Since he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008, Ilorin-based jurist, Abdulraheem Ismail has carved a niche for himself among his colleagues in the legal profession. In this interview with KAYODE ADEOTI, the 2005 alumni of University of Ilorin, Kwara State, speaks on his most theatrical day in court.
It was a day I’d wished the ground opened and consumed me to save the embarrassment I didn’t have control over. I never envisaged it so it caught me unprepared. It was a land related case I was to handle in court. I was representing the defendants and I have two witnesses to call in court whom are brothers. The elder one was to be led in evidence, we had done a pre-trial in my office days before the matter came up in court, we just fine tuned the facts he gave us, (elder brother) we didn’t tell him to lie, we believed he told us facts about the matter so we decided to fine tune in line with what he told us.
But while in court on this fateful day, I was to lead him (elder brother) in evidence, but alas! He was not telling the court all what he told me while in my office the previous day, ‘this was contrary to what we initially planned’ I said to myself. ‘Because I was a Muslim, a Mallam and I sworn to Holy Quran, I couldn’t lie again. He told the court opposite of what he told us and what he sworn to in the affidavit, he gave evidence contrary to that of his younger brother. I was marvelled. I appealed to the court to hear my side of the matter but they cut me off saying the man had come to tell them the truth that was needed. I began to wonder, why he kept the truth away from me. Afterwards, I packed my things and went home, I couldn’t think nor sleep because all what happened to me were not planned. The judge believed him; I could see it in his countenance. In all, we lost the case; the judgement read was against us. Till date, the shock of that day still linger in my mind. What I’ve always guarded against, is lies but the evidence he gave in the court made me a liar. This was why I wished the land could swallow me and save me from the shame.