The lead counsel of Bola Rasaq & Co. is an alumni of Usman Dafodio University, Sokoto. After he was called to the Nigeria bar, 1999, he had brief stint with Iyiola Oyedepo law firm before he established his, in Nov 2002. In this interview, the Ilorin-based jurist, Bola Gold who has carved a unique forte for himself in the legal profession, shares with KAYODE ADEOTI his most striking day in court.
After I was called to bar on Friday, my first appearance was on Monday in the year 1999. A senior colleague asked me to hold a brief for him. He told me he had discussed with the counsel on the other side and that he had agreed that the case will not go on.
He said the only thing is to pick date for the hearing and gave me his diary so that I will be able to know the date to pick. While seated in the court, the case was called, I didn’t know because the lawyer who came was not whom I was expecting as I have already been hinted on who will handle the case and I knew the fellow. So I never responded when the case was called. But a senior lawyer, seated next to me, saw the file I was holding then notified me that my case has been mentioned. To my surprise, it was a senior lawyer who came, as at 1999, this man was 18years old at the bar. This alone made me shiver and got me bewildered.Also, I was told the client did not come, somebody appeared for him.
I became more confused at this point but a senior colleague geared me to stand up saying once I do, the counsel on the other side will sit down. Courageously I stood up, my lord asked, ‘what is happening? I replied, my lord I’m Mr Gold. He asked again, what do you want?
In my response, I said, ‘this case will not go for hearing, we have discussed with the counsel on the other side to pick another date for the hearing. The senior counsel flared up saying, this case is billed for hearing and we are going for that straight up. I said in my mind ‘that it’s not possible, I never prepared’. But upon the insistence of the counsel I braced up, then, I moved a motion that the person appearing in court cannot appear for the accused person. Court ruled in my favour and sent her away, with that, the first huddle was solved.
I beckoned on the lawyers beside me that what more can I do, he told me to insist that I’m not going on with the case, but they insisted too. Having been pushed to the wall, I remembered that the last assignment I did in school was on tenancy matter. In a loud voice, I told my lord, ‘I’m ready’.
Then, we commenced hearing, every objection I made about document were overruled, in fact, a lawyer stood up to fight the magistrate that he was not fair to the new wig. Also, while I was about to cross-examine the senior counsel, I discovered that certain documents he was holding, was not tendered to the court and those documents were very germane to tenancy matter.
Then, I told my lord to please give me another date for the cross-examination. He overruled this, I therefore raised objection that this court doesn’t have jurisdiction over this matter and that was my saving grace, because the court conceded to it. Up till date, that case was never mentioned again, every time I went to court, they will tell me they’ve picked another date. What this taught me was never to go to court unprepared. It taught me I should always be very armed as a lawyer because any unexpected could come up.