Today, we came to the end of sitting for the year. We sat on 10 matters today.
Today was also Milord’s birthday. I rushed to his chamber after I heard..
“Milord, today is your birthday?”
With a big grin…”yes”
“Oh, happy birthday sir”
“Here is your diary”
“Ok, you are through with it? Drop it on my table”
“Milord, I won’t be around from tomorrow”
“No problem, you can go”.
My colleague thinks I’m crazy with the way I engage Milord in conversations. Sometimes, I ask him if he’s coming the next day. Sometimes I ask if he slept well and if his weekend was great. Which to me are all normal questions.
But everyone has this averment of the Lords which I find amusing. They are human beings first of all, with feelings. But few people think so.
The other day, just as I was about to step down from the bus in front of the office gate, Milord’s call had come in. I was shocked since we were sitting that day.
“Good morning My Lord”
“Morning Yetunde, how are you?”
“Very well, Milord*.
“Are you in court already?”
“Just about to step in Milord”
Then I hastened my steps.
“Okay, I will be coming in a bit late so apologise to the bar on my behalf. Tell them I will not sit at exactly nine”.
“It’s alright, Milord”.
Then I strut into the courtroom to see a room full of wigs and gowns.
Without batting an eyelid, I put on the speaker on my table and spoke
“Hello Counsels, …(this will be followed by silence from the bar. By now, my colleagues are also looking at me with the look of “what’s she up to this time?) how are you this morning? Please, I am truly sorry to announce that Milord would be coming in a bit late. Kindly exercise some patience, he’s going to sit but not at exactly nine. Thank you”.
Then, noise..worry, shock.
“Isn’t he coming at all?”
“Can I go to Maitama and come back?”
“I have another matter at the Supreme Court, I want to rush there”
After answering all the questions, I decided to peep into Milord’s chamber only to meet him at his desk with his head buried in sheafs of papers, iPad, printing machine…shock!!!!
“How are you yetunde”
“I didn’t know you are around”
“I’m preparing my ruling. That’s why I said you should apologise to the bar”.
“Yes, I already did that sir”
I quietly shut the door and vamoose back to court to face the “sharks”.
In those early days after I had just learnt the ropes of sitting…
The police orderly attached to Milord would signal at me to inform the bar that My Lord was coming out.
Then, I would go to my female colleague and instruct her sternly to inform the bar. She would only bat her eyelid and ask me a question
“Yetunde, are you well?”
Then she would go back to her Whatsapp or Facebook chat and I will put on the microphone with false grace and announce
“Good morning Counsels, My Lord is about to come out. Please put your phones on silence, all our microphones are working, please make use of them.
On the days when I would put small bread in my mouth and milord would choose that time to appear and I’d hide my face behind the paper when talking to him or announcing his appearance. I’ll pause, swallow a lil bread, talk, close my eyes, open it, realise we are still in court, then I’d sit.
I’ve had a most fulfilling court year. I’ve enjoyed my move from Asokoro to Garki. I have a lot of learned friends now and I have the liberty to look for trouble anywhere….barrister Saturday and barrister biggie(both nicknames).
I have met Senior Advocates of Nigeria and I’ve fallen in love with a few especially the Prof SAN. He is too intelligent. And I’m attracted to intelligent people. I always enjoy his sessions. You will laugh and laugh.
But what would it look like if I approach the learned SAN and say “Sir, I love you so much”😀😁😂🤣
He will think I’m mad or tending towards it. But love in this context means “I admire you so much. I like your brain. I’m in love with your values. I want to be like you”
But (#sighs#) in Nigeria, you have to be careful with words lest everything you say is used against you in(you know where)