We’re into the third week of court attachment now. It’s going well and I am loving Lagos. It’s a good thing I didn’t write after the first day or the first week because that would have been premature and I didn’t really enjoy it.
The first day, I found out my judge was not sitting. Actually, someone had told me before but I had not prepared my mind for what was going to happen. The rule is: if your judge is not sitting then go to a different court. That’s what I had to do after a bit of hanging about. I was lost and I don’t know Lagos. Luckily, two nice female law students whose court was not in session either were going to another court nearby and I tagged along. My cab driver had already left and cabs don’t really pass this side so much so we took some sort of mini bus to the junction and then got a cab from there. My door was hard to open. We ended up at the nearest court and all was good.
I haven’t seen my judge yet but it has been interesting going to other court rooms to witness proceedings. The worst thing to have happened to me so far is the tendering of documents to be used as evidence in a trial. The tendering process involves the barrister/counsel asking a witness/client/person in the witness stand questions to lay a foundation i.e. they have to ask questions that are relevant to the document to be able to ask the judge to tender the document. It’s ok when one or two are being tendered but when counsel is tendering over five, it gets tedious and it’s long. I have witnessed two long tenderings and I slept through part of one and nodded off during the second.
I am lucky that a good friend drops me off every morning. For those going to do the attachment, it’s good to look for people who live in your area so you can share the costs or maybe a you can tag along with a friens that can drive. Note to self: Learn how to drive and use google maps.
These are the things I’ve noticed:
1. I have been coming across female judges. I’ve only seen one or two male judges since I started. *sisters are doing it for themselves*. Counsel address them as sir and it seems like they’ve got no problem with it.
2. Some court rooms are really small. If you come late, you end up having to stand. There have been times that I stood for over two hours straight so I could take note of proceedings for my log book. The log book is given to students by the law school. Personal reflections of the day are also included.
3. Court doesn’t always start at 9:00 am. There are courts that start at 11:00 am.
4. Some of the wigs I’ve seen are hilarious. One even looked like a toupe. Will not take or post any photos. Some have bits falling off. The really good ones are expensive.
5. A lot of cases are crammed into one day so there aren’t enough seats in some courtrooms for the law students. Law students have to make way for the counsel. Today alone, the judge had 18 cases.
That’s basically all I can think of now. My second and last court attachment post will be when the attachment ends.
Till next time