Ondo judge orders witness to kneel in the sun for failing to speak audibly
Peter Ikujuni, judge of a high court sitting in Ondo town, the state capital, on Monday, ordered a witness to kneel outside the courtroom for failing to speak audibly while giving his testimony.
A lawyer who pleaded anonymity described the witness as “an elderly man”.
According to the lawyer, while the witness was testifying from the dock, the judge complained about straining his ears to hear him (the witness).
“The man was a witness giving evidence before his lordship and his lordship said he wasn’t speaking up so he could hear him clearly,” the lawyer said.
“He (judge) warned him twice.
“His lawyer was even telling the court that the man could be afraid of the wigs and gowns he was seeing.
“He (witness) seemed shy and afraid of court.
“The court warned him twice and charged him to speak as a man that he is.
“After the second warning, the judge told him that he would send him outside to kneel in the sun if he said anything and he had to strain his ears to hear.”
Afterwards, the judge ordered the witness to go outside and kneel in the sun while his police orderly and court clerk were ordered to stand with the witness to ensure compliance.
Asked if the witness was hostile or in contempt of court, the source said: “The man didn’t insult the court.”
The witness was later allowed back into the court after much plea from his lawyer.