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Friday, April 11, 2014

UGLY ENCOUNTER: COUNCIL WORKER IN DETENTION DRAMA WITH JUDGE

VOL 13 NO 12,  20-5-13





There are indications that a member of the higher Bench in Lagos is trying her best, albeit in a direct and energetic manner to bring back the realities of those good old days where judges and magistrates were revered and dreaded as gods with dread presence and whose mere shadows compel worshipful obeisance accompanied by frenetic trembling, shiverings and even seizures.

 

Of such an era, Mr. Tunji Ayanlaja S.A.N never tire at telling his audience in gatherings of the Bar. According to the learned silk, as a small boy, perhaps more than half a century ago, he was in the company of his father on a journey to Ikeja, when suddenly the old man, a tough bird himself suddenly stopped converse wore a solemn look and respectfully removed his cap.

 

Young Tunji had no choice than to follow suit. A little while later when he sensed relaxation of his father’s mien, he ventured to enquire why the father had suddenly gone so solemn.

 
The old man’s answer was “Don’t you know that where we just passed is the office of the judge?” That singular encounter so impressed the little boy that he became arrested on the vision to read law.

 
However Nigeria of the 30s, 40s 50s 60s 70s, even the 80s was much different than the present times. So it was that on Monday 29th April, one Mr. (Sikiru) Scale a staffer of the Lagos Island Local Government came into the premises of the Lagos High Court Igbosere.

 
The man’s purpose of coming to the court, geckos told the Squib was to get his Code of Conduct Bureau signed by any willing judge of the High Court suddenly as he stepped into the corridor leading to the Cash Office in the open Registry of the Court, a lady guard (private Security) signaled to him to stop. Mr. Scale told the Squib.
 

“when the guard asked me to stop. I was puzzled. It was early in the morning may be 8.30a.m may be 9.00a.m. The whole place was peaceful and calm. I did not notice or see anybody with the guard, so I was puzzled. And she only said I should stop, she didn’t say any other thing. I took a step or two further, then I saw this fair complexioned woman emerged. I was seeing her for the first time in my life. I didn’t know who she was.

 
To my shock I heard her saying that I was arguing with security. Then she started shouting that security people should arrest me and take me to her court.

 That was when I guessed she was a judge. I became afraid and I started begging her, that I didn’t know I was not to pass the corridor but she would not listen to me. She said she would teach me a lesson and send me to prison. When people heard my cries, they came out but there was nothing they could do.

 
When they took me to her court, some lawyers whom I met there tried to plead with her to release me but the judge refused and ordered some security people warders to take me away.

 
Then I was taken to a cell in the nearby magistrate court. When I was being taken away to the cell, many people came to take a look at me. All of them were pitying me and some advised to alert my office about the development.

 
So I placed a call to colleagues in my office and I was assured that they would come to my rescue. After a while, I received information that two female high court judges (names with held) had stepped into the matter, so I became hopeful that I would soon regain my freedom.

 Alas this was not to be. The hours continued to pass and I started praying to God to help me out of the problem and embarrassment. Why Should I leave my house in the morning and end up in the evening in a prison when I am not a thief or criminal?

 When it was around 4.30pm the warders said I should come out of the cell, put hand-cuffs on my hand and said the judge said they should bring me.

 I was taken to her and I was released. I later heard that it was the warders who complained that hey cant take me to prison without a detention warrant from the court and that why I was released.”
 

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