My Grouse: The New Legal Year; My First Day in Court


Officially, court vacation ended on 12th September, 2017 in Lagos High Court. By arithmetic calculation, today is the third day into the new legal year. Opinions have been divided on whether or not the annual vacation is too long, that is neither here nor there. My only conviction is that the goal of every lawyer is or should be to serve the cause of justice.

For those of us who are in core litigation and love the echoes from the court rooms, the joy of resuming to court can only be equated to the pleasure from the continuous orgasm resulting from a very personate intercourse. Yes ke! My very good friend would say; “I leave, eat and drink courtroom”. However, the yard people always find a way to serve as kill joy to some of us in this voyage. They have the rudiments handy and play it like chess.

Otherwise, how do you explain people giving excuse and taking adjournments on the very first day of resumption from an 8 week break! I cringe! I had quietly prayed in faith severally that the experience of the ‘usual’ should not be our portion this new legal year, but it appears that this my prayer was refused faa!

Today, my very first time in court in the new legal year, I asked myself how this prayer I made with passion did not get answered. I was reassuring myself that frustration is too early in the year. What happened? I will tell you!

 My matter was coming up for definite hearing. I got to court, very fresh, smiling from ear to ear, missing the courtroom and arranging my head to begin my normal “welcome to the new legal year” to my very distinguished members of the enthusiastic courtroom devotees. The registrar killed the joy, walahi! She beckoned, “there is a letter of adjournment written by lawyer on the other side o”. I was too weak to collect the letter from the Registrar. Have you ever met a man with erectile dysfunction? Look for one and ask him how he feels when his machine gun refuses to shoot at crucial times. Whatever explanation he gives, would give you a faint idea of how I felt. I was double sure that our matter would go on considering the nature of the case and all that. The only worry I had was whether My Lord would have resumed. Being informed that she would sit cleared every doubt or so it seemed until I got the news of “letter of adjournment”!

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This judge is one of those few that one cannot but have so much admiration for. She is hardworking, she is diligent, she is consistent, what more? She knows the law! When my matter was called, expectedly, I heard the inevitable, “in the interest of justice I would adjourn the matter to a further date. “I make no order as to cost; it is too early in the year” “case adjourned to 22nd November, 2017”, the court ruled. I carried my dejected self out of the court feeling like a defeated footballer.

Just while I was stepping out of court onto the stairways, this lawyer who obviously had a matter in the same court is late. She almost bumped into me. It was about 9:45am.  She was battling with both her gown and shoes which she was trying to wear simultaneously. While she was doing the obviously impossible, she managed to inquire from me “counsel, is the court sitting?” I responded “yes please”.  Then she spat it out like they are words full of wisdom: “what is even wrong with this woman (referring to the Judge)? Is she the only one that can work? She should carry her over sabi to America I beg”. My court bag dropped from my hand, I turned, gave her a look of passionate pity and continued my descent down the stairs.

What a way to start the new legal year!!!

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