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Don’t take litigants’ husbands, CJ tells Customary court Judges

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The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, on Tuesday swore in five presidents and 16 members to the bench of the states Customary Court.

At the swearing-in ceremony, which took place on the premises of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, the Chief Judge advised the new Customary Court presidents and members to deal with cases that would come before them, especially family disputes, with patience and the fear of God.

Justice Alogba, who said there had been complaints of Customary Court presidents and members taking wives or husbands of litigants before them, called on the newly-sworn in officers not to allow themselves to be caught in such a web.

He said, “When you are dealing with family matters, inheritance matters, you must exercise patience and the fear of God. These are the areas where we usually have complaints. We used to get complaints about members and presidents taking over litigants’ wives but I have implicit trust in you. You are all looking very handsome but please, let that handsomeness tell in your work, not in other people’s wives.

“And those of you ladies too, we used to hear of ladies taking litigants husbands too. And it is a fact. My fear about you too is not less than that I have about the male presidents; but I pray that that beauty will be exhibited more in the judgments that you write.”

Justice Alogba stressed that a “misdirected application of the exercise of your powers in any family matter might mean a dislocation of an entire generation.”

In her own remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission, Mrs Bukola Salami, said the new Customary Court presidents and members were subject to the commission’s disciplinary action in events of proven allegations of misconduct.

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