Away with Wig and Gown (Part 1)

Compliments of the seasons to you all.

It is the first outing of Vital Obiter, The Diary of a Roving Public Lawyer and I was set to share a page of my diary, loaded with fireworks, as promised last week.

But realising that we have just been voluntarily and involuntarily visited by a barrage of fireworks in the hands of Christmas and New Year faithfuls, I feel I should cool the temper small and enter the year on a lighter mood…A mood very close to the light with which decorate for Christmas and New Year.

Let me begin the year, sharing with you a part of my diary containing true-life story.

Don’t doubt it. The issue is, nobody has access to true life stories like the Roving Public Lawyer. He has been said to have a nose for hot gist.

Did you say, ‘he is beginning to praise himself.’ I am sorry if you think that is what I am trying to do. I just think there are times when it may be lawful to blow your own trumpet, particularly when you have waited for so long and nobody appear to be kind enough to blow it.

I can see that somebody is getting impatient. He is saying, ‘doesn’t this guy know that lawyers do it briefly? Let him go straight to the point.’

Well, I have a two-point defence to that: first, remember that here we specialize in speaking opata. At least after talking all the law all day with your colleagues and mi lord, you find a way to relax your strained or (a times) frayed nerves. This is the way, walk ye in it.

Second, those who coined the phrase, ‘lawyers do it in briefly’ are not lawyers and they are all together wrong. Well, if they are referring to the briefs we take in the chambers, they may not be wrong. But the truth again is that the briefs are not always brief. I think the word, ‘brief,’ if it was coined by a lawyer must have been the mischievous handiwork a cunning lawyer, who wanted to lure his prospective clients to his chambers by giving them the impression that no matter how long their story is, it could be taken in summary (i.e. in brief). I am also sure that his clients were always disappointed in him as they found out that though they were in the chamber to give their briefs to the lawyers, they ended up telling copious stories in writing under the watchful and prying eyes of the Juniors in chambers.

On the basis of the foregoing, I dare say that though, it was said of the people of old that lawyers do it briefly, today I say to you lawyers do it ‘lengthy’ both in word and in writing. As you can see, I am an eloquent testimony of that.

Sorry, can somebody (I mean a sharp lawyer or an unlearned man or woman) remind me how we get here because I am lost in this labyrinthine stream of opata (sorry, obiter).


‘Did he just call some of us non-lawyers unlearned?’

‘Arrogant bunch, calling themselves lawyers. How are they the only learned people on earth. They say they are the only learned people and the rest of us, including we who pay their bills are only educated.’

‘Oh deeply sorry dearly beloved bros, I hail o! Why you vex like this? We don meet before?’ No be me start am o.’

‘Na as they teach me sef na so I dey take talk am. I beg no vex.’

‘A word advice as an insider, please if you must vex, go to the grave of Alexander Sapara William, he is the ancestor of the legal profession in Nigeria and protest. But I will advise that you go with libation o, incase the man vex back and begin to examine and cross-examine you all together.’

‘Where he is burried?’

‘Please ask Google Map…:

‘So, let me ask again, how did we get here sef?’

‘Yes, thank you very much, caller number one. How did you know my mobile number? Are lawyers also seers? Well it is not impossible. The preponderance of thinking is that legal practice is synonymous with two things: otumopo(JuJu) and lies. Well, that in itself is a symposium discussion for another day. Back to the issue at hand.’

‘I have just been reminded. I was going to tell a true-life story.’

‘Now, the story, the former Director of the Nigerian Law School had gone to a Nigerian University to deliver a lecture. In the course of the lecture, he hinted that the dress code of lawyers in Nigeria might be reviewed to the extend that lawyers may be delivered from the yoke of wearing wig and gown to courts.’

‘As he finished the lecture, a law undergraduate ran after him with anguish written all over. Panting, holding the herm of his designer’s jacket like the woman with the issue of blood did to Jesus, he said ‘sir, please sir, have mercy on me oh you Director of life.’ The Director, who already was held perplexed by this fellow’s action looked on as he continues, ‘one of the reasons why I am reading law is because I have looked forward to wearing wig and gown one day. Sir, I am not alone in this desire, my entire family members, nuclear and extended, actively give their solidarity. Please for my sake don’t review the dress code. All I ask for is four years. Your servant is only in 200 levels.’

‘Well, space is already against us. For the response of the Director and the comments of the Roving Public Lawyer jam me next week.’

‘See you, are you still laughing, the piece is already adjourned till next week. Shalom!’

Here is your Dearly Beloved Roving Public Lawyer, Taiwo AKINLAMI

(C) 2019 Taiwo AKINLAMI

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