Gani’s 10th anniversary series: Day he boxed judge into a corner

By Unini Chioma -August 9, 2019

Gani Fawehinmi, centre, Femi Falana, second right and other lawyers

Richard Akinnola

The late Gani Fawehinmi was in court one day in one of his cases against the military government and he urgently needed an adjournment for a strategic purpose. There wasn’t any serious reason to ask for an adjournment as both counsel on either side were ready for the hearing of the motion on notice.

Trust Gani with his ingenuity. He got up and took the judge up on a rather strange matter.

He bellowed:”My Lord, this case cannot go on because there is a serious and fundamental breach bothering on the independence of the judiciary, not you my Lord.

” My Lord, turn around and look at that picture behind you. That’s the portrait of the military Governor, menacingly staring at you like a gun being pointed to the head of my Lord.

This matter is against the government but it is wrong to hang such a portrait directly being my Lord at this hallowed court because it constitutes a psychological assault on not only my Lord but all other judges.

So, therefore my Lord, this case cannot go on until this important issue is addressed and l would humbly urge your lordship to grant us a short adjournment, to enable the Chief Judge address this matter.”

The judge granted his request, adjourned the matter and guess what? At the next adjourned date, the portrait of the military Governor, Brigadier Raji Rasaki had disappeared from all courts in Lagos State, replaced with the coat of arms.