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Court compels NRC MD to exhibit travelling documents

Fidet Okhiria


Justice Moji Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos has compelled the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria to show evidence of travelling as he failed to appear on February 2018.

The order was sequel to Okhiria’s disobedient to appear in court despite threat to issue warrant of arrest against him in a committal application filed against him by former employee, Benedict O. Iheakam.Justice Olatoregun said: “Order of court must always be obeyed. He must not show himself to be above the law. Is he too big to appear in court? I give him a week to obey the court.”

Despite the order, he failed to appear in court. Iheakam had therefore through his counsel, Johnson Esezoobo asked the court to commit him to prison for refusal to obey the order.But the respondent who was in court on Friday said he was out of the country on official assignment at the date he was summoned.

While his counsel, Ade Adedeji (SAN) said he appeared in the matter for the first time and needed to study the file, the court said he (Okhiria) must exhibit his travelling documents on the next adjourned date in order to confirm where he was on February when the summon was made.

She subsequently adjourned till June 20, 2018.Worried by the challenges facing small and medium scale enterprises in Africa, DIYlaw, a legal service platform, has offered traders in markets across Lagos state free legal services to assist them do businesses with ease.

Speaking during an interactive session with traders at Alade market, Ikeja, the co-founder of DIYlaw, Odunoluwa Longe, said the decision to move into markets was due to the various challenges facing entrepreneurs in Nigeria, which include, lack of access to financial resources, improper bookkeeping, lack of infrastructure, corruption and poor legal services.

 
She noted that access to legal services is a major problem faced by many African entrepreneurs, adding that, though, Nigeria was ranked 169 out of 190 economies in the ease of doing business from the World Bank yearly rating, the process for performing many business related registrations are shrouded in mysteries and complexities.
 
Longe said the aim of the initiative is to create access to legal services for entrepreneurs and small business owners like market men and women.“Business owners like the traders at the Alade Market have a lot of issues with legal services and that is why we came up with this initiative to close that gap. These market men and women need legal structure for their business and because they don’t have it, they can’t access some types of financing and there are lots of financing that are accessible to small businesses.

“Bank of Industry (BoI) has a lot of initiatives, but you find out that some of them are not registered and can’t access these loans, which are single digit loans that can make it easier for them to expand their business. We hope to take these free legal services to other markets across the country,” she said.Commending the firm for the initiative, which saw about 20 lawyers attend to the traders, the Iya Oloja of Alade Market, Elizabeth Adenuga, said the move would be of great impact and benefit to them and improve their businesses.



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