The Court did not sit early. So I had ample time confer with my client. This case has been burning in my heart since the NGO I now work for picked it up from Suleja prisons on Friday. It was the sole thing on my mind throughout the weekend; it served as a form of escapism from my reality of pennilessness. In fact, it was what blurted my mind when my new Boss said she cannot pay me N25, 000 monthly as earlier agreed, that she will pay me N20, 000. I found myself just nodding and smiling. My mind was on Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court. I was picturing the courtroom I have never seen, and accessing the Judge I am yet to meet.

I wanted my day in court. I wanted a fight I am sure I will win. I wanted my pound of flesh. I wanted blood. I wanted fire. Monday came and it was the same case that woke me up. I had slept off weighing my options. I had considered ‘a motion for discharge of my client for want of diligent prosecution.’ I also considered slamming a ‘No case submission’ on the unfortunate prosecutor. I loved the latter; it’s always explosive. I had slept off rehearsing my no case submission in my mind’s field.

I woke up around 5:00 am and took a cold shower. ‘Gwagwalada is far,’ I said to myself, ‘there is no time for boiling water.’ I was ready by 6:00 am. My sister nudged me to have breakfast, but I wouldn’t have any of it. ’There is no time to waste time,’ I said to myself, ‘there is no time to waste time.’ My brother-in-law prevailed over me and I took a cup of tea and four slices of bread. ‘Only the living can win cases,’ he said. So I set out, books and my laptop in my handbag and my wig and gown in my gown-rack. I took the narrow way out of the estate for ‘Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction,’ I said to myself, ‘Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction.’ And in no time I was by the expressway.

I flagged down a taxi going to Area 1 and brought out my newly acquired copy of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA). I have never defended a matter under this new law. In Gombe where I came from the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code are still operative and most laws are still as they were in 1960 when the colonial masters left. ‘Master this law,’ I told myself, ‘A life is at stake, BaristaLoya, master this law!…’ Just as I turned to Section 351 (1) to be sure of what it said, the taxi driver abruptly slammed on the brakes, making the tires and the asphalt scream in unbelief. I was furious and about to unleash the volcano of laws and grammars I had been gauging all weekend when I saw why the driver had suddenly halted in the middle of the road. My jaw dropped in awe, the bricklayer on his way to work sitting beside me whistled and exclaimed ‘Oh boy!’ I took a quick glance at my wristwatch to be sure it was still Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court.

The early Monday morning distraction approached the taxi and opened the back door to the right, the side where I was sitting and hopped in, ‘Gooooood morning… ,’ she said to me in exaggerated alien accent. ‘Good Morning ma!’ I replied briskly and faced my front. I pinched myself to be sure I was really sitting beside Nicki Minaj on Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court. While trying to reach a verdict, Nicki’s phone rang and she answered in a language obviously Nigerian, then I knew it wasn’t Minaj. Her boobs formed a perfect arch, protruding out of the skimpy-outlandish-black-embroidered-spaghetti-gown she was wearing on Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court. Please, who dresses like this at 7:00 am on a Monday morning when young lawyers are going to Court?  Her gown barely covered her pubic region and she offered a generous view of her smooth thighs. I asked myself, ‘where could Nicki be going dressed like Jezebel this early on Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court?’ Did she just stepped out of Hades and is on her way to hell?

The car jerked forward and began to navigate its way through the maze of potholes causing Nicki’s voluptuous boobs to begin to ripple and send bubbles to my brain. AUZUBILLAHI!! ‘Auzubillahi in Jesus Name!!!’ I screamed in my mind to the gods. Then the taxi swerved and her left hand found its way near my crotch as she struggled for support. ‘Ya Yesu! Save my Soul!’ ‘Sorry brother,’ she said enchantingly, ‘sorry brother.’ My brain began to overheat. ‘This is the work of the Devil,’ I said to myself, ‘Concentrate BaristaLoya!!! Concentrate!’ Where is my ACJA? I had dropped it and was stepping on it. I quickly picked it up and placed it on the sudden growth that was becoming visible around my groin region. ‘Channel the energy into productivity BaristaLoya! Channel it to your brain,’ I said to myself. I immediately took a yoga stance in my mind, closed my eyes and imagined I was my own renegade blood vessels flowing from ‘you know where’ back to my brain. It worked. Glory Hallelujah!!!

My joystick commenced a slow descent back to flaccidity, just then, the taxi stopped around Shafa Filing Station to pick 2 more passengers to join the back seat. Nicki moved closer and the 2 passengers squeezed in. Nicki’s hips took more than its fair share of the seat so she slanted sideways and her shoulder was in my face. Well, what’s shoulder? I was stoic about it. She felt uncomfortable and took her left hand behind the neck-rest, thereby placing her jiggling boobs right in my face. My already flaccid phallus responded like an antenna that caught a strong signal. Oh God! Affliction must not arise a second time. I closed my eyes. Her cologne serenaded me. It overshadowed mine. I can smell her, no point closing my eyes not to see her, the curve of her boobs or those offending nipples threatening to pierce out the glittering provocative short gown she was wearing. I could not read either; the car was too cramped up for any reading. ‘Why me?!’ On Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court. Nicki was not comfortable, she kept on twisting and twitching like and irritable cat. Her boobs bruised me again. INNA LILLAHI!!

I began to recite the Fatihah then I remembered I was raised a Christian and switched to Psalm 91, that’s what my father, Chief Deacon Wole Amao would recommend for such a situation. ‘He that walketh in the secret place of the Most-High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…’ I needed not recite it through, it wasn’t working. I tried Psalm 23, the Shepherd’s Prayer. I chanted the whole of it, but my phallus remained unmoved like Mount Zion. Then I remembered my mother of blessed memory and knew that a weak Psalm would not work. Psalms 35 and 109 chanted in the Yoruba language is the solution to such witchcraft. ‘Oluwa, gbógun ti àwọn tí ń gbógun tì mí;gbé ìjà ko àwọn tí ń bá mi jà!…’ I had barely gone half-way with the Psalm when the taxi halted under the bridge at Area 1. Everyone got down including Nicki but I lingered on trying to placate ‘you-know-who.’ ‘Come down na! This is Area 1,’  the Gwari driver barked at me. I quickly alighted and used my bag to cover ‘he-who-must-not-be-named’ while facing the direction where the military van was parked and soldiers sat observing and keeping the peace.

I stood there for about 30 seconds when a young soldier raised his hand up in the air while staring at me, a gesture that asked the question ‘what are you waiting for?’ and gave the command ‘keep moving! Bloody-civilian-idiot-that-cannot-control-konji on Monday the 13th, the day he has a special case at Gwagwalada High Court…’ I doubled up towards the right side of the road where taxis heading to finance junction, Gwagwalada, Bwari etc. were parked waiting for passengers. Then I sighted Nicki again. Oh Lawd! Why! She had not crossed the busy road and offered an HD view of her enormous Bakassi peninsula; I noted the delicately thin waist that can lay any man to waste. I also registered the gigantic curvature that is her bum-bum. ‘He-who-must-not-be-named’ lost his shyness and stood at noticeable attention. I approached slowly. The road cleared up before I got close enough and she ran across alongside a couple of other pedestrians. Her bum-bum wiggled violently, raising her short gown with every stride she took and revealing more thighs… A young-unfortunate-teenage-schoolboy running behind her got distracted and slowed down, his eyes fixated on a jiggling display of a perfect round ass. He was nearly killed by the approaching Mercedes E-class, but thanks to Psalms 109 which I was by then reciting in fluent Swahili. I wondered what he will tell God had he died.

I looked right, then left, and then right again – three times, then finally crossed the road. Nicki had entered a vehicle going a different direction. Hallelujah – Allahu Akbar!!! ‘The Strife is o’er, the battle’s done, the victory of life is won; the song of triumph has begun…Alleluia!!!’ I couldn’t help but sing a hymn of praise. My day was back. My day, Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwawalada High Court. I quickly paid N300 and entered the taxi heading for Gwagwalada. I sat beside a nice-smiley-old-lady. ‘You na lawyer?’ she asked with a statement. ‘Yes ma’am,’ I replied. ‘You young oooo…’ she continued smiling and looking at me like being young is a pathetic disease. ‘Yes Ma’am, I am young and I have been through a lot!’ I interjected. ‘When?’ she queried curiously. ‘This morning, Ma’am!’ ‘Just this morning?’ ‘Yes, this Morning Ma’am!’

‘Abeg, wetin happen my pikin?’

‘Hmmmm, Mama, no be everything eyes see, mouth suppose talk. Let’s just leave it like that Ma’am’ I replied with a tone of finality.

‘Hihihihiihihi,’ she busted into laughter. I smiled. ‘Young Balista, you funny oh…’ She began to talk about President Buhari’s return with the driver while my mind wandered away to what lay ahead. Today is Monday the 13th, the day of my special case at Gwagwalada High Court…

  • To be continued…..

*From ‘Diaries of a Young Nigerian Lawyer.’