Stop Sensationalising Court Proceedings, Lagos CJ Urges Journalists
The Chief Judge Lagos State, Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba, has urged that proper record of proceedings and judgement on cases be first obtained and read, before making remarks on the Bench.
Alogba made the statement during a courtesy visit by members of the Judicial Editors Forum of Nigeria, also comprising of Nigerian Bar Association Lawyers in the Media Forum.
The visit was held at the Conference room of the Ikeja High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday.
Responding to questions from the forum as it relates to judgement of courts, the CJ urged members of the public to exercise caution while commenting on court judgements and proceedings.
According to him, a person is only qualified to comment on a court judgement when the entire judgement has been seen and read.
Referring to a recent social media report on a case handled by two Judges of the Lagos Division, he described both the reports and commentaries as unverified.
“Recently, in the social media there was a case handled by two Judges, and there were utterances on social media that his colleague must have taken a bribe.
“When I heard of the development, I was not disturbed because I know the calibre of my Judges.
“But, lo and behold, when I called the two Judges and I saw the record of proceedings, you could see the mischief by the reports,” he said.
“Court proceedings are public records; so where in doubt about such a case, a journalist can apply for the CTC of the proceedings, and if in an emergency situation, he can attach an affidavit of urgency.
Also present at the courtesy visit were Hon. Justices, Oyekan- Abdullahi, Oshodi, Ipaye and Coker.
Alogba CJ further said that the Lagos Judiciary is also considering the plight of physically challenged Lawyers and litigants, who come to court.
He also spoke at length on the mode of appointment of the new Judges in Lagos State, and why the National Judicial Council commended the Judiciary on the calibre of those appointed.