Home Life Style Good News – Why I agreed to defend Baba Ijesha in court docket — Babatunde Ogala, SAN

Good News – Why I agreed to defend Baba Ijesha in court docket — Babatunde Ogala, SAN

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Good News – Babatunde Ogala, a Senior Recommend of Nigeria and a delicate member of the Lagos Voice Dwelling of Assembly, is the fundamental associate at Babatunde Ogala and Co. He speaks to NOAH BANJO about his lifestyles and profession in politics and law, among other componentsAs the fundamental associate at Babatunde Ogala and Co, what are your duties?As the fundamental counsel, my obligation is swish definite. I’m the manager govt of the firm on whose desk the buck stops. I watch to the each day administration of our offices in Lagos and Abuja. For optimistic, I’m also the manager advertising and marketing and marketing officer, the manager administrative officer, the manager mental, the manager researcher, and the financier. And naturally, the lead counsel in every subject.What are about a of the irregular challenges that near with operating a law chamber?As I stated, the buck stops with me and no subject what number of departments you fetch or how a lot you strive to compartmentalise the educate, you’re unruffled the one who may well presumably additionally merely unruffled fetch a bigger inquire of all the pieces. One of many vital challenges is having folk who you fetch delegated tasks to ensuring that they’re also on the the same web page and on the the same tempo with you and admire exactly what’s anticipated. You furthermore mght fetch the problem of the clients. Each client believes it is you, the fundamental, that he has briefed and expects you to present all the pieces. For optimistic we have to give deepest touches and the consumer also expects you to be present at every turn – even though it is to lift date. There also will be the problem, namely on expectations. Society has some expectations, namely on one who’s a Senior Recommend of Nigeria. There also will be expectation out of your colleagues, who watch up to you. There are high expectations even from the courts.Being a SAN, the consumer believes you understand all the pieces referring to the law. The court docket also expects you, as an officer of the court docket, to be the manager researcher and likewise you may well presumably be in a job to handbook the court docket. There are also expectations out of your colleagues at work because you’re the one they watch up to. At every level, they inquire you to be a lot forward. They inquire you to be a balancing influence; cater to no longer just appropriate their monetary needs in phrases of remuneration, their welfare, and even now and then, their emotional needs. You with regards to work and watch your group no longer having a watch too just appropriate. It be well-known to know when to be firm, when to be diplomatic and when to now and then bend the foundations.How execute you steadiness all these?Balancing all of it is bringing in one’s abilities obtained over the years. I also learnt from some principles. Over time, I even fetch garnered the abilities. With all of this, you build collectively and lift a watch at to educate. It’s no longer simple. You fetch to preserve an eye fixed on clients, and there’ll not be any longer any ‘little’ client. When you lift the transient, they’re as mountainous as any other client, which presents them a sense of significance and they inquire the supreme quality of provider, because no subject he is paying you is loads to him. Despite the truth that you just execute pro bono, the expectations are also very high because somebody has also invested his faith on your hands. So, you may well presumably like to preserve on abilities, watch at some management books you fetch be taught, some management classes you fetch learnt and the grace of God too.In what programs execute you teach technological enhancements in operating the firm?In our office, we have tried very important to proceed paperless as a lot as we’re going to fetch a design to. Now we fetch offices in Lagos and Abuja, nonetheless we hasten one design. Now we fetch constant correspondence. We deploy all manner of know-how we’re going to fetch a design to search out accessible. For optimistic, deploying know-how in this up to date age is inevitable. Rather then, myself, I’m no longer definite anyone in this office unruffled does longhand writing. Share of what we deploy is an intranet design. With the intranet, I may well presumably additionally very successfully be reading what yet any other particular person is doing and vice versa. That is the reach to proceed now; there’ll not be any longer a lot of a preference. Now we fetch a successfully off paper library, as well to a successfully off electronic library, fervent about study capabilities. We also execute multimedia. Now we fetch inbuilt speakers for our displays.Some folk deliver that attorneys no longer steadily ever operate just appropriate managers of males and property. What’s your response to that?They would be hideous because you may well presumably merely no longer be in a job to execute it on my own. Attributable to this truth, you fetch to delegate definite parts. That’s the reason in up to date practices, you fetch educate managers, accounts department and administrative officers, who can take care of the educate. For occasion, I don’t even take care of the (company’s) cheque e-book. I’m just appropriate a signature authority. My obligation is to approve and operate definite the money comes.Nonetheless, I feel about a of the finest governors and directors we have had in this country are attorneys. Now we fetch folk fancy Babatunde Fashola (a delicate Lagos Voice governor), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo Voice governor), Donald Duke (a delicate Wrong River Voice governor), Nyesom Wike (Rivers Voice governor), Godswill Akpabio (a delicate Akwa Ibom Voice governor) are all attorneys. The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, also will be a lawyer. Would you deliver these folk are seemingly to be no longer just appropriate managers? They are attorneys who practised law. It’s far their records of the law and management that they’ve dropped at endure in the governance of their tons of public offices, where they’ve been entrusted with the tasks of governance.The present executive has in most cases been accused of no longer obeying court docket orders and judgments. What implications execute you deem this has for the rule of thumb of law in the country?Within the occasion you don’t obey court docket orders, that is clearly in breach of the rule of thumb of law. Nonetheless, I don’t agree with that blanket assertion. For folk who fetch in most cases stated that, the ask I even fetch in most cases asked them is, “Please, give me instances.” They would mention Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and almost definitely, Sambo Dasuki. That there are system defects right here and there does no longer mean the manager does no longer obey court docket orders. That is political discuss. I’m more into specifics nonetheless I’m no longer taking half in politics right here. Within the occasion you deliver a executive ‘does no longer’ obey court docket orders, it design it has entire disdain for the law. When there is a disobedience of orders of court docket, that is a entire breakdown of the rule of thumb of law. So, I don’t agree after they deliver the manager does no longer obey court docket orders. Within the instances where court docket orders are seemingly to be no longer obeyed, there are cures for folk who fetch obtained such orders. In law, when there is an uncover of court docket, no longer obeying it is contempt in itself. It’s no longer ample that we just appropriate show the total world, “Oh, they don’t obey court docket orders.” I continually inquire, “Roar me namely which orders were no longer obeyed?” And more in most cases than no longer, I don’t safe any response. In Dasuki’s case, as an illustration, they neglect to plan shut that as of that time, he became once going through more than one costs in varied courts. So, a particular court docket may well presumably additionally deliver he may well presumably additionally merely unruffled be released, while yet any other one says he may well presumably additionally merely unruffled be remanded. Disobedience of court docket uncover is trampling on the Constitution and the rule of thumb of law. However, I execute no longer deem it is as substandard as you may well presumably wish to verbalize to the overall public.What are about a of the necessary instances you regard as milestones on your lawful profession?I even fetch handled instances loyal through all aspects in the final 36 or so years of educate, from these with extreme constitutional concerns. For occasion, I even fetch handled some on elementary rights of some folk in opposition to the Lagos Voice Authorities, and we got judgement. Now we fetch handled political and election matters, industrial law matters, and household law components. A fundamental one is a divorce subject that we filed on behalf of a client, while he and his wife were unruffled living collectively. We were in a job to persuade the court docket that they were genuinely just appropriate living in the the same apartment nonetheless the wedding had broken down irretrievably. There’s a rule that says, couples hunting for divorce may well presumably additionally merely unruffled are living aside for 2 years and we were in a job to persuade the court docket that even in the the same apartment, they had lived aside. So, these are some fundamental matters.Now we fetch also handled some extreme prison components that were of significance. I will’t genuinely role my hand on any particular subject because in all my instances, nobody is belief about much less fundamental than the others. Each gets the the same more or much less attention, and they all give me fulfilment and satisfaction. A college of belief believes that the activities of the judiciary may well presumably additionally merely unruffled be completely computerised as obtained in other climes. What execute you deem about that?That is de facto correct. If I’m deploying know-how in my office, it may well presumably be my fancy with a belief to file my assignment from my desk. It can presumably be my wish for me to take a seat down right here (in the office) and argue my instances. However once more, for folk who operate comparisons, we may well presumably additionally merely unruffled study gentle with gentle. You don’t just appropriate proceed and gain what’s taking place in The US and movie it may well presumably additionally merely unruffled be the the same right here, after we don’t fetch the infrastructure or mentality. Skills deployment in the judicial design design we must fetch very just appropriate infrastructure. And we’re no longer even talking referring to the Internet. We must fetch the funds and manpower. Thinking where we are coming from, we have made some growth. However more in most cases than no longer, we lift it with out a consideration. At the discontinue of the COVID-19 pandemic, some courts needed to birth up sitting on-line. Judgements were delivered electronically through on-line platforms. The truth is, the rigors were being held and motions were being argued. At a time in Lagos, judges wrote in longhand. However, I doubt if there is any buy in Lagos on the present time that does no longer teach the computer now. I know tons of judges now be taught their judgement from the notebook computer. This present day, we have assistants who execute auto recording of court docket cases. As you make your submissions, it is being recorded, which is now later transcribed and filtered. So we are step by step getting there. We’re no longer where we needs to be nonetheless there is absolute self assurance that with know-how, things would enhance. Loads of attorneys teach electronic libraries. I even fetch my electronic law stories on the mobile telephone and other digital gadgets. Appropriate on the clicking of a button, I know I will safe the authority I need. That also will be what obtains for the judges. In Lagos, there is e-filing and they upload at once. Nonetheless, we’re no longer where we needs to be.What are about a of the adjustments you may well presumably fancy to have a study in the judiciary?One of them is deploying know-how to the fullest. However, that depends on the infrastructure accessible, akin to electrical energy and Internet penetration. If a buy needs to preside over a case on-line in his office, and I’m (as a lawyer) also in my office, if the buy’s connectivity is solely appropriate, what about mine? Then, if we are announcing we would like to execute electronic filing, execute we have the ability of the 5G to lift the amount? Create we take care of the traffic? Love I stated, we are unruffled no longer where we needs to be nonetheless we are making growth slowly and step by step. This present day, things fancy court docket processes and li stening to dates are communicated to attorneys electronically. It’s far no longer any longer executed on paper.The opposite alternate is funding because all the pieces boils down to money—the welfare of the judges, the technical manpower toughen they need, judicial assistants, and up-to-date libraries. Their remuneration and welfare, even protection for the length of their tenure are also components that wish to be looked into. If we safe all that, we’d fetch a motivated judiciary. We may well presumably fetch just appropriate toughen group, because no subject how just appropriate a buy is, if they don’t fetch just appropriate toughen group, it would quantity to nothing.What can you settle on of your first time in court docket?I settle on my first appearance on my own. In total, if you safe into educate, your seniors would lead you and then step by step, they’d show you to take care of simple projects akin to taking dates and adjournments. However, I settle on one day that I became once sent to court docket all on my own and in far flung Onitsha (Anambra Voice) from Lagos. I strutted to the court docket feeling fancy a lawyer. After I got there, the counsel on the replacement facet became once the ‘almighty’ Chief Eze Ikeazu (SAN), and then, there were no longer up to 15 SANs in Nigeria. A minute bit of stage fright plan in. However, God bless the presiding buy, he seen and inspired me, announcing, “Young man, proceed your dash.” He safe me and the ruling went in my favour. That gave me tons of self assurance. Any other abilities I had became once maybe one of the first trials I needed to conduct. All once more, on the replacement facet became once the ‘almighty’ Chief GOK Ajayi (SAN). He’s gradual now. God bless the memory of Chief Justice Obamaja, who became once the presiding buy. He did plenty of the work for me, gave me self assurance and the relaxation, they deliver, is historical previous.As a senior lawyer, what motivated you to lift in the case of Baba Ijesha, an actor accused of minute one molestation?Baba Ijesha’s case is solely appropriate yet any other case. There may well be no longer any extra motivation, rather then the truth that I became once consulted. The court docket doesn’t watch your plan, neither execute I. What I watch is the law. I became once consulted and I looked on the case. I belief we may well presumably additionally execute one thing to aid expound the law, and that’s it. Don’t neglect that the particular person, at the same time as we discuss, is presumed to be innocent till in any other case confirmed. We are just appropriate ready for the prosecution to teach their case and then we’re going to fetch a design to also order the law to claim why he has no longer executed what they alleged he did.Some folk are of the realization that attorneys shouldn’t signify clients that they know are guilty. What’s your lift on that?Only the court docket can notify anyone guilty, no longer a lawyer. The lawyer’s role is to aid watch justice executed. Despite the truth that a man is caught killing somebody and he goes to court docket and he pleads no longer guilty, the law says you fetch to enter a plea of no longer guilty for him. Even when he pleads guilty, the court docket would call on the prosecution to teach the case. So, the truth that the particular person pleads guilty and likewise you fetch no facts to teach the cost of the offence, no subject his pleading guilty, he (the suspect) would seemingly proceed dwelling free. Within the gentle of that, who am I to claim this kind of man is guilty. Even when the particular person himself says, “I’m guilty”, the prosecution have to unruffled teach its case. It’s no longer just appropriate by phrases of mouth; it is the law that you just fetch to notice.What execute you lift into consideration to be the highlights of your time as a member of the Lagos Voice Dwelling of Assembly?I feel I did my finest. It became once stated that one became once one of the finest lawmakers that handed through these hallowed chambers– as a minimum so they stated after we were leaving. These were the testimonies of friends, the media and observers. However beyond that, my supreme legacies in the Dwelling were the unconventional steps we took. I’m proud to were a phase of the reform of our prison laws. Lagos became once the first order to invent a prison law as optimistic from the outdated prison law that all individuals had carried over from the colonial generation. I’m also proud to were phase the folk-oriented tenancy law of Lagos Voice, which became once a actually radical step. Others were the Coroner’s Law, and the Partnership Regulations of Lagos Voice. All these were things that fell at once below my supervision because the Chairman of the Dwelling Committee on Judiciary. There are rather tons of, nonetheless these were vital ones that I feel very proud to be phase of. No longer too lengthy previously, somebody who has been performing some study with regards to community provider as supplied in the administration of prison justice law, unruffled sought me out to perceive my views, 10 years after I left the Dwelling. Till now, I unruffled feel proud when folk watch me and they identify me with the tenancy law of Lagos Voice.What were the greatest classes you learnt on your time on the LAHA?The same outdated classes you be taught in politics – backbiting and falsehood. However above all, I obtained tons of data. Despite going in there as a senior lawyer having spent shut to 25 years in the educate, it became once fancy yet any other college in the commerce of lawmaking. This present day, I safe invited to educate legislators, each and every in the neighborhood and internationally. I even fetch developed modules for about a states in Nigeria. I even fetch also been invited exterior the country to discuss. I’m a member of the Nationwide Council of Voice Legislators in the US of The US. Any other lesson is budgetary assignment because we ran price range circles and this stuff were debated. I understood greater the belief of appropriation, contrary to what tons of folk deliver about budgeting appropriation. It uncovered me to records and I took profit of it. I went to the World Monetary institution for working towards on public procurement and fiscal obligation. It opened my eyes to a substantial amount of alternative areas. The classes are humongous. If no longer, I may well presumably well were narrowed down to law. Loads of folk advise legislature is solely appropriate about lawmaking on my own. No, it is miles beyond that.  Are you unruffled drawn to operating for political office?I even fetch no longer given a belief to that for now. However, you never can show.  The All Progressives Congress appears to be in a conundrum as regards the appointment of a sitting governor because the chairman of the occasion’s caretaker committee. What execute you deem is the reach forward?My views are public records and they look to be the favored one. Love I stated in my advisory, it is uncommon for such mountainous choices. The Supreme Court gave us a ticket in the course of the minority resolution and a wink in the course of the majority resolution. Why execute I deliver that? The field in that subject that precipitated that split resolution became once the constitutionality of a serving governor keeping an govt role, and if that’s the case, it is asked, can they be stated to be bigger? The minority says ‘optimistic’, which is a entire disobedience of even the APC constitution and as such, they voided the elections. The majority, on the replacement hand, in my inquire, did no longer disagree. Justice Emmanule Agim who be taught the lead judgement stated, however, that Mai Buni had become a mission in this subject and since any resolution, one reach or the replacement, may well presumably additionally merely fetch an affect on him, he must were joined. Failure to fetch joined him design well-known events were no longer sooner than the court docket and we’re going to fetch a design to no longer resolve the subject in his absence. So, while the minority certain the subject, the majority did no longer. They didn’t disagree with the minority. The truth is, in my inquire, they agreed. However we’re going to fetch a design to no longer proceed further because in the occasion you’re announcing a man has executed one thing that is unconstitutional, it may well presumably additionally even consequence in breaches, to impeachment court docket cases in opposition to him by the order apartment of assembly. The Supreme Court may well presumably additionally even safe him, so it wanted to be heard. And rightly so, the majority stated that. So it is miles a cliffhanger.I even fetch even long gone further to have a study at share 222-223 of the Constitution, which presents fancy in Part 7 of the Constitution, on native governments, that completely a democratically elected management can lead a political occasion. That is no longer the case on the present time. If errors were made, we may well presumably additionally merely unruffled swallow our pleasure, drop our egos, and correct our errors. That is my bear concept and that’s what I show the occasion, which majority of the occasion (hierarchy) on the supreme stage appear to agree that we may well presumably additionally correct the errors we appear to fetch made. We are going reduction to where we were sooner than this error became once made.As a Fellow of the Industry Restoration and Insolvency Practitioners Affiliation of Nigeria, what exactly execute you execute?Insolvency entails commerce management turnaround and receivership. When they deliver one thing is insolvent, it design it is shaky. If a commerce is insolvent, it is on shaky grounds. As insolvency practitioners, we are also turnaround managers. If a commerce can no longer live to grunt the tale, we’re going to fetch a design to aid it proceed down without necessarily incurring losses. If it may well presumably additionally be revived, we’re going to fetch a design to turn it around, either as turnaround managers or receiver managers. Debt restoration is insolvency. Financial raze and winding up are insolvency practices. Our abilities in on account of this we were made Fellows. You may presumably additionally very successfully be also a member of The Global Insolvency Affiliation. What does the association execute and what are your contributions to it?It’s far the arena physique regulating insolvency educate loyal in the course of the arena while BREPAN is the one for Nigeria. Being a council member speaks volumes. My contributions embrace management of the physique’s participation, contribution in tons of things of insolvency educate, sharing records, and propagating. For occasion, we performed a fundamental role as a member of the committee of the Firm and Allied Issues Act. We are also working very important on a brand original insolvency law for the country. We had a financial raze law which is no longer all-encompassing and no longer as detailed as it needs to be. The educate of insolvency, fancy every other thing, retains expanding. There are original areas nonetheless we have laws that were around for 40 years and are turning into outdated.You worked on the acquisition of the Federal Palace Accommodations. What were your takeaways from that deal?It’s far a actually outdated deal and we have executed so many offers after that. It became once a commerce buy-over. Ikeja Accommodations Restricted supplied over Federal Palace Hotel, which became once taking place on the time. It became once in the strategy of privatisation of public institutions. As a capital market handbook, we build collectively capital, and for the length of the technical element and environment the lawful framework for the takeover, we build collectively the well-known documentation, offering advisory products and providers, due diligence, and managing the lawful assignment.How would you characterize your childhood?I became once from an upper heart-class household and I had a privileged childhood. I became once privileged to proceed to a couple of the finest colleges on the time— Holy Wrong College, and St. George’s College (each and every in Lagos). I had a father who may well presumably additionally give you the money for to give his children with the finest of tons of things. He in most cases took us on commute in yet any other country. I also had a actually sophisticated and disciplined childhood. We grew up in an ambiance where integrity became once espoused. We grew up in an ambiance where there became once tons of worth on education and much less on field cloth things. Nonetheless, I misplaced my oldsters rather early in lifestyles. I became once 10 years outdated when my mom died and my father handed on when I became once 20 years outdated, while I became once in the college. What were your childhood ambitions?My childhood ambition became once to operate the finest out of my lifestyles, as a minimum on the time I started organising ambition. You may presumably additionally fancy to be one thing however it is varied from being an ambition. However from the age when I may well presumably additionally plan aims, I certain when I well-known to genuinely execute things. And, I even fetch tried very important to take into memoir what else I may well presumably additionally fetch being rather then a lawyer, the for certain replacement became once to be in mass conversation. These were the for certain two classes I became once thinking of.Copyright PUNCH.All rights reserved. This field cloth, and other digital allege material on this web pages, may well presumably additionally merely no longer be reproduced, printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in entire or in phase without prior specific written permission from PUNCH. Contact:

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