Intellectual Property Law symposium and awards, University of Abuja
On the 18th of September, our Partner and Head of our Intellectual Property & Technology department, Mr. John Onyido, presented a paper titled: Strengthening Intellectual Property Law to Protect Innovators and Creators in Nigeria at the second edition of the Intellectual Property Law Symposium and Awards, held at the University of Abuja, Nigeria.
After succinctly explaining the connection between international trade, development and Intellectual Property Rights, Mr. Onyido identified the strategies employed by developed countries in terms of technological innovativeness and intellectual property protection. He noted that for her level of development, Nigeria has underperformed based on the 2019 innovation index published by WIPO, and therefore proposed homegrown solutions to rev-up the country’s performance. He identified the need for the government to put favourable policies in place to incentivize our budding innovators and creatives. He proposed strategic adjustments that would include ensuring up-to-date enabling laws, articulating IP and other economic milestones with clearly defined actionable plans, designing necessary framework for training, and adequate funding of IP related agencies, amongst others, necessary in order to protect indigenous startups.
He submitted that Nigeria needs to take advantage of the beneficial effects of regional trade, through regional integration and participation at various levels, and should harness the knowledge base of certain vital agencies like NAFDAC and NOTAP etc., for nation building.
The symposium was organised by Prestige Anchor International, a community based NGO in collaboration with Law Student Association of Nigeria, (LAWSAN), UNIABUJA Chapter and Intellectual Property Law Club, UNIABUJA; and had in attendance, over 400 students, lecturers of the law faculty, intellectual property lawyers, law firms, and government bodies.
Present at the occassion were Mr. John Asein – Director General of Nigeria Copyright Commission represented by Mr. Abdul-tah kohol - Director, Legal Department; Mr. Adedayo Thomas – Executive Director of Film and Censor Board, Barrister Uche Nwokocha - Partner, Aluko & Oyebode represented by Barrister Regina Onwumere – Associate, Aluko & Oyebode and Barrister Joke Aliu - Partner, Aluko & Oyebode.
Also present were Barrister Clement Ighodarho Osuya - Senior Partner, Osuya & Osuya Law Firm, Barrister Igelige Rockson - Secretary Board of Trustees, Friends of the Creators Foundation, alongside many other lawyers, entrepreneurs and business gurus.
Several honours were presented in recognition of those who have contributed to the practice and development of Intellectual Property Law in Nigeria. Among the recipients, S.P.A. Ajibade & Co. was awarded Intellectual Property Law Star firm of the year while the Managing Associate of the firm Mrs. Bolaji Gabari received the ‘Intellectual Property Technology Lawyer of the year’ Award for 2019.
The Launch of the Compendium of Nigerian Copyright Law Reports Vol 1, in celebration of the Nigerian Copyright Commission’s (NCC) 30th Anniversary
Our Partner, John Onyido, who heads our Intellectual Property and Technology Practice delivered a paper titled “Administration of Collective Management Organizations in Nigeria: Lessons from USA, UK and Europe and Canada” at the launch of the Compendium of Nigerian Copyright Law Reports Vol 1. The Compendium was Edited by the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr. Clinton Jaja. The event was organised by the Association of Legislative Drafters and Advocacy Practitioners (ALDRAP) in celebration of the appointment of Dr. Jaja who coincidentally is the Secretary of ALDRAP. The event which held at Rockview Hotel Royale, Abuja on Monday 19th of August 2019, also coincided with the Nigerian Copyright Commission’s (NCC) 30th Anniversary."
John Onyido emphasized the need for an effective collective management system in Nigeria and the importance of approving multiple CMOs to manage the rights of copyright owners in line with the demands of stake-holders. He examined the collective rights administration system of different jurisdictions including UK, USA, and Europe and identified some lessons to be learned from these jurisdictions. He also isolated some of the challenges faced in the effective administration of collecting societies in Nigeria and proffered solutions in tandem with modalities adopted in other jurisdictions to tackle similar problems. He proposed further amendment to the Copyright Act to abolish the monopolistic status of CMOs with multiple CMOs licenced to operate in a single field like CMOs in the US, the introduction of more robust provisions to address issues of internal governance, transparency and accountability, signing of more reciprocal agreements with international counterparts in order to access this global market and reward copyright owners appropriately.
The event also hosted a Moot Court Competition on copyright law amongst Nigerian law students from Ahmadu Bello University, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Abuja, University of Benin, University of Ibadan, and University of Ilorin. Winners of First, second and Third places will receive cash prizes of ₦500, 000, ₦300, 000 and ₦200, 000, respectively.
The book launch was well attended by dignitaries like Hon. Justice Jonah Stephen Adah (JCA) of the Court of the Appeal (Abuja branch), Professor Abiodun Amuda-Kannike, SAN, (Pro-Chancellor Kwara State University), Prof. Tim Olagbemiro (Vice Chancellor Edwin Clark University), Rt. Hon. Peremobowei (former deputy Governor of Bayelsa State), Secretary Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions, Barr. Marcus Leton (representing Hon. Kingsley Chinda), a representative of Senator Gershom Bassey, representative of the DG of the NCC, budding lawyers, students of the six law faculties and stakeholders.
SEC APPROVES NEW RULES OF THE NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE - DERIVATIVES & ONLINE TRADING PORTALS
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently approved the following rules for the Nigerian Stock Exchange:
Investing in Nigeria’s New Economy – By Ms. Yewande Sadiku
Click here to download the interesting presentation delivered by Ms. Yewande Sadiku at the 2018 Annual Business Luncheon of the Capital Market Solicitors Association (CMSA).
April 09th 2019.
The Introduction of a Digital/Electronic Filing System
The first Electronic Probate registry was launched by the Chief Judge of the Lagos State High Court on 28th March 2019. The Electronic filing Probate Registry is the first of its kind in Nigeria and this milestone launch means that applications can now be submitted online with progress of its processing monitored online.
Probate payments can be made by point of sale (POS) machines and direct transfer into the Lagos State Judiciary’s account. Storage of Wills is now more fool proof and letters of administration and grants of probate can be issued within 12 to 16 weeks of application, all things being equal. The purpose of the electronic filing system at the Lagos Probate Registry is to eventually eradicate the need for manual processing of files at the registry.
The advantage of a properly developed electronic structure in addition to aiding a faster procedural system rid of bureaucratic challenges is that it will lead to a drastic reduction in the problem of revenue leakage whilst rendering the required service in a timely and efficient manner.
Caption: The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon Justice Opeyemi Oke and other dignitaries, at the launch of the Electronic Probate registry in Lagos, recently.
SPA Ajibade & Co.’s Head of Intellectual Property and Technology department, John Onyido, Esq., receives the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award
Mr. Onyido has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who as a leader in the legal industry
NEW ROCHELLE, NY, April 1, 2019, Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present John Chike Onyido, Esq., with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Onyido celebrates many years experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
A native of Nigeria, Mr. Onyido pursued his passion for law from a young age, attending the University of Benin and receiving a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1989 at the age of 20 (twenty). Soon thereafter, he obtained a Master of Laws degree and a Master of Arts in international law and diplomacy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 1993 and 1998, respectively. After gaining prominence in the practice of law, he earned an additional Master of Laws degree in Intellectual Property law from the Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University in New York City in 2009. Mr. Onyido has been admitted to practice law in New York and Nigeria, as well as before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Commencing his career in 1992 as a law associate with Messrs. Allan & Ogunkeye, a role he held for five years, culminated with his elevation to the position of Associate Partner in 1997. Mr. Onyido thereafter served as senior associate counsel and head of the department of intellectual property law and litigation with The Law Union from 1999 to 2001. From 2001 to 2005, he served as foreign partner for R.U. Metu & Associates, while simultaneously acting as a foreign partner of Jones, Lewis & Simpson Partners from 2001 to 2007. During this period he carried out extensive consulting work for various leading law firms in the New York City area. In 2007, he joined the prestigious law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP as an attorney, where he worked until 2010 when he was invited as an associate partner and foreign legal consultant for SPA Ajibade & Co., in Lagos, Nigeria. Since 2014, Mr. Onyido has served the company as partner and head of its intellectual property & technology department, practicing intellectual property law, entertainment & media, telecommunications law and overseeing the firm’s emergent Energy & Natural Resources sector. John has written numerous articles on intellectual property-related subjects in an attempt to amend local laws and bring them up-to-date with worldwide developments, whilst also canvassing for the widespread teaching of intellectual property subjects at institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.
Among the notable highlights of his career, Mr. Onyido is most proud of winning monumental cases in the 1990s, consisting majorly of trademark infringement cases for Guinness Plc (and its subsidiaries, United Distillers Plc and White Horse Distillers Limited), where he aided in the resistance against widespread piracy and counterfeiting of the “White Horse” whisky brand. He has acted as legal counsel at various times for Groupe Danone, The Wellcome Foundation, Nestle Plc, AlliedSignal Inc., Sears Roebuck, Unilever Plc, Nabisco Inc., and British Telecom, among others. He has also enjoyed training prospective law students and young lawyers in civil litigation and IP subjects over the years. Mr. Onyido has maintained membership with the American Bar Association, the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the American Society of International Law and the International Trademark Association.
Impressively, Mr. Onyido has authored a seminal work on the judicial review of agency decisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia entitled: “Dr. Yvoune Kara Petrie versus Virginia Board of Medicine: Theoretical and Adjudicatory Issues in the Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia” [CLICK HERE] and co-edited a major publication on Nigerian laws directed at foreign investors titled: “A Review of Contemporary Legal Trends in Nigerian Law,” which was published by LexisNexis in 2017 [CLICK HERE]. He currently sits on the editorial board of The Copyright Lawyer Magazine based in the United Kingdom.
In light of his exceptional undertakings in encouraging the growth and development of intellectual property law and practice in Nigeria, Mr. Onyido was named Intellectual Property Advocate of the Year in 2018, by the University of Benin Law Society of Nigeria. He received an Award of Excellence in Intellectual Property Law also in 2018 from the Law Students Society of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He has been listed as a Recommended Attorney by Global Law Experts since 2018 and under his watch the IP department of SPA Ajibade & Co., was named the Annual Awards winner as IP Litigation Law Firm for 2019 by Global Law Experts. Earlier in his career, Mr. Onyido served as a Resource Person on Foreign Investment and Nigerian Intellectual Property Laws at the Opportunity Nigeria Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2000. For more details on John Onyido’s profile, areas of expertise and publications, please visit his firm’s official website at www.spaajibade.com and http://www.johnonyido.academia.edu.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who’s Who community, Mr. Onyido has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
About Marquis Who’s Who®:
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who’s Who in America®, Marquis Who’s Who® has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who’s Who in America® remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis® publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who’s Who® website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.
3rd April 2019
MONDAQ’S TRADEMARK COMPARATIVE GUIDE 2019: NIGERIA
Our Partner, John Onyido (Partner, Intellectual Property and Technology Practice) contributed the Nigerian Chapter in Mondaq’s Trademark Comparative Guide 2019. In the chapter, he addressed the legal framework and procedure for trademark protection in Nigeria, grounds for refusal of trademarks, appeals, oppositions and the rights attributable to registered and unregistered marks. He also addressed enforcement remedies for trademark infringement, maintenance and removal of trademarks from the register as well as available protections for foreign trademarks in Nigeria.
The publication is available here:
3rd April 2019
NBA YLF IP Forum/Seminar, Ikorodu, which held on 11th and 12th February 2019
Our Partner, John C. Onyido, who heads our Intellectual Property Department, was a panelist at the session on “The Role and Effectiveness of Current Regulations in tackling Counterfeiting in Intellectual Property” in Nigeria. The seminar featured an IP presentation on Anti-counterfeiting by Prof. Bankole Sodipo, as part of the training organized by the NBA Young Lawyers Forum, Ikorodu branch. The panelists included Mr. Femi Olubanwo of Banwo & Ighodalo, who chaired the event, Mrs. Sadat Quadri, Mr. Afam Nwokedi of Stillwaters Law Firm and Mrs. Abiola Laseinde, Company Secretary and Head Corporate Services of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc.
Mr. Onyido addressed some of the challenges with Nigeria’s counterfeiting laws like the snail pace at which our local laws are updated, inadequate penalties and the need for ongoing training of judges, lawyers and students on IP subjects if the country is to adequately combat the menace of counterfeiting of IPRs.
The training was well attended by budding lawyers and stakeholders with the panelists fielding questions from attendees on enforcement mechanisms, software protection, trade secrets, and opportunities for young IP lawyers in legal practice, among others.
3rd April 2019
NCC/IPLAN/SBL - Roundtable on recent judgments of the Supreme Court affecting collective administration of copyrights, which held on 7th February 2019
Our John C. Onyido Partner, Intellectual Property Department was one of the four panelists at the roundtable organized by the Nigerian Copyright Commission in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLAN) and the Section on Business Law (SBL) of the Nigerian Bar Association, to analyse the recent decisions of the Nigerian Supreme Court in Adeokin Records and Anor. v. MCSN [SC. 336/2008] and MCSN v. Compact Disc Technologies Ltd., [SC. 425/2010] on the right of action of collective management organisations under the Copyright Act. Also present were regulators, lawyers and other stakeholders who expressed their views on the decisions from the apex Court.
In attendance were the newly appointed Director General of the NCC, Mr. John Asein, the Director of Prosecution, Mr. Obi Ezeilo and the Director of Planning, Research & Statistics, Mr. Mike Akpan. The Roundtable was hosted by the law firm of Banwo & Ighodalo, Lagos.
Tacora Online Courses – Introduction to Nigerian Intellectual Property Law
SPA Ajibade & Co.,Intellectual Property and Technology Law Partner,John Onyido, is the Intellectual Property (IP)law course facilitator hosted on tacora.ng. The IP course introduces contemporary intellectual property law as it is practiced in Nigeria. The course is divided into four parts: Trademarks and Tradenames, Copyright and Allied Matters, Patents and Industrial Designs, and Trade Secrets. The course is comprehensive and highlights the importance of IP laws in protecting creative works and innovation through an introductory analysis of current laws and a review of relevant Nigerian and foreign case laws. This course is recommended for law students, newly admitted attorneys and practitioners with a more than passing interest in IP law and practice, including IP rightsholders who wish to gain an understanding of the avenues for protecting and enforcing their rights.
“TACORA is an online platform for learning what you need to advance your career, business or education, from experts who have garnered knowledge and experience in their field. Every course on TACORA is developed by an experienced professional with a proven track record in that field and a passion for empowering others.”
We are pleased to announce that SPA Ajibade & Co Partner Bukola Iji, is a finalist in the ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards 40 under 40 (Rising Star) List.
Bukola has extensive experience acting for clients on corporate restructuring, cross-border acquisitions and capital markets transactions.
“The 40 Under 40 category of the Nigerian Legal Awards is to celebrate 40 young Nigerian Lawyers and lawyers of Nigerian descent who are under 40 and below are making significant contributions to the growth of businesses and economy in Nigeria.”
SPA Ajibade & Co Senior Associate Yetunde Okojie has been named finalist in the ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards 40 under 40 (Rising Star) List.
Yetunde is experienced in intellectual property law, particularly database protection, copyrights, patents, e-commerce and registration of trademarks and designs in different jurisdictions, including Ghana, OAPI and Nigeria. She regularly provides high level advisory services to clients on cross-border transactions.
“The 40 Under 40 category of the Nigerian Legal Awards is to celebrate 40 young Nigerian Lawyers and lawyers of Nigerian descent who are under 40 and below are making significant contributions to the growth of businesses and economy in Nigeria.”
This recognition follows Yetunde's recent success being the first recipient of The Tare Yeri Star Award for Selfless Service by the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) in 2017. Yetunde was the Chairperson of the Budget subcommittee and was recognised for her dedication and unwavering commitment towards the development of the NBA-SBL. https://bit.ly/2QcYKbQ
After a clause by clause consideration and voice vote on the report of its Trade and Investments Committee, the Nigerian Senate passed the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) Amendment Bill (A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2004 Cap. C20) on 15th May 2018. The Bill now awaits Presidential Assent.
After 27 years of the operation of CAMA, without modification, the Bill is being touted as “one of the most important legislations” in Nigeria and a “pro-business law” legislation. The changes are aimed at making Nigeria’s business environment competitive.
1. Nigerians and foreign investors can now register limited liability partnerships.
2. The requirement for at least 2 shareholders or directors is no longer compulsory for small companies, as a single individual can now establish a private limited liability company.
3. Small companies no longer require company secretaries or to hold AGMs.
4. Minimum share capital has been reduced. The Bill also proposes to establish a minimum issued share capital; this provision is applicable to both public and private companies, thereby enabling the payment of stamp duties only on the issued share capital and not the entire authorized share capital.
5. Companies will be allowed to reduce their share capital, by passing a special resolution without the usual practice of applying to the courts, for a confirmation of the reduction.
6. Beneficial holders of shares must now disclose the interests of others in the shares.
7. Persons being proposed for appointment as directors of public companies must now disclose other directorships.
8. Business rescue proceedings (proceedings to facilitate the rehabilitation of a company that is financially distressed) now provided for. The Bill has introduced a company insolvency regime which will no longer focus on a company’s demise, but on its rescue.
9. Companies will now be permitted to provide financial assistance to their shareholders under the new Bill.
10. The Bill has provisions which exempt small companies from appointing auditors:
Overall the Bill aims to reform business, promote the use of technology, remove all unnecessary regulations for small companies and encourage start-ups with less stringent provisions. Undoubtedly, adoption of the changes will also boost Nigeria’s ranking the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index, Click here for the full story.
We will publish a comprehensive review of the Bill soon. Watch this space.
Our Managing Partner, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb is the Guest Speaker at the Governance Breakfast Session of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Abuja Chapter, scheduled to take place on 10th May, 2018 at the Chelsea Hotel, Abuja.
Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN will be speaking on the topic “Corporate Structuring and Corporate Governance: The Implications for the Capital Market”.
The Governance Breakfast Session is a quarterly event organized by ICSAN’s Abuja Chapter as part of its training programme for members of the Institute.
In February 2018, S. P. A. Ajibade & Co., in collaboration with the Global Legal Hackathon hosted the very first Legal Hackathon in Lagos, Nigeria. The event took place in 21 countries, 40 cities across 6 continents concurrently, from 23rd - 25th February 2018.
S. P. A. Ajibade & Co., is pleased to announce that Nigeria’s Team Lemon has been selected as one of fourteen finalists and only team from Africa to proceed to the final round of the competition. The Team’s LemonAid project aims to electronically facilitate access to criminal justice by decreasing the turnaround time for delivery of Pro-bono legal services. Final presentations will be held at a gala in New York on 21st April 2018 and the global winner announced thereafter.
Please see the link below for the list of the GLH finalists.
Our Managing Partner, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArB, has been appointed to serve as a Judge of the forthcoming London Court of International Arbitration pre-moot competition.
The pre-moot competition is scheduled to take place in London at the London School of Economics, New Academic Building from the 10th to 11th of March 2018.
The competition is aimed at stimulating the participating teams and provide an opportunity for them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments and styles and to improve their performances in preparation for the finals in Vienna. Dr. Ajibade is expected to bring to bear his extensive Arbitration experience.
Our Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb has been added to the list of Arbitrators of the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre based in Cybercity, Ebene, Mauritius. Known as the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre, the centre is a product of the partnership between the Government of the Republic of Mauritius, the prestigious London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre Limited (MIAC).
With this appointment, Dr. Ajibade is now part of the exclusive list of Arbitrators to be selected by parties seeking resolution of their commercial and international disputes at the centre.
The International Chamber of Commerce has appointed Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb as Vice Chair to its Commission on Arbitration and ADR (its leading think thank and rule-making body for international dispute resolution), for a three-year term.
Dr. Babatunde Ajibade is amongst the 11 new vice chairs formally appointed to the Commission by ICC Secretary-General John Danilovich, following a proposal by Commission Chair Carita Wallgren-Lindholm in consultation with the ICC International Court of Arbitration and its Secretariat.
The appointees come from different countries across four continents and are expected to bring “fresh impetus to the table representing a diverse range of geographical, professional and personal profiles”.
Our Managing Partner and Head of our Dispute Resolution Practice, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb, has been appointed a Director of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre (LACIAC).
With this appointment, Dr Ajibade, SAN, is expected to bring his wide range of experience in international arbitration practice to bear on the activities of LACIAC. By this appointment, Dr Ajibade, SAN, can also be appointed to serve as an arbitrator in investment disputes submitted to the LACIAC for resolution.
LACIAC is an independent full service alternative dispute resolution centre that focuses on the provision of tailored dispute management solutions, assisting businesses not only in the resolution but in the management of dispute.
The firm wishes Dr. Babatunde Ajibade a successful tenure on the board of LACIAC.
The Firm’s Associate, Mrs. Ayodele Adeniyi, was recently appointed Financial Secretary of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Abuja Chapter.
The appointment is for a term of two years and took effect from 16 th November, 2017.
The Firm’s Managing Associate, Mrs. Bolaji Gabari, was recently appointed Vice Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Abuja Chapter.
The appointment is for a term of two years and took effect from 16th November, 2017.
Our Managing Partner, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, was recently appointed as the African Regional Forum Liaison Officer of the International Bar Association’s Law firm Management Committee. His appointment is for the period starting 1st January 2018 and will end 31st December 2019.
Dr. Ajibade has also been appointed as the Conference Coordinator for the African Regional Forum. With these appointments, the IBA has made an exception to its rule that an individual should not hold more than one officer position.
We are delighted that Dr. Ajibade is able to serve the IBA in these capacities.
In collaboration with the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) for the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) held a one day interactive session which held on 12th December 2017 to:
NOTAP, in a bid to enhance indigenous technological competences in Nigeria, has developed the NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) platform designed to educate and train Nigerians through special PhD programs tenable in Nigerian Universities. NOTAP also recently partnered with PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc to upgrade the chemical laboratories of three research institutions including UNICAL. This was commissioned in a bid to upgrade technology facilities and to ensure that indigenous products and services are developed and utilized. The Director General of NOTAP stated that over 90% of the technologies powering the Nigerian economy are foreign, which was appalling for a country striving for development. NOTAP is currently seeking out more partners to facilitate the development of indigenous technology. In addition to these impressive strides, NOTAP has been mandated to assist in patenting all inventions and innovations originating from local universities and tertiary institutions. So far, NOTAP has successfully assisted in patenting more than ten (10) inventions developed by various institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.
Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN FCIArb and Kolawole Mayomi recently made a contribution to GAR know-how on the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in Nigeria. The commentary gave answers to commonly asked questions on the knotty issues that surround the enforcement of foreign and local arbitration awards in Nigeria. The insight also gave case law examples to clarify some of the questions and explained the practicalities of the enforcement process. It is hoped that this publication will be of guidance to practitioners in other jurisdictions seeking to recognise and enforce an arbitral award in Nigeria.
An electronic version of the GAR know-how contribution can be viewed for free at: http://globalarbitrationreview.com/jurisdiction/1004839/nigeria
We are pleased to announce that S. P. A. Ajibade & Co., in collaboration with Alliances for Africa, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and with funding from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) acted as representatives to the Plaintiffs in the case of Dorothy Chioma Njemanze & 3 Ors. v. Federal Republic of Nigeria – ECW/CCJ/APP/17/14, wherein the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (the Court) recently gave a landmark decision on gender based violence.
The facts of the case centred on the arrest, illegal detention, violent, cruel, inhuman, degrading and discriminatory treatment meted out to the Plaintiffs on different occasions by the law enforcement agents of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Nigerian Military, and the Nigerian Police.
In its Judgment, the Court held inter alia, that the failure on the part of the Nigerian Government to recognise, promote and protect the rights of the Plaintiffs and the failure to take measures to give effect to the rights of the Plaintiffs constitute multiple violations of Articles 1, 2, 3, 5 and 18(3) of the African Charter on the Human and Peoples’ Rights, Articles 2, 3, 4(1) & (2), 5, 8 and 25 of the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), Articles 2, 3, 5(a) and 15(1) of Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Articles 2(1) & (3), 3, 7, 26 of International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); Articles 10, 11, 12, 13 and 16(1) of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT); and Articles 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Furthermore, the Court held that the treatment which the Plaintiffs received at the hands of agents of the AEPB, the Nigerian Police and the Nigeria Military constitute gender based discriminatory treatment contrary to Articles 2, 3 and 18(3) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Articles 2 and 8 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa of Articles 2, 3 and 15(1) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Articles 2(1), 3 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Articles 2 and 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Court also held that the branding of the Plaintiffs as “prostitutes” violates the rights and dignity of the Plaintiffs and amounts to gender discrimination. The mere fact that a woman is out at night is not proof that she is a prostitute and there is no rule that restricts the time a woman should go out. The Court was of the view that the totality of the conduct of the law enforcement agents of the AEPB, the Nigerian Military, and the Nigerian Police clearly showed that the operations were targeted solely at women.
The Court further held that the treatment meted out to the Plaintiffs by the law enforcement agents constitutes cruel, inhuman, degrading, and discriminatory treatment; and that the failure and/or refusal of the Government to investigate, discipline and prosecute the persons responsible for the violations of the Plaintiffs’ Rights, is a violation of the Government’s assumed obligations under international law.
The sum of Six Million Naira (N6, 000,000) each was awarded to the 1st, 3rd and 4th Plaintiffs as damages. However, the claim of the 2nd Plaintiff was held to be statute barred by the Court and dismissed. Notably, this is the first ever pronouncement of a Regional Court in Africa, on women’s human rights relying on the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).
We are optimistic that this decision will encourage the Nigerian government to take more steps in protecting the rights of women, review all laws and policies that promote gender based violence and discrimination of the rights of women and re-orientate institutions that were established for the protection of all persons, to ensure the realisation of their mandates. S. P. A. Ajibade & Co., lauds the work of Alliances for Africa, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, the Nigerian Women Trust Fund and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
Our John Onyido and Yetunde Okojie contributed a chapter on Copyright Law in Nigeria in the recently published International Comparative Legal Guide to Copyright 2018 (ICLG) 4th edition. We have addressed preliminary and foundational issues relating to copyright subsistence, ownership and exploitation, copyright enforcement, criminal offences in copyright law as well as some current developments in the law in Nigeria. We hope you find the contribution useful and informative, and we welcome your questions or insights.
An electronic version of the Chapter on Nigeria can be viewed for free at:
All questions, queries or inquiries should be directed to: John Onyido via e-mail at: email@example.com or Yetunde Okojie via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Mondaq recently conferred on S. P. A. Ajibade & Co an award for the Contributor With Most Popular Article in Nigeria for the month of August. Mondaq is one of the largest global advisory content suppliers which publishes thousands of articles from over 80 countries around the world, through various distribution networks. To view this article, please click this link Copyright Collective Rights Management In Nigeria”.
Every month Mondaq publishes hundreds of articles by contributing firms from over 80 countries around the world. Award winners beat off strong competition and Mondaq extends our congratulations for the following award.
During the Month of August 2017
Copyright Collective Rights Management In Nigeria (Nigeria) from S.P.A. Ajibade & Co. won the award for this category.*
At the end of every month, for each country, Mondaq analyses which articles were read the most by our registered business readers: 'The Most Popular Article' . . . Read more
“SPA Ajibade recently partnered with African Law and Business (ALB) and Hogan Lovells to provide the Nigerian Chapter of the ground-breaking Special Report on Investment in Africa 2017. You can access it online or via a pdf HERE.”
SPA Ajibade & Co recently provided the Nigerian chapter of the_ SPECIAL REPORT ON INVESTMENT IN AFRICA 2017_ , an extensive and innovative guide to the legal framework for investment in 23 African countries.
Produced by HOGAN LOVELLS and AFRICAN LAW AND BUSINESS (ALB), the Nigerian chapter of this publication provides potential investors with a country analysis and guidance on the investment landscape, including an overview of the local legal framework on matters such as local content rules, real estate ownership, taxation, dispute resolution, and employment.
Of particular note to investors is the guidance on Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs). The guide includes a detailed breakdown of PPP-related legislation in Nigeria.
In addition, it also breaks down the legal framework of four key investment sectors - finance, natural resources, power and infrastructure, and private equity. It also provides some in-depth insight on topical areas of interest including FinTech, international arbitration, bribery and corruption, and dispute resolution in Nigeria.
The report is an up-to-the-minute, comprehensive yet easy-to-read digest covering the legal implications for companies seeking to invest in Nigeria. To read the Nigerian report online.
“Our John Onyido and Yetunde Okojie contributed a chapter on Trade Mark Law in Nigeria in the recently published International Comparative Legal Guide to Trade Mark 2017 (ICLG) 6th edition. We have addressed preliminary and foundational issues relating to registration of trademarks, grounds of refusal of trademarks, oppositions, registrable transactions, revocation of trademark, defences to infringement, appeals, border control measures, domain name protection and registration as well as some current developments in the law in Nigeria. We hope you find the contribution useful and informative, and we welcome your questions or insights.
An electronic version of the Chapter on Nigeria can be viewed for free at: http://iclg.com/practice-areas/trade-marks/trade-marks-2017/nigeria
All questions, queries or inquiries should be directed to: John Onyido via e-mail at: email@example.com or Yetunde Okojie via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org”
The Firm’s Associate, Ms. Ibidolapo Bolu, was recently appointed Secretary of the Mergers, Acquisitions & Corporate Reorganisations Committee of the Nigeria Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL).
The appointment is for a term of two years and takes effect from 1st March, 2017.
The Firm’s Associate, Mrs. Yetunde Okojie, was recently appointed Secretary of the Consumer Protection & Competition Law Committee of the Nigeria Bar Association’s Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL).
The appointment is for a term of two years and takes effect from 1st March, 2017.
In collaboration with the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Financial Engineering for Economic Development (FEED) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), the Capital Market Solicitors Association of Nigeria (CMSA) organised Nigeria’s first Structured Products Summit which held between 21st – 22nd February 2017 at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos and Radisson Blu hotel, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos respectively. The Firm is a registered member of the CMSA and proudly sponsored the event, which was attended by its Associates and a Partner.
The Summit was organised to give an insight into the evolving use of structured products with a focus on derivatives and other financial instruments in Nigeria. The two-day event featured presentations from guest speakers and panels made up of industry experts and regulators, on topics ranging from an introduction to derivatives, a comprehensive insight into the risks involved, to the challenges and opportunities relating to the development of a robust legal framework for the regulation of the derivative market in Nigeria. The second day of the Summit also involved detailed training sessions which allowed for one-on-one interaction on topics such as, Exchange Traded Derivatives, Futures, Collaterals and ISDA documentation.
Both days of the summit highlighted the importance of developing knowledge on the use of derivative products to boost the Nigerian capital market, and also the overriding need for an industry-wide initiative to develop the legal, regulatory and compliance structures required to regulate the Nigerian capital market.
Photos from the event.
We are pleased to announce that the law firm of S. P. A. Ajibade & Co has emerged the winner of the highly coveted Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year award at the 2016 ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards, which was held at a colorful ceremony on Friday 7th September, 2016 at the Civic Centre, Lagos.
Furthermore, one of Partners in the Dispute Resolution Practice of the Firm, Mr. Kolawole Mayomi, was also honored as one of the 40 Leading Lawyers under 40 who will shape the future of the Legal Profession in Nigeria.
Speaking about the awards, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, FCIArb who is the Head of the Dispute Resolution Practice at S. P. A. Ajibade & Co and also the Managing Partner of the
ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards is hosted by LegalBlitz Limited, an independent media outfit, the publishers of the acclaimed ESQ Legal Practice Magazine to recognise, honour and celebrate outstanding law firms and legal professionals in Nigeria. The Award reflects the creativity, dexterity, and legal skills displayed by counsel in key transactions and practice areas, with an emphasis on novel deals/transactions across different sectors which make an important contribution to the legal profession in Nigeria as a whole.
This year’s nominations were carefully drawn from submissions from 70 law firms over 16 deal categories, by an independent panel of judges based in Nigeria and other countries in Africa, Europe and the United States of America, who used deciding criteria such as: the quantum of the deal, the legal expertise expended in the course of the transaction, innovation, measurable outcomes and precedents set.