A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), has said there is a need for more authors of legal books to emerge in Nigeria in order to address what he described as dearth of books in many areas of law in the country.
Ojo said with more authors and more books, the young and upcoming generation of lawyers would learn and be inspired from them.
The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association stated this last week during the public presentation of “Handbook of Arbitration and ADR Practice in Nigeria,” which he co-authored with Chief (Mrs) Tinuade Oyekunle.
The book presentation, which held at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Victory Island, was chaired by a former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Chief Arthur Mbanefo, attracted many of the leading lights in the Nigerian legal circles, including the Director of Research, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Paul Idornigie (SAN), who reviewed the book, and Justices Mojisola Olatoregun and Folashade Ojo, of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, respectively.
Others who graced the occasion included Prof Fidelis Oditah (SAN), Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), Mrs Funke Adekoya (SAN), Mr Damian Dodo (SAN), Mr Tunde Busari (SAN), Dr Muiz Banire (SAN), Mr Kemi Balogun (SAN), Mr Ayodele Akintunde (SAN), among others.
Speaking on the motivation to write the book, Ojo said, “The whole idea is to let people – students, judges – be knowledgeable about the process.
“For those who are practitioners, it is a ready companion, a ready tool which they can use as a reference from day to day.
“You find that in Nigeria, people hardly write books, we don’t have this book culture, so there is a dearth of books in most areas, so, this is to put something down for the coming generation to learn from, to get inspired and to achieve greater heights.”
In his remarks, Mbanefo said there was a declining interest among Nigeria academics to author books.
He said, “Educated Nigerians, particularly those in the academia, have consistently shied away from writing books especially textbooks to support the subject they profess.
“The result is that it has become rare to find textbooks in matters of noble and international applications to document the Nigerian experience and relevance.”
Mbanefo recommended that Oyekunle and Ojo’s “Handbook of Arbitration and ADR Practice in Nigeria be adopted by all institutions of legal studies and practice in Nigeria as a standard textbook for arbitration and ADR practice in Nigeria as well as a useful book for reference purposes.”
“The importance of this book becomes clear when one considers the current growth in the practice of commercial arbitration and ADR in Nigeria,” the nonagenarian said.
In his review of the book, Idornigie noted that Oyekunle and Ojo were the first two chartered arbitrators in Nigeria, stressing that “The authors are very competent to write a book of this nature.”