Hon. Justice B. B. Bakwaph Kanyip, PhD, FNIALS- Hon. President, NICN
Hon. Justice Kanyip, a Nigerian, born on 29th September 1963, hails from Anturung-Attakar in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. He had his primary school education at St. Peter Clavar’s School Kafanchan in Kaduna State between 1969 and 1975. From 1975 to 1980 he had his secondary school education at St. John Vianney’s Minor Seminary, Barkin Ladi in Plateau State.
From 1980 to 1982, he proceeded to the then Katsina College of Advanced Studies, Zaria for the qualifying Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB) examination, one of the examinations needed to gain direct entry into university education in Nigeria. He then read law at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria from 1982 to 1985. Between 1985 and 1986, he attended the Nigerian Law School for the one-year practical training needed for qualification to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria.
On the completion of this practical training, he attended the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps from 1986 to 1987, serving in Benin City at Pat Okupa & Co, a Law Firm and Publisher of the then Law Newspaper, The Nigerian Law Times 19 Ikpokpan Road, Benin City. He then proceeded to ABU, Zaria where he took up a teaching appointment as a lecturer in the Department of Commercial Law as a Graduate Assistant.
He rose to the position of Lecturer II before leaving in 1992 for the National Commission for Colleges of Education as Legal Adviser in the rank of Principal Legal Officer. In Ahmadu Bello University, he taught Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Commercial Law and Law of Taxation. In 1995, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS).
He took up this appointment and rose to the rank of Associate Research Professor of Law in 2000. While at NIALS, his research interest straddled the areas of Consumer Protection, Law of Taxation, Commercial Law and Labour Law. Also at NIALS, he was Head, Continuing Legal Education & Consultancy (1996 - 2000); Acting Special Assistant to the Director-General (25th August 1997 to July 1999); and Visiting Lecturer, Benue State University, Makurdi, where he taught subjects including Law of Taxation (500 level), Law of Torts (300 level) and Consumer Protection (LL.M).
Hon. Justice Kanyip was appointed a Member of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (from June 2000 to 2006) by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In virtue of section 2(7) of the National Industrial Court (NIC) Act 2006, he became a Judge of the NIC. This position he held from 2006 to 2008. From 2008 to 1st October 2019, he was Presiding Judge and later Administrative Judge of the Lagos Division of the Court.
From 2nd October 2019 to 12 December 2019, he was Acting President of the Court. And on 13th December 2019 he was sworn in as the substantive President of the Court, a position he still holds. In virtue of being President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Kanyip is a member of the National Judicial Council and the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
While in the Court, Hon. Justice Kanyip has adjudicated countless labour and employment cases and delivered seminal rulings and judgments. He also served as a member of the committee set up to draft the now defunct National Industrial Court Rules 2007, He then served as Chairman of the Committee that drafted the current National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civi Procedure) Rules 2017. And he participated in the processes and discussions that led to the promulgation of the National Industrial Court Act 2006 as well as the Third Alteration to the 1999 Constitution, thus bringing in 2011 the National Industrial Court fully within the structure of the Nigerian Judiciary.
In 2015, Hon. Justice Kanyip participated in the adjudication of election disputes arising from the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria. He was first the Chairman of the National and State Assembly Election Tribunal for Osun State Holden at Osogbo, and then later a member of Panel II of the National and State Assembly Election Tribunal for Rivers State Holden at Abuja. He served without blemish in these two Election Tribunals.
Hon. Justice Kanyip is the holder of the LL.B (Hons.) – Second Class Upper Division (1985) awarded by ABU Zaria; BL - Second Class Lower Division (1986), awarded by the Nigerian Law School; LL.M (with a thesis in Company Taxation Law), 1991, awarded by ABU Zaria; and PhD (with a thesis in Consumer Protection Laws), 1998, awarded by ABU Zaria. He is the author of numerous conference and journal articles in especially the areas of Consumer Law, Law of Taxation, Labour Law, Commercial Law and Legal/Judicial Practice. He is the author of the book, Consumer Protection in Nigeria: Law, Theory and Policy (Rekon Books Limited: Abuja), 2005 and a joint author of the text, Elements of Commercial Law (Tamaza Publishing Co. Ltd: Zaria), 1994.
Justice Kanyip is a pioneer contributor to the development and advocacy of consumer protection especially in the area of promoting academic scholarship and research. The outcome of his research work has aided in policy formulation in the area of consumer law and practice. For instance, his research work on sales promotions assisted in the formulation of the regulations on sales promotions promulgated by the Consumer Protection Council.
At the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal studies, Lagos, Justice Kanyip brought into sharper focus research into consumer laws, amongst others, introducing in the process seminars, workshops and conferences as can be evident from his numerous publications listed below.
As a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Benue State University, Makurdi, Justice Kanyip introduced as a course of study Consumer Protection for the Masters in Law (LL.M) programme.
At the commencement of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) DECLARATION PROJECT, the Project to Promote Democracy Through Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and Tripartism (NIDEC – NIR/00/M50/USA) in Nigeria, Hon. Justice Kanyip was commissioned by the ILO to review all the labour laws in Nigeria. With Professor (Mrs.) Chioma Kanu Agomo, the product of the exercise was the Analysis of Current Nigerian Labour Laws (Assessment Report). At the completion of this exercise, he was nominated by the Federal Government as one of its two nominees in the Technical Committee for the reform of all the labour laws in the country. The outcome of this work was formally presented to the Government on May 26, 2005 and is now before the National Assembly.
At the completion of the reform of the labour laws, he was approached by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ‘conduct a study in ECOWAS Member States and submit a draft Regional policy on Labour matters and a strategic plan of Action’. He recently concluded this study and the outcome, A Study for the Formulation of the ECOWAS Labour Policy and Strategic Plan of Action 2008, was submitted to the ECOWAS Commission; and in April 2009, the draft Labour Policy, culled from the study, was considered and adopted by the ECOWAS Conference of Ministers of Labour and Employment, which held in Cote d’Ivoire.
Hon. Justice Kanyip in 2017 served as a member of the Committee of Experts that reviewed the Draft Report of the Study on Harmonization of Labour Laws in ECOWAS.
Earlier in 2004, he was one of two nominees from Nigeria nominated by the United States of America Government to participate in the Harmonization of Labour Laws by OHADA (French Speaking West and Central Africa), which held in Libreville, Gabon.
In 2018, in recognition of services rendered, the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the apex body responsible for legal research in the country honoured Hon. Justice Kanyip by making him Fellow of the Institute. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria as well as Fellow, Nigerian Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Hon. Justice Kanyip has undertaken a number of national assignments. He was Member of the following bodies:
*Ministerial Panel On The Crises in Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, from 1991 to 1994. (February 15 - March 10, 1994)
*Investigation Panel Into The Happening in The Federal College of Education, Zaria (1994)
*(Consumer Education and Protection Council of Nigeria's Representative), Technical Committee for Ceramic Wall and Floor Tiles of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria National Mirror Committee on Social Responsibility set up by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) under the auspices of Federal Ministry of Industries
Hon. Justice Kanyip is married to Hon. Justice Rosemary I. Kanyip (a High Court Judge with the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary) and has a son, Benedict Zitung (a Post-Graduate student in Information Technology) and a daughter, Benny (a holder of a Masters in Law).