Evans' Lawyer Fined 20,000 Naira For Unprofessional Conduct
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday fined counsel to billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, aka Evans, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, 20,000 Naira.
Justice Abdulazeez Anka, who gave the ruling, however, warned Evan’s lawyer to desist from “practices unbecoming of a legal practitioner.”
The judge the order while adjourning a fundamental human rights suit filed on behalf of Evans by Ogungbeje over alleged illegal detention.
Joined as respondents in the suit are: The Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Police Command, the State Police Commissioner and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Evans had sought a court’s order directing the respondents to immediately charge him to court in accordance with constitutional provisions, if there existed any case against him.
In the alternative, he had sought an order, compelling the respondents to immediately release him unconditionally in the absence of any charge.
The case which was scheduled for hearing on Thursday, could not proceed as Ogungbeje, was absent in court.
When the case was called, a litigation officer from Ogungbeje’s law firm, Mr Stephen Abunike, told the court that his principal was “indisposed” and had written a letter seeking an adjournment.
Abunike added that he had attempted to serve a copy of the letter on the Police counsel in court, but he declined service.
In response, counsel to the Police, Mr Emmanuel Eze, told the court that he had only sighted the letter in court, and noted that the letter was signed by one Saheed Sanni, a lawyer in Ogungbeje’s law firm.
Eze urged the court to reject the excuse and consider same as an affront to the court, adding that it showed that the law firm was not serious.
He urged the court to award a punitive cost of 100,000 Naira against the applicant and his counsel.
In a short ruling, Justice Anka, awarded a punitive cost of 20,000 Naira against Ogungbeje for what he described as unprofessional conduct.