11 January 2013

Nigeria: Niger - Lawyers Proceed On Indefinite Court Boycott Monday

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Minna branch, has resolved to embark on an indefinite boycott of all courts in the state with effect from Monday, January 14, to protest the refusal of the state judicial service commission to investigate several petitions filed by their members against judges and magistrates since 2008.

In a letter dated January 7 and addressed to all their members, the NBA Minna branch chairman, Mr Jonathan G.Taidi, directed the lawyers to comply with their resolution of January 4 to boycott all courts in the state with effect from Monday.

Specificaly, the lawyers called on the state chief judge, Justice Jibrin Ndatsu Ndajiwo, who they alleged to have been the chief judge of the state for over 20 years, to proceed on pre-retirement leave since he had attained mandatory retirement age.

The Bar members also held that they had since November 9, 2012, embarked on indefinite boycott of Magistrate Court 2 in Bida for the failure of the state judicial service commission to investigate or remove Magistrate Hauwa Ladidi Isah.

Magistrate Isah, they said, is fond of insulting lawyers appearing before her, and for locking up the court to go for Hajj thereby leaving some suspects trapped in detention indefinitely. The lawyers also want the commission to reverse recent appointment of magistrate/sharia judges without input from NBA.

But the State government said that it had commenced consultations over the above demands, with the aim of resolving them.

State attorney-general, Alhaji Bawa Wuse, told LEADERSHIP that these are age-old matters, which cannot be resolved overnight.

He stated that when he heard of the lawyers' plan, hetried to reach the Bar chairman but he had gone to Abuja and his phones were switched-off.

"We shall meet with the Bar executive tomorrow or Saturday to ensure we talk and resolved some of the matters in dispute," he said.

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