In this interview with Muhammed Akande, the Ilorin-based lawyer who has carved a forte for himself in the profession shared with KAYODE ADEOTI what astounded him most in his long year of practice as a jurist. Excerpts:
It was the case of Ajadi Oba against the state, we secured commission at the High Court and they filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal. On this fateful day, I encountered the usual, immediately I announced my appearance in court, the judges; Justice Oyemena and Justice Huwa did not record it, then, I noticed that the two of them covered their faces, laughing hysterically; this first suggested to me that I’ve made some wrong approaches. I stood in amazement for a while wondering while they continued to laugh. All of a sudden, I heard, Akande! What is that on your chest? I replied, ‘my lord, its handkerchief; they replied jokingly ‘that was a pen rather’. After a few moment of silence, Justice Oyemena said, don’t mind us, we were only looking at your appearance and we admired it, saying I always dresses nice. Then I said thank you my lord.
Afterwards, I have to move a motion but I have a problem, one of my exhibit, I think is the cross appeal exhibit of the old one that I used was not marked, therefore, I made an application for extension of time, but the other counsel opposed it and prayed the court to disregard it, he argued that it was not substantive, but surprisingly, they just discussed and decided among themselves to give me a favour. They said because I dress properly and neatly that they will give me the original copy to mark. I was given; I marked it and returned it immediately. They also assured me that they will grant me the application even if the other counsel opposed it. I saw it as a divine favour from God. They were later commending me in court despite the error that I made. They also commented on the appearances of counsels within this jurisdiction that they don’t quite dress well. I was really amazed that day; in fact before I got home someone has called my wife to intimate her of the ‘short drama’. This, and more have made my love for the profession strong, though it has lot of its bad sides but, it is my life, my passion.