A Kogi High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe on Friday indicted a legal practitioner, Mr Adetunji Oso, for unethical and unprofessional conduct during court proceedings.
NAN reports that Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye, inflicted Oso, while delivering judgment in the suit filed by the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah and Chief Registrar of the High Court, Yahaya Adamu against Gov. Yahaya Bello, Kogi House of Assembly and three others.
Omolaye-Ajileye held that Oso, from the chambers of Chief A.A. Adeniyi & Co. and counsel to governor Bello in the case, behaved in an unprofessional manner.
”The gravity of the misbehaviour of Oso, in the face of the court, made it expedient that the matter should not only be put on record for future references but attract the attention of the leadership of the Bar and the Bench.
”There is need for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and the Body of Benchers to take appropriate action in order to preserve the integrity of the court system.
The Jurist stated, “the genesis of the unfortunate incident was an oral application on Friday, June 14, in which Mr Oso informed me of a pending application for a stay of proceedings in this case, pending before the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
“I said there was no such application made before this court and he strenuously argued that I could no longer proceed with this case.
“Mr Oso argued that because he had informed the court of the pending application, the court must not proceed with the case slated for definite hearing on that day.
“The response of the opposing counsel, A. M. Aliyu (SAN), was taken and a ruling on the point rendered, in which I overruled Mr Oso on that point and directed that the case should proceed to hearing.
“Upon being over-ruled, Mr Oso announced to the court that he was recusing himself from the case and in a most defiant, disrespectful and impudent manner, unbecoming of a Legal Practitioner, he walked out on the court.
“He thereby eviscerates the dignity and integrity of this court in the eyes of the public. The action of Mr Oso is most unprofessional and condemnable. It is unequivocally, a breach of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC).
“As an integral participant in the administration of justice, I suppose, a lawyer’s paramount duty is to the court and the Rule of Law.
“He must avoid doing anything that may have the effect of diminishing court’s authority or ridiculing the aura of respectability it commands and enjoys”, he said.
Justice Omolaye-Ajileye explained that, as a Judge, he was duty-bound to enforce high standards of conduct of legal practitioners that appeared before him.
Accordingly, he directed the Registrar of the court to make copies of the judgment and the proceedings of June 14, available to the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), chairman Body of Benchers and the President, NBA for their notification.