The Boycott of Courts by Lawyers in Akwa Ibom State Continues -NBA Chairman

As Activities at the Courts Grounded

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Eno-Obong Akpan Esq

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Uyo branch, Eno-Obong Akpan Esq, has commended members of the NBA in the four branches of the Bar in Akwa Ibom State for their total boycott of Courts in all the Judicial Divisions in the state in compliance to the boycott ordered by the NBA. Speaking with our Correspondent in a telephone conversation, the chairman said that the boycott would continue indefinitely, until something is done about the way the TSA policy is implemented as it concerns filing fees and other court processes.

The Chairman noted that compliance remains mandatory for all the members of the Bar in Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Eket and Oron branches of the NBA, until the concerned authorities take appropriate decision on the contentious issue.

“Our members have so far shown great understanding of the situation. I commend them for remaining steadfast and committed to our stand to end this avoidable hardship on lawyers, litigants and legal practice in Akwa Ibom State. Any lawyer practicing in the state will agree that something must be done to change the status quo in the method of payment of filing fees. We have a unique way of doing things in the courts, sometimes it can be so frustrating to have a matter struck off due to no fault of the lawyer or the litigant. I urge our members to continue to show faith in the leadership of the NBA in the state to resolve this matter once and for all”, Eno-Obong Akpan told this paper.

Meanwhile, our Correspondent who visited the courts last week reports that there was total compliance by lawyers to the Boycott order. The NBA in Ikot Ekpene, our Correspondent gathered, raised a task force to ensure compliance. The courts in other locations such as Ibiono Ibom, Itu, Okobo, Abak, Oron, were deserted as lawyers stayed away.

In Uyo, there were pockets of court sittings, especially at the Magistrate court premises at FULGA street on the first day of the boycott, but from the second day, there was full compliance.

The four branches of the NBA in Akwa Ibom State had declared a court boycott to press home their demand for a review in the way the TSA policy of government is implemented in the payment of filing fees and other court processes, which they said has constituted a serious snag in legal practice and access to justice in the state.

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