HOW DOES YOUR PARTNER TREAT YOU WHEN YOU ARE WRONG?

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Chinecherem Ubaka


This is very important! Most times we allow ourselves to be blinded by emotions and fear. In extreme cases we make and give excuses on their behalf. The way and manner your partner treats you when you are wrong goes a long way in reminding you that he or she values and respect you or opening your eyes to the fact that, your partner is not into you at all in the first place, he or she is there for the benefits.

So how does your partner treat you?

1. He/She walks away: Depending on the gravity of the wrong, some people walk away at first to calm down and also calm their nerves. They walk away to think through the whole episode and decide on their next cause of action. They may or may not raise the issue depending on their mood. You must however note that they are taking records. If they decide to talk about the issue, well and good. If not, they wait till the tension is still, sweep the wrong under the carpet and then they return as if nothing ever happened.

2. He/She fuels the wrong: We know you acted wrongly, you know that you acted wrongly and your partner knows this. Instead of trying to correct the wrong act, some partner's add pepper and salt to you injury especially when you feel guilty already. They remind you of your past wrongs. They begin to interpret your earlier actions to suit their accusations even when you had no such thing in mind. Some refuse to hear you out but go ahead to rant. The end result is that you feel worse than before, you are extremely angry as opposed to being sorry and you might burst out too at the top of your voice to remind your partner that he/she is not a saint and behold....real trouble begins.

3. He/She reports you to people you are accountable to: Every tiny and big wrong you commit, your partner reports you to his/her parents, your siblings, pastor, friends etc. Your partner exposes your dirty linen outside because you have committed a wrong. The end result is that you become very embarrassed  and if you planned to make things right personally, the embarrassment might stall such process.

4. He/She goes silent: The person just ignores and despises you. The person you professed love to becomes the coldest person you have ever met. In extreme cases, your partner keeps malice with you. The end result is that, you find it difficult to rectify the wrong and you begin to grow apart from your partner.

5. He/She goes violent:  The next thing you hear is loud bang, a heavy slap and your phone smashed. Your things scattered all over. He/she calls you dreadful names  naturally you feel very terrible. Violence has never been a solution to any issue. Usually, it is most effective that you walk away from such partner because your life is at risk! 

6. He/She makes effort to listen to your story: Some just take out time to hear you out because they believe that something must have triggered your actions. They address the wrong action without condemning you. They tell you the bitter truth in a civil manner. They correct you calmly and talk about the issues as well as make resolutions on how to prevent a re-occurrence. The end result is that the  atmosphere is healthy and naturally you will be forced to make things right. You grow closer to your partner and you become confident that come what may, your partner will stand by you at your side.

Some people's reaction to a partner's wrong might be a combination of one or two stated above.  Nevertheless, one thing is clear, the way and manner in which your partner treats you when you are wrong is the true test of love and not the romantic gifts, dates and words. Let Love Lead.


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DOES THE SEIZURE OF A FOREIGNER'S PASSPORT AMOUT TO A BREACH OF HIS FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS UNDER THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION?





Chinecherem Ubaka


The Passport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act was enacted to create certain offences and their punishment with regards to Passports. Sec 1(1) of the said act, creates the offences. By virtue of Sec 5 and 6 of the Passport (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, the Minister of  Internal Affairs, has the power to withdraw a citizen's passport under certain conditions. The conditions are: 
a. If the foreigner is an illegal immigrant.
b. If the Passport was obtained by fraud.
c. If the person concerned is in possession of more than one passport at the same time.
d. If it is in public interest
e. If the Passport is expired.

Where the above condition(s) are met, the Minister can seize ANY Passport issued to ANY person. Only the Minister of Internal Affairs is authorised to cancel or withdraw a citizen's Passport, a fortiori, a foreigner. 

So does the seizure of the passport of a foreigner by the amount to a breach of his/her fundamental human rights under the Constitution?
Let's look at the case of Mr. Carl De Beer v. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) & ors,  (2018) 16 W.R.N, the applicant is a South African living in Nigeria. He is a Mechanical/Electrical Engineer. He had contractual disputes with the respondent and so he was called upon for meeting to resolve the issue. At the venue of the meeting, the applicant was rounded up by members of staff of the respondent and his International passport was seized after a tussle. Consequently, he instituted an action at the Federal High Court, Lagos via Originating Motion. Subsequently, he filed a statement of claim where he claimed the return of his international passport, damages of five hundred million naira for general damages and two hundred thousand naira as cost of the suit against the respondents for violation of his rights guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution, he also filed several documents and a written address. The respondents responded by filing a counter-affidavit, several documents and written address.

The question as to whether a foreigner has the right seek enforcement of his fundamental rights in Nigeria came up. This is because the applicant is a South- African and not a Nigerian. Tsoho J, the applicant has the right to seek the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, if he has genuine grievance.   There is no discrimination between Nigerian citizens and foreigners resident in Nigeria in the enforcement of fundamental rights. It is important to note that the seizure wasn't done by the Minister of Internal Affairs but by officials of the respondent. They claimed that the applicant is an illegal immigrant. However, the court stated that the respondents failed to furnish to the court the basis for stating that the applicant is an illegal immigrant. Furthermore, the court noted that if the respondents are aware that the applicant is an illegal immigrant  and they still freely entered into contractual transaction with him, they are estopped from raising that issue.

The Applicant submitted that the respondents have no power to seize his passport and having done so, they violated the applicant's right to life, property, dignity and freedom of movement. As an alien, it is not possible for the applicant to move freely in and out of Nigeria without a passport and that he cannot also secure a job. He further asserted that the seizure of the passport is a denial of his right to life especially as his right to life is not limited to  merely living but extends to other things that make life comfortable. The Court held that " the 1st-4th Respondents have exhibited gross insensitivity to the plight of the applicant. They have imposed confinement of the applicant since 17th, 2012; being slightly more than two(2) years ago, when they forcefully seized his passport. This is ispite of the applicant'ts serious impaired health to the knowledge of the respondents. Consequently, the applicant was deprived of attending his mother's burial, he and his family were subjected to penury and poor feeding... The Court went ahead to award the applicant the sum of 100,000,000 as compensatory damages against the respondents alongside cost of the suit".

The court in lines 15-25 of the case agreed with the applicant's submission that the right to life includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes with it, namely; the bare necessity of life, such as adequate food, nutrition, clothing and shelter over head, to that extent. So yes, the unauthorized seizure of a foreigner's passport is a violation of his/her fundamental rights to life, human dignity and movement.




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FACTORS THAT MAKE YOUR "IN-LAWS TO BE" DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH




Chinecherem Ubaka

As a young lady in a relationship willing to take the bold step with your partner, you might want to check out the nature of the family you are about to get into alongside the personality traits of your partner's family members. Nevertheless, there are some factors that might make it difficult for you to relate with them. 

Social Class: If your in-laws to be are on a higher social-economic pedestal, they might be difficult to deal with. This is because you might be termed as a "gold-digger" which is quite sad. Sometimes, these set of individuals prefer their sons to get married to women whose families are on the same social-economic pedestal. Those who can bring fame, investments and connection. So naturally, if you don't meet this standard, relating with your in-laws to be might be an herculean task.

Family Traditions and Cultures: Your partner's family traditions and culture might be a shock to you. For instance, if it's a family where the youngest wife serves the senior wives in the family; you will left with two choices; to blend in or to get out. 

Your Personality: If your personality is toxic in nature, you will obviously find it difficult to relate with your in-laws to be. If you have a false nature or you live a fake life, you might enter the bad books of your would be in-laws.

Religion: If you do not belong to their religious group, there might be problem. For instance, if his family is a Methodist and you attend the Elevation Church, it is naturally expected that you would join them in Methodist Church. If you refuse, they will start looking at you one kind.

Your Career: Some in-laws will insist that you quit you career for a "time-being" in other to learn how to be a wife and mother. If you have a good paying job, they might force you to quit. The moment you resist, the relationship between you and them becomes sour. 


SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
1. Earn their respect by getting them to respect  you. Do not dim your light or withdraw into your shell in other to satisfy their terms. 
2. Be assertive. This does not give you licence to be rude. When you are not comfortable with something...say it. Don't suffer in silence.
3. Have a good support system. You need them baby gurl. Sometimes, you just need to hear your convictions from a third party before you can act on them.
4. You self try. Have basic ettiquettes. Have a moral standing. Be responsible. You don't expect your would be in laws to accept a lousy  and mannerless woman into their family.
5. Comport yourself properly and dress nicely. Don't look shabby. Even if you don't have the billion dollars yet, you can still dress elegantly without breaking the bank.

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THE REALITIES IN THE NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL (NLS)

Chinecherem Ubaka


No philosophical quotes here. Let's get real with the adventures in the Nigerian Law School(NLS).

Reality no 1: ANYBODY CAN  FAIL BAR-FINALS; ANYBODY CAN PASS BAR-FINALS.
This is very true. Nobody cares about your academic history. This is another clean slate offered to you. You either pass or you fail. To be honest, it's not by reading everyday or drafting all the draftables. It is not also by answering all the questions in class or asking all the intelligent or dull questions. It is not by reading all the blah blah notes...your class notes might just be what you need. To some, writing legibly and fast is the problem while for others it is comprehending the question. To do well in Law School, you have to be smart, observant and play the game strategically. 

Reality No. 2: LAW SCHOOL IS MENTAL TORTURE:  The NLS curriculum is voluminous and so it's natural to be mentally stressed along the  way. However, some students choke themselves with many materials because "senior this" told them "that" and she got a first. See, times change, law is dynamic. For instance, sec 13 of the ISA provides for the functions of the Securities and  Exchange Commission (SEC). One of them is the supervision and monitoring of the mergers and acquisitions of companies. The foregoing  is no longer within the purview of  SEC. Currently the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has been empowered to supervise mergers, acquisitions, takeovers between companies by virtue of the FCCCPA. So, You need to find your formula. If you are the textbook person; stick with it and stop looking for those notes and materials that might get you confused. If you are the materials person; stick with one source. Don't go frolicking about.

Reality No.3: LAW SCHOOL IS A POSTGRADUATE STUDY: This means that there is no need for unhealthy competition. However, you will find this in campus. You will realize that your colleagues are hoarding materials, past questions, notes etc. You will see law graduates from  a particular school forming a closed network and portraying themselves to be better than others. You will witness different personalities; the annoying, intimidating and sweet ones. Nevertheless, law school is another platform to mingle and network. Don't let this pass you by.

Reality No. 4: YOUR HEALTH WILL DETERIORATE: This is as a result of many factors. The water you drink, the food you eat in public places, the physical and mental stress you are passing through, the environment, the public toilet facilities and all that. So, be prepared. You might want to get your multi-vitamins and antibiotics ready. For the special students like asthmatic and pregnant students....take charge of your health. The truth is that whether you break down or not...classes will go on and you will be left behind. 

Reality No. 5: YOU WILL GET TIRED: Yes you will. Most times, when BAR-FINALS is fast approaching, you become physically and mentally exhausted. You just want everything to end. At some point fear sets in and you might go crazy. This is the  reality. You can try to take walks, watch a movie or do something to clear  your head. Whether you want a first class or pass, try your best in the exams. You definitely do not want to go over this reality show a second time.


Reality No.6: YOU NEED PLENTY MONEY: Yeah you do. You will spend a lot in law school on accommodation, feeding, clothing, books, personal care, transportation to and from law school and many other things. You need to eat well to survive and be healthy. 

Reality No. 7: PERSONAL STUDY WON'T BE EFFECTIVE: You can't do well by reading alone. You need to share, branch out and read with others. Even if you think you know it, a friend might be in need. Share your knowledge. Don't read alone. Who knows...you might be reading the wrong thing. Sometimes, it's people's reaction to some questions during group study that helps  you remember some points in BAR-FINALS. So don't shoot yourself in the foot by becoming a lone-ranger.

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CAN I USE MY LAW DEGREE WITHOUT CALL TO BAR IN NIGERIA?





Chinecherem Ubaka

The Covid-19 pandemic has stalled the academic progress of many students and no one is happy about it. Some cannot come to the reality that after all the night class and overnight reading, they will be stuck at home due to deadly virus. Some are even beginning to loose touch with reality. Some have ditched the law degree  and have gone into modelling, fashion design, make-up artistry, events management etc which is fine as well. So you are a law graduate and you are wondering if you can enter the labour market with your law degree in Nigeria?  



Quick answer:  YES you can.  However, you will have no access to the Exclusive rights and privileges of Lawyers who have been called to the Nigerian bar. Some of the rights include: 
1. Right to be appointed as a Magistrate, a Judge, an Attorney-General, Commissioner for Justice amongst many others.
2. Right to appear before any court of law in Nigeria as an advocate.
3. Right to Frank any legal agreement.
4. Right to be appointed as an SAN
5. Right to practice law anywhere in Nigeria as a Barrister and Solicitor.

As a law graduate, you are a graduate and as such it is expected that you are exposed and knowledgeable. You can conquer even beyond our court of study. So you need to have an open and versatile  mindset. 

So What and What can you do as a Law graduate?


You can apply for Graduate Trainee Programs and Internships in many companies, banks and organisations. Hopefully, you will get an offer. Most companies  administer numerical reasoning test, verbal and apptitude tests. Generally, Graduate Trainee Programs are very competitive.  So you need to work smart and hard.

There are so many NGO'S  in Nigeria. You can volunteer with any of them to be their Research Assistants, Team Assistant or a Grant Specialist. You need to be able to write good reports timely and effectively. You need to be versatile as well. You can also be a part of the Monitoring and Evaluation team especially where the NGO in question is a national one.

If you have extra certifications in Arbitration or mediation, that's a whoopie. You can join law-firms with ADR departments as a legal intern and a Mediation Associate. To mediate effectively, you need real and practical experiences. To get these experiences, you need to get out of your house, attach yourself to an experienced mediator and ADR professional and learn. Who knows soon, you might get a mediation brief!

You can also be a Virtual Legal Research Assistant(VLRA). You can volunteer to be a VLRA to senior lawyers you know and/or in-house counsel for a stipend. The role will keep you commercially aware and productive. 

Legal Content Creation: Everything is online these days. You can go into content creation for media houses, radio stations, blogs and vlogs. 

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