Life of a Lagos Lawyer – Treason (Episode 9)

Life of a Lagos Lawyer – Treason (Episode 9)

you paying attention? Good. If you are not listening carefully, you will miss
things. Important things. I will not pause, I will not repeat myself, and you
will not interrupt me. You think that because you’re sitting where you are, and
I am sitting where I am, that you are in control of what is about to happen.
You’re mistaken. I am in control, because I know things that you do not know. [pause] What
I will need from you now is a commitment. You will listen closely, and you will
not judge me until I am finished. If you cannot commit to this, then please
leave the room. But if you choose to stay, remember you chose to be here. What
happens from this moment forward is not my responsibility. It’s yours. Pay

were my client’s first words when I asked if he was guilty. Mr. Paul was on
trial for treason and was facing the death penalty since Section 37 of the
Criminal Code had not changed since it became law in 1990. In other circles, my
client may have been described as a freedom fighter or a visionary of some sort
but in within the walls of this prison, bound by chains and under 24 hour
watch, he was a criminal.

all started about 10 years ago, Mr. Paul had been recruited from the United
States to sit as a Director over the country’s largest diamond corporation. Mr.
Paul had six Degrees,  Masters from
Oxford and Yale, a Ph.D from Harvard and a IQ of over 160. Dissatisfied with
the rot and level of corruption in the system, Mr. Paul had set up a whistle
blowing website from which he and his special team of hackers had published
damning information about corruption at the highest level of government.

Secret Service and the Police had been hacked by Mr. Paul’s associates and
hundreds of documents containing state secrets had been shared with the world.
The resulting inferno of reactions could never have been fathomed. Diplomatic
relationships were ripped to shreds and there had been riots in several states
across the country. People in authority were calling for Mr. Paul’s head on a
pike. A fact I didn’t think bothered him at all.
search and arrest of Mr. Paul could be described as a picture from the search
for Pablo Escobar. It had taken the military months of combing every part of
the east-midland forest for his operational base after he had been forced to
flee when the police declared him wanted. He had evaded arrest on several occasions
by only a whisker and had to keep moving deeper into the jungle thus taunting
the military to catch him if they could. Which is why I am most bothered because
Mr. Paul was never caught but rather he had surrendered himself at the Police
HQ barely 72 hours ago.

Paul’s arraignment earlier in the day had also been eventful. The court
premises was full and the court room was crowded to full capacity. He had to be
smuggled in through the underground parking lot and It had taken the threat of
contempt from the judge to keep the crowd quiet when he was ushered into the
court from a back door. His charge had read –

you Paul Ukubum (M) 45 years old, and unknown persons all of Corrupt Gate Headquarters,
Gizimoto Local Government Area of Indu State on diverse dates (between January
2004 and October 2017) at Owerri Imo State and other places within the jurisdiction
of the Federal High Court with intent to levy war, overawe and overthrow the
legitimate Government did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit:
treason against the President of the Federal Republic and you thereby committed
an offence contrary to section 37(2) of the Criminal Code Act Chapter 77, Laws
of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and punishable under section 37 of the
Criminal Code Act.”

do you plead”


I make a statement, Your Lordship”


will like to replace my counsel on record”


is a government appointed counsel and it is my constitutional right to have a
counsel of my choice”

who will be your new counsel”

am scheduling an appointment with him later today”

he take your case on short notice, you have to be back in court day after


call had come 3 hours later, Mr. Paul had requested I visit him in detention
and had deposited N75,000,000 in the
firm account two and a half hours earlier. What was he planning? Why did he personally
request I be his lawyer? and what the hell was really going on here? A voice
told me to walk away but my feet would not budge, somehow Mr. Paul had succeeded
in snaring me into his plot and I felt foolish not knowing what to expect from
the genius sitting across the table. One thing was for sure, I was not going

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NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either
are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely

– 1st Paragraph, The Imitation Game

              Film directed by Morten Tyldum
and written by Graham Moore
Life of a Lagos Lawyer – End of the Month (Episode 2)

Life of a Lagos Lawyer – End of the Month (Episode 2)

Everyone in the office is
smiling, except me.  Their jubilation is expected,
being the end of the month and salaries have been paid. I always had dreams of
working in Big Law, in one of the top law firms on the Island. But I am not so
sure anymore,  getting home from work at
10.30pm to leave at 6am the next morning; coupled with my insufficient salary
of N90,000 per month, minus penalty
fees at the office, I can’t even afford a social life. 

My creditors will also be
expecting me to visit this weekend. Iya Basira and Aboki will be looking
forward to me clearing my October bill for collected provisions and noodles
with fried egg respectively. Not to mention Godwin, whom I borrowed N15,000 from to give to Linda, one girl I met
on Tinder, who had come to see me all the way from Akoka. 

My colleague receives a
text message alert and smiles. “Aww, Bae just sent me 50k, he is so sweet” she
says, before rushing away to call Bae. I don’t blame her; it’s not her fault; I
am sure Bae just received his salary to and like me, is doing the needful. She
walks up to sit on my table, still all smiles from her bank alert. “Bae is so
nice and caring, it’s hard a get a good guy now adays”, she goes on as I oblige
her with a smile. We have always been buddies and she feels comfortable telling
me stuff, like the day Oga asked her to sit on his laps, or when she and Oga
visited the client whose election petition our firm had lost a few months ago
and the client had berated Oga in not so nice words.
I don’t blame the client
either, a few hundreds of millions had crossed hands and we were feeling very
confident with our chances. On the day judgment was delivered, Oga had arranged
for champagne to be iced at the office for celebration. Imagine his countenance
after our petition was dismissed. No one dared touch the drinks when we
returned to the office, well except my good self of course. Godwin and I had
shared the bottle of Moet after watching our favourite club, Real Madrid, win
the UEFA Champions league, last season.  Man
cannot come and die. 
My colleague suddenly
jerks up and gives me her conspiracy smile. “I have big gist for you”, she
says. ‘Would you believe the life of female Lagos lawyer is not easy, work
hours never allow you to have a social life, let alone keep your man satisfied
when you finally find one”. That’s by the side anyway, what I really wanted to
say is, my sponsor asked me to follow him to Ghana for the weekend”. And what
did you say? 
She was about to respond
when my phone rang, it was Godwin. “Dlaw, please come quickly o, Landlord has
come with some thugs and they want to throw our things out”. How can Landlord
do that, he has not served us a Quit Notice, I responded, just before I run out
the door. 
My colleague however is undisturbed
as she sinks in my chair and begins to reminisce about her life as a female
lawyer in Lagos. It all started when …………..
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Life of a Lagos Lawyer – Bad mornings (Episode 1)

Life of a Lagos Lawyer – Bad mornings (Episode 1)

It was a very beautiful
day and I woke up feeling great. Like an angel had visited my bed side during
the night and whispered to me that I was waking to one of the best days of my life.
Jeffery, my driver, had detailed the custom Mercedes Benz S-Class and as the
smell of the rich and luxurious leather drifted in my comfortable back seat, I
could not help but notice my face on the cover of the Forbes Africa magazine
being displayed on the news stand with the caption “The Best Lawyer in The
World” written under my name. 

As we drove into the exclusive section of the Eko
Atlantic, where my law firm sits on the most expensive piece of property in
Lagos, I could not help but smile, I had done a great job and built a world
class legal practice.  Jeffery, once
again was getting the door, we had arrived and as I stepped out I could see my
secretary walking up to me with a cup of coffee, Newspapers and shouting at the
top of her voice “D-Law! D-Law! wake up, wake up, it’s almost 6.30, you will
miss the BRT bus.
I opened my eyes and
Godwin, my flat-mate, looked down on me with pity, like he sensed he had
interrupted a sweet dream by the strange way I was looking at my surroundings. “D-Law,
sorry I woke you but I noticed its 6.30 and you weren’t awake yet”. 6.30! I repeated,
as I half-jumped off the bed, my mind coming to full alertness. If it was
6.30am and I was still at home, then I was already late for court proceedings and
my boss will remove another N5,000 from
my salary. That however was not my immediate worry, the most important thing
was to get to the BRT bus stop in record time if I still wanted my job, the BRT
queues in Ketu were notoriously long and it could take an hour just go to get
on a bus.  
As the BRT bus pulled out
of the park 45 minutes later and began its ride all the way to CMS and the body
odour of the passenger standing beside me hit me like a wave, I could not help
but remember my dream and shake my head, this was a bad morning. “Be a lawyer”,
my teacher had said, “you will be a professional”. 
I wish I had rather followed
the advice of my friend, segun, who had dropped out of school to face his
passion for music, now he has a hit song titled “shake, shake your talents” and
has a fleet of cars parked in his mansion in Lekki Phase 1 with a bevy of beautiful
ladies fighting for his attention. I had decided to remove all distractions and
face my career when I found out my girlfriend’s cousin, who had bought my girlfriend
an Iphone 7 and gives her a 50k monthly allowance was not actually her cousin.
I confronted her but she told me “only if I were an enemy of her progress will I
ask her to stop seeing him”. Anyway she called off the relationship, two weeks
after that. “No time for a scrub in this recession”, she had written in her
last text message. 
As I alighted from the BRT
bus, a text message arrived on my phone. The caller Id of the sender read “Oga”
and the text read “Court has started sitting, but you aren’t here yet, this is
extremely irresponsible of you, 5K will be deducted from your salary”. Oga,
leave story o……………. 
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