Lawyer’s Absence Stalls Evans’ N300m Case Against IG





Hearing was stalled on Thursday in the N300m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by suspected kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans against the Inspector-General of Police.

The case, which was scheduled for hearing on Thursday morning before Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court in Lagos, could not proceed as Evans’ lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, was absent in court.

Ogungbeje had written to the court, seeking an adjournment on the grounds of ill health.
But Justice Anka awarded a punitive cost of N20,000 against him for what he described as unprofessional conduct.

The judge noted that while Ogungbeje wrote to the court, seeking an adjournment on the grounds of ill health, he did not send a copy of the letter to the counsel for the police.

According to the judge, it is unprofessional for a lawyer to communicate with a judge without carrying the other parties along.

The judge warned Ogungbeje to desist from such conduct.

In a short ruling, Justice Anka held,

“The court has noted the conduct of counsel, who wrote to the court without copying other parties. This is unprofessional. The court hereby warns the counsel to desist from such a conduct.”
He awarded a punitive cost of N20,000 Ogungbeje, holding that the money must be paid before the next adjourned date, otherwise, the lawyer would not be given audience.

When the case was called, an Executive Litigation Officer from Ogungbeje’s law firm, Mr. Stephen Abunike, who appeared in court, told the judge that his principal was indisposed and had written a letter seeking an adjournment.

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