LAWYERS4CHANGE

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

KATAKATA IN COURT A SILK INVOLVED


On Wednesday 11th February 2009, at about 10.00a.m, the peace and quiet that pervaded the courtroom of Honourable Justice Opesanwo holden at the Tafawa Balewa Square, (TBS) Lagos was rudely and suddenly shattered.


The disturbance, a bellicose and loud altercation which lasted for about four minutes was caused by two legal practitioners Chief Ladi Williams S.A.N and Mr. Niyi Adewunmi.


The noisy riff between the two senior lawyers (Williams called to the bar in 1972, Adewunmi called to the bar in 1989) came up suddenly like a storm, which left any on-lookers bewildered, if not stupefied.


The stage for ‘hostilities’ to break out between the two lawyers was in advertently set when the registrars of the court asked for the counsel in the case of TSA Vs First Bank to agree suggest a date for the adjournment of the case.


It must be placed on record that the court was not sitting when this announcement was made according to our sources, there was power outrage in the court and the Judge who elected not to work in the resultant dimness (and heat perhaps) from her chambers directed that new hearing dates be given to counsel who could not wait for the restoration of light.
According to our geckos, when the registrar asked for new dates for the TSA Vs First Bank case Chief Ladi Williams said “Early March” while his daughter, Rotola Williams, a junior in chief Ladi Williams Chambers specifically mentioned “4th March 2009”.


To this suggested date, Niyi Adewunmi Esq. upon consulting his dairy said “4th of March 2009” is not convenient. To which Rotola Williams replied thus “but your diary is blank? Adewunmi reacted to this query by saying “That does not matter. 11th of March is convenient.”


Upon hearing this, Chief Ladi Williams who had been standing besides his daughter, consulted his diary and moved nearer Adewunmi and said “11th of March is not convenient. Maybe we should come back on a Monday for the judge to give us date”. And turning slightly more toward Adewunmi and now declared “you are rude”.


Taken aback by the accused, Adewunmi now retorted in a hand voice that “you too you are rude, Sir”. To this, Chief Williams reacted in a more emphatic manner “you are uncouth”


Stung by Ladi Williams flat declaration Adewunmi fired salvo at the Silk who reacted by saying “that language is wrong. You are uncouth”. Further stung and seriously upset Adewunmi now declared to Williams “you are a thief, that’s how you chop people’s money”. It was Chief Williams turn to feel the heat and in a much raised voice asked Adewunmi “why don’t you write to the NBA since you know there is a thief in the bar?”


Adewunmi’s response to the question was “I have already done that and you yourself know you are on your way”
The altercation at this point had reached its peak and other people in the court, numbering about twenty, with no less than fifteen lawyers present, were held spell-bound by the “fire-for-fire” exchanges between the Senior Advocates and the Adewunmi.


Mercifully at this point, one of the two much alarmed Court Registrars a lady intervened by appealing to the verbal duelists, to sheathe their ‘tongues’ and calm their frayed nerves. “You know I am not the judge, I cannot fix dates for you. You have to agree between yourselves on the date.”


Just then the registrar was summoned into the judge’s chambers. Eventually the two counsels settled for the 17th of March 2009.
In the course of investigating the cacophoms altercation that erupted in Justice Opesanwo’s court on 11th March 2009, the Squib spoke with the dramatis personae. On his part Mr. NIyi Adewunmi accepted there was a disagreement between him and Chief Ladi Williams S.A.N in Justice Opesanwo’s Court over the selection of dates for adjournment but denied that the encounter was a shouting match between the two of them. He also denied ever calling the Silk a thief and threatened to sue the Squib even though the Publisher is his friend, if he dares publish libellious against him.


On this part, Chief Ladi Williams agreed there was a face-off between him and Mr. Niyi Adewunmi and that the younger lawyer called him a thief.


The Squib stands by her story.

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