Pilot Law

Embarrassed when client insulted me in court over colleague’s attitude

Barrister Biola Adimula hails from Omupo in Ifelodun local Government but married to Adimula royal family in Odo-Owa town, Oke-Ero Local Government of Kwara State. After her primary and secondary school education at Egbe, Kogi State, she proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for first degree in law which she had in 1992 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1993. She thereafter commenced her legal practice under the corporate name of Biola Adimula & Co. (Salvation Chambers) in 1995 as the Principal Partner. Presently a lecturer at the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, the former Special Assistant to Kwara State Government on Women Affairs in this interview with ACTING EDITOR, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM, shares one of her most dramatic experiences in the course of her legal profession. Excerpts:
I have had many dramatic moments but one that I will continue to remember was a day I was in court for a tenancy matter with my client. The opponent and colleague on the other side approached me for an out of court settlement which I obliged. So I thereafter duly informed the court about the development and the case was stood down to enable us discuss the modalities of the settlement. However, my client was strongly against it but I persuaded him nonetheless and he agreed reluctantly. Then I went to dialogue with the opponent counsel outside the courtroom and we agreed on some terms of settlement eventually. When we got back into the courtroom, as the plaintiff’s counsel I stood up to relay our concessions to the court. And by practice, the court asked the opponent counsel to confirm what I have said. Surprisingly, the other counsel stood up and said he did not discuss with me what I have just told the court. And he went ahead to say contrary things against our agreement. I was cold within me from head to toe and felt greatly embarrassed! More so that my client was against the settlement and he was seated in court to watch the drama. My client was very annoyed with me and said to me that he had warned me before not to negotiate any settlement with that Lawyer. Thereafter, my client started insulting me and said he already knew the type of Lawyer the opponent Counsel was, and that I ought to have known that he was such an untruthful person. Later, other senior colleagues who witnessed what happened in the courtroom told me similar things about the character of that Lawyer, that he was a contentious Lawyer and that his character was always in question and warned me to be very careful in future. For this reason, we were left with no options than to proceed with the litigation in court. And fortunately the matter was eventually adjudged in our favour and we won the case.

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