3rd June, 2010
Attempt by a Lagos-based lawyer, Emeribe Melitus, to prevent journalists from covering the proceedings of a divorce petition at the Ojo Grade â€˜Aâ€™ Customary Court, Olojo Drive, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria has been rejected by the court.
The lawyer, representing Mr. Igwenagu Ede, who filed a petition to divorce his wife for always returning home late had asked the court to send out journalists from the court in order to prevent them from reporting the matter.
He told the court that his client had earlier suffered false reports from journalists which he said damaged his clientâ€™s reputation and that of his children.
â€œThe presence of journalists in this court was the reason my client did not want to supply answers to some of the questions he was asked by counsel to the respondent during the cross-examination,â€ he stated.
In his response, the court president, Alhaji T.A. Said, dismissed his request, stating that the court has no jurisdiction to prevent journalists from reporting any case brought before an open court, stressing that they can only be advised to avoid being sensational in their reports.
Ede, who lives at 9B, Odukoya Crescent, Akesan, Iyana Iba, an outskirts of Lagos, had pleaded with the court to dissolve his marriage to Ngosi Ede, the mother of his three children, due to irreconciliable differences.
The case has been adjourned till 29 June, 2010 to allow the respondent who did not appear in court to respond to the allegations levelled against her.