Friday, 25 July 2014


Dear Bamidele Aturu,

Your name has been mentioned, and spoken of in volumes, and the history of the growth of public interest advocacy in Nigeria will not be complete without the mention of that name. Your story may form a few lines to some, but to me, you represent more than a chapter.

While pursuing my aspirations and gaining experience in the field of Public International Law, I innocently drifted towards what you have built on. In much similar ways, apart from being a Human Rights Activist, you were also a labour expert of high ranking…. And that path is where my foot has brought me into. I promise that I will take those disciplines to some notches further than you left it and also groom runners that we can trust since the job is never complete in a lifetime.

You were such a complete gentleman, a pro-democrat, and a true friend to those that you pitched your tent with- While others showered encomium on my boss (Mr. Femi Falana S.A.N.) in one of the dinners hosted to mark the conferment of the rank of a “Senior Advocate” on him, you told him before everybody that you will openly criticize him if he ever relaxed in the struggle for a better Nigeria.

Today, you will be laid to rest in your home town and we won’t see again for a very long time, but your ideas and ideals will forever abide with me.

I went to bed with grieve on the night of the day that your demise was announced. I was scared for the future of the field which you have passionately represented through the years, but I woke up in the morning with an unusual rest- an assurance that many are being enlisted to carry on by reason of your life and death.

On the 1st day of October, 2014, “The People’s Parliament” will be launched in Lagos, we will teach participants on how to make the government to become more responsive to the needs of the public, most importantly, we will recommit ourselves to the values that you upheld in your life time. This is my pledge, and my bond. This is the way that I know you will love to be remembered- in the heart of the people, not on pages of newspapers.

Good night my learned senior colleague
Requiescat in Pace


Eyitayo Ogunyemi is an Associate at FALANA & FALANA’S CHAMBERS, and is also the President of D’PARALEGAL ACADEMY an institution which imparts elementary principles of law to the public.


"Safety and health at work is not only a sound economic policy - it is a basic human right”
Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General

As a Legal Practitioner, I have attended to a good number of victims of work place accident; some understood their rights under the law to a large extent, while some did not have a grab of it at all. Many were concerned about the fact that they were mere “casual workers”, “extern”, “contract staff”, “apprentice”, “domestic worker”, and the list goes on. They thought they had a very limited right and privilege by reason of their kind of contract. Out of a deep sense of concern, I have decided to pen down answers to some of the questions that may crop up in the minds of such victims and their dependants. I hope that it addresses the rights, duties, and obligations of the victims and dependants in the simplest way. Questions, queries, and further contributions may be addressed to, or you can reach me on +234-806-062-3454.

What is a Work Place Accident? It is an occurrence arising out of or in the course of work which results in fatal or non-fatal occupational injury.

What are the benefits that may be claimed? The benefit that may be claimed depends on the kind of industrial accident/ disability. It includes: monetary compensation, health care benefit, and disability support.

Can temporary workers, Apprentices, Part time workers, domestic servants, casual workers etc also make claims? Yes, they can as they are covered.

Who may be exempted from making claims? Any member of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (other than those employed in civilian capacity).

How do I make a compensation claim?
Notify the employer or other appropriate representative(s) of the employer about the disability, disease, or injury. The notification should be in writing (preferably) stating the name of the victim, time and place of occurrence, nature and cause of disease/ injury if known, and must be done immediately or as soon as possible.

The victim or victim’s dependant must address an application for compensation to the nearest office of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board. The application must be made within the shortest possible time after the date of death, injury, or disability arising from the occupational accident or disease. If you are not sure whether your employer complied with the law in this regard, you may request for your account details or that of the deceased worker with the National Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board.

Must accident occur within office premises? No, what is essential is that it occurred in the course of work (you may contact your legal attorney or a labour expert for a better understanding of this).

What if the worker has entered an agreement with the employer to waive or forego his right to compensation? Such agreement is void. The worker will therefore still be entitled to compensation.
In practice, many employers are still in breach of the laws regulating Employees’ Compensation for workplace accidents. Some employers that have registered their account with the National Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board do not render true or up to date account of the names, and number of staff in their employment. Many employers do not even know this aspect of the law and do not border to consult their legal attorney (if you are an employer of labour, please check my article titled WHAT EVERY EMPLOYER MUST KNOW ABOUT EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION). The questions addressed here are not exhaustive; other questions may be addressed to me via my e-mail, you may also reach me on +234-806-062-3454.