Throughout the ride to court, I sit stiffly beside Dapo. I am self-conscious and tongue-tied and wish I could just disappear into thin air. I don’t want to be here and I know I don’t have to be. I guess he just enjoys playing the game with me.
He does not talk to me too. I guess he felt if he did, I will rebuff him. I wouldn’t have but I won’t be comfortable too. I just want to be out of here. He sits quietly through the hassle of the ride, probably thinking of his arguments and how he will play them out.
We drive into the court compound and park. We enter the court room and find our way to the bar. The bar is the term used for where lawyers sit in court.
I bring out my writing pad so as to jot some important points and I prepare to observe and file away everything I can in my brain. Dapo sits beside me, opens the file before him and before long is engrossed. He only raises his head when the court clerk clears his throat and announces the presence of the judge. We all stand up respectfully.
We had to wait quietly though for the judge to read through the case and become acquainted with it over again. After a few minutes, he looks up and Dapo stands up immediately to present his case.
“My Lord…..” he began
From the first moment he opens his mouth, I was transfixed. He states his case with confidence and a bit of arrogance if I may say so. That didn’t deter me from admiring him though. You could see he knows what he’s talking about and that he did his research well. I’ll like to think my notes helped too.
He argues his case intelligently and cross-examines the defense witnesses expertly. I was awed and I could only pray to be as good as him one day.
I remembered to take notes amidst it all though. I recognized some weak areas in the defense strategy and hope to present them to Dapo, maybe he can strengthen his case through that.
Before long, it was over and the case was adjourned to sometime next month. We stood up once more as the judge went out. I gathered my notes together.
“So, how was your first day in court?” Dapo asked
“Enough? Why enough?”
“Oh it’s not to shade the proceedings in any way. I just feel maybe there’ll be more excitement if it were
a criminal case.” I shrugged
“Well, you are right. Criminal cases are usually more interesting but these kind of cases bring in the money.”
I shrugged again.
“You are not interested in money?”
“Not necessarily. I just want to see justice served.”
“Really? I’ll better keep the appearance fee then. Since you have no use for it?” he raised his brow
“Don’t you dare.” I laughed.
‘Okay then. If you insist.”
I smile as I follow him out of the courtroom.
The ride back was uneventful but this time, we talked. The car was not as silent as a tomb. I mentioned the areas I noticed where the defense case was weak and he accepted my suggestions gladly.
“I’m glad you worked with me today, Leona. It was good.” He looked into my eyes and quietly walked away.
I sit quietly on my chair watching him as he once again walked away.