To Alamala Magistrate Court where Baba Lekki is embroiled in legal combat to free cows detained for trespassing and causing aggravated injury to farmland. He had earlier secured a habeas corpus for the rude and unruly bovines to be produced in court pending the determination of the substantive suit. The presiding magistrate, Anthonio Peregrino-Domingo, is a no-nonsense former prize-wrestler of Brazilian ancestry who had stowed away to Liverpool to read law in the sixties.
A hush fell on the court as soon as the case was called. The atmosphere was straight out of a Kafka novella. Many people could not understand how anybody could come to court to defend cows. But then strange things were happening all over the place. A few people shook their head in commiseration as soon as Baba Lekki announced his mission.
“I am Lambert Adesokan” Baba Lekki opened, dispensing with customary judicial formalities. “Having secured a habeas corpus from a court of coordinate jurisdiction I am here to compel the authorities to release the detained cows on bail. The last time I checked, trespassing was a bailable offence.”
“My lord”, shouted Sergeant Ajenifuja as he leapt up. “This baba is just looking for trouble as usual. Animals cannot be granted bail”.
“Then ask the fool why animals must be detained if they are not entitled to bail,” Baba Lekki snapped. The magistrate shifted on his chair and then hit his gavel on the table…
“I will not tolerate the use of foul or abusive language in my court”, he growled. Baba Lekki ignored him as another hush fell on the court. After what seemed like an eternity, it was the sergeant who broke the ice.
“My lord, ask this baba why he is always looking for trouble and causing problem for government. We used to know him as human right fighter, but now he is animal right fighter. Na becos of cow he wan die. Abi which kind yeye nonsense be dis? Even dem great Gani no dey fight for dem Ondo dog, him dey whack dem, so wetin be dis baba him problem?” the sergeant asked with a mischievous frown.
“Mgbo (Yoruba for listen) Why this cow business? Are you a meat seller?”, the magistrate asked the old man.
“All that is nonsense correlation. There are cows in human skin and there are people in cow hide. All animals are equal, including cows being detained and the cows detaining them”, the old contrarian screamed.
“My Lord, you can see this man is wasting court time with his jagbajantis grammar. I urge the court to dismiss the case for lack of merit”, the sergeant crowed.
“Not on your life, you must produce the cows because of the subsisting order”, Baba Lekki thundered.
“Are the cows in court?” the magistrate demanded.
“My lord dem no dey”.
“As I dey come with dem list one cow come bite my pocket and him come chew paper patapata. But I sab dem casualty list well well. Ten cows die from hunger strike. Five come die from motor accident. Twenty die from military welfare. Stomach infrastructure killed fifteen and them Ijare thunder fire twenty, so na only two cow remain and dem police mess people don kaput dem for pepper soup”, the mad sergeant croaked.
As he was reeling out the figures, one old man kept muttering bisimilahi, bisimilahi until a huge thunder struck, scattering everybody.