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Why I studied Law – Amaechi

Amaechi
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Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has explained that he went back to school to study Law just to fulfill his father’s wish to be a lawyer.

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But the former governor of Rivers State, who hinted that he would go a step further by going to Law School to be called to bar, said he had no intention of practicing the profession even as he said he had started Masters in Corporate and Company Law at Kings College, London.

Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, Sunday, in Abuja, the frontline politician and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, said contrary to claims in some quarters that he bought the Law degree certificate, he actually worked hard for it.

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He said throughout the time of the program, he was dedicated to his studies, disclosing further that even as a minister, he was always ahead of lecturers and students in punctuality, a development he disclosed, made the Baze University, where he attended to present him an award for being diligent and punctual.

He said going back to pursue a fresh degree in Law at the age of 57 was normal to him, saying he merely achieved what he had wanted a long time ago.

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He said: “Going back to obtain a Law degree at 57 is normal. I should have graduated a long time ago. When I hear people say I bought a degree, I just laugh. I laugh because until I started campaigning for presidency I never missed a class. So for three years and six months, I never missed a class. And I came before all the lecturers and I came before all the students.

“The school gave me an award for being diligent and punctual. I never failed any course work. But that’s not important, what is important is that I wrote all my course work in person, so they can’t say lecturers passed me.

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“And in Baze University, we don’t write matriculation numbers or our names, they give you a barcode which you place on the answer sheet. So when the teachers mark, they mark what is called blind marking and they can’t take it home.

They mark it there in the school, if they can’t finish, they leave it there and come back the next day. When they come the next day, they continue.

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And as they are marking, they mark with a barcode so they don’t know the name of the person or the matriculation number and I don’t think they are handwriting experts.

“Let me give you an instance. I scored 69 percent in Jurisprudence which was a B grade. The person who taught me Jurisprudence was my supervisor in my long essay, I’m sure if he had known that it was me, he would have added me one percent to make it 70. The whole faculty was like “oh, no, he should have added you one percent to make it 70.”

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Asked about his inspiration to pursue the course, Chief Rotimi Amaechi explained: “First and foremost, it was to fulfill my father’s wish that I read Law. At least, I have satisfied his wish and he would have been happy if he was alive.

“He was in love with the work of Chief Rotimi Williams who was one of the best lawyers then and felt I should be like him.

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“When I got the admission, I started asking myself how would I cope with my work. I would go to school as early as 8 am and report to work by 6 pm. I would work from 6 pm to 11 pm and sometimes 11:30 pm then I go home. I did that on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Wednesdays were cabinet meetings. I worked Wednesdays and Fridays. “

Asked if he would go to Law School, he said: “Yes, I think so. I may go to Law School. I’m already doing a Masters degree in Corporate and Company Law at Kings College, London. I hope to combine it with Law School.

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“I don’t intend to practice but to have the knowledge of Law and the certificate.

“It is to help me not to make some mistakes. There is no excuse in law. So they are some things you can’t know except you read Law. “

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The former governor of Rivers State, while admitting that he refused to fund the establishment of Law School in the state while he held sway as the governor, faulted his successor for committing the state’s money to the project which he described as the federal government’s responsibility.

“Yes, it’s true. I asked them when they brought the proposal, I asked them would the federal government fund it and they said no. I’m not a father Christmas.

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I said primary schools in Rivers State are not functioning, secondary schools are not functioning and I would go and build a law school for government as big as the federal government?

I told them that I have a land and here’s the land and they said no. So, I don’t know why that is an achievement for a man whose primary and secondary schools are not functioning and whose teachers are not paid.

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” By the time I did an audit of education in Rivers State, we trained 90,000 teachers and I employed 13,200. So that money that he used in building law school would have been used to employ more teachers.

“It’s a federal government responsibility. I told them I was not interested but I would give them the land. So the money spent there could have been used in building more schools, employing more teachers and training them.

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Like out of the 13,200 teachers we employed, only 3000 were teachers, the other 10,000 were people who were just looking for jobs and we employed them and took them to Rivers State University of Education to train them for six months.

“So that money that you are investing in a big federal government project, you should have used it to employ more teachers, build more schools and create more jobs for our people. Rivers State has the highest number of unemployment,” he added.

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Just In: Court sends IGP Usman Baba to three months jail

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Kayode Sanni Arewa

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has been sentenced to three months improsonment by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

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The court presided over by Justice M. O. Olajuwon gave the sentence on Tuesday, November 29, after Baba was found guilty of disobeying a valid court order.

NaijaBlitzNews.com reports that the court held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until he obeys an order it made since October 21, 2011.

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“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”, the court held.

The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

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Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.

The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the Applicant, being special and general [email protected] for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.

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13 Years Old Boy impregnates 9-year-old cousin

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The Zimbabwean police have confirmed that a 13-year-old boy impregnated his 9-year-old cousin in Tsholotsho.

29-year-old father of the pregnant girl was arrested on 29 October 2022, shortly after it was discovered that his daughter was pregnant. He is reported to have been assisting the police with their investigations.

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Many suspected that the father had raped his 9-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with a rare condition called precocious puberty.

The suspicion was ignited after the mother of the 9-year-old alleged that her husband had warned the child that goblins would visit her and insert things into her privates at night.

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The Applied Genetic Testing Centre (AGTC) of the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) volunteered to help the authorities establish who had abused and impregnated the 9-year-old.

A paternity DNA test results established that the victim’s 13-year-old cousin is indeed the father of the child.

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The country’s national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyathi said in a statement;

“UPDATE ON A CASE OF RAPE INVOLVING A 9 YEAR OLD GIRL IN TSHOLOTSHO

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“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) results obtained from the National University of Science and Technology on 25th November 2022, in connection with the paternity of the 9 year old girl’s child, have established that the victim’s cousin brother (13) is the father of the child.

“The 9 year old complainant and the suspect will now receive the appropriate counselling from the Police’s Victim Friendly Unit (VFU).

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“The police is now working with other relevant arms of the government to ensure that the due processes of the law are followed“.

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Lawyers decry increase in cases of torture, extra-judicial killings in Nigeria

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By Francesca Iwambe

The Avocats Sans Frontieres, ASF, otherwise known as lawyers without border, on Tuesday, said it was worried about the increasing cases of torture and extra-judicial killings in the country.

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The legal group, in a report it issued to mark the end of SAFE Project intervention it launched since 2019, equally decried the swelling number of awaiting trial inmates languishing in various prisons across the federation.

It noted that despite the promulgation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, in 2015, security agencies have continued to use torture as a strategy to extract extra-judicial statement from suspects.

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The Head of Office of ASF France, in Nigeria, Angela Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, said the group deployed its officials in three states- Enugu, Lagos and Kaduna- which served as pilot states for the concluded project.

“The SAFE project’s major thematic issues were; torture, arbitrary detention and extra-judicial killings and the project has a pro-bono legal aid component to ensure access to justice for victims.

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“On the project, 167 cases were identified for pro-bono legal aid, of which 120 were approved for litigation and 47 were approved for legal advice.

“These are cases of victims of torture, arbitrary detention and extra-judicial killings across the project states.

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“Of all the cases, we were able to conclude 40 of them. Because of the peculiar way our Judiciary operates, some of the cases suffered delays because they had to start de-novo (afresh) owing to either the death or transfer of the judges handling them.

“We equally filed three suits before the ECOWAS Court. We also secured the unconditional release of 23 persons that were arbitrarily detained without trial.

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“Though the ACJA has been trying to address the issue of arbitrary detention, however, from the field, we observed that undue prolonged detention is one of the major human right violation in Nigeria.

“We encountered cases of people that had spent between 8 to 18 years in detention as Awaiting Trial Inmates. This is a major problem that amounts to gross injustice as no amount of monetary compensation will be enough to justify the taking away of the liberty of a person for over 18 years without trial or conviction.

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“With our interactions with key stakeholders in the justice sector, the Judiciary gave us the signal that they are ready. On some of the complaints we received, which were outside our thematic areas, we forwarded petitions to the police and the National Human Rights Commission.

“Some of those cases bordered on sexual assault and domestic violence”, Uzoma-Iwuchukwu added.

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On its part, the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, said it has received over 13,000 complaints, levelling sundry allegations of human rights violations against its officers.

It said the petitions were received from members of the public, through its Complaint Response Unit, CRU.

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An Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Aliyu Umar, who represented the NPF, said most of the petitions were received through social media platforms that included Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“Expectedly, Lagos State had the highest number of petitions and we always ensure that these complaints vlate properly logged into our database”, ASP Umar added.

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