Aiteo Group and Benedict Peters Announce Appointment of Nigerian Legal Team

Further to his recent announcement engaging international law firms to lead the global effort to address legal and political-based issues, the Aiteo Group (www.AiteoGroup.com) and Benedict Peters, its Executive Vice Chairman have appointed top Nigerian lawyers to complement their international representation efforts within the country.

The team, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (“SAN”), a former leader of the Nigeria Bar, comprises senior lawyers Kanu Agabi SAN and Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, both former Attorneys General and Ministers of Justice of the Federation, reknown Constitutional and Human Rights Lawyer Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, Messrs Paul Usoro, SAN, Rotimi Ogunesi SAN and A U Mustapha, SAN. All Senior Advocates (the equivalents of Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom) are distinguished practitioners at the apex of legal practice in Nigeria. Others lawyers include Ebenezer Obeya, Chief Andrew Oru, Mrs Boma Alabi, Messrs Chidi Nobis-Elendu, Emeka Ozoani and Joseph Nwatu.

Olanipekun, who is described as Nigeria’s Avant-Garde lawyer, is referred to as of Nigeria’s leading trial lawyer. Kanu Agabi, an accomplished litigator, served Nigeria twice as Attorney General as did Akin Olujinmi whose core practice is also litigation. Mike Ozekhome’s reputation as one of Nigeria’s foremost Constitutional Law and Human Rights advocates draws from a lifelong career of fighting oppression and injustice through courts and social advocacy. Paul Usoro is a nationally acclaimed litigation and transaction expert whose core areas span the gamut of commercial law practice. Excellent all-rounders Ogunesi (of the stable of Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN, also a former Attorney General of the Federation) and Mustapha make up the team of Senior Advocates. Others in the team include Security law expert Ebenezer Obeya, dual qualified and former President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Boma Alabi as well as the combative Andrew Oru.

Announcing these appointments, Andrew Onyearu, Aiteo Group Executive Director and General Counsel said “… The Group’s belief in the Rule of Law and the legal processes in Nigeria require engagement with both commitment and premium resources. Recently, our conviction in the infallibility of our judicial processes continues to be vindicated by judicial pronouncements deprecating the unjustified calumnious attacks on our business and personal outlook. Our respect for this process mandates that those who advocate positions on our behalf possess and demonstrate the type of world-class credentials that our lawyers clearly possess.” He further observed that “…at the fulcrum of this stance is that desire to ensure that the course of justice is charted with the utmost sense of application, responsibility and expertise”. Quite significantly, he states that “…the Group has been adversely affected by a lithany of unsustainable unlawful developments affecting both reputational and commercial integrity in a manner that has negatively impacted its operations. The Group can no longer allow this situation to continue and as such, has resolved to take steps to protect all its legal interests. Recent positive – and ground breaking – outcomes from judicial interventions that we have achieved serve as clear pointers about the direction that we are now pursuing. Increasing the successful utilization of the judicial process in areas where we have been wronged will be the main objective of the team we have now put together.”

The scope of the work to be undertaken by the team will span the breadth of contentious legal work. It is understood, specifically, that one of its early mandates is to review defamatory publications commonly referred to as “open source” materials in which Aiteo and Peters have been featured in the last few years and to redress these fabricated insinuations by all available means including court actions, a process which appears to have already started.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Aiteo Group.

Media Contact:
Ndiana Matthew
Senior Manager,
Corporate Communications
Aiteo Group
Mobile: +234-815-314-7539
Email: ndiana.matthew@aiteong.com

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South Africa – Minister Muthambi Welcomes Constitutional Court Judgement

The Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi welcomes the judgement handed by the Constitutional Court on 7 December 2017 in the matter of Public Servants Association Obo Olifunmilayi Itunu Ubogu v Head of Department of Health, Gauteng and Others [2017] ZACC 45.

The Constitutional Court in this matter ruled and declared Section 38(2)(b)(i) of the Public Service Act, 1994 as unconstitutional. Section 38(2)(b)(i) of the Public Service Act permitted the state, as an employer to recover any overpayment made to an employee without the employee’s consent or following due process.

Minister Muthambi’s position on this matter is informed by her belief in the principle of fairness that says “Nothing about us, without us”. Central to this is the understanding that it cannot be correct to take decisions and actions on behalf of people, in this instance, public servants without their consent or following a due process. This is a cardinal principle of justice and fairness.

To this end, Minister Muthambi was always convinced that the Constitutional Court would arrive at the same position. It is worth stating that the Minister could not intervene in the case since the matter was already advanced in the court process and further that the case predates her assumption of duty as the Minister for the Public Service and Administration.

For Minister Muthambi, the Constitutional Court judgement is a welcome relief for many public servants who in most instances found themselves unable to address some of the injustices caused by mangers in the system.

Minister Muthambi will, henceforth direct the Department to begin urgently with processes of amending section 38(2)(b)(ii) of the Public Service Act in compliance with the Constitutional Court judgement. In the meantime Minister Muthambi urges departments to not use the provisions of section 38(2)(b)(i) of the Public Service Act to recover overpayments from employees.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.

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Secretary-General’s remarks on the attack on peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Secretary-General’s remarks on the attack on peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night’s attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Early indications from the site of the attack in North Kivu indicate that at least 12 Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed, and at least 40 injured, 4 of them critically. We also understand that at least five members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed.

I offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and to the Government and people of Tanzania. I wish a speedy recovery to all those injured.

I condemn this attack unequivocally. These deliberate attacks against UN peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime. I call on the DRC authorities to investigate this incident and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice. There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else.

Military reinforcements have arrived on the scene. The Force Commander is there as well, coordinating the Mission’s response. The medical evacuation of casualties is ongoing.

This is the worst attack on UN peacekeepers in the Organization’s recent history. It is another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop contributing countries in the service of global peace. These brave women and men are putting their lives on the line every day across the world to serve peace and to protect civilians.

The situation in the DRC is one of the emergencies we are highlighting in today’s appeal for the Central Emergency Response Fund. This latest attack highlights the urgency of helping people in need and addressing the volatile situation.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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North Kivu – Attack on MONUSCO Troops at Semuliki, at Least 14 Peacekeepers and 5 FARDC Soldiers Killed

In the evening of 7 December 2017, suspected ADF elements conducted an attack against a MONUSCO Company Operating Base at Force at Semuliki in Beni territory, North Kivu. This resulted in protracted fighting between suspected ADF elements and MONUSCO and FARDC Forces.

Initial reports indicate that fourteen MONUSCO peacekeepers and five FARDC soldiers were killed. An additional 53 MONUSCO peacekeepers were wounded in this incident.

“I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of peacekeepers and FARDC soldiers who lost their lives, or were injured in the service of peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the last hours. I condemn in the strongest terms this deadly attack on United Nations peacekeepers and the FARDC. Attacks against those who are working in the service of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are cowardly and constitute serious violations. MONUSCO will take all actions to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice”, declared Maman Sidikou, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO.

MONUSCO and the FARDC are coordinating a joint response. MONUSCO is also conducting medical evacuations and assessing the security situation in the area.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).

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Source:: North Kivu – Attack on MONUSCO Troops at Semuliki, at Least 14 Peacekeepers and 5 FARDC Soldiers Killed

      

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