Ronke Adeyemi is onetime Vice Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin Branch and immediate past chairperson of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA). She bagged her LL.B from the University of Benin in 1992 and was called to the Nigeria Bar in December 1993. She is the current principal, Ronke Adeyemi & Co. Chambers located in the Kwara state capital. She however shares with KAYODE ADEOTI her astonishing experience in court as a legal practitioner. Excerpts:
Oh! I can never forget the day I was assaulted by a senior police officer. The incident happened at the police headquarters and I filed a criminal complaint against the officer in court. I didn’t know the issue will later generate lots of reactions, because I was not aware of the fact that the officer takes delight in assaulting people who have reason to visit his office, for no tangible reason.
When a lawyer goes to the police headquarters to secure bail for his client, this office will fly-off the handle, insulting lawyers. A lawyer once told me he held his shirt, rumpled it and tore off his buttons over a trivial issue
On this fateful day, I was personally involved, I followed my client to the headquarters and for no reason; he was asking why I was at the station. I told him police station is a public place and that I have right to come there with my clients. Afterwards, he became very angry maybe because of my response, then, he said he was going to detain me, then, I dared him, he stood up in annoyance with the intention to beat me, if not for my client who stood between us, maybe he would have slapped me. This however prompted me to go straight to the office of the Commissioner of Police in order to report the development. Unfortunately, he was not around. I returned to my office and file criminal complaint against him.
On the day the case came up, 29 lawyers appeared for me. I was surprised, I didn’t know that the news had travelled round. Eventually, the two lawyers who appeared for the officer ran away because my own team was led by the NBA chairman of that time, Chief R.O Balogun, the matter was eventually settled out of court but I’m sure he learnt his lesson, because he suffered a lot of embarrassment and the news was in the media at that time. It was reported that assistant commissioner of police was arraigned for criminal assault on a female lawyer, that day, I felt really proud that I’m a lawyer.