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Lawyers boycott Benin court over harassment by judge

Olalekan Awojodu

Lawyers under the aegis of The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch has threatened a boycott of High Court 6, in Benin, over what it described as harassment and intimidation of its members by the presiding judge.

The body has therefore given an order to that effect via a statement.

In a statement signed by the association’s chairman and secretary, Pius Oiwoh and Andrew Lawani respectively, the body insisted that its decision to boycott the court was a unanimous one, with regard to the “incessant and unabating harassment, intimidation, outright insults and deliberate embarrassment to counsels” appearing before the judge.

The decision according to the statement was reached at an August meeting of the Lion Bar in Benin which was attended by Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), benchers, elders, leaders and members of the bar.

The statement alleged that the judge harassed, insulted and intimidated SANS and other very senior members of the bar in the presence of their clients and would-be clients.

“Any member who flouts this directive under any guise shall be liable to be blacklisted at the branch and made to face its disciplinary committee.“

Consequently, all members of the association are directed to embark on a total boycott of the court and are not permitted to carry out any business in the said court till a subsequent review of this directive by the general meeting,” the statement added

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