Lawyer fault ‘imposition’ of high court seals for magistrates

A human rights activist, Hameed Ajibola Jimoh, has challenged what he called ‘imposition’ of high court seals on documents filed at magistrate and district courts in the FCT.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello, on January 9, the lawyer alleged that the high court seal which was initially meant to be affixed to documents filed at the FCT High Court has now been wrongly mandated to be applicable to all documents filed at magistrate and district courts across the FCT.

“I am aware that since the 1st day of July, 2019, it had become mandatory on all counsel and litigants to obtain (upon the payment of the sum of N200 only, seal of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja and affix same on all court documents filed in the registry of the court. I have however observed that inasmuch as this Rule of the Court is only supposed to be applicable to the High Court (simply), this Rule has been taken beyond prescription and practice and has been wrongly applied and imposed on all magistrate and district courts across the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja despite no Rule/Law invalidating or mandating such imposition or application,” he wrote in the letter.

He therefore appealed to the CJ for “a reversal of such misapplication and unlawful imposition of such rule on those inferior/lower courts (despite no Rules/Law permitting same).”

He said unless and until such rule/law for affixing such seal for the magistrate/district courts was made, “the current imposition of the seal of the High Court of FCT’s seal on magistrate/district courts as a rule of general application is wrong, unlawful, invalid, without any effect, unconstitutional, unreasonable, unjustifiable in a democratic civil society, null and void.”

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