Sunday 3 July 2016

LegalNaija: Blogging clarity into Nigeria's legal jumble

Trust but verify
Maybe there is a case for becoming a bit bookish about knowing how to live and work in Nigeria. Possibly making your decisions based on something more concrete than what you heard someone say and that idea has been through so many revisions before it got to you with no semblance to the original thought or import. Rumours should not equate to fact, even if eventually proven true.
If accosted, in a country rife with the abuse of rights and process, would you know your rights enough to fight your corner through the system and expect not to have been persecuted and prosecuted unfairly?
Much as we can be religious and leave much to chance, gut feeling or the sentiment of belief or clan, the many times we have entered into arrangements that fall through because the detail necessary to make binding agreements were not pored over with the necessity such requires.
This blog began on a whim as I asked on Twitter what I should write about and @LegalNaija challenged me to write something about their blog.
Taking you through the minutiae
LegalNaija is hosted at  and they have been active since 2012, they provide a disclaimer on their front page that reads, “Posts and comments by the publishers of this blog do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.
However, the kind of information you can glean from the many things they write about can give insight into how to ride through much of the Nigerian bureaucracy which at the best of times can be a haunting nightmare, leaving you out of pocket and with nothing to show for it.
Simple things like reading and vetting your contracts before you sign anything; as if we should be told, but in many cases, we rarely ready the small print, it is sometimes suffused with indecipherable legalese leading in unexpected pitfalls when things fall apart. Nothing wrong in reminding us of such simple things.
A tip, an insight or an idea
On the blog, you have explainers on fundamental rights, operating businesses, seeking legal redress, bills enacted, laws and much else that a blog like mine cannot begin to cover.
However, I can introduce you to LegalNaija and ask that you follow their Twitter account @LegalNaija, there is no telling what snippet of information can be that insight or idea to ensure you don’t end up in a needless and expensive legal wrangle – and I tell you, Nigeria is one legal minefield even to the savviest of legal experts. I commend them.

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