Lagos State judiciary court where high profile cases are conducted out of the glare of the media and public have been discovered. Trials in the court are conducted in secrecy as if in a secret cult.
The court, an Ikeja Customary Court, yesterday insisted on not allowing members of the press into the courtroom to cover proceedings. The court also barred public from witnessing proceedings.
This is in spite of Section 22 of the 1999 constitution as amended which provides that the press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media ‘shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold a responsibility and accountability of the government to the people,
Members of the press who covers court proceedings within the Ikeja High Court were turned back from entering the court and reporting the proceedings by the court registrar, one Mr Yomi, to the President of the court, Mrs Oladele
The registrar bluntly told journalists that he would forcefully order them out of the courtroom noting that the order is from the Judicial Service Commission.
“We do not allow journalists into the court room to report proceedings due to the type of high profile cases and the calibre of people that comes to this particular court. The order is from above not to allow journalists cover proceedings from this court,” the registrar said.
Yomi insisted that if any journalist comes into this court to report proceedings, he will walk them out.
“I have walked journalists out of the court before with the backing of the President of the court. Ikeja Customary Court is the number one court in Lagos State because of the calibre of people and cases that is being filed. You can never hear any news on marriage dissolution emanating from this particular court,” the registrar added.
It is recalled that the courtroom is an open place or assembly where members of the public can walk into to get information concerning the judicial process as well as watch proceedings.