Honourable Justice Onyekachi Otisi has said that it is very wrong for a judge to talk down on junior lawyers.
She stated this during a panel session with the topic, ” THE JUDGE’S RIGHT OF REPLY, MAXIMIZING THE SYNERGY BETWEEN THE BAR & THE BENCH”.
According to her, the Bar-Bench Forum is very important. She noted that the High Court has that but the Appellate doesn’t.
She also said that temperate language is very important and part of our ethics and so should be upheld.
A lawyer in attendance stated that we are peculiar country and as such we need to review some things such as the right to issue a statement, the right to practice after retirement, and the right to reply.
He believes that we need to find solutions peculiar to our clime, solutions that best fit our situation here.
The chairman of the session, O.C.J. Okocha, SAN, MFR, Past President of the NBA, said that Judges are cautioned not to join issues especially in the media and not to respond to issues against them.
Mia Essien, SAN then asked: What do you do when you are before an abusive judge?
Speaking, Folashade Alli, said that there is need for more bar and bench forums. He added that judges need to be more courteous, and we need to review the way we appoint our judges.
Hon. Justice Peter, on the other hand said that respect is reciprocal. She advised lawyers to make a report to the Chief Judge so that the said Judge can be called to order regarding that issue.
The Chief Judge of Ekiti State raised the issue that senior counsels do not treat most judges with respect. Maybe because they have more money than judges.
Responding, Ken Mozia, SAN, said that it’s not just about money, that he is aware most SANs are interested in the Appellate
Osy of Abuja branch, asked why are there no sanctions against lawyers and judges who deliberately misinterpreted certain aspects of the law.
The Chairman, Okocha, SAN responded by saying, that you cannot sanction a lawyer for misinterpretation because he did that based on his understanding.
Another lawyer from Abuja branch was curious to know in what way the bar can intervene to ensure a formal meeting point between the bar and bench – to harmonize views and come up with communique for the public.
Dele Oye, on the other hand, said that the bar has to find the best ways to engage Chief Judges, adding that this section should constitute a committee to engage the judiciary.
This session was chaired by O.C.J. Okocha SAN, MFR, Past President of the NBA, while the speakers include l Ken Mozia SAN, Dele Oye, Hon. Justice Peter Oyin Affen, Hon. Justice Chinedu Otisi, and Folashade Alli.