FIRST SESSION IN OFFICE
Ante-Ante-Scriptum: I believe the topic for this article ought to have read ‘first year in office’. However, no thanks to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, that caption has been automatically rendered inappropriate.
Ante-Scriptum: Created this document on my PC since June 28, 2013; opened it on several occasions hoping to add something to it. However it remained unchanged and substantially incomplete for many months. All thanks to God that today, May 10, 2014, almost a year later, I finally am able to be done with it.
It’s been up to a session now since I was saddled with the great responsibility; and perhaps opportunity too, of serving in the position of a class representative once again. Well once again, because I have had a taste of such honour in the past, only that now it is not as a leader of some kindergartners or captain of a class of high school lads; it is as the head of an assemblage of whiz kids, prodigies, soon-to-be jurists and exceptional scholars in Nigeria’s premier university; the University of Ibadan.
The first surprise came when I heard someone shout Kunle; after Mrs Olomola, our first Law 101 lecturer, declared the ground open for nominations into the positions of male and female class representatives. ‘It can’t be’, ‘it has got to be someone else’, ‘who could possibly know me by name’, my thoughts rolled in. But my hope turned vain when nobody else stood up, and the lecturer called for a second time; ‘who is Kunle?’ …
The second one came when after the voice vote; as if fate was bent on disappointing me, I emerged as the class representative, despite my shortcomings, both overt and covert; and despite the presence of many, better than I am in many aspects, in the same class.
I was even more surprised because I never aspired to or intended to be in such position, even though my action on the morning of that very day, which unexpectedly turned out to be the Election Day, may have triggered the outcome.
I had always wanted to be one who is not easily noticed. One who would come to class quietly, receive lectures, sign attendance registers and leave without anyone’s interference. One who would sit at the tail-end criticising whoever the class rep. was and dishing out my opinions, for the progress of the class, whenever expedient. However, with that singular turn of events, all those hopes were dashed, quashed and short-lived like the Hobbesian state of nature.
I was (and still am) not the most brilliant in the class. I was not the most experienced. I was not the most charismatic. And I certainly was not the most outspoken. How then, I wondered, could I be chosen as the one to lead a class of intellectuals, studying the noblest of professions in Nigeria’s ‘first and best’ university of learning?
The ‘modus operandi’ of what is called ‘destiny’ amazes me at times. What you think could least happen, will happen daringly and remorselessly, and vice versa. I remember that, weeks back, during our medical test [one of freshers’ many rituals] at the law clinic, I was in the gathering of some of my course-mates. One thing led to the other, and a particular lady, I’m not certain of her identity now, said in my presence that I’m ‘not the class rep. type’; and I totally agreed with her. I still think I’m ‘not the type’ though, but then, as the ‘Grand architect of human fate’ would have it, here I am.
Days turn into weeks, and weeks into month. It’s been up to a year now, and I still answer to the title: Class rep. of [now] 200 level law students class [a.k.a. LLB octal-final]. The journey from day one till this moment has been filled with the good, the bad and, of course, the ugly. I have had to do things I ordinarily would not. I have had to meet people I ordinarily wouldn’t move close. Again, I have had to forbear many things, that if I were an ordinary member of the class, I would not have.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE: My appointment into the position is not, so to speak, a political one. I did not engage in campaigning, pleading or manifesto declaration. I was not bound to ‘achieve’ anything through the office, except representing the class, connecting with lecturers and ensuring a smooth ride through our five years in the university. But then, I think it necessary to mention the few things I [and/or we] did in the past year that deviated a little from the routine practice of an average class representative. They are not exceptional, but as this is a recount of my experience in the first session, I will share them still.
- ‘The Class Directory’: This is where it all started from, I guess. The class directory is a document I prepared before resumption, containing an almost-complete list of names of members of the class along-side spaces to fill-in other details, using the admission lists released by the university. I compiled and designed it solely based on the doctrine of necessity and a spirit of generosity, with no ulterior motives in mind. But then as it turned out, the directory which I publicised on the day of the election, was, more or less, what first endeared me to my colleagues. Anyway, the document has proved useful on many occasions, to both members of the class and non-members alike, in getting the needed contacts.
- ‘Class versus Congress’: one of the most unforgettable events experienced in the class’s fresher days is the ‘clash with the congress’; the protest of some members of the class at the second (or first?) congress sitting. In short, we were denied our franchise, contrasting what is expressly provided by the LSS (Law Students’ Society) constitution. And rather than argue based on facts and law, the members of the class present that very day decided it best to ‘make them know’ we aren’t docile idiots. They allegedly stood on the chairs, and then some staged a walk-out. The congress was offended, and I eventually had to tender a formal apology before it weeks later. This satisfied them and, in a way, cooled their ego. End of story (or is it … well … not really).
- ‘Gentleman of the week’: this is another of the projects I embarked on for the class. Every week, I would choose a particular member of the class (male-female-male-female, in that order, week after week). The chosen one would fill, in a form, information such as nick, favourite food, best friend, role model, hobbies, best day on campus, message to colleagues etc. And this would then be uploaded on the Facebook group, as well as the Whatsapp group for others to see. The aim of this apparently is just to bring members of the class into one accord, by facilitating familiarity.
- ‘Public Address Item’: Aha, well, this came up close to the close of the session. I thought since most of the time, my colleagues complain of not being able to grasp my vocal announcements properly. After I have spoken, many would still ask for what it was I said. Hoping to find a lasting solution to this hitch, I decided to get a mini-public address system; a device that resembles a radio and has a mouthpiece to speak into. I didn’t think to use it several weeks after we resumed from the strike, but when I did use, it really felt awkward, plus it turned out not to be of much use too.
- ‘Unbeaten Soccer Champs’: one thing that makes me really proud of being a coordinator of the class is that, it is no ordinary class, it is one jam-packed with intelligent, yet equally talented, folks. My course mates are not only bookish, and stylish, they are ‘sportish’.Consecutively, our soccer team has won up to two soccer tournaments and one soccer match, unbeaten on the field of play. First, it was our seniors that challenged us to a match, hoping to welcome us by showing us who’s boss at the faculty. But then, their plot backfired as we turned out to be no rookie at the game. After that, proving our first victory was not a matter of luck, we went ahead to also win the CBN cup and Dean’s cup.
CHALLENGES I CONFRONTED:
- ‘The Class’: the class has, in a way, been a challenge for me in my capacity as the representative. But then, this is perfectly understandable since we are speaking of learned (or if you may, learning) scholars here; who are perfectly aware of their rights, even the most insignificant, who best know the law and again, how best to break it.
When I say the class has been a challenge, it is primarily in the aspect of cooperation and attentiveness.It is usually frustrating, standing before an audience with an important notice, and then majority of them are making one distracting noise or the other.
Another instance to buttress this challenge is in the area of attendance registers. On one or two occasions, with respect to LAW class I have had to plead with the lecturer not to input the registers. Why, because I would not be able to get back all the lists I passed, God knows why. Maybe, aliens are pilfering them in order to create a database of humans. Just maybe ;-).
- ‘Finance’: thanks to the Almighty, this hasn’t been much of a challenge. Even though I’m from a humble background, I’ve, thus far, found it bearable to expend money on things such as transport, stationeries and recharge cards (for making calls and browsing); most especially recharge cards.
- ‘Time management’: sincerely, if I were not in this position, I might have been one of the perpetual late-comers of the class. If I were not the class rep., I would not have had to attend to countless extemporaneous calls from the Faculty Officer, lecturers and students. I would not have had to sacrifice my time for many things that my position requires of me, or that I have made it to require of me. Maybe, this has made me a more responsible person, or maybe it has only succeeded in making not to succeed enough in my studies, I honestly do not know.
- ‘The Whatsapp group’: this has somewhat been an issue to me since its creation. The problem is: I created the group to serve solely (or basically) as a platform to disseminate information that concern our academic life, I added as many class members as I could to benefit from this, BUT some prefer to convert the status of the group from ‘strictly business’ to ‘fun-for-all’. The group was so anarchical eventually that many leave persistently, including me, during the mid-second semester break (ASUU strike i.e.). I created another one after resumption but the same problem, of getting hundreds and hundreds of chat messages daily, resurfaced. In the end, I came to shape my mind-set into subscribing to the Utilitarian proposition that what is most important is seeking the ‘greatest happiness for the greatest number of people’. I have come to accept that this is a democracy, and the will of the majority must be respected. When the same people that you think you are fighting for turn against you, then you are only wasting your time. Like a Greek philosopher once said; to help a man against his will (e.g. preventing a suicidal person from dying) is, in fact, same as murdering him.
THE GOOD SIDE:
- ‘Rapport with lecturers and other students’: this is one major reason why many crave to be in the position of class rep. And it is true that my being there has ignited rapport between many lecturers and me. However, I know many students who are closer to all our lecturers than I am. So, I guess it’s never about the position, it’s about the ambition and determination. I have also interacted with many other individuals [e.g. LSS officials, and excos of student organisations], not because they find my personality likable, but because they find my rank instrumental.
- ‘Public speaking practice’: my public speaking and audience facing skills have been improved, I guess, as a result of the incessant cases where I had to address a class of hundreds for one thing or the other. But I must add, that even though I’ve done it times without count, I still hesitate, most times, before taking those steps to the front of the class.
CONCLUSION: That I may not be criticised for writing something not too far from being a facsimile of ‘So long a letter’, I will promptly conclude by, first appreciating my course mates for understanding and bearing with my inadequacies all these while – all the times I failed or forgot to pass attendance sheets, all the times I could or would not check for results and time-tables on time, all the times you called and I didn’t pick, all the times my voice was not audible enough for the whole class to grasp, all the times I did not speak when I was expected to and the times I spoke when it was uncalled for, all the times it seemed I deliberately shunned some person(s) or that I was not amiable enough, all the times I have, in one way or the other, offended either an individual, a caucus, or the whole class in general, and all those other times, in which I did other things, my frail brain would not remember. I thank you all for understanding; and indeed I am sorry for all those times.
I want to use this medium to enjoin everyone reading this not to hesitate in sharing prickly, but constructive, criticisms whenever necessary, directing them to whoever is concerned, and not minding whose toe is stepped on, not caring whose ox is gored.
What I am trying to say is: censure, reproach and lash the leader whenever he does something that is, in your honest opinion, wrong; whenever his attitude is becoming unbecoming and his actions are turning untoward.
My religion has made me to understand perfectly that the position of leadership is a very crucial and consequential one. It is one which one holding it will be made to compulsorily account for, if not in this world, in the next. My job is to promote the good of the class, and to satisfy its needs. If anyone is aggrieved as a result of my actions or decisions, I cannot possibly know unless I am told. Just like mens rea is no crime and a mere cerebral or wishful acceptance is no acceptance; a mental dissatisfaction, which is not expressed or even impliedly indicated, is no dissatisfaction at all; it is useless.
Verily, the tasks before us are much greater than the ones we left behind. Let us learn from our past mistakes, especially respecting our academic concern, and apply the lessons therein to better our present with a view to inheriting a desired future.
Let us face our studies squarely, yet also remember that facing it only will merely educate us partly and not roundly.
Let us make unity our watchword; sustain the spirit of camaraderie that has kept us thus far; and do away with all fissiparous factors, whether via political affiliations, behavioural polarity or academic envy.
And with the God of Justice on our side, like He has been on our side in all those soccer tournaments, we will get to our preferred termini; and we will be glad, in the end, that we did not get there with another set of great young minds, different from the one we are with now.
Thanks for reading; LOVE YOU ALL!
LEGAL MAXIMS AND THEIR SHORT EXPLANATIONS
WRITTEN & COMPILED BY:ESSAYS NG
ACCUSARE NEMO SE DEBET [NISI CORAM DEO]: NO ONE OUGHT TO ACCUSE HIMSELF [EXCEPT TO GOD].
- Also called the ‘right against self-incrimination’.
- Similar to ‘Nemo tenetur seipsum accusare’.
- An accused is fully entitled to plead ‘not guilty’ whatever the facts may be.
- A witness may refuse to answer questions on the ground that a reply might incriminate him.
- A confession is not admissible unless it is made freely and voluntarily. It must not be induced through promise or threat.
- See R v Lagos, Miranda v Arizona and Mapp v Ohio.
ACTA EXTERIORA INDICANT SECRETA INTERIORA: THE OUTWARD ACTS SHOW THE SECRET INTENTIONS.
- This involves the ascertainment of someone’s subjective interest/purpose motivating his/her actions, by considering what the immediate, proximate and reasonably to be anticipated consequences of such actions are and to reason that the person intends to accomplish them.
- ‘Facta non verba’ – actions speak louder than voice.
ACTIO PERSONALIS MORITUR CUM PERSONA: ANY RIGHT OF ACTION DIES WITH THE PERSON.
- It applies to actions in form of ‘ex delicto’. ‘Delict’ meaning wrong/injury done to someone.
- It is a common law rule which states that ‘if an injury were done either to the person or to the property of another for which damages only could be recovered in satisfaction, the action died with the person to whom or by whom the wrong was done.
- In case of injury to the person, if either party dies, no action can be supported either by or against the executors or other representatives.
- Thus, going by this maxim, it would be better for a motorist to kill rather than merely injure a pedestrian who is unemployed, unmarried, childless and an orphan.
- The relevance of this principle has been substantially removed by statutes which allow a deceased’s estate to pursue the litigation.
- It does not apply to personal action founded on contract.
- It now seems to be generally confined to ‘defamation’.
- See Phillip v Homfray, Ayodele v Ore and Kareem v Wema Bank Ltd.
ACTORE NON PROBANTE, ABSOLVITUR REUS: AN ACTION NOT PROVED, ABSOLVES THE GUILTY.
- When the plaintiff/prosecution does not prove his case, judgment is for the defendant/accused.
- The same principle applies to an appellant if the judges are equally divided in their decisions.
- See Famuroti v Agbeke and Awomuti v Salami.
ACTUS DEI NEMINI FACIT INJURIAM: AN ACT OF GOD CAUSES LEGAL INJURY TO NO ONE.
- ‘The law holds no man responsible for the act of God’ ~Herbert Broom.
- The loss from an injury caused thereby must be borne by the victim.
- It refers to an injury, inevitable as a result of an act of God, which no industry can avoid or policy prevent.
- Supposing a storm causes Mr A’s car to land on, thereby damaging Mr B’s house, Mr B cannot claim damages from Mr A.
- See Omotayo v Arbuckie Smith & Co. Ltd.
ACTUS NON FACIT REUM, NISI MENS SIT REA: AN ACT DOES NOT MAKE GUILT, UNLESS THE MIND BE GUILTY.
- The intent and the act must both concur to constitute a crime.
- Similar to Nemo cogitationis poenam patitur: No one shall be punished for his thoughts alone.
- The existence of a criminal mind may be negated with the defences of: *Mistake *Accident *Compulsion *Consent *Claim of right.
- A lunatic may however be found guilty of crime, but will not be executed and only kept in custody for lack of ‘real’ intent [i.e. mens rea].
- See R v Nasamu, Sweet v Parsely and The State v Adelenwa.
AFFIDAVIT: HE SWORE.
- Or ‘FOR HE HAS DECLARED UPON OATH’.
- A written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath/affirmation administered by an authorised person.
- Witnessed by a solicitor or a commissioner of oaths.
- It may not be admissible as evidence; must be backed up.
- The content should be only within the knowledge of the affiant.
- If discovered false, with the intent to deceive; may lead to a charge of perjury.
ARMA IN ARMATOS SUMERE JURA SINUNT: THE LAW PERMITS THE TAKING UP OF ARMS AGAINST THE ARMED.
- The use of arms is only lawful if it is necessary as a form of self-defence, to prevent or repel the commission of a forcible entry or an atrocious crime.
- See Nwuguru v The State, R v Igwe and The Queen v Jinobu.
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM: HEAR THE OTHER SIDE.
- First enacted in the Magna Carta, 1215.
- Similar to ‘AUDITUR ET ALTERA PARS’.
- No person shall be condemned, punished or have any property or legal right compromised by a law court without being heard.
- It includes habeas corpus, right to receive notice of hearing and to be given an opportunity to be represented or heard.
- It is a principle of fair-hearing; that both party shall respond to the evidence against them.
- It is considered a principle of fundamental justice or equity.
- The ancient Greek dramatists considered ‘hear both sides’ as part of ‘common wisdom’.
- Today, legal systems differ on whether a person can be convicted in absentia.
- Even God, it is said, allowed Adam to make his defence before passing judgment.
- See King v Chancellor, Cooper v Wandsworth Board of Works, Fawehinmi v LPD committee per Kayode Eso JSC, R v Chancellor of Cambridge Univerisity, Adedeji v Public Service Commission, Akande v The state, adeigun v A.G. Oyo state and Udemah v Nig. Coal Corp.
COMMODUM EX INJURIA SUA, NEMO HABERE DEBET: OUT OF HIS OWN WRONG, NO ONE OUGHT TO HAVE ADVANTAGE.
- Mostly applied in insurance cases whereby the assured inflicts injury on himself, spouse or property to make a fraudulent claim.
- See Lek v Matthews and Cole v Accident Assurance Co. Ltd.
CORPUS DELICTI: BODY OF CRIME.
- Plural: ‘Corpora delicti’.
- A principle that a crime must have been proven to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime.
- It is ‘the fact of a crime having been actually committed’ ~Black’s law dictionary.
- Out-of-court confession of a defendant is insufficient as evidence.
- An accused cannot be convicted solely upon an accomplice’s testimony.
- If a person disappears and cannot be contacted, a ‘missing person’ case is initiated. A ‘body’ of evidentiary items must be obtained to establish that the missing individual has indeed been murdered.
- Misinterpretation: in the case of British serial killer, John George Haigh, he destroyed the bodies of his victims with acid thinking that in the absence of a corpse, murder could not be proven.
DOMUS SUA CINQUE EST TUTISSIMUM REFUGIUM: A MAN’S HOUSE IS HIS SAFEST RETREAT.
- The house of everyone is to him a castle/fortress for his safety, and defence against injury and violence.
- “A house” includes a rented house.
- In R v Hussay, the tenant was justified to have shot his landlord who tried to forcibly eject him after a quit-notice.
- See also The Queen v Eyo and R v Ebi.
EX PARTE: FOR ONE PARTY ONLY.
- Or ‘OUTSIDE THE AWARENESS OF A PARTY.’
- It refers to the proceedings where one of the parties has not received notice and, therefore is neither present nor represented.
- It is not ex parte, if a notice is received but the person chose not to attend.
- However, some jurisdictions expand it to mean any proceeding that goes undefended.
- One of the parties applies to the court and is awarded without the knowledge of the other party who may be bound or affected by the proceeding/verdict.
- Ex parte applications often seek‘court injunction’.
- It gives room for injustice.
- It is not common in the adversarial system.
- Urgency often leads to it.
- The party present in court must/is expected to present the case fairly.
EX TURPI CAUSE NON ORITUR ACTIO: OUT OF A BASE/DISGRACEFUL/ILLEGAL CAUSE, AN ACTION DOES NOT ARISE.
- “No polluted hand shall touch the pure foundation of justice.”
- “He who comes to equity, must come with clean hands” [a maxim of equity].
- It means redress shall not be granted to persons involved in an illegal deal.
- Illegality in an agreement renders it wholly void of legal effect.
- See Canfailla v Chahin, Stevens v Gourley and Onyiuke v Okeke.
HABEAS CORPUS: MAY YOU HAVE THE BODY.
- Habeas: 2nd person singular present subjunctive active of ‘habere’ – to have.
Corpus: accusative singular of ‘corpus’; plural is ‘corpora’.
- Fully written as ‘habeas corpus ad subjiciendum.’
- Also called ‘the great writ’.
- It is a writ [legal action] that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge.
- It ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention.
- The remedy can be sought by the prisoner and anyone coming to his aid.
- It is addressed to the prison custodian.
- Others, aside the detainee, can write the petition because he might be held ‘incommunicado’.
- It may be suspended due to a ‘national emergency’.
- Types: *Habeas corpus ad deliberandum et recipiendum.
*Habeas corpus ad faciendum et recipiendum (or cum causa).
*Habeas corpus ad prosequendum.
*Habeas corpus ad respondedum.
*Habeas corpus ad testificandum.
INTER ARMA, LEGES SILENT: IN THE MIDST OF ARMS, THE LAW IS SILENT.
- First written by Cicero in his oration; ‘Pro Milone’, as ‘Silent enim leges inter arma’.
- “The laws will thusnot be silent in time of war, but they will speak with a somewhat different voice” ~ChiefJustice William Rehnquist.
- “The clatter of arms drowns out the voice of the law” ~Henry David Thoreau.
- It applies between different states, during civil disturbances or a coup d’état.
INTEREST REIPUBLICAE UT SIT FINIS LITIUM: IT CONCERNS THE STATE THAT THERE BE AN END TO LAWSUITS.
- Or ‘IT IS FOR THE GENERAL WELFARE THAT A PERIOD BE PUT TO LITIGATION’.
- In effect, the law does not encourage prolonged litigation.
- The wealthy might cause nuisance to the poor if litigation is not restricted.
- Hence, the court expects the parties to come prepared and present their points of differences as whole and not in bits.
- See Ijale v Leventis Co. Ltd and Agu v Ikwibe.
JUDEX NON REDDIT PLUS QUAM QUOD POTENS IPSE REQUIRIT: A JUDGE DOES NOT GIVE MORE THAN THAT WHICH THE PLAINTIFF ASKS.
- If a plaintiff claims the sum of ₦10 as debt from the defendant, the judge cannot grant more even if evidence reveals it’s actually ₦15.
- See Khawam v Elias and Horizon Ltd v Wasurum.
JUDICIS EST IUS DICERE, NON DARE: THE JUDGE DECLARES (EXISTING) LAW, AND DOES NOT MAKE NEW ONES.
- Under our constitution, the court can only interpret legislations: See Section 4 of CFRN.
- See Abioye v Yakubu.
LEX DILATIONES SEMPER EXHORRET: THE LAW ALWAYS ABHORS DELAYS.
- ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ ~William Gladstone.
- See Usikaro v Itsekiri [Land Trustee.]
LEX NON COGIT IMPOSSIBILIA: THE LAW DOES NOT COMPEL THE DOING OF IMPOSSIBILITIES.
- The law which is founded on good sense and reasoning cannot possibly direct that impossible things be done.
- See: ‘nemo tenetur ad impossible’
MANDAMUS: WE ORDER.
- A judicial remedy or an order from a superior court to a subordinate court, corporation or public authority to do or not to do some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do or refrain from doing.
- Types: *Alternative *Peremptory *Continuing.
- Example: In December 2009, Falana, in a suit against the Attorney General, issued for a writ of mandamus compelling Yar’adua to transmit a written declaration to the Senate President and speaker of House of Representatives empowering Jonathan as Acting President [in line with Section 145 of CFRN].
NEMO DAT QUOD HABET: NO ONE GIVES WHAT HE DOES NOT HAVE.
- Sometimes called the ‘nemo dat’ rule.
- It states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title.
- A person who is not the legitimate owner of an item cannot despatch it to another person.
- Often stays valid even if the purchaser is not aware.
- There are exceptions, though, which aim to give a degree of protection to bona fide purchasers as well as original owners.
- Section 27, Sale of Goods Act: anybody purchasing something without the consent of the legitimate owner only attains the same rights to the item as the dishonest seller.
- Section 26(1): a buyer from a non-owner obtains no better title than the seller.
- Exceptions: *Mercantile agent *Sale by joint-owners *voidable contract *Sale by an unpaid seller *Termination of offer *Quasi-contract.
NEMO DEBET BIS VIXARI PRO UNA ET ENDEM LITIUM: NO ONE OUGHT TO BE TWICE VEXED (SUED) FOR ONE AND THE SAME CAUSE.
- Similar to‘NEMO BIS PUNITUR PRO UNO (EODEM) DELICTO’ – No one should be twice punished for one wrong.
- Similar to the principle of Res judicata; in civil matters.
- It states that nobody should be twice sued or prosecuted upon one and the same set of facts, if there has been a final decision of a competent court.
- However, an abortive or premature trial can be retried [see Windson v R].
- In Connelly v DPP, the defendant tricked the judge by sending a dozen bottles of champagne with the compliment of the plaintiff, hence winning the case. If realised, the case could be re-tried on the ground of a mistrial.
NEMO DEBET ESSE JUDIX IN PROPRIA CAUSA: NOBODY OUGHT TO BE A JUDGE IN HIS OWN CAUSE.
- This is a principle of natural law.
- Popularly known as the rule against ‘bias’ i.e. anything which tends a person to decide a case other than on the basis of evidence.
- It is based on the premise that it is against human psychology to decide a case against himself.
- It accords with the dictum of Lord Hewart C.J. in R v Sussex; ‘Justice should not only be done, but also manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.’
- A biased decision is a nullity and is ‘coram non judice’.
- May also be expressed as: *Nemo judex idoneus in propria causa est *Nemo judexin parte sua *Nemo judex in causa sua *In propria causa nemo judex.
- The maxim crystallised in United Breweries Co. v Bath in which the Lord Chancellor (a shareholder in the company) decided in favour of the canal company.
- In Wright v Crump , the Mayor of Hereford, England; claimed title to a local house, arranged with a friend to lease it to him and then the friend brought a legal action for the ejectment of the occupants – Lord Mayor himself found for the claimant. Occupants appealed to the court of King’s Bench and the Mayor was sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
- Exception [doctrine of necessity]: bias would not disqualify an officer if no other person is competent to act in his place e.g. Speaker of a house in impeachment proceedings.
NOLLE PROSEQUI: UNWILLING TO PURSUE.
- Or ‘DO NOT PROSECUTE’.
- It is most often used in criminal cases.
- It is called ‘voluntary dismissal’ in civil cases.
- Similar to it is ‘declination of prosecution’.
- Its opposite is ‘involuntary dismissal’.
- It is the prosecutor’s decision to voluntarily discontinue criminal charges either before trial or fore a verdict is rendered.
- Judges seldom challenge such declarations.
- It is not a guaranteefor the impossibility of a later re-indictment and nor is it a protection against ‘double jeopardy’ as the merits of the case were not adjudicated.
- Reasons: *Weak or insufficient evidence.
*Doubt as to the guilt of the defendant.
*Death of the accused.
PAR IN PAREM, NO HABET IMPERIUM: AN EQUAL POSSESSES NO POWER OVER AN EQUAL.
- Also called the ‘doctrine of immunity from suit’.
- This is a precept that a state cannot be sued in the courts of a foreign state, along-standing rule of customary international law identified with the personalimmunity of a foreign sovereign from suit.
- It also applies to private individuals acting in their official capacity or representing their state e.g. USA v Guinto.
- But when the public official does act contrary to law and injurious to the plaintiff, he is made accountable e.g. Shauf v Court of Appeals.
PLUS VALET UNUS OCCULATUS TESTIS, QUAM AURITI DECEM: ONE EYE WITNESS IS STRONGER THAN TEN HEARSAYS.
- Based on the principle that, at all times, justice must be manifestly seen to have been done.
- In law, ‘hearsay evidence’ is the opposite of ‘direct evidence’.
- Also, any evidence given in the absence of an accused is not admissible against him.
- See R v Samuels and Onwocha v The state.
PRO BONO PUBLICO: FOR THE GOOD OF THE PUBLIC.
- Done or undertaken for public good without any payment or compensation.
- Necessitas publica major est quam privata: public necessity has priority over a private need.
QUI NON IMPROBAT, APPROBAT: HE WHO DOES NOT DISAPPROVE, APPROVES.
- Hence, a person in authority may be punished for covering a very serious crime known to him/her.
- In English law, ‘MISPRISION’ is an offence which is to conceal a treason/felony.
- See R v Aberg.
QUI PARCIT NOCENTIBUS INNOCENTES PUNIT: HE WHO SPARES THE GUILTY, PUNISHES THE INNOCENT.
- For instance, the letting off of a rapist amounts to an ironical/literary punishment of the victim for her agony, violation of dignity and molestation.
- However, the sentence of ‘cautioned and discharged’ is deemed a conviction and cannot be equated with sparing the guilty.
QUI PECAT EMBRIUS, LUAT SOBRIUS: HE WHO SINS WHEN DRUNK SHALL BE PUNISHED WHEN SOBER.
- …even if a person drunk himself to the state of ‘dementia effectum’ (self-imposed madness), he will be punished for the crime after his sober moment; in common law i.e. before 1920 [introduction of the concept of mens rea].
- The present legal position is that voluntary drunkenness which deprives a person of necessary mens rea cannot ground a criminal conviction.
- If intent is coupled with violent passion, guilt is established as he is presumed to intend the natural consequence of the act.
QUICQUID PLANTATUR SOLO, SOLO CEDIT: WHATEVER IS AFFIXED TO THE SOIL, BECOMES PART OF IT.
- In Onuwaje v Ogbeide, the plaintiff warned the defendant not to enter his land warning that it is his. The defendant went ahead to erecta building on the real estate; and then the plaintiff claimed title to it.
- See also Atanda v Ajani and Tewogbade v Adeolu.
RES JUDICATA: MATTER ALREADY ADJUDGED.
- Also called ‘claim preclusion’.
- It is a legal doctrine meant to bar continued litigation between the same parties.
- It may refer to a case which cannot be appealed because there has been a final judgment.
- It cannot be raised whether in the same court or another.
- Aims at preventing injustice and a waste of resources.
- It prevents contradictory judgments and multiple recoveries of damages.
- Requirements: *Identity in the thing at suit.
*Identity of the cause at suit.
*Identity of the parties to the action.
*Identity in the designation of the parties involved.
*Whether the judgment was final.
*Whether the parties were given fair-hearing.
- It includes two related concepts: *claim preclusion *issue preclusion or collateral estoppel.
- It may be ignored if there is a deficiency in due process in the adjudged case.
- See Agu v Ikewide, Iyayi v Eyiegbe and Odjevwaje v Echanokpe.
SUB POENA: UNDER PUNISHMENT.
- A writ by a government agency (court) compelling testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure.
- The English term, ‘witness summons’ is used in England and Wales.
- John Waltham, Bishop of Salisbury, createdthe writ.
- Subpoenas are usually issued by the clerk of the court in the presiding judge’s name.
- Types: *Subpoena ad testificandum: orders a person to testify before court or face punishment, in person or by phone.
*Subpoena doces tecum: orders a person to bring physical evidence before the court or face punishment.
VOLENTI NON FIT INJURIA: THAT TO WHICH A MAN CONSENTS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AN INJURY.
- Expressly or impliedly assenting to an act makes it not to be actionable as a tort.
- In another sense, no one can enforce a legal right which he has voluntarily waived/abandoned.
- That party must have known of his legal rights and either by express language or sufficient overt act, tells the other party that he is not insisting on it (or them).
- See Herd v Weardale Co. and Odua’s investment Co. Ltd v Talabi.
CONSTITUTIO RESPICIT FUTURA ET NON PRAETERITA:.
CONSUETUDO EST OPTIMA LEGUM INTERPRES:.
DAMNUM SINE INJURIA ESSE POTEST:.
FRAUS EST CELARE FRAUDEM:.
FRAUS ET JUS NUMQUAM COHABITANT:.
IN CRIMINALIBUS, PROBATIONES DEBENT ESSE LUCE CLARIORES:.
JUSTITIAE DILATIO EST QUAEDAM NEGATIO:.
LEGES AB OMNIBUS, INTELLEGI DEBENT:.
LEGES EXPONERE, NON FERRE, DEBET JUDEX:.
LEX INJUSTA NON EST LEX:.
LEX NON SCRIPTA: NON-WRITTEN LAW.
LEX NON VALET EXTRA TERRITIORIUM:.
LEX SCRIPTA: WRITTEN LAW.
MORBUS EST IMPEDIMENTUM IN LEGE:.
NEMO EST HAERES VIVENTIS:.
NULLUM CRIMEN SINE POENA:.
NULLUM PONA SINE LEGE:.
NULLUM SIMILE EST IDEM: NOTHING SIMILAR IS THE SAME.
QUID AB INITIO NON VALET, IN TRACTU TEMPORIS, NON CONVALESCIT:.
VIM VI REPELLERE LICET: IT IS ALLOWED TO REPEL FORCE WITH FORCE.
Full name: Adebajo Adekunle Fisayo
Your Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your Blog’s name and URL: The Prodigy’s Ratiocinations: www.adekunleadebajo.wordpress.com
What’s your Blog about: the blog basically revolves around sharing an insight into my held opinions regarding various aspects of life (politics, society, academics, theology etc.), through the use of poems, articles, debate and presentation topics. It also encompasses pieces of information which the author deems necessary and fit for public consumption.
What do you do: we use our publications to enlighten and re-orient our readership, not forgetting to entertain them in the process. Edutainment is our watchword.
Who are your readers: they range from students to poets, from professionals who need source materials, to anyone who simply enjoys a good write-up.
What’s the greatest thing about your blog: though ‘the prodigy’s ratiocinations’ may not yet be popular, it has contributed one way or the other to the society. It gives me a perfect medium to showcase my abilities, share my views and right social wrongs in the little way I can. It is to me, a boon companion. That, I believe, is just awesome.
Why is it better than other blogs: it is better than many other blogs due to its originality and the universal applicability of some of its contents.
How’d you come up with the name for your blog: it resulted from the deep musings and ratiocinations of a prodigy, a would-be legend.
What was your first blogging experience: I have none prior to the time I created ‘the prodigy’s ratiocinations’.
How did you first get into the world of blogging: this was through the WordPress android app. I downloaded. After creating the blog, I have had no regrets.
What time do you usually start blogging: whenever I find convenient. No fixed time.
How many hours a day do you usually blog: for now, at most, between 3 and 4 hours.
What major problems is your blog coming to address: the problems of ignorance and disorientation in whatever field; grammatical, political, religious, legal, social and so on.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? On your third beer? Or?: I could be trekking, eating, reading news, about to sleep, praying, just about any time.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the courage to go after yours: a picture of the near-future, the desire to be heard and appreciated.
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go to: some months back, Lagos.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through: lack of a personal computer was a major challenge, coupled with a limited access to the internet.
How do you handle frustration: I take a time-off, and do something pleasurable (like sleep, eat, go on a trekking spree or game) to relax.
What has been your biggest professional frustration: working hard to get something published, only for it not to be read (as expected). Not too big a deal though.
What’s your blogging environment like: just like ‘home’, no strict deadlines, no explicit restrictions, just having fun and making impact.
Do you listen to music: not as the average person does, very minimal and rare.
Watch movies: not frequent, but I enjoy watching good intellectual and mind-boggling movies.
Play video games: not that frequently too. I only do on a few occasions using my PC.
How do you picture your blog in 5 years: I see it as a leading blog for getting beneficial, life-changing information; a blog which government visits for guidance in decision-making.
Who or what inspires you: my readers and their inspiring comments.
Role models: Malcolm X, Gani Fawehinmi.
Quotes: ‘speak clearly if you speak at all, carve every word before you let it fall’ (Oliver Wendell Holmes), ‘all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ (Edmund Burke), ‘a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a step’ (Lao Tzu).
Video games: PES 2011, Unreal Tournament, Mortal kombat.
Snack food: mince pie, doughnut, sausage roll.
How’d you currently make money off your blog: I had not given monetising my blog a serious thought until ‘Cambiar blogs’ gave me a call. Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed.
What other advice do you have for other wanna-be bloggers struggling to get started: make originality, diligence and steadfastness your slogans.
What would you do if you had a year off and 50,000,000 to spend (on something other than blogging): I would invest judiciously in ICT, agriculture and import/export business.
Do you consider yourself a successful blogger? If not, what will make you feel successful: I do not yet consider myself successful at blogging, and having this feeling will naturally be a function of how much impact I’m able to make, and how much I’m able to gain as well through blogging.
Top 5 websites you couldn’t live without and why: Nairaland.com, Facebook.com, Naijawriterscoach.com, WordPress.com, ipage.com. They all assist me in getting and sharing virtual information, quickly and easily.
What is your music genre of choice: if I were to be a music enthusiast, then I would have much preference for ‘blues’.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? And why that country: there is no country in particular, I wish to be able to travel across the globe with ease one day. However, I hope I would be able to gain a scholarship to study in Harvard University (U.S) for my PhD programme.
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter or BBM and why: @OxygenMat, @naijacontests, @aminugamawa. They keep me informed on happenings in the world of writing, and socio-politics.
Our Deepest fear!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure. “We ask ourselves,
‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and
fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?
We were born to make manifest the glory of God
that is within us. And as we let our own light
shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
~ Maryanne Williamson
JAMES L. FARMER JR.: Final Debate…
In Texas they lynch Negroes. My teammates and I saw a man strung up by his neck and set on fire.
We drove through a lynch mob, pressed our faces against the floorboard.
I looked at my teammates. I saw the fear in their eyes and, worse, the shame.
What was this Negro’s crime that he should be hung without trial in a dark forest filled with fog.
Was he a thief? Was he a killer? Or just a Negro? Was he a sharecropper? A preacher? Were his children waiting up for him? And who are we to just lie there and do nothing. No matter what he
did, the mob was the criminal.
But the law did nothing. Just left us wondering, “Why?” My opponent says nothing that erodes the rule of law can be moral. But there is no rule of law in the Jim Crow south. Not when Negroes are denied
housing. Turned away from schools, hospitals.
And not when we are lynched.
St Augustine said,
“An unjust law is no law at all.” Which means I have a right, even a duty to resist. With violence or
civil disobedience. You should pray I choose the latter.
HERE IS A COMPILATION OF TEN OF THE LEGENDARY AND CONTROVERSIAL PERSONALITY, HONOURABLE PATRICK OBAHIAGBON’S (ALIAS IGODOMIGODO), RELEASES ON NIGERIAN POLITY.
DON’T JUST READ WITH THE INTENT OF LAUGHING, ENDEAVOUR TO GAIN AS WELL.
1. ON NIGERIA AT 52
As we celebrate our flag and shambolic autarky at 52, we must realise that Nigeria is still more of a geographic contrivance as has been
rightly posited by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Not with our centrifugal
excrescences preponderating over our centripetal proclivities.
It’s a matter for mental pabulum that we are daily drifting into our ethnic cocoons. We still remain one country with disparate ethnic agendas and I can say it for the umpteenth time again that we must sit down in a sovereign national colloquy to discuss the basis for our nationhood.
Anything short of this is just vacuous scahiamachy.”
2. ON PROF. SOFOLUWE’s DEATH.
“I condole with the UNILAG Community on the recumb in quietus of the VC, Prof. Sofoluwe. The clerisy has lost a solitaire. “Prof. Sofoluwe’s passing is mere ephemeral recumbent hibernation; an
empyrean paradisiac rendezvous lies ahead. Heaven is the terminus,”
Patrick Obahiagbon On Being Disturbed By A Girl On Facebook
3. ON DISTURBANCES ON HIS FACEBOOK WALL
At long last,Sodom and Gomorrah don come tanda gidigba for my FB Wall.I beg make una help me beg one Sabinna with kpotoki body and her coquettish fidus achates when they dress in puris naturalibus for my wall say make them carry their fiddle.faddle commot go another piazza.I enter public disclaimer lest i swim in the legal aqua of
4. ON GOV. OSHIOMOLE’s VICTORY AGAINST TONY ANENIH.
“Amidst the great cosmogyral peregrinations of galaxies, amidst the great turmoil in the Land, there is still hope for the future. Congratulations the People’s Governor.
The Governor’s antecedents is the coherentific factor behind the Great People of Edos’ consensus verdict. Tony Anenih will be positively alabandical. Say no to God Fatherism.”
5. ON NIGERIAN PASTORS AND PRIVATE JETS
I cast my vote for Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and Pastor Tunde Bakare in their demosthenic vitriol against spiritual megalomaniacs whose modus vivendi has become increasingly byzantine and
repulsively narcissistic.We must all begin to deprecate this razzmatazz and Nestorian braggadocio in the “HOUSE OF
GOD”,because when there is no difference between the values of a Pastor and a typical Nigerian Politician,then it’s truly a
6. ON THE JUBILATION IN KADUNA OVER YAKOWA’S DEATH
“Whilst I feel tongue tied that we are witnessing another ‘air mishap’ that has taken the lives of fellow Nigerians, I am utterly shocked to hear of the jubilation in certain Northern political quarters and muslim youths in Kaduna State. Just too too cruddy and it is beyond the fugacious razzmatazz of the moment.
“I seriously call attention to the rutilanting and coruscating modus vivendi of Master Jesus the Christ and I dare pontificate that
save and until we viscerally emblematize the virtues of self-immolation, quintessential abnegation, eulogizeable simplicity, humility and immerse ourselves in a platonic emotionalism of agape love and communalistic service and head to
unity as one nation,”
7. AFTER LOSING HIS PRIMARY ELECTION.
‘This has made me suffused with emotional narcolepsy that the
homosapiens in d metro-political geographical enclave of Edo have opted for Owanbe-ing over legislative Quomodo dicis. Such a reckless display of narcissistic and flamboyant hedonism is capable of
encumbering our nascent democracy with insidious, repercussive and cataclysmic exigencies.
8. ON 2013 ASUU STRIKE
This ASUU strike is a miasma of a deprecable apothesis of an hemorrhaging plutocracy, cascadingly oozing into a malodorous excrescence of mobocracy.
With all termagant ossifying proclivities of a kakistocracy, our knowledgia centura is enveloped in a paraphlegic crinkum crankum.
Therefore ASUU,cest in dejavu, dejavu peret ologomabia.
9. ON PATIENCE D. JONATHAN AND THE RIVERS STATE CRISIS
Is the malodorous excrescence in Rivers state,cascadingly oozing out from erebus Dame,all about the satiation of a megalomaniacal presidential termagant?
Let someone please assist me in whispering to the Dame that Alagamus Paret,Ai Ai Num,Ai Ai Num Cest Daret,Opotere Alagamus…
10. AN INTERVIEW WITH VANGUARD
What is the meaning of Igodomigodo? So many people would want to know?
Igodomigodo is a political sobriquet I have habilimented or if you like togarise my identity for a period of aeon to emblematize my culturico-spiritual fons et origo. It was an advertent stratagem to
cosmopolitanize my genealogical matrix and arcane trajectory since it was not by accident that I originated from the land of Igodomigodo. The interesting thing is that IGODOMIGODO, being the pristine
nomenclature of the Bini man, evokes in me the alacritous presence of the invisible “gods” of my progenitors which, by itself, invokes a luxuriation in an ancestral egregore of pristine resurgimento.
How did you actually come about the bombast with which you speak?
Well, this question can be answered from a bifurcated fons et origo.
One, I had a singular privilege of having a martinet for a father. My father was, and remains a very strict disciplinarian of puritanical and quixotic predilection. What that meant, my brother, in practical terms was that I never saw the streets of Benin outside my father’s compound after 7p.m., until I became a practising lawyer. I didn’t
know how Benin looked like after 7p.m., except of course when I had to go to school.
If you grew up under that type of ambience, you cannot but put your nose to the grindstone. And more germane was the fact that when my father traveled abroad, he brought with him a flyer to the effect that good speakers have ruled the world, and if you want to rule the world, you cannot but be a good speaker. I was very impressionable when he gave me this flyer which he had bought from London
and for me who have always had the primus mobile and gravitating force to want to be part and parcel of the political higgi haggar of my milieu, I said to myself that if being a good speaker was the
condition sine qua non for ruling the world, then I was going to do everything possible to be a good speaker and that was how I acclimatized myself very voraciously to the Students’ Companion and read all there was to read that came my way. It was indeed a period of mental lucubration and intellectual gymkhana but more fundamentally is the fact that – and I’ve always said this – for most people, the dictionary is a reference point; but, for me, for over 25years now, the dictionary is a vade mecum – constant companion that
I have spent nothing less than an hour on a daily basis on my dictionary for the past twenty five years and this could go from
the pedestrian dictionary to the Encyclopedia and even to the Encarta
What purpose do you want to achieve with that? Just to speak, or to confuse people by being bombastic and verbose?
Let me tell you an incident that occurred that I want to bring under focal hiceps and biceps when I had the rare privilege to peregrinate through the green chambers, the House of Representatives, specifically.
I’m talking about when I had the opportunity to describe the intended
legislative gambadoism of my colleagues as amounting to legislative rascality. You remember I was to be committed to
parliamentary seppuku for that idiolect.
THANKS FOR READING!
SUGGESTION ON BEHALF OF ALL FACEBOOKERS.
Hello Mr Zuckerberg;
This is probably the umpteenth time you would come across this proposition … thus, I am only attempting to reinforce it. I will be as succinct as possible in sharing my thoughts.
We have witnessed various modifications on this network … some improvements, others, not so much. I do not know how many of them were done with the consideration of the opinions of Facebookers, but I sure know there is no “open” suggestion/complaint page or
opinion poll anywhere on the site.
Without further ado, I have two major suggestions;
One is that an ‘unlike’ button should be introduced on Facebook. Many a time, one
would wish to express dissatisfaction at a post and what better & quicker way to do
that than with a “dislike”, “unlike” or “hate” button?
The current lack of it may be as a result of the fear of been accused of mimicking other social networks such as Youtube.
However, it would be of immense benefit to all, if this simple feature is introduced.
Secondly, I also want to implore the administrators of Facebook to consider allowing Facebook users the privilege of
being able to view whoever visits their wall.
It is common to see numerous viral apps claiming to have this “blessing” only for you click on them and be utterly disappointed.
I think it is hightime Facebook itself initiated this idea. It would cost little but it’s effects, I assert, will be pleasing.
Not only would this make surfing through the site more fun, it would increase the
bond between friends and promote the basic goals for the establishment of Facebook.
Thanks, as we all anticipate the
implementation of the afore-mentioned
Signed: Adekunle F Adebajo.