Court orders lawyer, clients to frog-jump
IT was a spectacle to behold yesterday as an Osogbo Chief Magistrate’s Court ordered a lawyer and his clients to a five-minute frog-jump for showing disrespect to the court.
The victim, Nnajite Okobie (counsel), incurred the wrath of Chief Magistrate Adewumi Makanjuola for ethical misconduct bordering on engaging his clients in a loud discussion while the court was in session.
Makanjuola, who was hearing a case on the alleged rape of an 11-year-old primary school girl, was apparently disturbed by noise from Okobie during a conversation with two people suspected to be his clients in the court premises.
The magistrate had earlier sent the court orderly to warn the lawyer from making a noise in the court but he failed to heed the order.
Apparently irked by the action of Okobie and his two clients, Makanjuola ordered the court orderly to invite the trio before him.
Thereafter, he gave the offenders an option to choose between being docked for contempt of court or observe a five-minute frog-jump as punishment.
Shockingly, Okobie and his clients chose to frog-jump and Makanjuola directed the court orderly to enforce the sanction on them.
The incident attracted the attention of judicial workers and other persons in the area. While some were full of pity for Okobie, others made a mockery of him for the duration the punishment lasted.
After they had observed the punishment, the lawyer led his clients before Makanjuola to inform him that they were through. The chief magistrate subsequently warned them to desist from such unruly behaviour in court.
He told Okobie that the fact that he was a lawyer did not exclude him from obeying simple court procedure.
“Even if the court is not sitting, you should have respect for the court and for the state government, not to talk of when the court session is in progress. Mr. Okobie, sorry for treating you like a novice,” Makanjuola told the lawyer.
Author of this article: From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo