Commercial Law

Judges Watila’s death: Lagos court reinforces covid-19 rules, activities stalled at Abuja court

By Michael Ojo (Lagos), and Olalekan Awojodu(Abuja)

Health precautions have been reinforced at the Federal High Court in Lagos following news of the death of a judge of the court’s Abeokuta Division, Justice Ibrahim Watilat. He wa

Our correspondent learnt that Justice Ibrahim Watilat, 58, died of an undisclosed ailment.

He was said to have passed on around 4am on Monday, January 25, 2021, in an Abuja hospital.

Last Tuesday, the judge convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters to six months and four months imprisonment respectively.

He found the duo guilty of criminal impersonation filed separately against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan Zonal Office.

Born on May 12, 1963 in Borno State, the late Watilat was appointed as a Federal High Court judge on December 2, 2015.

Following the news, COVID-19 protocols including social distancing and wearing of nose masks were rigidly enforced by judges, judiciary staff and security officials on the court’s premises and in courtrooms.

Entry into the court premises was also restricted, with parties asked to wait outside until their matters were called.

Meanwhle, paralyzed activities and stalled proceedings at the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja.

It was he Justice Watila who on Dec. 4, 2020 in a judgment, held that provision of legal services are essential services.

Thegavel.com.ng learnt that the news of Watila’s death became public knowledge early in the morning as court workers, lawyers and litigants came in for the day’s business.

As a way of honoring their departed colleague over the unfortunate incidence, many of the judges did not sit.

One of the scheduled cases affected by the development on Monday was the trial of a former Minister in the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government, Tanimu Turaki.

Others are the case involving the convener of #RevolutionNow protest Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, before, the trial of Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairperson, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), among other pending cases.

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