Beware, there are laws to punish social media offences – Yusuf Ali

* Becomes Prof of Law in Practice at FUOYE

By John Odunjo

Legal luminary, Mr Yusuf Ali SAN, has said that social media has many benefits towards advancing law practice and practice more challenging in a digital age.

Ali, who also said social media has many benefits in the study of Law, however, cautioned the students against excessive indulgence in social media as that could have adverse effect on their ability to study Law.

The senior advocate, who spoke at Federal University Oye Ekiti while delivering the inaugural lecture of the institution’s Law Faculty titled: “Social Media in Aid of Legal Practice,” disclosed that laws to punish offences committed on social media were in existence in the country hence the need to exercise caution.

Ali, who said that laws to punish crimes on social media now existed in Nigeria, said, “With the rise of social media, cybercrimes such as hacking, identity theft, online stalking and bullying have also increased.

“Criminal laws have been adapted to address these new forms of criminal activities and law enforcement agencies actively monitor social media platforms to identify and apprehend cyber-criminals.

“Social media allows users to easily share information and opinions with a wide audience. However, this also opens up the possibility of defamatory statements or false accusations being made against individuals or businesses. Victims of defamation can pursue legal action to protect their reputation and seek compensation, “ he said

Ali said: “While social media can be a valuable tool for Law students, it also presents potential drawbacks. Excessive use of social media can lead to time management issues, potentially diverting law students’ focus from their studies and affecting academic performance. Continuous notifications and the lure of social media updates may contribute to distractions and procrastination, hindering students’ ability to concentrate on legal research and coursework.”

The legal icon also listed the gains and disadvantages of using social media by law firms and legal practitioners, urging them to be vigilant in checking the tendencies of the social media to damage their reputation or disclose sensitive or confidential information on their clients or compromise the fairness of justice dispensation in law courts among others.

FUOYE Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, who appreciated Ali for the thought-provoking and insightful lecture, announced the appointment of the senior advocate by the university as a Professor of Law in Practice.

Fasina said that “FUOYE has found Ali worthy of being appointed as a Professor of Law in Practice, having considered his highly successful and impactful career as one of Nigeria’s foremost legal practitioners”.

The VC handed a letter of appointment to Yusuf Ali after the senior advocate.

Fasina assured the students of more efforts being put in place by his administration in ensuring sound and qualitative education for them, adding that his team had done everything required by the regulatory bodies to see to the full accreditation of the Law programme of the University.

The VC said that a state-of-the-art facility for sound and practical teaching of Law programmes had equally been put in place to satisfy them and other stakeholders.

Fasina enjoined the students to be studious and be of good conduct so they could be pride to themselves, the university, their families and the nation at large.

The students expressed gratitude to the university management team led by the VC for giving them a great opportunity of being tutored by a highly successful and cerebral legal practitioner like Yusuf Ali, who they said, had brought his wealth of experience in Law practice to bear in sharing great knowledge with them.

Among those in attendance at the lecture were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), Administration, Prof. Tajudeen Bolanle Opoola; DVC, Academics, Prof. Olubunmi Shittu; Registrar, Mr. Mufutau Ibrahim; Bursar, Mrs Bolanle Debo-Ajagunna; and the University Librarian, Dr Isaac Busayo as well as heads of units and directorates of the University. and other staff members of FUOYE.

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