The Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, has directed that any lawyer who appears in the High Court, Abia State without his copy of the High Court Rules shall not be granted audience.
This directive was made known through a notice made available to TheNigeriaLawyer signed by the Chief Registrar of the Court, V.C. Okey-Nwokeukwu and endorsed by the Chief Judge to other Hon. Judges of the Court.
This is a reaction to the controversy surrounding the existence and significance of the Abia High Court (Practice and Procedure)Rules, 2021.
TheNigerialawyer reported that there was an earlier notice of the NBA Aba Branch to boycott appearance before Hon. Justice C.U Okoroafor on the basis that the learned justice failed to recognize the existence and acknowledge the use of the Abia State High Court (Practice and Procedure) Rules, 2021, despite the fact that the Rules of court was significant to proceedings of court.
It would seem that directive of the Chief Judge of Abia State concerning the Rules of the Court is confirmation of the existence and importance of the Rules to the proceedings of the High Court.
According to the notice, it had come to the notice of the court that lawyers had refused to purchase the new high court rules while some went on to photocopy the Rules for use in court and this was unacceptable to the Court. And as such the Chief Judge directed that no lawyer without his copy of the rules of Court shall be granted audience before any of the Justices of the court. The notice read in part thus:
“It has come to our knowledge that lawyers have refused to purchase the new High Court Rules, while some photocopied the Rules for use in court.
“The Hon. Chief Judge directs that as from the date of this letter this letter, any lawyer that appears in our High Court without his copy of the High Court Rules shall not be granted audience”.
The Chief Registrar went on to urge the leadership of the Umuahia Branch to bring the contents of the letter to the knowledge of their members as the Justices of the High Court was well informed to ensure the enforcement of the directive. According to the registrar: “please bring the contents of this letter to the knowledge of your members. This letter is being endorsed to all our Hon. Judges for their information and enforcement”.
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