Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded an American, Megan Chapman, in the court’s holding cell for operating her mobile phone during proceedings.
Chapman, who is the Co – Executive Director, Community Legal Support Initiative, was walked out of the court by the angry judge and directed to be escorted to the holding cell by the court’s support staff.
The American, who sat at the last row in the court, did not know that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was watching her operating her phone contrary to a notice placed on the door, warning people coming into the court to switch off their phone.
The Judge however ordered her release after 20minutes, following pleas from lawyers in court.
After the incident, Chapman spoke to journalists, saying: “I was replying an urgent message. It was not like I intentionally disrespected the court but I have learnt my lessons. I have apologised to the court for my action.’’
“The prison officers were kind to and treated me well in the short period I was there.”
Asked what brought her to court, Chapman said she came in respect of a fundamental rights suit her group had filed against the Ojora of Lagos, Chief Abdul Fatai Aromire.