Notable lawyer and accomplished author, editor cum Law books publisher Deji Sasegbon, SAN, who passed away on December 10, 2016 has figuratively resurrected in a new set of books entitled ‘Sasegbon’s Judicial Dictionary of Nigerian Law’. Sasegbon was in his lifetime renowned for such landmark publications like the Nigerian Supreme Court Cases (NSCC) in 38 volumes, Legal Desk Book, Nigerian Companies and Allied Matters Law and Practice in 6 volumes and Sasegbon’s Laws of Nigeria in 30 volumes. His latest work ‘Sasegbon’s Judicial Dictionary of Nigerian Law’ (also known by its acronym, SJD), published in seven volumes, and about to be released, posthumously, are a fitting epitaph to his illustrious memory, a further assurance of his immortality and a valuable addition to legal jurisprudence.
Vitally, ‘Sasegbon’s Judicial Dictionary of Nigerian, is a comprehensive compilation of legal words and phrases. This finely researched publication is, from every conceivable measure, the definitive encyclopedia of legal definitions of Nigerian law. Sasegbon’s Judicial Dictionary of Nigerian Law is a complete statement of the entire body of Nigerian legal definitions as rendered in the language of the Courts, and based upon the authority of cases of Superior Courts. With its repertoire of over 150, 000 terms, it can be said to be the most authoritative, comprehensive law dictionary ever published in Nigeria.
Acclaimed as a tour de force, this latest publication from the illustrious stable of Sasegbon’s DSC Publications was not only conceived by him, but was that to which he devoted his attention before his untimely death in 2016. The completion of his work was actualized by his widow, Oge Sasegbon, herself a seasoned lawyer, along with the Deputy Editor in Chief, Mr Ehi Esoimeme and an excellent team of scholars and editors which Deji Sasegbon had put together at DSC Publications before his demise, SJD comprises of historical and modern Nigerian cases up to 2018, as well as primary and subsidiary legislation.
Dripping with erudition in the inimitable Sasegbon tradition of profound and prodigious work, this latest offering draws definite distinctions between key words and phrases – as opposed to just stating definitions word for word – thereby enabling the reader to gain a full, wholistic and contextual understanding of definitions. In most parts of the publication, the comparative approach is utilized as definitions are drawn from Federal and State Laws across the country. In addition to drawing distinctions between key words and phrases, the Dictionary also examines the effect of certain issues in the legal field.
A totally unique and additional scope to the Dictionary is the publication’s examination and application of ‘the effect’ of certain key definitions when applied in practice. This is contained in Volume 3 and represents a completely new creation within the purview of providing legal definitions.
The hallmark of Sasegbon’s Judicial Dictionary of Nigerian Law is Volume 7, which comprises of definitions of terms and phrases of Nigerian jurisprudence from the mind of the learned silk, Deji Sasegbon, SAN, himself. There are no cases or statutory references in this volume. Rather, it complements Volumes 1-6 with simple and lucid definitions, which give further understanding to the more formal language of the other volumes. Volume 7 also contains illustrations of the actual application of the definitions to local real-life situations. Its contents are straightforward, easily comprehensible, and they give additional clarification to the legal and judicial definitions contained in the earlier Volumes (1-6).
An additional and equally unique feature of this publication is the provision of a Comprehensive Index, not just of the words and phrases that are defined therein, but also the Case Law and Statutes referred to throughout the publication. Also, of great value is the cross-referencing, particularly between Volumes 1-6 and Volume 7.
Viewed critically, ‘Sasegbon’s Judicial Dictionary of Nigerian Law’, along with its earlier sister publication, Sasegbon’s Laws of Nigeria (also referred to as the Encyclopedia of Nigerian Law), arguably, form the most comprehensive research tool available to lawyers and legal scholars in Nigeria today.