By Innocent Anaba
The Nigerian Monthly Law Reports, NMLR, first published in 1964, but suspended publications in 1976, this weekÂ hit the bookshops.Â NMLR, which was also Nigeriaâ€™s first wholly privately-owned law reports, was the leading Nigerian law reports and earned a reputation as Nigeriaâ€™s foremost scholarly law reports.
The founding editors of the NMLR were late Justice Olu Ayoola, the Chairman of the Editorial Board, who later became Judge, High Court of Western State of Nigeria, late Justice Akinola Aguda, who later became a foremost Nigerian Jurist, Chief Justice of the Republic of Botswana, Chief Justice of Western State of Nigeria and Chief Judge of Ondo State; Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, who was subsequently appointed the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation of Nigeria, Justice Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola, JSC who later held positions as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Chief Justice of the Gambia, Justice of the Court of Appeal of Seychelles, Vice President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission; and Justice Moronkeji Onalaja, JCA who later became Justice of the Court of Appeal and is presently Chairman, Council of Legal Education.
This distinguished team was later joined by and Chief Folake Solanke, SAN, who later became the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria and late Mrs. Olabisi Ayoola.Â Â Briefing newsmen on the luncheonÂ and public presentation of the new improved law reports, which tookÂ place yesterday,Â in Lagos, Mr Mobolaji Kuti, its CEO and Managing Editor, said â€œin 2009, the right to publish the NMLR was assigned to Babalakin & Co through its law publishing affiliate, Optimum Law Publishers Limited.â€
According to him, â€œmaximising legal editorial skills from around the world, the revived NMLR provides an optimal blend of cerebral research in a modern and comprehensible manner and is poised to become the focal point for succinct law reporting in Nigeria.
The NMLR will publish judgments of the appellate courts (Supreme Court and Court of Appeal) along with those of the High Courts on a national scale, thus, providing an insight into legal principles which may not have been submitted to the appellate courts.
â€œThe refined NMLR is set to correct the incongruities which characterise the process of law reporting in Nigeria by means of concise editing of judgments, without in the least, sacrificing comprehensiveness on the altar of brevity. The NMLR employs a group of finest legal editors from around the world with the expertise and professionalism of its in-house editors to create a law reports that will be precise in its presentation and broad in its scope.
“The modus operandi adopted by our editors, is to painstakingly study the judgments, identify the ratio or rationes and highlight same without muddling up the obiters and misleading the end users.Â â€œPerhaps the most distinguishing feature that separates the NMLR from other law reports is the advance research that goes into its production.
“The Editors wentÂ the extra mile to bring to the attention of readers the disparities in the judgments of the courts, thereby, contributing to the development of our case law. The poised NMLR also assist in the realm of researching by bringing to the attention of its users, the current cases on the principles of law which were not considered in the cases reportedâ€, he added.
Chairman of the luncheon was Justice Mustapha Akambi, Prof Fidelis Odita, SAN, was the special speaker, while the unavailing and presentation was done by Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN.