NBA-SLP PROMISES CONTENT-RICH 2021 CONFAB IN UYO

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The Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Legal Practice (NBA-SPL) is set to deliver a Conference that will linger long in the memory. In the run-up to its 2021 annual conference, slated for Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the Chairman of the Conference Planning  Committee, Ferdinand Orbih, SAN, has given the public a sneak peek into the projected highlights of the event, which will hold between Sunday, June 13, to Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort.

The conference theme, ‘Law, Lawyers and Next Generation,’ speaks directly to the SLP’s core mandate to help legal practitioners in improving their practice.

In a media interview monitored by NEWSWIRE Law & Events Magazine in Lagos, Orbih disclosed that the Opening Ceremony would be a glittering  affair chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed, CFR,  and would also feature  a star-studded galaxy of speakers from various professional backgrounds, as well as players in the political and policy space, who are expected to make contributions to the effort to chart a new and more progressive course for the legal profession, in both the short and long terms.

The conference theme will be the subject of the Keynote Speech by the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

One of the highlights of the gathering’s early exchanges would be the aptly-named Premium Session, in which a stellar panel of speakers – 3 sitting state Governors, including the host Governor, Udom Emmanuel, as well as one of Nigeria’s finest political economists, Prof. Pat Utomi and foremost journalist Ms. Kadaria Ahmed will x-ray Nigeria’s multifaceted and hydra-headed challenges, such as systemic corruption, widespread insecurity and the unchecked emigration of human resources to other climes, etc and proffer ways to stem the tide of national decline.

In recent months, the vexed issue of judicial autonomy has been pushed to the front burner of national discourse – not least by the effects of the prolonged strike currently embarked upon by the Judicial Service Workers Union of Nigeria (JUSUN). A high-powered panel chaired by E. C. Ukala, SAN will discuss the modalities of the proposed autonomy and what the judiciary might do with it once it is granted by the relevant stakeholders.

There is no question that the past one year has been defined by a once-in-a-century pandemic which has killed hundreds of thousands and sickened millions around the globe, as well as upending settled paradigms about the methods and motivations behind our business and relationship decisions and choices. What is open to question, though, has been the rationale and legality behind some of the measures being taken to combat the spread of Covid 19 by authorities around the world, such as vaccination mandates. This intriguing topic will be rigorously examined by a panel to be chaired by the learned silk, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN.

The dwindling fortunes of litigation practice in Nigeria, relative to the overall trajectory of the legal profession, has long been a source of worry to leading lights in that arm of law. Litigation, like a lost art, is in danger of becoming an alien concept especially among the younger, upcoming generations of lawyers. How to reverse this trend? That’s the question to which a panel of seasoned litigators and speakers led by one of Nigeria’s most respected litigators, Mrs. Funke Adekoya, SAN, must find innovative answers to at the Uyo 2021 confab.

According to CPC chairman Orbih, other important topics to be interrogated in Uyo will include ways to position the legal profession in Nigeria for greater impact in the 21st century global marketplace – a marketplace increasingly being defined by cutting edge technology and ever-changing dynamics and paradigms. Other issues include the emergence and growing strength  of mediation and arbitration as important alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in the country, and how lawyers can leverage on them. Also the need for a robust financing regime for law firms, as well as the need for an equally robust mechanism for the protection of key data, as well as ways of boosting cyber security, will be examined at the Conference.

Another highlight promises to be the Young Litigators’ Debate, in which two sets of younger wigs will marshal their divergent views on the question of whether or not it is possible for law enforcement agents in Nigeria (e.g the police) to enforce the law without actually breaking it and infringing on the rights of ordinary Nigerians.

On the logistical modalities of the Uyo Conference, Orbih disclosed that attendance at the event will be both in-person and online (in accodance with Covid 19 protocols), along with adequate security arrangements for the safety of attendees. He added that discounts and rebates have been worked out with a number of leisure establishments in the host city, and with Ibom Air, the carrier,  to support young lawyers who would otherwise be unable to make the trip to the Conference, or to secure good accommodation.

Orbih maintained that all registration is online at www.nba-slp.org, and advised older non-internet-savvy seniors to enlist the help of juniors in their chambers to walk them through the process.

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