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Legal crossfire at UNILORIN


Source: http://thenationonlineng.net/legal-crossfire-at-unilorin/

Law students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, beat eight other universities to win the Moot and Mock Trial competition organised by the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN). OPEOLUWA SONUGA (400-Level Law, OAU) reports.

The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State has won the Mock and Moot Trial contest held at University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).

The competition was part of the week-long activities marking the Law Week of the Faculty of Law, UNILORIN, in honour of frontline lawyer Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Alli (SAN).

The programme, which started last Monday, also featured oratory contest. Six universities – Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, and Ilorin study centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) – participated in the moot competition, which was the qualifying round for the mock trial held three days later.

The competition began at 10am last Tuesday in three courts. Each team must appear in two courts throughout the moot stage with a single judge.

The moot suits were centred on human rights issues within the Republic of Sambawa. The cases were composed of gay rights and quota for women representation in the National Assembly.

Each of the teams appeared once as applicant and as respondent in the moot trial. Only two counsel were allowed to argue for each team. Written memorials of the teams were marked by judges and the scores were added to the scores given for oral arguments canvassed by counsel.

At the end of the trial, BUK and OAU emerged with the highest scores, proceeding to the final lap of the competition – the mock trial.

On Wednesday, the oratory contest was held with three universities joining the fray, making nine contestants. The institutions were Ekiti State University (EKSU), University of Ibadan (UI) and the host, UNILORIN.

The nine schools fielded two speakers, who vied for the N40,000 prize. The topic for the oratory contest was: The abuse of social media. OAU team won the contest and carted away the cash prize. UNILORIN team came second, winning N30,000, UNIZIK team took the third place prize of N20,000.

Adebayo Caleb, 400-Level Law, led the OAU team.

To relieve tension, the participants, on a picnic, went to the UNILORIN zoo.

The next day was the mock trial, the final lap of the competition. The teams of the two contending universities – BUK and OAU – were in high spirits for the contest. Students and lecturers attended the programme, which started with oath taking by the accused and reading of the charges.

Afterwards, the prosecution counsel (OAU team) then went ahead to open their case.

The case was on rape of a female student in Kalakuta University of Science and Technology by her lecturer, a professor in the university. Details about the rape claim were sketchy, but the prosecution counsel were expected to establish the case beyond a doubt.

The prosecution called three witnesses; the victim, the medical doctor and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO). They were led in examination-in-chief, cross-examination as well as re-examination with two documents accepted and marked as exhibits by the court.

After the prosecution closed its case, the defence counsel entered a “no case submission”, which means that the prosecutor has not adduced enough evidence to warrant the accused’s trial. After citing several authorities to support their case, the prosecution counsel were given an opportunity to reply.

Ruling on the “no case submission”, the judge held that the accused had a case to answer. The defence counsel then called the accused, Professor Olorounbi, who denied the allegation. He was also cross-examined before the defence counsel closed their case.

The opposing counsel were given an opportunity to prepare their final addresses for 10 minutes and argue their cases for another 10 minutes. Aliyu Imam, lead counsel for the defence team, addressed the court alongside his co-counsel: Tobi Adebowale, lead counsel for the prosecution also addressed the court alongside his co-counsel, Adebayo Caleb.

The OAU team was declared the winner of the mock trial, carting away the N60,000 cash prize. The BUK team came second and UNIZIK, third.

The Best Critique went to the University of Ibadan (UI), the Best Memorial went to UNIZIK and Best Counsel in moot rounds went to Aliyu Imam of BUK.

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