One essential too of any legal practitioner who wants to be effective in advocacy is the law report.
This is a publication of decided cases of superior courts to guide the judges in their decision of similar cases.
Before the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi revolutionised the law reporting in Nigeria with his highly successful Nigeria Weekly Law Report (NWLR), these decided cases used to be exclusive preserve of very few privileged senior lawyers like late Chief F.R.A. Williams. Following late Fawehinmiâ€™s trail blazer, a few other law reports have come on board.
The new entrant into the market is the Consolidated Monthly Law Report (CMLR) which contained judgments delivered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the Court of Appeal f the various divisions.
The current edition of the journal, (2009) 2 CMLR Volume 2, published by Nayee Law Publications Ltd Lagos has an index of eight reported cases featuring subject matters like distinction between contradictions in evidence and discrepancies in evidence and its effect on conviction; whether evidence in previous proceeding which was set aside is admissible in trial de novo; and where there are main appeal and cross appeal the need to determine first the cross appeal which raises issue of jurisdiction.
Other interesting subject matters in this edition include decided cases of the Supreme Court on whether a state high court can consider claim by staff of an agency of the Federal Government for pension; where upon conclusion of plaintiffâ€™s case the rights of defendant to move for dismissal of plaintiffâ€™s case without the court having to hear oral evidence from defendant; and leave to appeal to Supreme Court on grounds of law and facts or facts alone where there has been concurrent findings of fact by the two lower courts to be granted in exceptional circumstances.
There are other subjects dealing with constitutional law such as Public Service of the Federation; Practice and Procedure; Criminal Law and Procedure; Evidence; Estoppel; Land Law; Judgment and Order; and Res Judicata.
The journal also has tables of cases reported, subject matter, statutes and rules of court referred to in the report.
This volume further contained updated lists of Justices of the Supreme Court; Justices of the various divisions of the Court of Appeal, names of the Chief Judges of the Federal High Court, the 36 State High Courts and Federal Capital Territory Abuja.Â According to the book, there are 12 divisions of the Court of Appeal which are Abuja, Benin, Calabar, Enugu, Ibadan, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Owerri, and Sokoto divisions. In these divisions, there 58 Justices while the Supreme Court has 17 Justices.
According to the journalâ€™s Editor-in-Chief, Chief Kenneth Gbagi and the Editor, Mr Peter Omohimi, the Consolidated Monthly Law Report is authoritative, easy to read and affordable.