‘Day witnesses testified that my imprisoned client was seen in town’

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Taye Oniyide bagged his first degree in Law from the University of Ilorin in 2001. Afterwards, he proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, Abuja campus where he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2003. Since then, he has remained in active practice with Bayo Ojo & Co. He bagged his M.S in Law in 2009 and Ph.D subsequently. He is a fellow of Institute of Arbitrators, University of Ilorin and United Kingdom, a notary public and many more. In a chat with our JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI, the Ilorin-based legal practitioner shares his unforgettable moment in court. Excerpts.

There are quite a number of dramatic moments in court that I have experienced in the past, but the one that easily comes to mind was experienced about 10years ago. I was called upon to defend a particular matter in which the client was said to have engaged in robbery. He was alleged to have stolen a vehicle, thereby sent to prison. The basis for suspecting him was not clear, because, the crime was allegedly committed in t\he night and only the shadow of the person whom they said committed the crime was seen. My client was arrested because they claimed he looks more or less of the shadow seen at the scene of the crime. So, the shadow gave an inclination of who the person will be. He was however charged to court. I was on the matter for quite a while trying to move application for his bail.

What struck me in the case was, twice, when I went to court to defend him, two different individuals at different occasions came to meet me that they saw him in town. I was shocked even to continue the case. The first day he was brought to court, we were chatting when somebody approached him and said, he saw him in town, around Offa Garage area precisely. I asked if they normally release him from prison, he said no that he has always been living his life in prison. I overlooked it until another adjourned date when another individual confronted him with the same allegation that he usually see him in town. My client began to cry that he was not the one. I then understood that of a truth, our work is very dangerous. Through the testimonies of these fellows, I began to see that there was more to it than the eye can see. And at the end of it all, I secured bail for him. In essence, the law doesn’t believe in that area but, for the first time, on his case, I began to see that there are forces in human life that goes beyond ordinary.

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