Jun 5, 2017

Life of a Lagos Lawyer - Peacock (Episode 10)


Have you ever seen a peacock spread its feathers? Completely fanned out, it’s a lovely spectacle, with the over 200 feathers forming a complete semi-circle around the beautiful bird. That exactly is what this Oga, The – law, is doing in open court. Not only has he filled our ears with big words, he has also been addressing the court with all the pompousity he could muster. One would have been wondering why counsel was making all that effort, had the person not noticed the group of law students sitting in the gallery who were in court for their mandatory court attachment programme.


Lawyers sometimes take it upon themselves to show off to these law students when seen in court. This act serves two purposes, one, it does not make the lawyer look like a complete nonentity in front of the students because no one wants to be described by law students as the lawyer that messed up in court. Secondly, the eloquent speeches and showmanship of oratory skills gives the law students a bit of encouragement and practice tips for their careers.  

The only problem with this scenario was the lawyer was speaking completely off point, citing the wrong authorities to support his argument and was acting in complete ignorance of the rules of court. The Judge knew, other lawyers knew it but counsel here, was completely lost in the sound of his own voice. The Judge however, whose body language showed he was not happy that his court was being used as a theater uncharacteristically kept silent and watched,  giving counsel enough rope to hang himself.

His opposing counsel also did not help in any way, having also guessed the game the Judge was playing, he sat quietly smiling, knowing the peacock was about to get his feathers chopped off. After summing up his arguments, the Judge asked one of the questions every lawyer dreads to hear from a Judge, especially when you don’t know why he is asking.

“Counsel, how many years are you at the bar?”

Suddenly, counsel who was not sounding so confident replies “10 years, Milord”. Then the washing came, like the pouring of heavy rainfall with a truck load of detergent and bleach.

“You mean, you are 10 years at the bar and you don’t know the simple principles of law”.

“You mean after all the bravado you showed in making your argument, you have only succeeded in expressing your ignorance”.

“You have only just showed these law students how not to make a mess of yourself in court”, and on and on for another minute. Counsel had completely kept quiet at this time, looking from his books to the Judge and making sure to avert his gaze from the gallery occupied by the law students. Have you ever seen a peacock after its feathers have been chopped off?. No longer a pretty sight for sure.


He was completely embarrassed and the piercing stares from the law students didn’t make him feel any better. He must have been imagining how all of them were going to recount all that happened to their friends later on. The Judge finally denied his application and adjourned the matter for further hearing. Immediately rising for a ten minute recess.

Everyone was now free to move and naturally dialogues started all over the court room. Junior lawyers were taking the time to confer with their seniors and clients were their lawyers as well. The Peacock was however silent, not conferring with anybody and brooding. What a colossal embarrassment that day had been in court for him. So I sat with my feathers cut off and waited for the court to continue sitting before I quietly took a bow and hurriedly left the court room. Never again was that going to happen to me. 

Join us next time for another episode of “Life of a Lagos Lawyer”. An exclusive Legalnaija series.


PLESE NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Photo - Credit - 1. animals.mom 
                            2. thegroveguy.blogspot.com 
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