NIGERIA’S EDUCATION: A THEORISED KNOWLEDGE?

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

A speech delivered on November 4, 2015 and which got me the “King of the Podium” appellation (2015/2016) as far as Kenneth Mellanby Hall is concerned.

It is said that when the head is too big, it cannot dodge blows… The head of today’s event, Nigeria’s education, is bigger than its body and thus must endure being constantly discussed.

Good day fellow Mellanbites, kingmakers, fellow speakers and the audience. Before you is Adebajo Adekunle Adefisayo, an aspirant for the crown of the podium. And I am here to take the floor on the question – Nigeria’s education: a theorised knowledge?

Ladies and gentlemen, Terence once said nothing is said which has not been said before. It has, before now, been argued that our education system is not laden with theorised knowledge because we have various practical sessions like industrial training, teaching practice and chamber attachments. It has also been argued that the presence of quality private schools has greatly reduced focus on theory. It may even be argued that our knowledge is not theorised because we not only have theory questions in our examination, we also have German and objective ones. But we all know that these arguments may not hold air let alone water.

Finding an irrefutable assertion is like finding a popular YouTube video with no dislike. There are always two sides to a coin and two ends to a rope. And so it behoves me to examine the other side to this argument which in fact appears to be heavier. To compare it with the former is to compare Mellanby hall to a boys quarters.

The reality today is that our education system is crude and lacks exposure. It not only focuses on theory but off-base, out-of-date triviality. Our lecturers for instance find nothing wrong in using pre-colonial lesson notes 55 years after independence. We have engineers who do not move near engines, doctors who know no better than conductors and Professors of Mechanical Engineering who still take their engines to the mechanics for engineering. Our students can define the internet but cannot use it, they can define a laboratory and in fact list 10 apparatuses it contains but have never entered one, they can describe a wind turbine but have never seen one; they can talk all day about how the tractor works but we have not for once driven one.

In 2012, investigations carried out by Vanguard Nigeria revealed that many schools in Nigeria lack up to date computer technology and the few that have lack access to electricity. For instance, out of a class of about 60, only one claimed to have once worked on a computer – his uncle’s laptop.

Just last month, the cerebral Dr Olisa Godson Muojama of the History department was on air at Splash FM and he declared that Nigeria is operating mercantile, commercial capitalism and not true industrial capitalism. Meaning we import virtually everything but we do not ourselves create or construct anything. Even the things we manage to create, we still import the raw materials from overseas. Does this then mean Nigerians are too dull or lazy? No, of course not! It is only because our education system does not encourage creative thinking. It only reinforces routine robotic reasoning. The problem is not intelligence but lack of experience. And this cannot help us. It will only cast us in a state of motion without movement, activity without productivity.

You see, when Nigerians go abroad to learn, their genius often becomes manifest because of the change in environment. Almost a 100% of Nigerians who ever invented anything worthy of international recognition benefitted substantially from foreign education – from Saheed Adepoju who invented the Inye tablet to Seyi Oyesola who invented the ‘hospital in a box’, from Jelani Aliyu who made General Motors leading auto-brand to Cyprian Emeka who holds more than 160 patents worldwide. Last May, we also heard about Mr Ufot Ekong who made a speedy electric car while studying in Japan. He definitely would not have achieved that had he studied in University of Ibadan.

Fellow Mellanbites, what I am trying to say in essence is that we have the perfect intellectual pool, but our schools lack the perfect intellectual tools. School is not just about pen and paper; it is about ken and actual encounters. School is not only about learning and character; it is about knowing and being a master. School is not about la cram la pour la pass la forget; it is about la grasp la tour la surpass la recollect.

Gentlemen, I shall close by quoting from Benjamin Franklin, a foremost American statesman.  He said tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. And so if our education sector is truly interested in the impartation of knowledge, then it must provide not just updated theory but engaging practicality and actual intellectual activity.

Post scriptum: Paragraphs 3, 4, 8 and the last sentence weren’t part of the final delivery due to temporal inadequacy.

SIGN TO BRING BACK “THE DEBATERS REALITY SHOW”!

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CLICK HERE TO SIGN NOW!

‘Hello Everyone, we know you cannot wait for the next season, thank you for your messages and support. Please stay tuned to this page as something really exciting is coming your way soon. Oratory … the power to change [Posted on Facebook on the 5th of July, 2011]’.

And that was the last we heard of The Debaters, a reality TV show which once kept thousands upon thousands of Nigerians glued to their Television sets while its two seasons lasted. This captivating and educative programme was a first of its kind as it gathered some of the country’s best youthful brains, trained them in the almost-lost-art of polemics and enlightened a broad audience sitting in the confines of their home while so-doing. It was a unique programme which rewarded intellectual growth and showed the world that Nigerians aren’t just fantastic on the football pitch or in amphitheatres.

Sadly and to everyone’s dismay, after the completion of the second season, the third never came. For four long years, we’ve waited but it still is not here. That lovely programme vanished into thin air without a word of explanation. But of course, it can easily be assumed that someone got tired of sponsoring it perhaps because it brought no financial gains.

However, this gloomy disappearance and intellectual homicide ensued in the same era where Big Brother Africa has been held for nine years consecutively and with the winner getting a whopping sum of US$300,000 last year. This tragedy is occurring in the same era Nigerian Idol, another Reality show, has been held for five years running. It is happening in the same time where MTN Project Fame has been annually held 7 times in the past and 18 contestants are presently battling it out in the 8th edition. We also have the Glo Naija Sings, Guilder Ultimate Search, Maltina Dance All amongst many others.

The importance of these entertainment shows is not in any way being undermined. But then the non-existence (and premature death) of equally top-class intellectually flavoured programmes (such as ‘The Debaters’ and Zain Africa’s Challenge) depicts the lopsided nature of our priorities.

In the year 2009 when ‘The Debaters’ made its debut, Lola Odedina (Group Head, Communications and External Affairs, GTB) said that GTB’s support for the programme was predicated on the fact that the development of the mind and the intellect is a tool for sustainable development. She also added that if the country would reproduce the like of Anthony Enahoro and Wole Soyinka who had through their oratorical skills been agents of positive change at one time or the other, there is the need for a well-structured system that would breed such agents.

To conclude therefore, I am humbly using this medium to call on Nigeria’s rank and file to strongly demand for the resuscitation of ‘The Debaters Reality Show’ and other programmes like it. Similarly, the bigwigs and large corporations in our society should also support intellectual activities as much as they do for recreational ones.

Particularly, the National Orientation Agency, the Ministries of Education and Youth Development and finally, Inspire Africa (which initiated it ab intio), should all strive to revive ‘The Debaters’ soon and in earnest. It will cost virtually nothing, yet the intellectual drive that we stand to benefit is simply enormous.

Bring Back The Debaters! Bring it back. Make it bigger and better.

God bless Nigeria! ✊

https://www.change.org/p/nigerian-ministry-of-education-nigerian-ministry-of-youth-development-national-orientation-agency-bring-back-the-debaters-reality-show?just_created=true

CLICK TO SIGN NOW, and don’t forget to also SHARE!

Please, equally share these hash tags to promote the movement:

#BringBackTheDebaters #IntellectualNigeria

This movement is not just about THE DEBATERS , it is to correct the general insouciant attitude of government and society to intellectual activities.

Cheers! ❤👋

THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE: PROGRESSION, WASTE OR WHAT?

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‘The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labour’.

These words of the French philosopher, Albert Camus, featuring the absurdist tale of poor Sisyphus inevitably bring to mind the pitiable story and futile circumstance of some 496 individuals, most of them advanced in years, who, on the 17th day of March, were ‘conscripted’ to partake in the on-going national conference.

President Goodluck Jonathan has said the conference is a medium where high-standing national stakeholders will ‘engage in intense introspection about the political and socio-economic challenges confronting our nation and chart the best and most acceptable way for the resolution of such challenges in the collective interest of all’. The question that crosses ones thoughts then is; what comes next after the resolutions have been charted?

It is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that the conference is an utter waste. Reasons being: one, despite the fact that the whole venture is meant to be a service to the nation; and many of the delegates are pensioners with enough wealth to suffice their whole village and numerous progenies, the government still finds it appropriate to fund the conference with ridiculous generosity. At a time when various abandoned projects daily cry for attention, we find the government bold enough to spend as much as about 7 billion naira on a ‘talk-shop’.

If it were to end there, the situation may still be manageable as the funding, though unnecessary anyway, can be deemed a sacrifice for a worthy cause. But then, the whole process is just ‘vanity upon vanity’, waste upon waste, because the conference, from all indications, lacks any iota of efficacy. This is because the conference is not sovereign and fully autonomous. It is, at the end of the day, answerable to the President. In essence, whatever the resolutions reached, no matter how laudable, they are still subject to the whims and caprices of the government of the day which is the quintessential exemplar, if not origin, of the decay in the nation. This is a pointer to the sad fact that the national conference is nothing but a façade of seriousness and an incapacitated gathering of honest patriots. As Tony Blair aptly puts it; ‘power without principle is barren, but principle without power is futile’.

The national conference is not the panacea we seek. It was set up to find solutions in issues such as fiscal federalism, resource control, regional autonomy and security of lives and property. And even if it actualises this, it definitely cannot serve as a means of tackling political corruption, abject poverty, miscarriage of justice etc., as these are problems only sincerity on the part of the supreme authority in a country can solve. It cannot be, as the President has said, ‘a means of resolving differences and tensions that may exist in the country’, because the delegates were not popularly chosen. When it ends, it does not mean the average Ibo man will cease to hate the average Hausa man, or that the Yoruba Ijaw man will be comfortable handing his daughter in marriage to the typical Yoruba man.

Fred Allen once said that ‘a conference is a group of people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.’ How true this is. The reports of past conferences and committees, a good instance of which is the National Political Reforms Conference constituted by Former President Obasanjo in 2005, are still gathering dusts wherever it is they were dumped.

To conclude, I would say the national conference can definitely not be regarded as a form of progression. In fact, it is a means for retardation. It is not a step in the right direction; instead, it is many steps on a vain path. It is not a thing of value; rather it is a big joke, a diversionary and pointless activity; a waste, of time, money and, most saddening of all, lives. To suggest otherwise is to live in fanatical denial.

INSECURITY AND AMNESTY: A JOLLY RIDE TO LAWLESSNESS

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ABDUL FATTAH ADEBAJO ADEKUNLE, LAW, 100 LEVEL

Winner of the 1434AH superior pen writing competition

[Published on pages 38 and 39 of Adh-Dhikr Magazine, February, 2014]

Written: several months back…

At times, I wonder how it is that we find ourselves in the current predicament. What have we done or failed to do as a nation that causes us to deserve this ‘punishment’? Are Nigerians that distinct from those in other lands, that we are bedevilled with insecurity?

It is quite demoralising that, today, the word ‘Nigeria’ is coterminous and equated with fear, insecurity and loss of lives. Nigeria is, today, a no man’s land. No tourist wishes to see our mouth-watering cultural artefacts. No company holder dares attempt to extend his investment to Nigeria. In fact, the ones already here are, so to say, running for their dear lives. That is not all; presidents and government officials now publicly announce their apprehension in paying Nigeria a visit. A quintessential instance is the recent case whereby President Obama of the United States visited African nations such as Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and deliberately put Nigeria aside.

The pivotal genesis of their lugubrious status-quo is not far-fetched. It all started with militant activities in the Niger-Delta region, which perhaps was made possible during the civil war of 1967-1970 that left myriad arms in the hands of individuals. As an offshoot, we also have innumerable cases of high-profile kidnappings; those being most rampant in the South East and South West on the other hand are infamous for harbouring petty thieves and notorious armed robbers. With the intervention of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s regime, the militants in the Niger-Delta, and activities of MEND were considerably checked. This was mainly due to the introduction of amnesty, which is a process in which violent individuals are disarmed in exchange for education, employment or wealth. This recession brought untold joy unto the hearts of Nigerians, but little did we know that we are yet to get to the end of the beginnings of the burdensome quest.

In 2009, a group popularly referred to as Boko-Haram came into the limelight. Jama’atul Ahlis-Sunna lidda’awati wal-jihad (Boko-Haram) is believed to have originated from the activities of Maitatsine in the 1970s and 80s. its fame also rose when Mallam Alli was heading it around 1995. Thereafter, he passed the leadership to Muhammad Yusuf, a radical whose extra-judicial death in 2009 gave rise to the blood thirsty side of Boko-Haram and the death of more than 10,000 Nigerians – most of the innocent.

The federal government has for too long a time turned a blind eye to the activities of the sect, allegedly because some of the members have rich backgrounds with links to top government officials. However when the situation appears to be getting out control, albeit it never was in control; the government deemed it fit to offer a friendly arm to the sect; taking as precedent the Niger-Delta militants saga. This offer was, sadly and unexpectedly, harshly turned down, with the remarks that it is the government that actually needs amnesty.

Relentless, President Goodluck Jonathan shows that he is still ‘on top of the situation’ by putting to use another trick up his sleeve, a declaration of the state of emergency. This he did on May 14, 2013 in four states of the federation including Adamawa, Bornu and Yobe states. He imposed a 24-hour curfew in these states and sent thousands of military personnel, with the aim of fishing out and crushing the sect members. In addition, telecommunication and GSM were disabled to disorganise the sect. despite the strict measures, we still hear incidents of bombing (of religious institutions and market places); a very fresh case is the killing of juveniles in Yobe by setting a school ablaze. Up to 20 people were reportedly killed. Those who fled from the inferno were shotdown in cold blood. This is to point out that, truly, no real progress have been made.

All said and done, what can we say is the panacea to this precarious situation? The answer to this is very simple, but the implementation, not quite so. Indubitably, the root cause of Boko-Haram and other shapes insecurity is taking in Nigeria is simple and straightforward: poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. In the case of Nigeria, these are most obtainable in the North.

At this juncture, it would be apt to cite one of the remarks of a famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle – he said: ‘poverty is the parent of revolution and violence’. A hungry man does not think of anything but his hunger; and an idle hand, they say, is the devil’s workshop. The only rational explanation for a case in which a teenager in Lagos killed another individual with a knife for 10,000 naira is poverty.

I hereby submit that no level of military expedition or amnesty can salvage us from our predicament; Muhammad Yusuf was able to gain supporters and disciples because people were ignorant and because he strongly preached against corruption and police brutality. Thus, if we must restore sanity, safety and self-dignity in this nation we must set out to tackle corruption, fight illiteracy, and combat poverty with all available means, lest the aftermath becomes ineluctable: a jolly ride to lawlessness.

NIGERIA HAS NOT FAILED!

NIGERIA HAS NOT FAILED

I was spreading my washed clothes one afternoon [23-04-2013] when ‘it’ suddenly crossed my mind…

It’s been repeated on innumerable occasions, through several means; television, radio, newspapers, social networks, bear parlours, collegiate debates, gossip joints etc. that NIGERIA is not only a failing nation, but an already failed and irredeemable one.

It is said that NIGERIA is a doomed country, a marriage grounded on duress and mistake, a company about to liquidate, a time-bomb waiting to explode. In fact, a particular politician has developed the habit of uttering the view that ‘the ship of the Nigerian state is heading towards {an avoidable} cataract, iceberg and oxbow lakes.’ And, fortunately or unfortunately, that is the view of the majority, excluding, of course, the ‘microscopic few’ who feed off the woes, hunger and misery of the masses.

However, putting sentiments aside, and focussing solely on reality; how true can we say this viewpoint is?

I’m sure it is obvious already, from the title of this write-up; that I disagree with the notion, even though I definitely am not part of the parasitic ‘microscopic few’. So what exactly is my thought respecting the issue.

I believe Nigeria is not a failure. But neither can she be labelled a success.         I believe just as we cannot call a particular course (or subject, as the case may be) a failure or success, we cannot call ‘Nigeria’ the same.

What am I trying to say? Only students fail or succeed. They fail or pass particular courses. And since Nigeria is not a student, {just a subject or ‘a mere geographical expression’ as Chief Obafemi Awolowo once put it} she has neither failed nor succeeded. Thus, the accurate proposition should not be ‘NIGERIA has FAILED’ or ‘NIGERIA is a FAILED STATE’; it ought to be; ‘NIGERIANS have FAILED NIGERIA!’

In school, we have easy courses {e.g. General studies, use of English etc.} and difficult ones {e.g. advanced mathematics, programming, physics etc.}. If we are to categorise Nigeria into one of these two broad types, she would be a very easy course to pass, easier than English language, easier than religious studies and even easier than ‘nullology’, the study of nothing, if there’s anything such thing. This is so because she has all the resources in the world to make even a dullard pass. Yet, Nigerians have failed her.

The question to ask now, I guess, is WHY? Why have we failed our fatherland despite her rich and copious mineral resources? Why have we failed our country despite her possessing a more than enough {fresh and youthful} human resources? Why have Nigerians failed Nigeria, even though she is very easy to pass? Why, oh why? Is it that we are that daft? I don’t know. But in a country where hundreds of people die daily in the most despicable ways and yet the number one figure finds it easy to engage in political crusades; a country where little children are being raped, sold, kidnapped and murdered, yet all the parliament thinks of is a raise in allocation; a country where genuine justice is incessantly slaughtered on the altar of cupidity; what else do we expect? It is not that we are too daft to succeed, just that everyone is too busy ‘surviving’ {even if it’s at others detriment}, to care about the greater good. We are too busy salivating for political appointments and governmental contracts to remember that others also deserve a good life; and even a life at all. We are too busy chasing money; fame and comfort that we fail to see the big picture, to be concerned about the verdicts of posterity.

And until that changes, we will keep failing this country. We will keep having a ‘carry-over’ of the vicious cycle of corruption and poverty and insecurity.

This article is not aimed at highlighting the many problems bedevilling this country, because we do not just already know them, we, as a matter of fact; sensually perceive them on a daily basis. Again, it is not that I have set out to postulate solutions to these problems, as an ignorance of the way-out of our predicament has never been a problem for us as well; it is the will cum the zeal to follow them through that we lack.

I have only thought it worthwhile to correct the popular, but erroneous notion that Nigeria has failed. No! She hasn’t; because she is inanimate, she is lifeless, and she makes no decisions to determine her well-being or otherwise.

It is we, Nigerians, that have failed the Nigerian subject.

It is we, Nigerians, that have failed the Almighty, our teacher.

It is we who have failed ourselves.

Nigeria has not failed; rather she is failed.

I HOPE TO ALWAYS BE SICK

                            HOW I WISH  …

… TO ALWAYS BE SICK

Walking back home today ‘under’ the scorching heat, with no cash in hand [nor in pocket, nor in the bank], and witnessing a gradual resurrection of my supposedly buried malaria infection, I could not but become philosophical in mood.

I was sick of the level of abject poverty that walks free in my society. Old men without security, struggling to keep a life many without creed would thoughtlessly terminate. Young children who stare at their juniors going to school, and who, rather than go to school too, are forced by their guardians to hawk petty goods for long hours every single day. Fathers [and these days, mothers too] who become speechless or prevaricate whenever their kids ask why they can’t have this or that; why they eat once a day while their neighbours have all they want; why they have to wear the same dress for the same festival, five years in a row, before getting a new sub-standard one. What about the gutters? Rather than prevent flooding; they have become a massive bin system, an abode for flies, tadpoles, and in fact unwanted new-borns.

I was sick of the naivety of our youths. The guys going through any means imaginable to be [not just rich but] filthily and ostentatiously rich, wrongly assuming that’s all there is to life; and then spending all the money, not on education or business ventures, but on drugs and girls. And the girls: thinking so low of themselves and trading their priceless bodily endowment for small, insignificant ephemerons. Both parties trying endlessly to please the other, but doing no more than to ruin their own lives.

I was sick of people dying, dreams quashing and families crumbling; all because some unemployed and confused youths are paid to blow things up for whatever reason. Every year, the frustration keeps increasing. Frustrated youths, both within and without the country, are taken advantage of to frustrate the lives of others. And then, there seems to be no end in sight.

I was sick of the government responsible for all these. Not that it caused it, and neither that it didn’t, but that it failed to arrest them. Politicians who sponsor terrorism just to register fear in the people’s minds and pit them against their opponents. Office holders who steal, in a matter of seconds, what their whole kinsmen and countless progenitors may never exhaust; building mansions in faraway countries, which they may never step in; buying sporty cars as if buying their kids toy cars, and as is they could ride in ten at the same time.

I was sick, and I am still.

Hence, how it is that wish to always be sick.

How I wish my sickness would graduate to become sadness.

How I wish my sadness would graduate to become resentment.

…and that resentment would, in one way or the other, lead to an insurgence…

…be it peaceful, or otherwise… I don’t care, because no patient is patient enough to care HOW he gets treatment, all he wants is THAT he gets it.

LEGAL MAXIMS AND THEIR SHORT EXPLANATIONS


LEGAL
MAXIMS AND THEIR SHORT EXPLANATIONS

WRITTEN & COMPILED BY:ESSAYS NG


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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 [1790], 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHERS!

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.


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I KNOW MY COUNTRY

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I KNOW MY COUNTRY.

Entry for the 100-word TGIC Centenary essay contest.

Imagine a tall Iroko tree, cut away from its roots. It, inevitably, shall collapse, wither and die. Imagine the Nile without its source, the Kagera River. It loses its glory. Now imagine a man isolated in thought from his place of birth. What a pitiable spectacle, he is.
Nationality is but an eleven-letter word if it does not entail appreciation of one’s environment, acknowledgment of one’s birthplace and a familiarity with essential traits of our home.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo said that no matter how tall a tree is it cannot forget its roots. What excuse do I, still struggling on the ladder of life, now have to forsake my dear nation? None, I believe.

WHAT MAKES ME A TRUE NIGERIAN

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WHAT MAKES ME A TRUE NIGERIAN.

Written For The Diamond Bank 100-word Limit Centenary Essay Contest…

What makes a Christian a true one? Nothing but the mere fact that he believes in the Gospel of Christ and practises it to the letter. What makes a philosopher a true one other than the fact that he believes in the significance of truth, rational thinking and he acts in accordance with his deductions? So what makes a Nigerian a true one? The answer is simple: belief and practice.

I am a true Nigerian! Why? Because I belief in the unity, I belief in the struggle, I belief in the great future of this land. I am equally working tirelessly to make sure that my dream for Nigeria comes to light. So help me God.

CURBING IMMORALITIES AND DEGRADING TENDENCIES

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CURBING IMMORALITIES AND DEGRADING TENDENCIES.

More than 14 hundred years ago, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) foretold of a time when there will be widespread corruption, men will mate with men and women with women, wars and homicides will be on the high[1], female singers and musical instruments will become popular, nations will be ruled by the worst of their citizens[2]. A time when adultery will be committed openly and with impunity[3]. A time of chaos, when normality will become abnormal, when good deeds will be frowned at and evils rewarded. A time, of ‘immoralities and degrading tendencies.’ Sad to say that that time is here. It is staring us in the face, poking its filth into our lives and it has, in fact, managed to gain our acquiescence.

These days, a lot of upsetting spectacles meet my eyes that I fear they will sink in, in shame and disgust. No day passes without one being greeted with depressing news reports. If it is not of a man getting married to a dog[4] or of a union of prostitutes fighting for their right to operate openly[5], it will be of ‘men’ of God and school principals defiling children young enough to pass as their grandkids[6]. The situation, no doubt, is not just getting out of hand; it has already got out of hand. However, is it so bad to have gone beyond redemption? To this, I reply again with the words of Prophet Muhammad: ‘there is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.’ [7] Thus, for every problem, no matter how seemingly gigantic, there is a solution. So what is the solution to this pressing problem? How may we curb the immoralities that have enveloped our society?

Allah says in the Qur’an; ‘surely Allah does not change a people’s lot unless they change what is in their hearts[8]. This verse is similar to the age-old saying that ‘heaven helps those who help themselves’, and it goes to show the importance of self-evaluation and individual development to societal reformation. And like a Greek philosopher [9] once said; ‘the city is what it is because our citizens are what they are.’ In other words, the change has to start from every individual, if we are ever going to get anywhere. We all need to collectively resolve to know what is evil, shun it and return to the will of our Lord.

In addition to this, the family also has a key role to play in this movement. It is widely acknowledged among scholars that the first agent of socialisation is the family. Whether a child will grow up to be an ‘Abu Bakr’ or an ‘Abu Lahab’ is primarily a function of his/her background. Today, the family system has become a shadow of its former self. We are in a world where fathers are busy 24 hours with sustaining the family. And mothers, whose duty it is to look after the home, are even busier than the family head. We are in a world where the closest companion of the young ones is not the chest of their mothers but that of teddy bears. We are in a world where majority of what children learn is got from social networks. In such a world, how can immorality not skyrocket beyond our control? Hence, we will achieve nothing unless we restore the efficacy of the family.

Finally, it is the case that all other establishments can merely recommend what is appropriate; only the government of the day that can enforce it. It only, can legitimately penalise what is wrong and harmonise legality with morality. If after all is said and done and we still have persons who contravene the common ethical code of the society, then the corrective hand of the law is needed to restore balance, effect justice and eradicate corruption from the land.

I wish to conclude by citing the flawless words of Allah (SWT) in the Holy Qur’an where He says: ‘Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what  is wrong, and believing in Allah[10].’ Therefore, each and every one of us must take it as our responsibility to do good, enjoin good and forbid evil. We must all strive to put an end to the immoralities and degrading tendencies in our society, lest they be the one to put an end to us.

REFERENCE
1. Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6903.
2. Narrated by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, in At-Tirmidhi.
3. Ibn Hibban and Al-Bazzar.
4. California Allows First Ever state Recognised Human-Animal Marriage: http://nationalreport.net/california-allows-first-ever-state-recognized-human-animal-marriage/ and Woman Marries Dog In Romantic Wedding Ceremony: http://mirror.co.uk/news/wierd-news/woman-marries-dog-romantic-wedding-3225948
5. Nigerian Prostitutes Demand Recognition: NEWS EXPRESS and Nigerian Prostitutes Strike: “We Demand Our Rights”: Pulse Nigeria, http://pulse.ng/gist/we-demand-our-rights-id2713674.html
6. ‘Pastor Raped Me Countless Times’ – Victim Tells Court: Nigerian Eye, published March 4, 2014 and Pastor Rapes 9-Year Old Girl: P.M. NEWS Nigeria, published July 29, 2010.
7.Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 582.
8. Qur’an, Surah Ar-Rad, 13:11. Translated by Yusuf Ali.
9. Dialogues of Plato.
10 .Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran, 3:110. Translated by Yusuf Ali.