HC Deb 23 February 1921 vol 138 cc979-80W
Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether natives in Nigeria on trial for their lives may only employ counsel to defend them if and when they obtain the permission of the Governor; and whether he will consider advising the Nigerian Government that this prohibition should be withdrawn or modified at an early date?

Lieut.-Colonel AMERY

The hon. and gallant Member is under a misapprehension. Counsel are not allowed on either side in the Native Courts or in the Provincial Courts in the Protectorate; their practice is confined to the Supreme Court. For the grounds for this policy, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to paragraphs 44 to 54, and Appendices III and IV of Sir F. Lugard's Report, which was laid before Parliament as Cmd. 468. The existing system is working well, and it is not intended to alter it.

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