20 January 2023
As envoy to the HCCH Secretary General, Onyoja attends the offices of the Federal Ministry of Justice, and Foreign Affairs, Abuja.
Talks continue on Nigeria’s progress following the Attorney General’s mandate for Nigeria to become involved in the work of the HCCH, both in terms of membership and accession to key conventions. Over two days, Onyoja visited the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs; attending the office of HMFA, meeting with Acting Director at the International Organisations Department; and the Federal Ministry of Justice’s ICLD, including discussions with the Director, chief state counsel and principal federal counsel within the department. At the conclusion of those visits, an inter-ministerial meeting with key stakeholders had been diarised and duly took place the following week. Further meetings to be convened. Onyoja also met with Bee Akaa at the National Judicial Institute, building on previous discussions to curate a segment within the Institute’s child protection workshop for high court judges that looks at PIL (family law) and the HCCH family Conventions.
18 January 2023
Institute of African Women in Law four nations report launch (Nigeria) in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association Women Forum.
The Four Nations report launched the Institute’s empirical findings on women in law and leadership in four African countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal, looking at three sectors – the bar (lawyers), the bench (judges) and the legal academy (professors). An initiative that seeks to critically examine and address gender based discrimination, looking at perspectives, participation, and leadership in the justices system, furthering the UN SDG No.5 on gender equality.
In attendance, IAWL Executive Director Professor Jarpa Dawuni (Howard University, USA) and editor of the reports, and legal dignitaries including Supreme Court Justice Amina Augie CON, Mrs Chinyere Okorocha NBAWF, Professor Yinka Omorogbe SAN (NIALS) and Professor Oluyemisi Bamgbose SAN (Ibadan). Onyoja, who is a board member of the Institute, gave the acknowledgement and networked with children law practitioners at the Nigerian Bar and the Lagos State Ministry on international child protection matters. Read more here. Whilst in lagos, Onyoja also met with Biodun Tugbiyele, Principal Partner at TAO Tugbiyele & Co Solicitors and Advocates, Author of Nigerian Court of Appeal and Supreme Court law reports to discuss the possibility of creating an easily accessible database of family law cases (with an international element) in Nigeria; and with Efe Etomi, President of the African Women Lawyers Association and IAFL Fellow.
27 October 2022
Joint Paper in Uganda on Strengthening Africa’s international
obligations on child rights and protection: the importance of the Hague Children Conventions with HNJ Supreme Court Justice Mocumie.
On 27 October 2022, Justice B Constance Mocumie and Dr Onyoja Momoh jointly presented a paper entitled: Strengthening Africa’s international obligations on child rights and protection: the importance of the Hague Children Conventions, addressing hundreds of esteemed judges at the 17th International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) Conference – African Chapter. The conference was hosted by the National Association of Women Judges in Uganda (NAWJU) and held at the Commonwealth Resort and Speke Hotel Munyonyo in Kampala Kampala, Uganda. The conference was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and took place over 5 days in Kampala from 25 to 29October 2022 (see conference programme). The theme of the conference was “Women Judges: Breaking Barriers to Gender Equality, Strengthening Institutions” anchored in the UN SDG 16 – peace, justice and strong institutions. Read more.
28 July 2022
Progress at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.
Between 24th and 28th July 2022, OM embarked on a further visit to the International Comparative Law Department at the Federal Ministry of Justice, building on effective discussions, leading and providing high level advisory support to progress Nigeria’s road to membership and ratification of/ accession to key Hague Conventions. At the conclusion of the visit, an internal report with recommendations for next steps including organising an inter-ministerial meeting had been approved.
10 March 2022
Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice delegates attend online seminar “The HCCH & the Apostille Convention: Exploring the Benefits for AALCO Members”
Building on discussions from her time in Nigeria last month, Onyoja was asked to help facilitate the registration of Nigerian FMOJ delegates at the HCCH-AALCO seminar. The Nigerian FMOJ accepted the invitation from the Secretariat of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) to the Attorney General of the Federation and Honourable Minister to attend. At the seminar, Nigeria was represented by the Deputy Director, Principal State Counsel, and Senior Legal Counsel, International and Comparative Law Department, Federal Ministry of Justice.
28 February 2022
Further talks with Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Justice
On 28 February 2022, Onyoja was warmly received by both the acting Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General of the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Director of the International Comparative Law Department. She met with the PS/SG and Director at their respective offices at the Ministry of Justice, Abuja, creating the avenue to discuss updates and moving forward with the mandate for Nigeria to become involved in the work of the HCCH. Onyoja also met with the FMOJ’s Head of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (“SGBV”) Response Unit, drawing support for ratification/accession to the HCCH children conventions.
19 November 2021
Abu presents at NICARB’s 2021 annual conference
The Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators held their annual conference on the 19th and 20th of November 2021. The theme of the event was “Disruption and the New Normal in Arbitration/ADR”. On day 1, Abu presented at on the second plenary session, discussing the “Conflict of Laws under AfCFTA and its Effect on Trade and Commerce”. Further information on this hybrid conference can be found here.
19 October 2021
The Hague Conference celebrates 25 Years of the 1996 Hague Child Protection Convention
The HCCH | Approach, The Global Event, took place on 19 October 2021 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the 1996 Child Protection Convention, launching the Approach initiative: Advancing and Promoting the Protection of All Children. Onyója presented the case for Nigeria acceding to the Convention. Full details of the event, agenda and speakers can be found on the HCCH website.
31 August 2021
The Secretary General of the Hague Conference and Onyója embark on a Joint Mission to Abuja
At the forefront of this mission was the renewed efforts to promote the progressive reunification of private international law in Nigeria, to speak to key Nigerian officials to discuss HCCH matters. It was clear that for meaningful strides, engaging the stakeholder Ministries at Federal level was key. At the heart of the mission, the joint endeavours of Dr Bernasconi and Onyója, following months of discussions and planning, with special assistance from the Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands. Dr Bernasconi and Onyója were received by and held key meetings including with His Excellency, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malawi SAN; and Her Excellency, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen OFR, KSG. Both expressed their full support for Nigeria joining the Hague Conference and acceding to core conventions.
8 July 2021
Onyója delivers paper to Lagos State Ministries, High Court judges and NGOs at Child Protection Workshop in Lagos.
Dr Onyoja Momoh presented at a three-day conference in Lagos, between the 7th and 9th July 2021 on “Child Protection Systems Strengthening for Court Judges, Magistrates & Assessors”. The Lagos State Government, in collaboration with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), organised this event attended by representatives from the Ministries, the judiciary, legal, NGOs, academics and other key functionaries as part of the effort toward reinforcing measures on child protection and child rights in Nigeria. Onyoja addressed the delegates on day 2 on the Hague family conventions, aligning with the theme on child protection and concluding that there was a clear argument for Nigeria to adopt the Hague Family Conventions to improve inter-state cooperation for the protection of children, especially in cross-border situations, ameliorate issues of conflict of laws and, not less important, to ensure that promoting the welfare of the child, is in deed and in action, at the forefront of the government’s agenda and mandate.
21 June 2021
The NGPIL hold their Inaugural event
The Nigeria Group on Private International Law inaugural event formally launched the group’s activities, with over 130 registrants and distinguished speakers and audience alike. Opening remarks will be made by Dr Christophe Bernasconi, HCCH Secretary General, and keynote by Professor Richard Frimpong Oppong (Author of PIL in Commonwealth Africa, and co-author of PIL in Nigeria).
3 June 2021
Chukwuma interviews with News Asser Today: “With increasing investments in Africa, knowledge of private international law will be key.”
Headline: With the fast-growing international trade with Africa comes an inevitable rise in trade disputes. For trade to run smoothly, questions such as ‘what courts have jurisdiction; what law(s) should apply; will a foreign judgment be recognised and enforced by the courts of African states’ will need to be resolved. Meet Chukwuma Okoli, Asser researcher in private international law in Africa: “Young academics should remain true to themselves.”
The full interview can be found here.
31 May 2021
Onyoja is hosted by Head of the Ghana Central Adoption Authority (Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development) in Accra
For a week commencing on 31st May 2021, under the auspices of a collaborative research proposal into the feasibility and desirability of Nigeria acceding to the 1933 Hague Convention to combat child trafficking and reinforces the protection of children across national and international borders, Onyoja visited signatory Country Ghana, hosted by Mr Stephen Tikai Dombo, Head of the Ghana Central Adoption Authority at the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Development, discussing the 1993 Hague Adoption Convention acceded to in 2016, he describes it as “one of the best things Ghana could do in terms of child protection and development”. In the course of the visit to Ghana, she met with officials at their Regional Offices, the family courts and NGO (International Justice Mission, Ghana). Report to follow.
25 May 2021
Onyoja is an invited expert at the UK House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee private roundtable
Onyoja was invited to present and answer questions on international cooperation in respect of civil justice, focusing on international family law and building on her experience as both a scholar and a practitioner.
10 May 2021
Abu Yekini delivers the May 2021 edition of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Law in Africa (Virtual)
On 10 May 2021, Dr Yekini gave a guest lecture as part of the virtual workshop series “Private International Law in Africa” on “enforcement of Jurisdiction Agreements in Nigeria”. The series discussed new academic work on private international law in Africa and explores solutions on improving the current framework on the continent. The Virtual workshop was held as a video conference via Zoom, more information available here.
21 to 23 April 2021
Chukwuma Okoli, Abu Yekini and Onyoja Momoh are judges at the Pax Moot Competition on Private International Law
Funded by the EU Commission and coordinated by the University of Antwerp, members of the NGPIL were invited to acts as judges to assess student performances representing Law schools from around the world, mooting on jurisdiction and choice of law issues.
31 March 2021
Pontian moderates the LACIAC debate “Should awards annulled at the seat be enforced by courts of other jurisdictions?
LACIAC, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce International Arbitration Centre held a successful session of its Live Debates 3, hearing from debaters, Prof. Horacio Grigera Naon and Funke Adekoya, SAN, and moderator, Pontian Okoli, PhD FHEA, hailed for providing excellent analysis of the motion, as well as Dr. Babatunde Ajibade, SAN, the LACIAC Director on panel. LACIAC is an international alternative dispute resolution centre with a focus on fair and efficient alternative dispute resolution in Africa.
27 November 2020
The Nigerian Group on Private International Law Sets Sail
On Thursday 5th of November 2020, the Nigerian Group on Private International Law (“NGPIL”) held its first committee meeting by virtual platform. In attendance at the meeting and forming the Committee of NGPIL were: Dr Onyoja Momoh (English Barrister at 5 Pump Court; Research Fellow at University of Aberdeen), Dr Pontian Okoli (Lecturer at University of Stirling), Dr Abubakri Yekini (Lecturer at Lagos State University) Dr Chukwuma Okoli (Post-Doctoral Researcher at T.M.C Asser Instituut), and Dr Chukwudi Ojiegbe (Contracts Manager at ACE Winches). This new initiative will bring together a unique group of experts with an important ethos: the promotion of private international law in Nigeria. See coverage on the conflicts of law website: https://conflictoflaws.net/2020/the-nigerian-group-on-private-international-law-sets-sail/
11 to 13 March 2020
Onyoja reports on the 23rd Annual Family Conference in Cape Town
Dr Onyoja Momoh, 2020 recipient of the International Grant (Bar Council and FLBA) attended the 23rd Annual Family Law Conference by Miller du Toit Cloete Inc / University of the western Cape, Cape Town South Africa, as a speaker and spectator. The trip was also part-funded by the University of Aberdeen, Centre for Private International Law, under the auspices of the POAM project.