On November 23, the School of Law held its second moot court session. Students of CDV 211 (Development of Law and Justice) simulated actual court proceedings.
The case was between the Commissioner of Police and a photographer. The charges include unlawful arrest, wrongful detention, as well as a breach of fundamental human rights.
Two teams of four students each were the counsel for the prosecutor and the accused respectively, each making his or her submissions to the court.
The prosecutor who was the accused in this case had detained the photographer beyond the 48 hours stipulated by the law, causing the accuser to seek justice through the court. It was submitted that the plaintiff was carrying out his job of snapping photos at a political rally, but the defendant deemed his action a breach of public peace.
Both teams quoted sections of the Nigerian Constitution, including the provisions of the Police Act and the Criminal Procedure Act to back up their submissions.
Third-year Communications & Multimedia Design major, Vivian Nweke, was the lead counsel for the accused. Besides enrolling in the course to fulfill her General Education Requirement, she saw it as an opportunity to practice being a lawyer for a few moments.
Ms. Nweke added that her team rehearsed three times before the moot court session. Despite being a challenging role, she still found it an exciting experience since she got to do something she had not done before.
“I probably had a problem doing this because I am not a law student. It was kind of tough for me. I had to learn everything, every word. There were particular terms I had to say like “My Lord” which were things I had not been used to yet.”
The prosecution was led by a third-year law student, Kassam Nenfortumwa. The lead counsel said she also found it a wonderful experience, adding that it has improved her presentation skill.
The Interim Dean of SoL, Prof. Lawal Ahmadu, was the judge who presided over the proceedings. He said the law clinic is to prepare the students for the real world when they graduate.
“It is a hands-on learning exercise meant to develop their presentation skills in court. This is because the essence of a lawyer is to be able to present people’s claims and defend their rights. The earlier they practice this, the better they will be able to do it competently in real life.”
The course instructor, Olanike Adelakun, said the day’s proceeding was a significant improvement on what they had done before.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa