The experience of Olumide Olujinmi, son of a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, SAN, was not different from some lawyers who were honest enough to admit that they were jittery in their first appearance in court. His fears were further compounded with the fact that five senior lawyers appeared against him on his first day in court.
Olumide recalled that his first time in court was not too bad. “I will say it was not that bad. I was not vast with court procedure but I had read certain thing that I thought could see me through my appearance in court”, he said.
According to the youngman, who now works in the chambers of his father, he appeared in court for the first time as a youth corper, serving in the Ministry of Justice, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state. “The case I went for that day was a criminal case and it was during my youth service programme. it was in Port-Harcourt and it had to do with the case of some militants.
“I appeared in court and announced my appearance. My senior in the Ministry of Justice in Port-Harcourt did not brief me very well on the fact of the case, but I did the little I could do by going through the file and when I got to court that day, the case was called and one of the accused persons was called for his defense in the case.
“I had about five senior lawyers on the other side and when they first announced their appearances, I asked myself quietly, if I was in the right place. I wondered how I could be having my first appearance with five senior lawyers. When the case started, the witness began to give his evidence and the instruction given to me that day was just to record proceedings and take an adjournment for cross-examination.
“So, the witness kept on giving his evidence, along the line, I discovered that his lawyer was leading him in evidence the way he should not do, according to the law and I objected to the line of questioning. As soon as I objected, you cannot imagine what happened.
“The five senior lawyers rose at the same time and pounced on me, saying that I was interrupting the witness, since they knew that I was a new wig. There was nothing I could do than to run to the arm of the court to seek protection. Of course, I was jittery and did not know what to do. I was quick to ask for an adjournment so that my senior could come back on the next adjourned date and take over the case”.