I was before Justice Solebo at Ikeja High Court with MO. As usual he did his thing with the precision of a master. I got used to being wowed, so I just take in the air of pride alongside. It was one of those high profile criminal matters and we had argued a Preliminary Objection. Fortunately for us, our case was called early and before 11 am we were out of court. MO suggested breakfast somewhere around the GRA. I didn’t feel comfortable with that but I didn’t also have the courage to say no. It was a silent breakfast and we got it done and over with almost in a hurry. That over, we headed to the office. MO seemed to be in a very high spirit. He told me a whole lot about the office, some of the lawyers, his lifestyle as a single and searching successful lawyer. I felt uneasy despite all his effort but I was grateful all the same. Well, life cannot always be rough.
About two hours after we returned from court, MO summoned. He had this look that I was not sure of. “Cece, you are a very lucky girl you know. I have just been informed that henceforth, you would be in SAN’s Team.” Apparently he thought I understood what that meant as he continued. “So for me, it’s good luck, I won’t be selfish, just make sure you secure yourself a place in this place with this opportunity ok, I love your zeal to learn, keep it up, nah, double it”
I wanted to speak but his intercom interjected. After about seven repeated “yes sirs”, MO dropped the phone and motioned, “SAN needs you urgently, run along.” He got up and gave me a bear hug! I stood not knowing what to make out of the information and his sudden show of, well.. Emotion? I only smiled and did as he advised. I ran along!
It was Monday, everyone seemed busy, or so I felt because I met two female lawyers on my way up and none of them responded to my “good morning.” They both seemed engrossed. SAN’s office is at the penthouse. I only saw the road that led to the stairs prior to the moment. I also knew that about 5 lawyers come from that stairs for meetings. They are always the last to arrive and once they enter; SAN and if he was not in, meeting starts. My heart raced few times; what does it mean to be in SAN’s team? He said to secure a place here, what do I stand to gain? What new challenges await me? The door opened to my face preventing me from knocking. I came face to face with the most beautiful of them all. She has this intimidating gait. I only saw her during the weekly meetings and she always stayed apart. I once wondered if she was a lawyer. But yes, she is. “Good morning ma” That was all I could mutter as I bent my knees with dutiful panache. She looked me straight in the face, ignoring my greeting and muttered “sit over there, SAN will speak with you shortly.” “Thank you ma” I responded. SAN’s office? Arrh! I knew it! I didn’t expect anything less. It is as big as a standard event hall. Furniture, fittings, bookshelves, everything absolutely on point! I was mesmerized. But for the caliber of Lawyer that owns the office, it should not surprise even a rookie.
Meeting with SAN was brief and to the point.
“Cece, how do you do?”
“How do you do too sir” I responded with all the confidence I had. Thankfully the other side was on display.
“So I asked that you join my team for a reason.” SAN Continued “I believe you would find out soon.”
“Get a copy of my itenary from IOD, it can be quite heavy.”
“You are not exempted from any of my appointments in and outside of Lagos.”
“I do not like repeating myself and I abhor indolence. You are here for one year, make good use of it.”
He went on and on giving clarification and when he was done, he added
“You must have a very superb brain to have come to my office without a notepad. Anyway, sit with IOD and get further clarification. Any question?”
“Very well then, thanks for your time”
“Thank you sir.”
By the time I counted my “Yes Sir” it was more than MO’s so I knew better. I also learnt to always go with a notepad! What a lesson!
IOD should be in her mid-forties. She was very polite and professional. Her explanation did not last more than 10 minutes but I was able to see just how much she knows SAN. I was about leaving her office when the Most Beautiful appeared. She gave me a certain scornful look before facing IOD. She spoke to her with a little bit of disrespect and some tone of entitlement, whatever that was.. When she was done, she gave me yet another “bad eye” and walked away. I just starred.
Back down stairs the two ladies opposite my cubicle looked at me like I had some strange object around me. They suddenly did not tease me. They just returned to their workstation like I was some spy to be avoided. ouch!
What was all that?
Well, I needed to clear my head of a few things.
MO’s sudden familiarity?
SAN’s team membership?
The attitude of the “Most beautiful” and my cubicle friends?
Do I sense envy? What does it mean to be in SAN’s team?
MO seemed to be the only one with the answers!
If I have to keep a proper diary, then I need to account for both the legal and human issues shaping my growth and development as a young and inquisitive Lawyer. If my experiences impacts anyone positively, then I would have succeeded. DNL L&S gave me a platform to express myself and I am grateful.