Brickmans Quarterly – Volume 1

JUNE 2022                                                                                                                            VOLUME 1
Brickmans Quarterly
The Official Quarterly Newsletter of Brickmans Law

Word From The Editor

by Othuke Ononeme

We welcome you all to the first edition of our quarterly newsletter, ‘BRICKMANS QUARTERLY ‘. This first edition is completely packed with very interesting articles on Gender and Age discrimination, Insight into renewable energy transition, Crowdfunding for small and medium scale businesses as well as the Role of INEC in Party Primaries under the Electoral Act 2022.

There is also a feature on current news within the firm, including news on our forthcoming Webinar on ‘The development of Renewable Energy and the Race to net zero Emissions – An African Perspective (COP26), featuring esteemed guest panelists from several law firms across the african continent and this webinar promises to be very informative and a must attend for all climate change enthusiasts in our great continent. We look forward to welcoming all participants. It is scheduled to be held on 6th July 2022 between 11am ( west african time) and 12.30pm (west african time).

We sincerely hope you enjoy reading this first edition and we hope that this is just the first of many many more successful publications.

All the best!

Firm’s Activities

Upon the inception of the firm in 2021, it applied to the Office of the Public Defender for consideration as a Defense counsel to some indigent inmates. Our application was approved and we were given the case files of about 8 unrepresented inmates.

We have since diligently defended these clients at the State High Court at our own expense. Thankfully, trial has commenced in some of the cases since our taking up the defense of the inmates and we are at the verge of securing plea bargain for some of the Defendants. 

Moreso, the firm published a couple of articles on the renowned Mondaq blog sometime last year. Remarkably, one of our articles titled “The Exclusive Legislative List and the Concurrent Legislative List – a case for restructuring or Constitutional defect?”, was awarded as the most popular and most widely read article with about 25,000 views in December 2021.

Also, early this year the firm received information about a young boy who suffered medical negligence at a Federal Hospital. The ordeal of the young boy was so heartrending that the firm has since taken up his matter on a conditional fee arrangement basis.

Furthermore, among other wins,  the firm has expanded its immigration matters clientele as more individuals across Africa have retained the services of the firm in processing their EU applications.

In addition, the firm looks forward to hosting a webinar in the first week of July with participants from across Africa. The topic for the  webinar is “The development of Renewable Energy and the Race to net zero Emissions – An African Perspective (COP26)”. In view of this, it has consulted with some law firms in Kenya, Cameroon and Malawi. The feedback has been positive. It promises to be an interesting and enlightening experience.

Our Articles

Gender And Age Discrimination Under Nigerian Employment Laws – Are There Adequate Protections Under Our Laws?

by Brickmans Law

It is unarguable that the labour force  is still rife with  several discriminatory practices. Among the several forms of discrimination, two major forms of discrimination that stands out are gender and age discrimination and they are both prevalent in  Nigeria. Since one of the sustainable development goals of the UN before 2030 is to reduce inequalities, it is important that we look into this.  “By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”.

A research in  a more developed area like UK suggests that almost all working women has experienced gender discrimination, at least 21% of adults of 40-60 years of  age has experienced age discrimination while a whooping 40% above 60 has experienced such.The most affected part of  the workforce in this regard seems to be the older women since they are doubly affected by both age and gender.  This article seeks to take a look at  the provisions of the Nigerian law and its adequacy in this regard…….Read More

An Insight Into Renewable Energy Transition Trends and The Efforts of The Nigerian Government- Legal Framework Affecting Investment

by Brickmans Law

The global energy sector has seen a significant shift from the exploitation and investment in fossil-based fuels, towards other alternative forms of energy. This transformation is mostly due to the long-term environmental impact of petroleum exploration and production. To this end, renewable energy sources are being adopted by both countries and industries as the preferred source of energy.

 Renewable energy means energy sources that are readily available and non depleting. They are typically referred to as alternative energy sources to crude oil. Examples include Solar energy, Wind, Hydro Power and Biomass Fuel. Part of the structural objective of key industry players and countries in the Oil and Gas sector has been to focus on investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

Owing to this, there has been considerable pressure on the Nigerian government to adapt to the current trend and ensure there is a sufficient regulatory framework for the investment into renewable energy and other alternatives to crude oil production present in Nigeria. Currently, over 200 countries have made commitments to reduce their greenhouse emissions which is a major factor in global warming……….Read More

Crowdfunding For Small To Medium Scale Businesses: (An Analysis Under The Nigerian Law)

by Rita Oruche

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who individually contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the internet.

There has been a huge rise in the number of business men and women seeking funds online in the past few years. This number is projected to increase in the course of the next few years. However, there are restrictions on crowdfunding by the SEC and financial regulatory bodies with its main objective being to restrict fraud.

The major reason for this is, a relatively reduced interest rate and easier access to capital. Crowdfunding also allows businesses more flexibility to set the terms and conditions for raising funds. 

There are several types of crowdfunding:

  • Reward based crowdfunding
  • Donation based crowdfunding
  • Debt crowdfunding
  • Equity crowdfunding

There are several crowdfunding platforms in Nigeria Kickstarter, NaijaFund , Funda Enterprise, CircleUp, MicroVentures, Indiegogo, with the most popular being GoFundMe. SMEs are non-subsidiary, independent firms/organisations which employ fewer numbers of employees than large enterprises.  The European Union (EU) has described SMEs as categories of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million Euros.  ……….Read More

Intellectual Property Rights Protection for Content Creators

by Brickmans Law

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property refers to the creation of the mind such as literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images. etc.         

Intellectual Property is further classified into Copyrights, Trademarks, Patent, Industrial Designs and Trade secrets.

Who is a content creator?

Content creation is the contribution of information to any media, especially the digital media.

A content creator is someone who creates content especially for professional purposes.

As a content creator, your work is subject to copyright. Copyright is automatic and refers to the protection given to literary and artistic works. Even though it is automatic, it is strongly advised that owners of literary works register it with the NCC ( Nigerian Copyright Commission). In 2020, a judgement was awarded by the Federal high Court to the tune of 703 million Naira. TV xtra Production & Anor V. National Universities Commission & Zain Nigeria. It was easier for the Plaintiff to prove their case because they had previously registered their works with the NCC. The court contended that the defendant could have sought permission from the author before airing the show..

This is one of the most recent cases that has proven that intellectual property rights are respected in Nigeria . Intellectual Property Rights Protection for Content Creators

Read the Terms, Conditions and Agreement of Every Social Media Platform.

Before using any social media platform, it is advisable to thoroughly go through the terms and conditions. Read them carefully to ascertain your IP rights better.

Trademark your Social Media Handles

Trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design or a combination of any of them that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from another.

It has to be distinctive to be registrable.

A trademark will not prevent a competitor from creating videos that are similar to yours. Trademarks do not protect content, but rather the way that the content is identified and promoted. It will not prevent the general public from using the slogan or logo. Trademarks only prevent direct competitors from using your branding materials to mislead consumers ……….Read More

The Exclusive Legislative List and the Concurrent Legislative List – a case for restructuring or Constitutional defect?

by Blessing Anya

Federalism in simple terms is the division of law-making powers and functions between two levels of government, so that general and regional governments are each within a sphere co-ordinate and independent.  

This was confirmed by the Supreme Court in A.G. Federation v. A.G. Lagos State where it was held that:

Federalism is an arrangement whereby powers of government within a country are shared between a national, countrywide government and a number of regionalised (i.e., territorially localized) governments in such a way that each exists as a government separately and independently from others, operating directly on persons and property within its territorial area, with a will of its own and its own apparatus for the conduct of its affairs. Federalism is thus essentially an arrangement between government, a constitutional device by which powers within a country are shared among two tiers of government”. 

In Nigeria, legislative lists provide for the division of powers – the exclusive legislative list, the concurrent legislative list and the residual legislative list.

Section 4(1) of the Constitution provides that the legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are vested in the National Assembly for the Federation and section 4(6) vests the legislative powers of a state in the House of Assembly of that State.

The National Assembly is a bicameral legislative body which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. 

The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria contains 68 items in the exclusive legislative on which only the Federal Government of Nigeria can legislate. 

These include: accounts of the government of the federation; arms, ammunition, and explosives; aviation (including airports); awards of honours and decoration; bankruptcy and insolvency; banks, banking, bills of exchange, and promissory notes; borrowing monies inside and outside Nigeria for the purposes of the federation or any state; census; citizenship, naturalization, and aliens; commercial and industrial monopolies; construction and maintenance of federal trunk roads; control of capital issues; copyrights; creation of states; currency, coinage, and legal tender; customs and excise duties; defence; diplomatic, consular, and trade representation ……….Read More

The Role of INEC in Party Primaries: A Critique of The Electoral Act 2022

by Enifome Akporube

It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the much-awaited and controversial Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. After several months of withholding assent, the President finally signed the 2022 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law, on February 25th 2022. This new law has introduced major changes and innovations into the Nigerian electoral system. 

Among the innovations introduced by the Electoral Act 2022 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”) is the provision on early conduct of party primaries. Under the Act, political parties are mandated to submit the list of their sponsored candidates who have emerged from valid primaries conducted by the party, not later than 180 days before the date appointed for a general election. This is in contrast to the former Act which prescribed that this submission should be done not less than 60 days before the date of general elections.Although laudable, this change was met with some resistance by political parties who have since pleaded with the electoral body for an extension of the timeline. Most political parties have however, in defiance delayed the conduct of their primaries until a week to the deadline. Going by the frenzy at which parties are now conducting their primaries and the emerging allegations of foul play, we believe it is expedient to consider the role of the INEC in the conduct of party primaries.

What is a party primary?

A party primary is an election conducted by political parties to nominate their candidates for the General Election ballot. According to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election released on Saturday 26th February 2022, party primaries  is to hold between April 4th – June 3rd. In other words, political parties are expected to nominate their candidates for any of the elective offices in the forthcoming General Elections, within the period of 61 days ie. April 4th -June 3rd. 

The law does not impose any mode for the nomination of these candidates. It however provides that the procedure for the nomination of candidates may be by direct, indirect primaries or consensus. It further stipulates guidelines for the conduct of primaries

……….Read More

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