‘Contempt’: Court issues final warning to immigration lawyer over Odili’s seized passport

A federal high court in Abuja has issued a “final warning” to Jimoh Adamu, lawyer representing the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), over his refusal to appear in court.

Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, had on December 21, frowned at the continuous absence of the NIS in court over its refusal to comply with an order directing the release of the travel documents belonging to Peter Odili, former Rivers governor.

While Ekwo awarded a N2 million fine in favour of Odili, he ordered the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) to take disciplinary action against Adamu for his “unprofessional conduct” in the handling of the case.

He also directed the lawyer to appear before the court on the next adjourned date to show cause why further action should not be taken against him.

However, at the court session on Friday, the lawyer was nowhere in sight.

Addressing the court, Ifedayo Adedipe, Odili’s counsel, lamented the refusal of the NIS to deposit his client’s passport in court as ordered.

He prayed the court to penalise the NIS lawyer for contempt, stating that Adamu had failed to attend court proceedings despite being put on notice.

At some point during the proceedings, one Babagana Abba, a counsel who claimed to be a colleague of Adamu, apologised to the court for the senior lawyer’s absence, saying the latter was unwell and would return to the court later.

Although appearing unsatisfied with the excuse, the judge said he would give the lawyer another opportunity in the interest of fair hearing.

“This honourable court knows what to do and how to do it but in the interest of fair hearing, I am giving him another chance,” Ekwo said.

“Let him deny himself fair hearing, then, the court will take necessary steps.”

The judge then fixed February 7 for the lawyer to appear in court to defend himself.

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