have died because of this delay and it was to prevent
the further unnecessary loss of life of other Nigerians that the Gunshot Act
was passed into law.

Section 1 (one) of the Act provides that all hospitals in
Nigeria shall accept and treat without a police clearance any person with a
gunshot wound. Section 2 (two) of further mandates all security agencies to
render the necessary assistance to gunshot victims and ensure that they are
taking promptly to an hospital for treatment. Furthermore, in the said Section,
the law provides that all victims with gunshot wounds shall be treated without
a request for initial monetary deposits and such persons shall not be victims
of any inhuman or degrading treatment. 

The hospital in Section 3 is also placed with the
responsibility of informing the nearest police station whenever a gunshot
victim is brought in and the Police are mandated to immediately investigate and
ascertain the cause of the gunshot wound. Hospitals that fail to make an
official report according to the law as described above commits an offence and
is liable upon conviction to a fine of N100,000
(One Hundred Thousand Naira) and every Doctor directly concerned will be liable
to up to 6 (six) months imprisonment and/or a fine of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each (Section 5). Hospitals
are also required to contact the family of the victim within 24hrs of identifying
such person (Section 10) and ensure a proper record of such treatments are kept
accordingly (Section 12).

In the past, it was the culture of the police to immediately
request the presence of a gunshot victim at the police station for further
investigation and such persons were usually taken to the station without
adequate attention paid to the wounds and the extent of their recovery. Hence,
the Act in Section 4 restricts the police form inviting a gunshot victim to the
station for investigation unless cleared by the Chief Medical Director of the

A key provision of the Act is how it seeks to protect all
volunteers or helpers of a gunshot victim, it was usual practice for such a
person to be arrested by the police, however, the Act iin Section 8 (eight)
directs that such person be treated with respect and shall not be subjected to
unnecessary and embarrassing interrogation in their genuine attempt to save the
life of the victim.

Persons who break the law or who cause any form of emotional
or psychological damage to the victim is liable on conviction to imprisonment
for a term of 15 (fifteen) years without option of a fine. Also any person who
fails to carry out a duty as stated in this Act which leads to the death of a
person with gunshot wounds is liable to imprisonment for 5 (five) years and/or
a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand

Lastly, in addition to the penalties stated above, the Court
may also order that restitution be made to the victim and same may be enforced
by the victim or by the State Prosecutor. It is important that many police
officers and medical practitioners are informed of the provisions of this law
so as to ensure the protection and treatment of victims with gunshot wounds.



Rights Of Igbo To Self Determination And A Call For The Restructuring Of The Current Nigerian Political System

Rights Of Igbo To Self Determination And A Call For The Restructuring Of The Current Nigerian Political System

The recent heightened clamour for self-determination in various quarters
of southeastern Nigeria – a geographical location largely made up of the Igbo
people, has awakened the keen interest of many people around the world. Various
secessionist leaders calling for the recognition of the sovereign state of
Biafra have been incarcerated by the Nigerian Federal Government on many
occasions while a few others are standing criminal trial for offences like
sedition, treason and other treasonable felonies. It is therefore imperative
for one to look into this agitation for self-determination and decipher if
indeed such right exist in favour of the secessionists, whether this right is
recognized by international law and if there are conditions precedent to the
enjoyment of this right. This paper focuses on the international law framework
guaranteeing the right to self-determination vis-a-vis the Igbo nation of
Biafra; and also proffers probable solutions/recommendations for continued

The Right to
self-determination is a right that inures to every group/people as their innate
human right and does not come through negotiations. Just as there is no
condition precedent for the enjoyment of any human right across the world,
except the fact that a person is ‘Human’, same is the case with the Right of a
People to Self-determination. A proper understanding of the right to
self-determination under International Law will afford every nation seeking to
secede, without any doubt, a guide in achieving state status in a manner
acceptable to the international community.
The discussions in
this paper will be divided into four parts. Part One is the Introduction. Part
Two will provide a historical background of the struggle for self-determination
by the Biafra nation. Part Three will attempt to summarize all the relevant
international laws bothering on self-determination citing examples of some
states that actualized an independent sovereign state status in recent times.
This paper concludes with Part Four wherein the writers reemphasize the right
of every people including the Igbo race to self-determination under
International Law, and also spells out certain pragmatic recommendations for
continued co-existence.
The Oxford Dictionary
of Law defines “self-determination” as: 
“the right of a people living within a
non-self-governing territory to choose for themselves the political and legal
status of that territory. They may choose independence and the formation of a
separate state, integration into another state, or association with an
independent state, with autonomy in internal affairs”.[1]
Various reasons can
account for the desire by an indigenous people to crave for autonomy and an
independent state status. Some of these reasons include perceived religious
bias by an extant government, ethnic domination, patent cultural differences,
injustice and marginalization, among other reasons.
The struggle for
self-determination by the Igbo race can be traced as far back as 1914 when the
then British government forcefully merged the Northern and Southern
Protectorates of Nigeria. This merger was to facilitate a functional political
and economic control over the Nigerian people.
The systems of
government that existed in the two protectorates differed significantly, more
so, the cultures and religions of those regions were extremely dissimilar. The
incongruity of the two regions immediately began to manifest in religious
clashes, election riots, persecution of Igbo traders in Northern Nigeria among
other injustices all culminating in the Nigerian Civil War, alternatively
referred to as the Biafran War, which lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15,
Today, many years
after the civil war has ended, evidence of marginalization of south-eastern
Nigeria still exists in the form of bad road networks across the region, the
dilapidated River Niger Bridge at Onitsha, Anambra State, outrageous ethnic
inequality in the employment of persons to the federal civil service, general
exclusion in federal projects among other social, economic and political
The aforementioned
social, economic and political inequalities have resulted in the formation of
many indigenous organizations aimed at voicing out the grievances of the Igbo
nation. Most notable among these organizations include the Movement for the
Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous
People of Biafra (IPOB). There have also been reports of various groups of
people protesting against these perceived injustices in various ways including
organized marches, comments and write-ups on the social media, tyre burnings, stoning
of Federal Government officials, destruction of Federal Government buildings
and bombing of oil pipelines in south-eastern Nigeria.
The United Nations
(UN) charter states that the purposes of the UN is:
“To develop friendly relations among nations based on
respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of
people, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.”[2](emphasis
The United Nation
Organization which is the primary body of UN countries in the international
community clearly recognizes this right to self-determination in its Charter.[3] As
such, no group of persons ought to be compelled by any constituted authority to
remain in a country they have no love, regard and respect for.
Furthermore, the twin
1966 Covenants i.e. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right
(ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(ICESCR) which, unlike the UDHR, are binding covenants on all member states
(Nigeria inclusive). These Covenants enshrined a people’s inalienable Right to
self-determination in the following Clear and repetitive terms.
They both provide:
 “all people have the right to
self-determination by virtue of that right they freely determine their
political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural
development”. [4]
It is instructive to
note that the right of self-determination is considered so elementary that it
is a rule of customary international law, at least in its application to
colonial territories.[5]
The United Nations
Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) was adopted by the
United Nations General Assembly on 13th September, 2007. [6]
Inasmuch as a
Declaration is not binding in International Law, the UNDRIP goes a long way in
expressing the status of the international community vis-à-vis the right to
South Sudan gained
independence from Sudan in 2011, Pakistan seceded from the British Indian
Empire, Kosovo declared independence on February 17, 2008 among numerous other
active separationist movements in the world i.e. the various secessions from
Old Soviet Union, the separation of the old State Union of Serbia and
Montenegro, the division and fusion of Germany (West and East Germany), old
Czechoslovakia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire etc.
It is indubitable that
International Law recognizes the right to self-determination. The clamour by
the Igbo race of south-eastern Nigeria for an independent state status is
therefore one in consonance with the provisions of International Law. The right
to self-determination is at the core of International Human Rights Law because
it is a pre-condition for the enjoyment of other human rights, and no other
human right can be enjoyed without it. The Right to self-determination should
therefore not be disregarded by an extant government or cowered by threats of
aggression, but the various grievances should be addressed and possibly a referendum
conducted like in the popular and recent Catalonia’s case which has been
scheduled for the 1st of October, 2017, this latter date was even
after a failed referendum on “Self-Determination” in 2014.
In recent times,
asides the people of Biafra, there have been various clamours for
self-determination by various secessionist groups across Nigeria i.e. RONDEL[7] in
the Niger/Delta, Arewa youths in the North, the Oduduwa people in the South
West, the people of the Middle-Belt etc.

Although it has been
established and emphasized herein that no unwilling group can be compelled to
remain in a union they do not want to be a part of. However, if these groups
are willing to remain together as a whole, then the situation calls for a
gathering of all of them or their representatives to discuss their existence.
The best option to sustain the existence of Nigeria is Confederalism,
wherein every geo-political zone will be totally independent, uniting under an
umbrella called Nigeria. i.e. the European Union.
However, where a
Confederal system of government fails, a very palatable option to sustain the
existence of Nigeria and to alleviate these clamours for self-determination by
the various constituent nations will be the recent call for the restructuring
of the current political system, which has of late been at the forefront of
every National discourse in the country. Simply put, a call mainly for Resource
Control and autonomy.
It is not a fact to be
ashamed of, that we are different people, with different religions and cultural
complexities. In fact, admitting these very intrinsic differences go a long way
in solving our biggest and recurring problems as a country. Our strength lies
in our Diversity, and it is in our best interest to be united than divided.
According to our Former President Goodluck Jonathan, we will be more recognized
in the International Sphere as a whole than in parts. We are called the Giant
of Africa and derive a lot of benefits from same, not only because of our
wealth, but majorly because we consist of One-Quarter of the entire black
The recent call for
restructuring of the current political system is a call for true federalism
along the lines of all the geo-political zones in Nigeria, wherein these
geo-political zones will be the federating states (entirely controlling their
resources), since they are largely made up people with similar cultures,
religion and identity.
The current Nigerian
purported federal structure is not a federal system of government in a real
sense, but rather a Unitary System of Government disguised as a federal system
of Government. The entire resources are forced out of the Niger-Delta and
shared amongst all the states, without the receiving states having any
contribution to the commonwealth. This is a very inequitable structure which
can never bring about our development, but will only encourage the harbouring
of spite and anarchy, like every other unjust system. A typical example of a
true Federal structure is what is obtainable in the United States of America.
Other countries which have devolved powers from the centre i.e. China, Japan,
India etc., have also experienced rapid growth.
Our National problems
are largely structural rather than peripheral. The current system and its
national-cake syndrome has inspired a spate of unpatriotism and apathy towards
nationhood, and can be linked to every challenge that the Country is now
facing. It has also succeeded in breeding strong men rather than strong
institutions. This explains why we have corruption problems that cannot be
checked or controlled, unending inter-tribal and communal conflicts, unending
issues of insurgency and militancy, different/divergent counterproductive
governance systems i.e. unitary, federal, sharia, customary etc. It only took
the fall in oil prices for us to discover that we were actually living/sitting
on a ticking time-bomb.
The need for every people to grow at their pace without suffering
limitations from the other.
A true federal system
will allow each of the federating states to grow at their pace and choose their
individual political systems/form of internal governance or government to
achieve such growth and still remain a part of the same country. i.e. there is
no reason why a Sharia System should be imposed on all Nigerians whereas
arguably over half of the entire population consists of Christians (every
region should be allowed to choose what works for it). Although the centre may
still retain certain powers i.e. Defence and currency etc, virtually most of
the exclusive powers of the Centre ought to be devolved to the federating
states i.e. structuring of political and legal systems, aviation, creation of
Local Government to suit needs etc. With all these measures, the issue of
power/energy generation that has been a perpetual problem of Nigeria will be a
thing of the past i.e. there is no sense in a person in Lagos State for
example, generating electricity to be channelled to the National grid to be
transmitted to all Nigerians without considering the power needs of people in
Lagos. It is a very unaccountable and repressive system. There is an old Igbo
saying that ‘a dog that is owned by everyone is often killed by hunger”. That is
simply the situation of our Power Sector. A person in Lagos should be allowed
to Generate as much electricity to suit his needs.
Issue of Corruption and Accountability
Allowing these
federating states to develop, control and explore their resources for their own
development will give them a sense of entitlement to the workings of their
government and will bring the government closer to the people. i.e. someone in
the Niger/Delta will not need to travel all the way to Abuja in order to
regulate activities of oil companies mining its resources. Virtually all
clamour for good governance and accountability will be at the Regional level,
since all the region control its resources. When this is the case,
accountability sets in, corruption will become a thing of the past, more
credible candidates start contesting elections etc. this will also help
unburden the centre in order to channel its attention to face real national
issues. A 70-30% sharing formula between the Federating States and the Centre
respectively is very fair.
Also, a true federal
system is the best way to make the centre accountable. This is because every
public official at the centre will have the duty of explaining to each of the
regions what our commonwealth is being used for. Since all the regions will now
generate their resources and contribute a percentage to the centre, issues of
embezzlement of large chunks of money at the centre will not go unexplained and
unpunished. This is because a person involved in such act will have the
invidious task of explaining to every Nigerian, and not only the Niger-Deltans,
as to why he should go unpunished; it becomes truly a crime against the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
Healthy Competition
Amongst Federating States And Issue Of Security
The current political
structure encourages laziness. If true federalism is practised in Nigeria,
virtually half of the present states in Nigeria have a capability of even being
more developed (all-round) than the centre. Since states will develop at their
pace, developing/progressive states will serve as an example to others. Every
state for example would love its territory to be a destination for investors.
Issues concerned with ignorant leaders, insurgency, indiscriminate killings and
other odious issues which have the capability of isolating a people from the
comity of nations will be a thing of the past. The over-dependence on oil is
very over-rated, every state in Nigeria has the resources to sustain it. Texas
is the oil-producing hub of the United States and yet it is not the richest
state in the US.
Not to mention that
every state in Nigeria is gifted with at least one natural resource, which can
at least sustain it before it can find other ways to increase its Internally
Generated Revenue (IGR).
Issue Of Diversifying
Our Economy And Unemployment
The current clamour by
the present administration to diversify the economy will never come to fruition
under the current structure, and any success at diversifying the economy will
be at best minimal. We run a system where our Governors sit every month
expecting allocations and security votes from the Centre without any
proportionate reciprocal contribution. Bearing in mind how selfish most of our
politicians are, once they get these funds, they can care less about the people.
If true Federalism is practised, states will be forced to generate their own
resources for their sustenance. Since their existence will now lie in their
hands, diversifying the economy, unemployment issues, failure to pay salaries
will be the least of our worries.

Osinachi Obi-Njoku and Henry Chibuike Ugwu

Photo Credit –

[1] Elizabeth A. Martin, et al., Oxford Dictionary of Law, 6th
ed. (New York: Oxford University Press Inc., 2006) p.486.
[2] Article 1(2), United Nations Charter, 1945.
[3] Ibid., Article 73.
[4] Article 1(1) of
the I.C.C.P.R 1966 and Article 1(1) of the I.C.E.S.C.R 1966.
[5] B.B.O. Enabulele,
International Law (Lagos: AMBIK
PRESS, 2006) p.211.
[6] Worthy of note is that Nigeria among 10 other
states abstained from the voting to adopt the UNDRIP. See also Articles 3 – 5,
Region of Niger Delta
Emmanuel Ohiri – Money Judgment;Unclogging the wheel of Justice

Emmanuel Ohiri – Money Judgment;Unclogging the wheel of Justice

legal mantra, “a winning party has a right to enjoy the fruit of his judgment”
has been greatly abused in Nigeria. Justice delayed is justice denied even
though litigation under the Nigerian judicial system is more often than not
protracted. Once a claimant initiates an action, it is reasonable for him to
expect that the match will result in a penalty shootout after warming up,
playing till full time and extra time. This is largely due to the various
administrative hurdles, professional antics and unscrupulous practices, which
plagues the administration of justice system in Nigeria (a huge topic for another day).

tool usually deployed by legal Practitioners to choke the delivery of justice
and ensure the triumphant party merely obtains a Pyrrhic victory is by
obtaining an order for stay of execution. This order prevents the successful
party (Judgment Creditor) from being rewarded by the losing party (Judgment
Debtor). Whilst the rules of court provide for various ways of enforcing
judgments, the defeatist attitude of litigants in Nigeria and sadly as well as
their solicitors, lead to frivolous applications for stay of execution before
the ink is dry on the judgment. [I may have prepared one or more of such applications
in my experience ;-)]. For fear of being chastised by the Court of Appeal (in the case of trial courts),
and under the guise of preserving the “Res”, Nigerian courts have cultivated
the habit of granting applications for stay of execution of judgments it has
toiled over the years to deliver. In my opinion, these courts usually fail to
consider the circumstances of each case and or the weight of evidence adduced
by the Applicants before granting such orders. This is unjust especially in the
case of money judgments.
Stay of Execution of a Money Judgment
Judgment Creditor is entitled to reap the benefits of a judgment delivered in
his favour until the same is set aside. Nevertheless, an unsuccessful litigant
may apply for stay of execution but he must show substantial reasons for
wanting to deprive the successful party of the fruits of his judgment. There
are however exceptional and special circumstances that may warrant the
deprivation of a successful party of the fruits of his money judgment. These
circumstances are entirely at the discretion of the court. The court is
required to consider the equal right to justice of both parties. The Supreme
Court’s decision in U.B.N
Ltd v Odusote Bookstore Ltd
may shed some light on this point,
as the court held: A
discretion that is based (sic) in favour of an appellant for stay but does not
adequately take into account the respondent’s right to justice is a discretion
that has not been judicially exercised”
considering the parties’ equal right to justice, the law stipulates that one of
the circumstance where a Judgment Debtor should be allowed to retain the
judgment debt pending appeal, is where there is a pending valid appeal before
the superior court and the Judgment Creditor consents to such an arrangement.
See U.B.N Ltd’s case
referred to above. Consequently, where an appeal has not been entered at the
superior court and the Judgment Creditor has not consented to the Applicant
retaining the judgment sum, the court has no power to permit the Applicant to
hold the same.
 Responsibility of the Court
an application for stay of execution is an exercise of the equitable powers of
the court, an Applicant for a stay of execution of a money judgment must
approach the court with clean hands by exhibiting in its affidavit, its last
audited annual statement of account to provide the court with full and frank
knowledge of its financial position. The court has held that in the case of a
company, the law enjoins it to prepare an audited annual statement of account showing
its assets, which will include its reserve (if any) and liabilities. Where it
fails to do so either through neglect to disclose relevant facts or suppression
of them, it has not shown readiness for fairness and equity[2]. 
means that the equitable powers of the court may only be invoked where the
Applicant had provided the court with detailed proof (in its affidavit) of its
assets and liabilities. This requirement is more critical where the Applicant
has either claimed poverty or opulence as the basis for grant of stay of
execution. The requirement formed the basis of the decision of the Court of
Appeal in Chukwu v.
, where the Court of Appeal per Uwaifo JCA held as
follows: “That is the only
way the court can best exercise its discretion to grant or refuse the stay.
Bare assertions of poverty or opulence by him do not assist, afortiori when the
facts are suppressed or misrepresented by him. Arguments based on them make a
ritual of the principles and in effect invite the court to exercise its
discretion on nothing other than those principles, or indeed on false facts,
instead of upon true and full facts guided by the principles. This does
incalculable harm to the course of justice.”(Underlining ours)
is important that the court should refuse to grant applications for stay of
execution of a money judgment where Applicants fail to exhibit their financial
statement or a breakdown of their assets and liabilities towards enabling the
court invoke its equitable powers. A Judgment Creditor should not be denied the
fruit of his judgment on insubstantial grounds or lack thereof in the
Applicant’s affidavit. At the very least, the court should invoke its power to
order the payment of the judgment debt to the Chief Registrar of the court, who
shall in turn deposit the same into an interest yielding deposit account in a
reputable commercial bank pending the determination of the appeal[4].
[1] (1994) 3 NWLR (Pt 331) 129 at 150 – 151
[2] Guinea Insurance Plc. v. Monarch Holdings Ltd. (1996) 3 NWLR pt. 436 p.365 @371
[3] (1990) 2 NWLR pt.130 p.80 @84-85 H-B
[4] Kwarapoly vs. Oyebamiji (2008) 3 NWLR (part 1075) page 459, Kopek Construction
Ltd vs. Ekisola (1998) 10 NWLR (part 568) page 120.

Emmanuel Ohiri

Emmanuel Ohiri is a vibrant and dynamic young lawyer with a high level
of intellectual curiosity, passion for perfection and tactical

Note – This article was originally posted here.
Provisions of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law  2016

Provisions of the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016

Though not restricted to
the commercial city of Nigeria, Land grabbing has always been a big issue in Lagos
state. Property investors were not protected under the law and were being taking
advantage of by the popularly called “Omo Onile”, meaning in loose terms “Children
of the land” and their sponsors, or privileged individuals who used force,
threats and sometimes violence to unscrupulously take possession of land or
property belonging to other persons. It is common to see or hear of a crowd of
young men gather at the sites of undergoing private construction demanding for
unaccountable levies and fines. 

To say, these unlawful actions
have plagued the real estate industry in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, is
to put it mildly. Sometimes, law enforcement agencies are also powerless to aid
or act in certain situations. The property divisions of the law courts are
filled with claims bothering on forceful and unlawful possession of land or
property and have been in court for quite some time. 
Lagosians can however smile
and be relieved, as Governor Ambode on the 15th of August, 2016,
LANDED PROPERTIES IN THE LAGOS STATE. This new Law protects the proprietary
rights of Land and Property owners in Lagos State and also criminalizes actions
of forceful and unlawful entry or occupation of premises. 
The law states in Section
2(1), that – 
“ As from the commencement
of the law, no one shall use force or self-help to take over any landed
property or engage in any act inconsistent with the proprietary right of the
owner in the State. 
Furthermore, subsection
2(two) states that persons who have used force to take over the properties of others
and still do so after 3 months from the date of commencement of the law commit
an offence. Anyone who commits such offence is liable to ten (10) years
Also, anyone without
lawful authority who applies threats or violence to secure entry into any
landed property for personal use commits an offence. Regardless of if the entry
is lawful, it does not give a right to use threats or violence and anyone who
commits the offence shall be liable to 10 (ten) years imprisonment.
Furthermore, by virtue of
section 3(4), anyone who uses fire arms or offensive weapons or is in any way
armed or wounds anyone while committing the act of forced entry is liable to 4(four)
years imprisonment. 
Persons in illegal
occupation of premises who also fail to leave the property commit an offence
and are liable to a fine of N5,000,000
(Five Million Naira) and/or up to five (5) years imprisonment. By virtue of
Section 7, any encroacher who keeps fire arms or dangerous/offensive weapons on
the premises shall be liable to 10 (ten) years imprisonment. 
Any encroacher who tries
to sell the property knowing he has no lawful authority to do so commits a
crime and is liable to a fine of N500,000
(Five Hundred Thousand Naira) and/or Six (6) months imprisonment. If the person
is successful in selling the property, he shall be liable to a fine not
exceeding 100% the value of the property and/or 5(five)years imprisonment as
provided in section 8. 
It was always common for
purported family agents to unlawfully sell family property without the consent
of the head of the family. However, by virtue of the law, anyone who sells
family property without the authority of the family head or sells government
land without the authority of the relevant government authority shall be liable
to 21 (Twenty – One) years imprisonment. 
Due to the fact that many
property/estate agents and sometimes, lawyers, have been known to aid the sale
and unlawful encroachment of private property. Section 9, prohibits
professionals from aiding in conduct that constitute an offence under the law
and such professionals shall be reported to the relevant bodies for misconduct
and appropriate actions. 
A popular provision of the
Law is the section that prohibits that harassment of property owners by the omo
onile groups and other hoodlums. Section 10, states that persons who act as
agents and demand a fee in regard to construction on properties shall be
committing an offence and liable to a fine of 1(One) million naira and/or 2 (two)
years imprisonment. 
The Law also establishes a
task force to enforce the law and grants jurisdiction to the Special Offences
Court and other courts. 
In other to prevent
private persons from taking laws into their hands, no law enforcement agent,
vigilante group, ethnic, cultural or traditional militia shall have the right
to enforce the law except in terms with the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act.   
The enactment of this law
brings succor to all lawful property owners in Lagos State and is highly
Dunmade Onibokun

Principal Partner
Adedunmade Onibokun &
Dunmade’s legal practice
focuses on corporate and commercial law, regulatory compliance, due diligence,
corporate advice and commercial transactions. 
He is the Principal partner of Adedunmade Onibokun & Co. a law firm
based in Lagos, Nigeria. Dunmade is also a blogger and publishes the Legalnaija
Blawg via

Photo credit –
Busayo Adedeji – A Review of the Cybercrimes Act

Busayo Adedeji – A Review of the Cybercrimes Act

cybercrime act was signed into law on the 15th of May, by President
Goodluck Jonathan before leaving office. 
The objectives of the act are to provide an effective and unified legal
regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention,
detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrime in Nigeria; ensure the
protection of critical national information infrastructure and promote cyber
security and computer systems and networks electronic communications, data and
computer programs intellectual property and privacy rights.

Some salient provisions of
the act include:
·       Designation of certain computer
systems or networks’ as Critical National Information Infrastructure.
The act provides that “The President may on the recommendation of
the National Security Adviser, by Order published in the Federal Gazette,
designate certain computer systems, and/or networks, whether physical or
virtual, and/or the computer programs, computer data and/or traffic data vital
to this country that the incapacity or destruction of or interference with such
system and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national or
economic security, national public health and safety, or any combination of those
matters as constituting Critical National Information Infrastructure.”[i]
to the above power vested in the president, he may make orders for the
preservation, storage etc of the critical national information infrastructure and
offenses against infrastructure are punishable by imprisonment for as long as
10 to 15 years.
Registration of Cybercafés
act provides that from the commencement of the act all operators of cybercafé
shall register as a business concern with Computer Professionals’ Registration
Council in addition to a business name registration with the Corporate Affairs
Commission. Cybercafés shall maintain a register of users through a sign-in
register. This register shall be available to law enforcement personnel
whenever needed.[ii]
act does not however prescribe any penalty for cybercafé operators that do not
comply with the above provision. It however prescribes an imprisonment of 3
years or fine of one million naira (or both) for any person who perpetrates
electronic fraud or online fraud in cybercafé. 
In the event of proven connivance on the part of the owners of the cybercafés,
such owners shall be liable to imprisonment for 3 years or a fine of 2 million
naira. The burden of proving such connivance shall be on the prosecutor.
Intercepting electronic messages,
emails and electronic money transfers
act provides that any person who unlawfully destroys or aborts any electronic
mails or processes through which money and or valuable information is being
conveyed is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years in
the first instance and upon second conviction shall be liable to 14 years’
  • Computer
    Related Forgery
A person
who knowingly accesses any computer or network and inputs, alters,
or suppresses any data resulting in inauthentic data with the intention that
such inauthentic data will be considered or acted upon as if it were authentic
or genuine, regardless of whether or not such data is directly readable or
intelligible, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment
for a term of not less than 3 years or to a fine of not less than 7,000,000.00
or both.[iv]
  • Electronic
The act provides that electronic
signature in respect of purchases of goods, and any other   
shall be binding. Whenever the authenticity or otherwise of such signatures is
in question, the burden of proof, that the signature does not belong to the
purported originator of such electronic signatures shall be on the contender.
Any person who with the intent to defraud and or misrepresent, forges through
electronic devices another person’s signature or company mandate commits an
offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not
more than 7 years or a fine of not more than N10,000,000.00 or to both
fine and imprisonment.
following contractual transactions or declarations are however excluded and may
not be by electronic signature[v]:
  • Creation
    and execution of wills, codicils and or other testamentary documents;
  • Death
  • Birth
  • Matters
    of family law such as marriage, divorce, adoption and other related issues;
  • Isuance
    of court orders, notices, official court documents such as affidavit,
    pleadings, motions and other related judicial documents and instruments;
  • Any
    cancellation or termination of utility services;
  • Any
    instrument required to accompany any transportation or handling of dangerous
    materials either solid or liquid in nature; and
  • Any
    document ordering withdrawal of drugs, chemicals and any other material either
    on the ground that such items are fake, dangerous to the people or the
    environment or expired by any authority empowered to issue orders for
    withdrawal of such items.
Cyber Terrorism
Any person that accesses or causes to be accessed any
computer or computer system or network for purposes of terrorism, commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment.
The act
further stipulates that for the purpose of the provision as stated above,
“terrorism” shall have the same meaning under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act,
2011, as amended.
theft and impersonation
The act provides that any person who is engaged in the
services of any financial institution, and as a result of his special knowledge
commits identity theft of its employer, staff, service providers and
consultants with the intent to defraud is guilty of an offence and upon
conviction shall be sentenced to 7 years imprisonment or N5, 000,000.00
fine or both.
act further provides that any person who fraudulently or dishonestly makes use
of the electronic signature, password or any other unique identification
feature of any other person; fraudulently impersonates another entity or
person, living or dead, with intent to –
(a) gain advantage for himself or another
(b)  obtain any property or an interest in
any property;
disadvantage to the entity or person being impersonated or another person; or
avoid arrest or prosecution or to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of
justice commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment
for a term of not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than N7,
000,000.00 or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Manipulation of ATM/POS terminals
Any person who manipulates an ATM machine or Point of
Sales terminals with the intention to defraud shall be guilty of an offence and
upon conviction sentenced to Five Years imprisonment or N5, 000,000.00
fine or both. Furthermore any employee of a financial institution found to have
connived with another person or group of persons to perpetrate fraud using an
ATM of Point of sales device, shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction
sentenced to Seven Years imprisonment without an option of fine.[vi]
Electronic card related fraud
For card related offenses the act stipulates a jail term
of up 5 years and a fine of up to 7 million for offenses ranging from purchase
or sale of card of another, dealing in cards etc. In the case of financial
institutions, there is a fine of 10 million for any in institution that makes
available, lends, donates, or sells any list or portion of a list of
cardholders and their addresses and account numbers to any person without the
prior written permission of the cardholder(s).[vii]
Duty of financial institutions
institutions are required to verify the identity of their customers; as such
they are to request documents that bare their names, address and other relevant
information before issuance of ATM cards, credit cards, debit cards and other
related electronic devices. They are to apply the principle of know your
customer in documentation of customers preceding execution of customers
electronic transfer, payment, debit and issuance orders.
Any official or organization, who fails to obtain proper
identity of customers before executing customer electronic instructions in
whatever way, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of
N5, 000,000.00. It further provides that any financial institution that
makes an unauthorized debit on a customer’s account shall upon written
notification by the customer, provide clear legal authorization for such debit
to the customer or reverse such debit within 72 hours. Any financial
institution that fails to reverse such debit within 72 hours shall be guilty of
an offence and liable on conviction to restitution of the debit and a fine of N
5, 000,000.00.
Administration and Enforcement
office of the National Security Adviser shall be the coordinating body for
and enforcement agencies under this Act and shall provide support to all
relevant security, intelligence, law enforcement agencies and military
services to prevent and combat cybercrimes in Nigeria
Arrest, search, seizure and
act provides that a law enforcement officer may apply ex-parte to a
Judge in chambers for the issuance of a warrant for the purpose of obtaining
electronic evidence in related crime investigation. The judge in turn may issue
a warrant authorizing a law enforcement officer to enter and search any
premises or place if within those premises, place or conveyance –
(i)  an offence under the act is being
committed; or
(ii)  there is evidence of the commission of
an offence under the act; or
(iii)  there is an urgent need to prevent the
commission of an offence under the act.
judge may also make orders relating to search of persons, computer systems or
networks, vehicles etc.[viii]
The federal High Court in any location
in Nigeria, regardless of where the offence is committed has exclusive
jurisdiction to try offenses committed under the act.
Overall, the Cybercrime Act (2015) is
a boost for the Nigerian legal system as offences that are captured in the act
were in hitherto not provided for in any of our laws. This new act is in my
opinion a welcome development as it attempts to safe guard national security,
corporations and individuals alike.

Busayo Adedeji

Busayo advises clients on
corporate immigration issues, advising clients on employment and labour law
issues, ensuring that clients are in line with regulatory compliance rules,
civil litigation etc


Section 3(1) Cybercrime Act
Section 7(1) Cybercrime Act
9 Cybercrime Act

Section 13 Cybercrime Act

Section 17(2) Cybercrime Act
Section 30 Cybercrime Act
Section 33, 34 & 35
Section 45
Penalty for Cyberstalking in Nigeria

Penalty for Cyberstalking in Nigeria

The Cybercrimes (Prohibition,
Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015 provides for an effective, unified and comprehensive
legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention,
detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrimes in Nigeria. The act also
ensures the protection of critical national information infrastructure, and
promotes cybersecurity and the protection of computer systems and networks,
electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and
privacy rights.

As Nigeria’s online community
grows daily with the springing of thousands of blogs every week, the
Cybercrimes Act is a piece of legislation that should get the attention of
bloggers and online information marketers. One of the offences prohibited under
the Act is “Cyberstalking” which can be found under Section 24 of the Act. It
provides that –
(1)Any person who knowingly or
intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or
network that -­
is grossly offensive,
pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any
such message or matter to be so sent; or
he knows to be false, for the
purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, obstruction, insult, injury,
criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another
or causes such a message to be sent commits an offence under this Act and shall
be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years
or to both such fine and imprisonment.
By virtue of the above
provisions, it seems a number of people are guilty of this offence. Many
bloggers and online users are guilty of sending messages and articles over the
internet which can be considered to come under the purview of Section 24(1). 
The act
further states in Subsection 2 that –
Any person who intentionally
transmits any communication through a computer system to bully, threaten or
harass another person, where such communication places another person in fear
of death, violence or bodily harm or to another person; commits an offence
under the Act and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years and/or a
minimum fine of N25,000,000.00.
penalty mentioned above also goes to persons found liable of transmitting
communications which – contain any threat
to kidnap any person or any threat to harm another person, any demand or
request for a ransom for the release of any kidnapped person, to extort from
any person, firm, association or corporation, any money or other thing of
if the transmission contains any threat to harm the property or reputation of another
or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse another person
of a crime, or to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation,
any money or other thing of value: such person commits an offence and shall be
liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of 5 years and/or a minimum fine
of N15,000,000.00.
It should be noted that the
courts have the power to make an order protecting the victim of a Cyberstalker and
the Act empowers all law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to
develop requisite institutional capacity for the effective implementation of
the provisions of the Cybercrimes Act. 
It is important that every
active online user is familiar with the provisions of the Cybercrimes Act to
ensure they do not run fowl of its provisions. 
Dunmade Onibokun 
Principal Partner 
Adedunmade Onibokun & Co.  
Evicting tenants through self-help

Evicting tenants through self-help

A client once complained
to me about a belligerent tenant who despite owing arrears of rent had refused
to vacate the premises. My Client wanted to let the premises to someone else
who was ready to pay and asked how he could get the tenant out in two months.
This is rather an
unfortunate situation landlords sometimes find themselves in. My Client
required funds for his business and these funds were being held over by the unyielding
tenant, which was very frustrating for him. One cannot blame tenants who also
are in this position because such disputes usually arise from the financial
incapacity of the tenant or from dispute with the landlord over rights and
obligations of the parties.

Sadly for my client, I informed
him that his tenant being a yearly tenant could not be evicted in 3 months except
he left on his own accord as it was mandatory that the tenant be served a 6 months’
Notice before the process of eviction could begin. 
My client also wanted to
know when exactly he could serve the Quit Notice as the tenants term was to
expire in seven months. According to the law in this regard, a Notice to Quit
must end not sooner than at midnight on the day preceding the anniversary of
the tenancy as stated by the Supreme Court in Nig. Joint Agency LtdV. Arrow Eva
& Gen. Trans. Co. Ltd (1970) NSCC 273
. Therefore, if the yearly
tenancy term began on the 5th of February, 2015, the Notice to Quit
must expire no sooner than 4th of February, 2016.
Many impatient landlords
sometimes result to self-help in these situations. Some by executing physical
ejection of the tenant by forcefully removing the tenant’s belongings from the
premises or by frustrating the tenant via cutting off water supply to the
tenant’s apartment and also via some extreme measures like removing the roof of
the building and exposing the tenant to the elements of nature. 
All landlords must note
that these sorts of actions are extremely frowned upon by the law. This is
further illustrated by the Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Prof.
Ajibajo Akinkugbe V. Ewulum Holdings Nigeria Limited & Anor (2008) 4 SCNJ
Even where a tenancy has
come to an end, the landlord is not entitled to go out into the premises and
physically throw out the tenant but must give the statutory notice required to
the person in possession. The laws of all civilized nations have always frowned
at self –help. The law forbids it. Elochin (Nig) Ltd V. Mbadiwe (1986) 1 NSCC
Where the landlord brushes
aside the necessity to obtain an order of court of law for possession and
jettisons the rule of law, enters the premises and takes possession, he has
invaded and committed an infraction of the rights of the tenant and renders
himself liable in trespass. 
It is therefore advised
that should a landlord be in such situation, it is wise to retain the services
of a lawyer in ejecting the tenant. Also negotiating and mediating as a means
of settling tenancy disputes should be explored and encouraged.  
Dunmade Onibokun Esq.
Principal Partner
Adedunmade Onibokun &
Dunmade’s legal practice
focuses on corporate and commercial law, regulatory compliance, due diligence,
corporate advice and commercial transactions. 
He is the Principal partner of Adedunmade Onibokun & Co. a law firm
based in Lagos, Nigeria. Dunmade is also a blogger and publishes the Legalnaija
Blawg via
What you should know before signing a contract (Part 2)

What you should know before signing a contract (Part 2)

This is the 2nd
post in a series of articles on contract. The first article defined contracts
while this post will be examining the terms and contents of contracts
Terms of contracts can be
described as the rights and obligations of parties under the contract. For
instance, under a tenancy agreement, a term of the contract is for the tenant
to pay rent, another term is for the landlord to deliver the premises in
tenable condition. 

A term of contract may be
express. i.e. written out expressly in the contract while others may be
implied. i.e. it can be read into a contract though it is not expressly written
out in the contract. For instance under a contract to supply frozen chicken, it
is usually an express term to state the number of cartons of chicken the buyer
requires, however it may be implied into the contract that the seller must
deliver them in good condition, probably in a cooling van in other to keep them
in good condition and not with the cartons dripping with murky defrosted water
and chicken pieces falling out of the cartons. 
No matter what the
contract is for, either a contract to merge companies, buy a property, a
recording contract or a contract of employment. Understanding what terms are express
and those that can be implied into a contract is essential for all parties. As everyone
must know and understand their respective duties and obligations under the contract.
Failure to do this may result in conflict later on, if a party is seeking to
enforce a perceived right under the contract but the other party claims being
not obligated for that right. This may help save you and/or your company from
unwarranted liability. 
With regard to liability,
it is also important to identify if the alleged obligation is an actual term of
the contract or a mere representation. Also,  if it can be implied into the contract. 
The fact that parties must
fully understand the terms of their contract is further expressed by the
Nigerian Supreme Court in Best (Nigeria) Limited v. Blackwood Hodge
(Nigeria) Limited & 2 Ors (2011) 1 -2 SC (Pt I) 55
, where the court
held that –
contract ought to be strictly construed in the light of the essential and material
terms agreed by parties. The court should not allow a party to dribble the
other party”.  
It is recommended that
before you sign an agreement, you evaluate if the terms constitute a valid
contract and all parties are clear of their respective duties and obligations
under the contract. Also, do not hesitate to seek counsel from a legal
practitioner if you need to.
Dunmade Onibokun Esq.
Onibokun & Co.
Dunmade’s legal practice
focuses on corporate and commercial law, regulatory compliance, due diligence,
corporate advice and commercial transactions. 
He is the Principal partner of Adedunmade Onibokun & Co. Dunmade is
also a blogger and publishes the Legalnaija Blawg via



Credit –

A Felony
means an offence on conviction for which a person can, without proof of his
having been previously convicted of an offence, be sentenced to death or to imprisonment
for 3 years or more, or which is declared by law to be a felony.
” means any offence –
Which on conviction may be punished by a term of imprisonment exceeding
two years; or 
 Which on conviction may be punished by imposition of a fine
exceeding four hundred naira;
Not being an offence declared by the law creating
it to be punishable on summary conviction.
” in relation to an infant, child, young person, or juvenile
offender, means a person appointed, according to law, to be his guardian by
deed or will, or by order of court of competent jurisdiction.