From the CourtPilot Law

I appeared wet, unkempt and bruised in court for ‘pro bono’ case

Taofiq Alubarika started his career in Oyo State as a youth corp member  at the law firm of  Wale Adeoye before joining the firm of Mr. K. K. Eleja (SAN) in Ilorin, Kwara State. His stint with the legal luminary spanned about three years before he became Founder and Managing Partner of Alubarika and Associates.

Alubarika is currently the Legal Adviser to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin Branch and  the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), Central Zone among others.

He shared with ADETUNJI AYOBROWN, one of his most dramatic days in court.

I was handling a pro bono (free representation) case for a Fulani man , Usman Umar alleged to have been involved in a robbery case. Interestingly, we had communication barrier as he could only speak his native language of Fufulde, which I don’t understand. But, despite this challenge I was resolute on helping him win the case.

So, on one of the days scheduled for the hearing of his case, there was a heavy downpour since I didn’t have any personal means of mobility then, I had to defy the rain to get to the court. I boarded a commercial motorcycle popularly known as Okada, armed with the necessary documents.  It turned out to be a terrible day for me because I almost lost my life while in transit to the court.

On the way, we had an accident, as a reckless motorist hit the motorcycle and myself and the Okada man landed in the drainage. This incident almost discouraged me but I remembered the promise I made to myself to give my client the best legal representation because that is the best I could do not for him alone but as part of my contribution to the society as demanded from all lawyers. I didn’t have the luxury of time to go back for change of clothes, so I went straight to the Court for the pro bono case.

To the surprise of all including the presiding  Judge, I appeared at the Court wet, unkempt and bruised.

Despite all odds, since I was determined from the first day to give the case my best, I cross examined the prosecutor’s witnesses very well and other things were done accordingly. And when the time came for his defence, I had little or no problems.

And luckily for both of us, I won the case by ‘a no case submission’. Though, since then I have not heard from him but till date my client, Umar walks as a free Nigerian.

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