5 December 2012

Nigeria: Keyamo Petitions CJN Over Lawyer's Detention

Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, to call to order, the Chief Judge of Zamfara State, Justice Kulu Aliyu, for detaining a lawyer over the absence of his client in court.

Keyamo described the judge's order as an untenable action in judicial system and asked the CJN to order the immediate release of the lawyer.

He said he received a distress call from one Ibrahim Abdullahi Jibril, who stated that Justice Aliyu had ordered that he be remanded in prison custody because his client, an accused on trial before the judge failed to appear in court.

While condemning the decision of the Chief Judge, Keyamo stated that Jibril is a defence counsel in a criminal charge before Justice Aliyu and he has been representing the accused person in his capacity as a counsel.

He said a criminal summons was issued and served on Jibril to appear before the judge today (Tuesday, December 4, 2012) simply because his client (the accused person) jumped bail at the last adjourned date.

According to Keyamo, upon getting to court, Justice Aliyu ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody, pending when the accused person is produced.

He added that the lawyer was not one of the sureties to the accused persons when he was granted bail.

"He was able to make the distress call to us just before he was taken away to Gusau prisons in Zamfara State.

"It should, however, be recalled that sometime this year it was reported that the same Justice Kulu Aliyu summoned one Mallam Aliyu Mohammed Madachi, a Sharia High Court Judge, to appear before her over a ruling he delivered in the course of acting in his judicial capacity.

"We cannot fathom or comprehend the rationale behind the actions or decisions mentioned above, as same are totally untenable in our judicial system. We cannot imagine why a lawyer or a judge should be punished or cowed for discharging his professional duties," he said.

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