Dokpesi Covid-19 Status, Court Sitting Not Safe – Counsel


I was at the Court of Appeal, Abuja on Monday, 27th April, 2020 for Dr. Raymond Dokpesi v. FRN. Last week (23/4/2020), the Court bailiffs had insisted on coming to my house to serve hearing notice and an Appellant’s application. I had to give them my house address reluctantly.

On that 27/4/2020 when I saw Dr. Raymond Dokpesi walk towards me while I stood with another counsel in the court I didn’t feel there was any danger in exchanging pleasantries with him, we had always done that in open court at the trial court and he looked very healthy.

By evening of the same 27/4/2020, only shortly after the proceedings in court I read in the news that Raymond Dokpesi Jnr was covid-19 positive. I tried to be unshaken. Then yesterday Dr. Raymond Dokpesi himself was reported to be covid-19 positive.

He and several of his people were at the Court of Appeal with many of us lawyers. His own lawyers must have had closer contacts with him while preparing for the proceeding of that day.

I believe it is not safe for courts to start sitting now. It is very risky. Please help us beg the Courts to stop sitting. – from Leke Atolagbe. – Chidi Cali

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