Nigerian public ignorant of environmental laws – Osondu

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By ETOP EKANEM

Families and environmental issues were boosted with the recent launch of two books, ”Our Common Environment: Understanding The Environment, Law and Policy” and ”Modern Family Law and Practice,” written by Ajuzie Osondu.

The public presentation was chaired by Elder Paul Ananaba (SAN), Dr. Gbenga Akingbehin reviewed ”Our Common Environment: Understanding the Environment, Law and Policy” while Mr. Alex Ikoro, a lawyer, reviewed Modern Family Law and Practice. ”The occasion attracted a number of legal practitioners and clerics.

On Our Common Environment: Understanding the Environment, Law and Policy, Osondu said although  government and environmental protection agencies in Nigeria had acknowledged that environmental education and public awareness creation were key issues for sustainable development, they had not given these issues adequate consideration and attention.

His words: “As a result, a large percentage of the Nigerian public is ignorant of environmental issues. Also, environmental education has not been officially included in schools curricula to inculcate in our youths the environmental consciousness and awareness. Some universities have introduced environmental law as part of law programmes, but most of these courses are not made compulsory. So majority of the students graduate without taking the course.”

According to him, the book, which has 10 chapters with 323 pages, is designed to educate the public on basic environmental issues from the points of view on ”legal and policy issues”. The book also discusses the most recent national and global environmental issues including the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. It features citations of the current Revised Laws of Lagos State 2003 and the Revised Laws of the federation 2004.

Osondu said  Modern Family Law and Practice, on the other hand, is perhaps the only family law book in Nigeria with a full commentary on Matrimonial Causes Rules 1983. “The book is written with a view to examining how far Nigeria’s changing social needs have affected family law and practice over the years.

A special feature of the book is the segment on facts and salient decisions of the courts with respect to every case cited. The 387-page book is aimed at presenting marriage, matrimonial causes, succession and adoption in a simplified legal language.

“The book presents matrimonial causes such as dissolution of marriage, nullity of marriage, judicial separation, restitution of conjugal rights and sanctification of marriage.

He also spoke on issues relating to children and young persons, giving emphasis on the Child’s Rights Act, as it relates to girl child. He equally addressed issues such as guardianship, adoption at both domestic and international levels, Hague Convention as well as non-Hague Convention adoptions processes and widowhood rights.

Ajuzie Osondu has written a number of books backed up with legal principles. He hails from Obi Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State and holds Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from the University of Lagos. He is an active legal practitioner who was appointed Notary Public for Nigeria in 2008 by the Chief Justice of the Federation.

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