The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) was established in March 1979 under an enabling statutory instrument referred to as the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Act, CAP N112 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, as Nigeria’s apex institution for legal research and training.
The Institute has the mandate to provide information, supervision, guidance and advice to Postgraduate students and other researchers who are pursuing Postgraduate studies in any university in the field of law and practice; to conduct courses of instruction in legislative drafting leading to the award of post-graduate diploma or a Postgraduate degree; to co-operate with Nigerian universities, the Nigerian Law School, the Nigerian Law Reform Commission and such other bodies (whether in Nigeria or elsewhere) engaged in any major field relating to law reform, development or research in the mobilization of Nigeria’s research potentials for the task of national development and dissemination of research findings for the use of policy makers at all levels; to organize training courses, national and international seminars, symposia, conferences, workshops and lectures on any branch of law and related subjects, and to carry out other activities as are necessary and expedient for the full discharge of any of its functions pursuant to the Act.
Before the appointment of Professor Muhammad Taufiq Ladan as NIALS 7th Director General on the 30th of September, 2019, to actualize these mandates, the Institute was earlier led by six other Administrators beginning from Hon. Dr. T. A. Aguda, who reigned between 1978 – 1988. Professor M. A. Ajomo, Professor I. A. Ayua and Professor D. A. Guobadia served as Director Generals of the Institute for the periods of seven years (1988 – 1995), eight years (1995 – 2003) and six years (2003 – 2009) respectively.
Similarly, Professor Epiphany Azinge and Professor Adedeji Adekunle had also headed the Institute for five years each – (2009 – 2014), (2014 – 2019) respectively. Since he took over mantle of leadership of the institute from Professor Adedeji Adekunle, Professor M. T. Ladan has successfully and unprecedentedly positioned it on an unparalleled and enviable height.
Within his 10 months in office, Professor Ladan has fast tracked and cleared the backlog of 2016 – 2018 staff promotion exercise, the result of which led to the promotion of over 150 non Academic and Academic staff. He was also able to clear 2019 promotion exercise, all, in less than one year; an exercise that catapulted eight staff to top management level, and freed them out of 10 – 15 years period of stagnation.
He was also able to, within this short period, pay the outstanding salary arrears of about 250, out of the total 300 staff of the institute in Lagos and Abuja, thereby ensuring fairness to all and promoting industrial harmony. Professor Ladan Facilitated the smooth and successful Selection and Appointment of 3 New NIALS’ Principal officers: Bursar, Secretary and Librarian;
He secured and renovated additional office spaces for about 40 staff at the Supreme Court complex; He reactivated the institute’s Printing Press with a set of 3 new industrial equipments /accessories for enhanced productivity and IGR drive/ making profits in hundreds of thousands of naira quarterly;
He refocused the marketing division of NIALS’ publications resulting in about 3.1 million naira worth of sales; He facilitated the restructuring of the Institute’s organogram and the revision of the scheme of service thereby adding new directorates, divisions, programmes, and courses that opened the middle-top space for staff career progression, thereby ending the decade long stagnation;
The DG secured about 25 laptops/desktops/accessories for initial take off of digitization of records/files/ data and for fast- tracking migration of NIALS programmes and courses from analogue to E- Learning platforms;
He successfully signed an MoU with Lawscope &Co for Migration of about 70 NIALS recent hard publications from analogue to E-Subscription/ online as a strategic IGR drive;
He initiated in over 40 years of NIALS existence, Virtual Statutory Meetings, Law and Public policy issues Webinar series in collaboration with strategic international partners during the COVID- 19 Lockdown/ Social distancing response measures, thereby making NIALS a Trailblazer in the Nigerian Justice sector; As the Apex Legal research institute, the period under review witnessed research activities in current Legal issues and about 10 major publications (reports, policy bulletins, books and journals).
Professor Ladan initiated the institute’s rendering of free legal services to the FGN/ NNPC (in drafting an Amicus brief for Nigeria’s submission in a lawsuit in a USA Court); Reviewed the ff : Draft criminal code for Ekiti state, Draft Sustainable development policy for kaduna state and a draft national survey report on women and children for the National Centre for Women Development ( NCWD).
He fast-tracked the clearance of all the major hurdles to the initial take off of phase 1 of the NIALS’ permanent site abandoned for years. Professor Ladan’s very eventful 10 months in office (September 2019 to July 2020) saw a total of 34 Academic and 129 non -Academic staff promoted in the November/ Dec 2019 Promotion exercises that cleared the 4 year backlog (2016-2019). Hence as