Kano Lawyer Writes Petition against Magistrate over ‘Abusive’ Conduct in Open Court
A Kano-based legal practitioner, Ibrahim Abdullahi, has written a petition against a Chief Magistrate 1 of the Chief Magistrate’s Court No 4, Gidan Murtala in the state, complaining about her “conduct during proceedings of 23rd December, 2020…”
The petition, which was addressed to the Chief Registrar, Kano State High Court of Justice and copied to the Chief Judge of the state, the state Judicial Service Commission, the National Judicial Service Commission, the state branch of the National Magistrates Association, the Kano and Ungogo branches of the Nigerian Bar Association and the president of the NBA, complained about the Magistrate’s reference to the lawyer’s request before her as “Nonsense.”
A Source from the state ministry of justice who claimed to have seen a copy of the petition told Nigerian Sketch that Ibrahim Abdullahi (aka Chedi), who is the legal adviser to the Kano branch of the NBA, had appeared before the Magistrate in the case of COP V Dambaba Usman & 3 Ors on the 23rd of December, 2020, and that before she arrived, the prosecutor in the matter told him that the nominal complainant and the defendants had reached a kind of agreement, consequent upon which the defendants have agreed to confess to have committed the offence for which they were standing trial.
According to Ibrahim, the prosecutor told him that the defendants have terminated the services of their lawyers (i.e. the petitioner and another lawyer) in the matter.
Ibrahim said he informed the prosecutor that even though he was happy that the litigants have reached an agreement, he nevertheless had to apply for an adjournment so as to brief the counsel he was holding the brief for, especially that he was just told about the new development.
He said when the Magistrate sat, he made an application for adjournment, explaining to her that the lawyer he was holding brief for was not aware of the new development and that he may have pending issues to settle with his clients (the defendants).
According to him in his petition, rather than grant or deny his application, the Magistrate said “I will not write this nonsense. This is nonsense.”
He said she kept saying to him “nonsense” even after he had drawn her attention to the “implication of using the word.”
He also said his request to the court to record his application and the court response provoked the remarks “I have recorded nonsense” before she overrule his application “and proceeded in the case between the Accused persons and the Prosecutor.”
Ibrahim narrated that after the proceedings, he applied for “record of proceedings of 23rd day of December, 2020, but the judge replied in a harsh manner, that ‘as far as I am concerned (referring to herself), you are not a Counsel in this matter, get out of my Court..”
Nigerian Sketch was told that the lawyer attached a verifying affidavit to support in petition, and was demanding for “disciplinary action against her which shall include a written apology letter, to be published in Daily Trust Newspaper and the apology letter, to be pasted at all Kano State High Court’s Notice Board, include (sic) all the Kano State Magistrate Courts’ complexes.”
Both the Magistrate and the petitioner could not be reached for their comment as their phone numbers remained shut off as of the time this story was written and published.