Pilot Law

Elated, day I won case as rookie against senior colleagues’ pessimism


Akinmade Yahaya Abolarin bagged his first degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Ibadan in 1974. He was one of the first set of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) between 1973 and 1974. He had his second degree in Law from the same institution between 1981 and 1987. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1988. Abolarin shares with ABIODUN BOLUJOKO, the experience he considers unforgettable in the course of his legal practise. Excerpts: 

I can never forget the day I used ‘habeas corpus’ to win a case in court. As a fresh wig in 1987, a client sought my service to help him file a motion that will aide the release of his girlfriend, a Polytechnic student who was forcefully married to a low level civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture.

I filed the motion, the day I appeared for the matter was my first appearance in the High Court. On this fateful day, the first person I met at the court premises was a senior lawyer, Chief Adeyinka Adeoye who asked me what the nature of my case was, when I told him, he said I cannot win because the wedding was  customary.

Also,  the second person that came to me was one of my lecturers who was equally a senior lawyer, Ayo Jonathan, he also told me that I will lose the case. With these overwhelming statements, I became agitated.

During the proceedings, I made my submissions, I started quoting authorities based on ‘Habeas Corpus’ which was an order that Lawyers and Judges use to produce those who are unlawfully detained.

When I started, the Judge dropped his pen and listened to me, after a while, he asked, ‘do you think I have the power over your case? I continued citing authorities… I actually thought I’ve lost the case but to my amazement, in his ruling, the judge ordered the release of the girl forthwith, and that I should wait for an order of the release. Immediately, I asked my client to go get a taxi ready that will convey the girl.

I was happy and overwhelmed with joy because the Judge and my senior colleagues did not believe I could win the case through ‘habeas  corpus’


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