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HRM QUEEN JOSEPHINE DIETE-SPIFF ATTENDS 61ST BAR CONFERENCE IN PORT HARCOURT

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Outstanding Lawyers from across the country converge in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital for its 61st Conference.

The event is slated for a week with the theme:“Taking The Lead”.

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According to the itinerary issued by the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, the opening ceremony of the conference would took place on Monday.

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike who is also a learned colleague, on Monday, 25th of October, 2021 declared the conference open. In his Opening speech, he charged the NBA to invest more effort in championing the cause of citizens and by surpassing its own record.

HRM Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff a certified legal luminary was also on ground to recognize and celebrate her profession.

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Participant who express their views says the choice of the theme is apt because it is coming against the backdrop of growing concerns over cases of judicial abuse involving judges and senior lawyers.

While speaking with the press, HRM Queen Josephine Diete-Spiff esq said “the 61st edition came up at a time when Nigeria Judicial system needed to be looked into with professionalism because its seen as the last hope of the common man.

The Judiciary system should not and never be politicized, time frame for cases to be treated and judgement received should be taken seriously.

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On the morning of Saturday, the 23rd, Lawyers began their activities with a health walk and the take-off point was Real Madrid Academy, Yakubu Gowon Stadium. The workout was led by former Chairperson NBA Section on Legal Practice, Miannaya Essien, SAN. Others with her were; the President of the NBA, Olumide Akpata, General Secretary, Joyce Oduah, 1st Vice President John. O. Aikpokpo-Martins, NBA Former Vice president, Monday Onyekachi Ubani, Chairman Conference Planning Committee, Briggs, J-K Gadzama, SAN, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, Ogaga Emoghwanre and a host of others.

There was also a football match. The Annual General Conference 2021 tournament witnessed teams from NBA Aba, Abuja, Benin, Effurun, Isiokpo, Jos, Kano, Lagos, Minna, Onitsha, Osogbo, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Udu, and Yenagoa.

The cocktail party began at about 6 pm on Saturday. The River state Chief Judge, Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi, hosted the party to welcome members of the Nigerian Bar Association to Garden City, for the 61st Annual General conference.

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The cocktail was held at Chief Judge’s Ceremonial Court Hall, High Court Complex, Bank Road, Port Harcourt.

There were several social events organized by various NBA Branches, University alumni
re-unions, Rivers’ Night, Party by Attorney-General of Rivers State, law school call set re-unions and host of others.

Thanksgiving service in a Multi- Denominational Church Service was one of the activities for the conference held at Christ Church Interdenominational. The service began around 10 am and there was a massive turn up by Christian lawyers.

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The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Muhammad Tanko in his address delivered by Hon. Justice Mary Peter Odili enjoined the NBA to be the voice of the Judiciary, urging lawyers to uphold sparkling ethical behavior in their conduct with the court.

The NBA President delivered a welcome message motivating attendees to achieve the goal of the Conference — Taking the Lead.

Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, who was the Keynote Speaker, decried the spate of insecurity in the country, with specified reverence to Boko Haram and banditry and urged the citizens to dedicate themselves to making Nigeria work.

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There were two breakout sessions with plenaries. The first plenary which started at about 12: 45 and lasted for 2: 20 pm, had four topics and they were: Reversing the trend: A Call For National Reorientation; Who’s Got Your Back?- Symposium On Consumer Protection; The Levers For Economic Growth And Development; finally for this session, Dealing With Conflicting Decisions From Court: Matters Arising.

The Second Plenary sessions had The future of dispute resolution, Women in practice- coping with modern workplace Biases, Inequities & Challenges; Regulating Legal Practice; Career Development & Growth Within The Legal Profession; Rivers State Showcase- Taking The Lead In Developing An Independent & Virile Judiciary, as the topic discussed.

On Tuesday, the 26th, the following topics— Justice Sector Reform: Interrogating The Functions Of The Bar And Bench; Status On Implementation Of Autonomy Of State Legislatures And Judiciary Upon The Issuance Of Executive Order 10; Legal Education And Professional Development Framework: Fit For Purpose; Opportunities In Emerging Areas Of Legal Practice; The Data Conundrum- Protection, Security, Privacy & Freedom Of Information, were discussed at the plenaries.

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In another session which rapped out Tuesday’s event, “Wellness Of Attorney Was Discussed. Presentation Of NBA National Insurance Scheme” (NHIS).
On Wednesday, The breakout sessions comprised of 9 topics. The Panelists and moderators spoke on interesting topics ranging from ” Doing Business in Nigeria- Noxious Funds & Financial Crimes; Taking The Lead in Women’s Voice and Leadership; Building A Modern Legal Practice; Catch If You Can- Noxious Funds & Financial Crimes; Workplace & Professional Harassment; Government Regulation of Innovation & Technology; Technology Disruption In Legal Practice; Financing Nigeria: At Whose Expense; to When The People: A debate on Constitutional Amendment, which was the closing plenary for the day.

It’s the second time Rivers State would be hosting the Bar Conference and the NBA under the watch of Governor Nyesom Wike and the State Government is currently constructing a new law school.

The Garden City witnessed the presence of members of the Bar and Bench.

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Nigeria

Queen Josephine Steps Down as Chairperson Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association after years of meritorious service

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It was a moment full of emotions, celebration, and expressions of love and gratitude as the tenure of the Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom, Her Royal Majesty Dr. (Barr) Dame, Evangelist Josephine Diete-Spiff, came to an end as the Chairperson of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association (BSTWA).

Queen Josephine, who also doubles as the President of the Niger Delta Royal Queens Initiative, subsequently handed over the Secretariat to the new leadership after occupying the Royal position for eight (8) years, from 2014 to 2022. The Royal Queens in Bayelsa State described her tenor as incredibly impactful and the best in leadership ever seen.

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She spoke during the handing over ceremony at the Traditional Rulers Council office complex in Yenagoa on Thursday, April 22, 2022. Queen Diete-Spiff expressed her profound gratitude to their Excellencies Senator Henry Seriake Dickson and Senator Douye Diri for their benevolence, adding that she stayed in office for eight years instead of the usual four years by God’s providence.

She also thanked and appreciated the Royal Queens of Bayelsa State for their support throughout her tenure as the Chairperson.

Queen Diete-Spiff said, “I have called this meeting to let you know that I am stepping aside; my tenure ought to have ended four years ago, but by God’s providence and the pleasure of their Excellencies, Senator Seriake Dickson and Senator Douye Diri to whom I am grateful, I have stayed this long as Chairperson of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association. I have occupied this position for eight years.

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“Thank you, my Queens. I appreciate you all for the period you served with me and the support you gave me. I cannot thank you enough. My special thanks to our Secretary, Her Majesty Tecy Diongoli, for her kindness, for being fantastic at her job, and for superbly holding her position. For without her, the ride would have been more turbulent.

“I thank you all who showed up today and those who gave their apologies because of the short notice. Your collaboration made things easy for the secretariate. The association could not have functioned without you because if meetings and programs are called and no one shows up, there will be no leadership. I urge you to give the same support to the new Chairperson of our organization because the administration cannot be offered in isolation from the people. Meanwhile, I appreciate you all for all you did that made my tenure as Chairperson of BSTWA successful.

“Going forward, as the President of the Queens of the Niger Delta, I hope to still carry you, my Queens, along with me at that level. As Bayelsa Queens, you all will still be part of our occasions, programs, and events. So, I am still with you all, a part of you. After all, I am a Bayelsa woman, I am a Bayelsa Queen.

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“Nonetheless, I am still here to encourage the new Chairperson if she desires, and I pray that you all will also give her the needed support. If you ever need any advice or need my collaboration, please don’t hesitate to call me. I will be glad to give you as much support as you require.”

Highlighting her legacies while in office, the Twon Brass Queen said she created a slogan and an anthem for the organization, instituted a constitution and registered the organization in the state as a social and developmental organization.

According to her, she enlarged the organization from only first-class to include other classifications, giving every Royal home recognition in the organization, instituted a financial system, dress code that befits Royalty and held seminars and conferences that taught the Queen ethical behaviour, trade, self-esteem, self-reliance, public conduct, harnessing peaceful domains, supporting women and children development.

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The Royal Queen further noted that she created government recognition for the organization, gave widowed queens a pride of place by retaining their recognition in the organization, supported Queens that needed legal, financial, and social help, free and gave some disadvantaged children from their domains free scholarship to study in her school.

She instituted and formed the Niger Delta Royal Queens Initiative, where she is presently the pioneer President and caters for widows and the physically challenged through her foundation and office.

In a goodwill message, Secretary BSTWA, HRM Queen Okpoitari Diongoli, said the Royal Queens feel so bad that Queen Josephine is stepping aside, adding that they know the great impact she has created in their lives.

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“We are grateful for your support, showcasing us as royal queens of Bayelsa State. Your coming on board made the state government recognize the Queens. Ordinary, before now, the queens are never invited to State events and programs, except they attend with their husbands, their King. But today, the reality is different, as the Queens are now rightly recognized.

The Queen of Ikianbiri in the Bomo Kingdom, HRH, Dr Justina Lere Zalakoro, noted that Queen Josephine is a woman that wants every other person to have the knowledge she has and appealed to her to always guide the new Chairperson on areas she may miss.

She said, “We pray that you stay much longer, but it is not within our reach to say so. You carried us along; you exposed us. Those of us that were in the Creeks without anybody knowing us, you brought us out, and today, we are recognized in the state.

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“We have made many friends outside the state. Especially me, I have up to five queens from other states as friends. It is your doing. The ideas you brought, the knowledge you gave us, we shall continue with it and learn from you.”

In her speech, the Queen of Anyama, Ogbia Community, HRH Queen Pat Agala, said that all the good works Queen Josephine had done for the Royal Queens of Bayelsa State cannot be overemphasized, adding that God is lifting her higher as she is leaving as the Chairperson.

“We appreciate you for making us to feel like somebody in the society, for making our husbands to love us the more. These days, our husbands are no more going out with friends because you brought us out; you made us to know our rights, teaching us how to dress, personal conduct, and how to speak in public.

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“You never segregated anybody; you never discriminated against anybody. You didn’t look at our status, but you loved us. You believed in us; you worked with us”, she added.

Also, the Queen of Gbarain kingdom, HRM Queen Faye Frank Okiakpe, said that Queen Josephine had been a good chairperson who made herself available for the queens to have access to and has treated everyone equally.

“I know with the testimonies of her works, she will be a great leader to the whole Niger Delta, and I know she will do well, she emphasised.”

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