NEW YORK, NEW YORK. August 20, 2012. The Nigerian Lawyers Association ("NLA") will hold its Annual Award Dinner on October 13, 2012 at the Broad Street Ball room, located at 41 Broad Street New York, New York. The event will begin at 6pm with a cocktail hour and will be followed by a sit down dinner (featuring Nigerian cuisine), live entertainment and an award ceremony.
Commenting on this year's Award Dinner, President of the NLA, Yomi Ajaiyeoba, Esq., said, "in line with the NLA's prior dinners, we are looking forward to honoring two distinguished and deserving honorees who continue to make significant impact in promoting law and justice in the global community. We will also celebrate the NLA's continued achievements, bringing together our members as well as the community at large while recognizing those individuals who have consistently demonstrated unwavering commitment to the vision and mission of the NLA. The NLA will present its third set of scholarships to deserving law students.
2012 NLA MERIT AWARD RECIPIENT - HAUWA IBRAHIM
The NLA Merit Award honors a distinguished individual that has made inspiring professional or public service contributions that have significantly impacted a community, a nation or the world.
Hauwa Ibrahim is a senior partner at Aries Law Firm. Working as a lead attorney with a team devoted to the cause of human rights for women in Nigeria, she has won a number of precedent-setting cases before Islamic Shariah courts. Ms. Ibrahim has been a Visiting Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law and Stone hill College, a Radcliffe Fellow, a World Fellow at Yale University, and a Fellow at both the Human Rights Program and the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard University. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University.
Ms. Ibrahim adopted an interdisciplinary approach to examine how theoretical foundations of Shariah law have influenced legal practice, practice that has, in turn, affected the human rights of women in West Africa. Her research led to a book manuscript, "Practicing Law in Shariah Courts: Seven Strategies," which is currently under review with the American Bar Association for publication.
The European Parliament presented Ms. Ibrahim with its 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which honors individuals or organizations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Ms. Ibrahim earned her Bachelor of Laws and Letters (LL.B) and a Master's in International law & Diplomacy from the University of Jos in Nigeria; a Bachelor of Law (BL) for legal practice from Nigeria Law School; and a Master's of law degree in International studies at American University's Washington College of Law. In addition, she has been awarded three honorary doctorates, as well as the Cavaliere Award, the highest Human Rights award from the Italian government.
2012 NLA LAW AND JUSTICE AWARD RECIPIENT - FEMI FALANA, SAN
In line with our core objectives, the 'Law and Justice Award' recognizes a lawyer of Nigerian descent who has demonstrated significant commitment to, and has made outstanding contributions towards, the advancement of legal education, legal jurisprudence and administration of justice, legal reform, public interest law, the legal profession or the legal system in Nigeria or the United States.
Mr. Falana was recently conferred the prestigious Senior Advocate of Nigeria title. He is a renowned human rights activist lawyer. Mr. Falana started his human rights activism during his University days at Obafemi Awolowo University, where he was part of the campaign for democracy in Nigerian Universities that formed the National Association of Nigerian
Students. Mr. Falana formerly served as President of the West Africa Bar Association (WABA), and Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Lawyers. As president of WABA, he amended the protocols establishing the Court of Justice for Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) which allows individuals to have access to justice when their rights
have been infringed upon.
Mr. Falana has handled high profile cases including, but not limited to, serving as counsel in the landmark judgment for Media Foundation for West Africa.
Mr. Falana has several publications, namely "Legal and Policy Frame Work of Occupation Health and Safety in Nigeria" in the book Working in Danger; "Anti Labour Legislation in Nigerian Labour Rights"; "Murder, Plain Murder in Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Crisis of the Niger Delta" and "Fawehinmi verses Abacha: Where the Court of Appeal erred in social justice".
Mr. Falana is the recipient of national and international awards, including, the Gani Fawehinmi Life Time Award in (2011) from Hallmarks of Labour Foundation; Dr. Nkrumah Leadership Award in (2003), and Bernard Simon Memorial Award for the Advancement of Human Rights in (2003); Defender of the Year Award from the International League for Human Rights in (2000); The Ogoni Merit Award in (2002); International Human Rights Award from the American Bar Association Award in (1996).
Mr. Falana is a member of numerous legal associations. These includes: The Nigerian Bar Association, African Bar Association, Pan African Lawyers Union, and an honorary member of the American Bar Association.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER - GEORGE ETOMI
George Etomi is a Principal Partner of George Etomi & Partners. His practice areas includes telecommunications, natural resources, energy, commercial transactions, arbitrations, and aviation. He represents clients under a variety of corporate and commercial matters, including public and private offerings. He has worked closely with a number of multinational companies to mediate disputes with indigenous peoples. He is also a member of Center of Petroleum Law Research (C.P.L.R.).
He represents clients in the Global System for Mobile (GSM) service and was recently involvedin the privatization of Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), in addition to playing an active role in implementing the first telephone service in the Nigeria. He provides policy advice and, legislative drafting to the National Assembly on the proposed telecommunications law in Nigeria.
Mr. Etomi is the first and past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Section of Business Law. The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies recently named the George Etomi Centre for Strategic Investment and Corporate Governance in his honor. Mr. Etomi is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association, a committee member of the United Nations and a Fellow of Center for International Legal Studies.
About the Nigerian Lawyers Association
The Nigerian Lawyers Association (NLA) is an association of attorneys based in the United States. The NLA is active in cultivating the science of jurisprudence and facilitating the administration of justice in the United States and Nigeria. In addition, the NLA serves the needs of members of the Nigerian legal community, as well as the Nigerian community as a whole, in their understanding of, and access to the law. The NLA's membership is open to both attorneys of Nigerian descent and attorneys who have a professional or other interest in Nigeria.
The NLA also promotes legal education and professional development in the law. Among other events and activities, the NLA holds periodic continuing legal education seminars for lawyers and conducts free legal clinics within the Nigerian community to assist individuals with various legal issues. The NLA was awarded the 2011 New York State Bar Association's Bar Leadership Innovation Award for its pro bono Legal Clinics.
For further information about the NLA, please visit: www.nigerianlawyers.org
BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Oliver Mbamara - Chair Abayomi Ajaiyeoba President
Jennifer Ajah Chinyelu Udoh Vice President
Chisom Ananaba Nneka Udoh Secretary
Ifeoma Anekwe Mojoyi Onijala Treasurer
Folake Ayoola Henry Ukazu Public Relation Officer
Obayemi Olumide Parliamentarian