NBA Benin Branch begins Boycott of Edo High Court 6
Citing alleged high-handedness on the part of Justice Courage Ogbebor, lawyers in the Benin-city, Edo State, branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday began a boycott of High Court 6 presided over by the Justice.
It was alleged that there have been complaints from both senior and junior lawyers over activities of the Justice, including a situation where she was said to have delayed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and instructed him to wait till the end of the sitting, “which is against the normal practice.”
According to one of the legal practitioners (name withheld), “It is against our practice as once a SAN is in the court, no matter how many, his or her matter is attended to first, but the Justice kept the SAN till the end of her sitting.”
Moreover, a statement jointly issued yesterday and signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Benin-city branch of the NBA, Pius Oiwoh and Andrew Lawani respectively, the lawyers said: “At the monthly meeting of the Lion Bar held on August 1, 2021, in Benin-city and attended by SANs, Benchers, elders and leaders of the bar, the general house, after reviewing the various complaints of the lawyers (the second such review within a period of two months by the general house) with regards to the incessant and un-abating harassment, intimidation, outright insults and deliberate embarrassment to counsel appearing before her lordship, including SANs and very senior members of the bar, in the presence of clients and would-be clients, resolved unanimously to immediately and totally commence an indefinite boycott of High Court 6, High Court of Justice, Benin-city, which is presided by the Hon. Justice Courage Ogbebor.
“Consequently, all members of the Benin-city Bar are by this notice directed to embark on a total boycott of the said court, and are not permitted to carry out any business in the said court till a subsequent review of this directive by the general meeting.”
The statement further said: “Take notice that any member who flouts this directive under any guise shall be liable to be blacklisted at the branch and made to face its disciplinary committee.”
Efforts to reach the Registrar of the state High Court, Benson Osawaru, were unsuccessful, as he did not answer repeated phone calls or reply text message sent to him as at the time of filing this report.
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