Lawyers under the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Zaria, Kaduna State, have lamented increasing high handedness of lower court judges, saying it negatively affects the speedy dispensation of justice. This is as the bench also raised concerns over what it described as lack of respect from the bar, frivolous applications, personalization of cases and unnecessary petitions against judges.
At the Bar and Bench Forum organised by the branch at Faculty of Law, ABU Zaria, the branch Chairman of the NBA in Zaria, Mr Hussaini Abdu, had described as unethical, a situation where judges detain lawyers in the process of defending a client.
Abdu noted that every lawyer has a duty to the court so also the court has a duty to lawyers, adding that both members of the Bar and the Bench have constitutional obligations to discharge.
“The paramount effect of a judicial proceeding is to achieve justice; a situation where a lawyer who is representing a client is detained by a judge is a flaw in the system,” he stated.
The NBA further presented seven issues of concern between the bar and the bench as a source of concern which hinged on mutual respect between the bar and bench, stringent bail conditions and failure of the lower courts to respect the directives of the superior courts among others.
However, the bench raised similar concerns with a Chief Magistrate in Zaria, Abubakar Lamido, raising concerns over what he described as “unnecessary petition of judges to higher authorities by lawyers.
He also accused lawyers of disrespect and “unnecessary adjournment of cases to frustrate court proceedings.”
However, the forum had resolved that judges should desist from harassing and intimidating lawyers and desist from putting stringent conditions on bail as bail was a conditional right of the defendants, Daily Trust gathered.
The Chairman of the NBA also said the Forum had also resolved to revive the long existing mutual respect between the bar and bench and advised lawyers to desist from filing frivolous applications and ex-parte applications.
Earlier, Justice Kabir Dabo of the High Court, Zaria who was also the chairman of the occasion, said the event was aimed at bringing together the judges of the High Court, Magistrates, Shariah and Customary Court Judges as well as practicing lawyers to bridge their gap for a harmonious working relationship.