✓ In the case of IZUORA V. QUEEN 13 WACA 313 the Appellant who was a legal practitioner had concluded arguments in a divorce matter and he sought for permission to be absent on the day judgment was to be delivered. The permission was granted by the Judge but it was withdrawn when Counsel on the other side also sought to be excused. For reasons that are not quite clear, the Appellant failed to appear before the Court on the day judgment was to be delivered. The learned Trial Judge convicted him and sentenced him for contempt of Court. In allowing his appeal and setting aside the conviction and sentence, the Court decided that not every act of discourtesy or breach of Counsel’s duty to clients would amount to contempt capable of being summarily punished, without much ado or brevi manu.
✓ In AGBACHOM V. THE STATE (1970) 1 ALL NLR 71 AT 80, the learned Trial Judge punished for contempt a party to an action before him and who had deposed to a fact in an affidavit in support of an application seeking for the transfer of the matter to another Judge. That paragraph of the affidavit stated that the learned Judge had accepted a part payment of a debt which was owed to him when he was a legal practitioner by one of the parties in the instant matter. After referring to Lord Denning in R. V. METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER (1968) 2 ALL ER 319 at 320 Lord Goddard in SHAMDASANI V. KING EMPEROR (1945) AC 264 the Supreme emphasized that a Court must be careful in the exercise of its powers to punish for contempt. The Court emphasized that the power must be used sparingly and only in serious cases.
✓ In BOYO V. A.G. MID-WEST STATE (1971) 1 ALL NLR 343 AT 352, the Supreme Court per Ademola, CJN of 354 held that generally, contempt in the face of the Court cannot be dealt with efficiently except immediately by the very judicial officer in whose presence the offence was committed and where the offence should be dealt with summarily such a hearing must be conducted in accordance with the cardinal principle of fair process. It was also held that the case of criminal contempt capable of being punished summarily must be one in which the facts surrounding the alleged contempt are so notorious as to be virtually incontestable. This means that scrupulous care must be brought to bear on the facts and circumstances making sure that the case is very clear and beyond reasonable doubt.