Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Overwhelm Me

Posh-tall asked me to prepare a legal opinion on some ‘interesting’ legal matter. ‘Interesting’ is the euphemism for ‘tedious’. Naturally, I am far from excited since research would take valuable Spider Solitaire and Facebook time. I quietly grumble for a few minutes before I leave for the library. I see one of the NYSC lawyers (junior yeah!).

Maybe the greeting was too enthusiastic but it is hard to restrain my joy at a camel to dump work on.


‘So, what are you working on? Which is ‘polite-speak’ for ‘you don’t seem busy’.

‘Nothing really. I haven’t really done much work since we resumed. ‘

Perfect! It’s hard to wipe the grin from my face.

‘So, would you like to work on [the ‘interesting’ matter]?’

‘That is what I wrote my long essay on!’

She is excited. I am thrilled. The poor child is yet to learn.

‘I assume you are interested?’

‘Of course!’

She finishes in five hours, I review it for two. Work is done and turned in to Posh-Tall with a flourish.

Sometimes, I overwhelm myself. Most times, I am just lucky but who is counting?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009



One of the associates has an annoying Blackberry addiction – and my upset has nothing to do with the fact that I can’t afford one. It really didn’t annoy me until recently, with little work to do and counsel are engaged in bonding and building friendships. BB addict will divert attention to himself, in the middle of poolroom gossip and scurry to the phone like he was paid for reading messages or that the message would self-destruct in two seconds. Everyone knows lawyers like to hear themselves speak without interruption, whether in court or in the pool room. I am a lawyer, so go figure.

BB addict apparently takes his habit home with him. I mistakenly overheard him complaining to Groveller at lunch that his wife accused him of Tiger-resque tendencies, because he was always fiddling on his phone. He took some time whining about how work took so much of his time and how absolutely impossible it would be to play at Tiger, (even if he wanted to) because of the workload etc. All through his lunch therapy, he was fiddling with his phone. Groveller is too diplomatic to point out the obvious reasons for his wife’s suspicions.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Christmas! May Your Days Be Long

Lagbaja, Tamedo & Co., my salary-payer and the 8-6 time-spender does not close shop during the holidays. Apart from the official Christmas Day and the first day of the New Year, which we are grudgingly allowed to spend as we like, we remain open, with hands consistently on the plough, through the days before and between our free-days. All responsible legal practitioners know that the Clauses rely on our essential and crucial legal services to keep the elves hard at work and shield them from employer’s liability or scorn for labour rights. We also protect Mr. Santa from those nasty animal rights activists who may attempt to prevent the ‘tireless’ reindeer from flying every year without pay or time off. More importantly, our clueless clients would surely suffer a heart attack and definitely die if we dare keep away from work during the festivities. We think it’s convenient to have clients alive and paying the bills. Prostate matters don’t pay as well as real businesses.

So, we stay here dedicated to justice, fairness and billable hours. We are responsible, like that. Unfortunately, our best laid ideals have largely failed since we haven’t been doing a lot of work. Besides the enjoyable gossip and Facebook, I haven’t really done much work. Gloater and three other associates are suspiciously ill and are not coming to work.

Despite these reasons and many more (which I am sure I can find), I am far from disgruntled. I am into being happy and the spirit of all that is merry, good and glittering. I also hear salaries will be paid before Friday, the 25th, which also makes life beautiful.

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Felas Women as Psuedo-feminists? Come on!

Fela’s wives were co-fighters in the fight against ‘the corrupt African government’

I like the fact that we celebrate our dead heroes. While recognition is good for those whose hearts still thump, remembering the dead comes to me as recognition of their art and usually devoid sycophancy. In this regard, I salute Najite’s perspective of Fela!, the Broadway musical.
I am however cynical (maybe a little prejudiced but how well can a non-Nigerian tell a Nigerian story? Eh? For instance, while I respect Karl Maier’s journalistic objectivity and integrity, I can’t get past the factual inaccuracies (admittedly slight) and the errors in interpretation in his ‘This House Has Fallen’.
Africa tells Africa’s story best - Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ and many more; Chiamanda’s ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’; Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s ‘Weep Not Child’; Samuel Johnson’s ‘The History of the Yorubas’ Oginda Odinga’s ‘Not Yet Uhuru’; etc.

I think it’s an attempt to retell art. Someone (interpret as: ‘Nigerian’) should rewrite Fela as it is.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rocking Rookie

Dear Rookie Reader,

I know I haven't been updating my blog since it was available elsewhere.

I apologise. From now on, Rookie will also be here and on paper.

I'll also post unpublishable rantings here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No work No Work!

No work! I’m catching up on sleep and Nollywood.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

‘Cunny Man Die, Cunny Man Bury Am’

‘Counsel, are you sure you want to move this motion?’
Counsel is two seats away from me but that does not stop him from placing three legal dictionaries between me and the judge and four volumes of Sasegbon in front of the other lawyer next to me. Fairly enough, he can barely see over the law reports supported by a bulky file in front of him. I am far from upset at his intrusive obstruction since it nicely shields my novel from the bench.

‘Yes, My Lord. The matter is slated for hearing of our motion.’
The court is eyeing the lawyer’s threatening mini-library cum artillery. His Lordship tries again –

‘And you say it is an oral application?’

Everyone knows that prospects of an oral application are less threatening with implied brevity – in simple English: bring down the court’s guards by hiding the bulky reports under the table. Bulky Counsel seems clueless.

‘Yes, My Lord, it will take a maximum of thirty minutes’.
He just made it worse. Thirty minutes of writing is enough to terrorise any judge even on the day before a long weekend.
‘Counsel will file a written address. Matter is adjourned to ...’
‘As your Lordship pleases.’

On our way out, Bulky Counsel – Muktar – winks at Gloater and I. Muktar had gambled on ‘convincing’ the court to give him another adjournment without having to ask for it. Our witness had gone AWOL and the Court had threatened to dismiss our matter at the last adjourned date. With the witness still AWOL; Muktar filed some flimsy motion intending to withdraw it at the next adjourned date.

Lawyers are evil. Very Evil.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Something I Heard from Someone Who Heard from Someone Else

I’m usually one to proclaim belief in the capacity of the human ability to adapt itself to surmount any circumstances. I however never envisioned His Lordship in his scarlet splendour literally behind the bench.
Caveat: These thoughts revolve around bits of gossip I heard from someone who heard it from someone else and far from being a participant in mindless gossip, I only listened since it would have been rude to ignore the story provider. The point is – this story is absolutely a discredited inadmissible yet irresistible hearsay. Really! Here goes:
Locus I hear, was in a court in one of the states in the ‘South-South’, the conservative term for the Niger-Delta. The court was hearing evidence from a ‘dangerously looking’ (not my words) accused person, when a series of loud bangs were heard. My informant swears that the original storyteller said that the noise sounded like the AK-47s bandied in Rambo and Independence Day. In any case, it must have been threatening enough for His Lordship to seek protection under the solid wooden barriers of the bench.
A few minutes later, the (apparently brave) court orderly discovered that the noise was caused by fireworks, the popular ‘banger’ used by children. The culprits were not found so there was no talk of contempt charges.