Last weekend’s edition of The Justice Court was like replay of a scene from a Nollywood movie, yet it was reality as the plaintiff in the case got the shock of her life when the presiding judge, Justice Funmi Asaolu gave her verdict.
In the case, which was full of drama mingled with tears and laughter, one Miss Esther Oshomeh, an aspiring actress and producer had contracted Rocky, a film editor, through her mutual friend to help edit a film.
In her statement before the court, Esther stated that she paid Rocky N65,000 for the job but days after she heard nothing from him. Upon enquiry, Rocky said the flash drive containing the film had been stolen along with his laptop when robbers attacked him.
Esther pleaded that the court should help her recover the N65,000 being the cost of editing the film and N420,000, the cost of shooting the film. Justice Asaolu asked the defendant whether the plaintiff’s allegations against him were true. This, he corroborated, pleading that the court should tell Esther to be “reasonable” and “show understanding” with his plight.
But in her no-nonsense manner, Justice Asaolu berated Rocky: “How can you tell her to be reasonable when she contracted you for a job, which you did not do and still lost her film. That is double losses. I caution you. I take exception to your choice of words. And you are a young man. Common, remove your fez cap! How dare you put on cap while you are in the dock?”
As the proceeding progressed, the judge asked the plaintiff to show evidence that she actually spent N420,000 to produce the film. But she couldn’t produce any concrete evidence save for a text message on her phone showing how she converted the currency she allegedly used to shoot the film to naira. However, Justice Asaolu said the message on her phone was not strong enough to proof her case.
In her verdict, Justice Asaolu asked the defendant to pay N65,000 being the cost of the editing while she dismissed the plaintiff’s prayer for the cost of production, for want of evidence.
Produced by Avonix Nigeria Limited and shot in the ultra-modern studio of Hotsports Media in Lagos, The Justice Court is patterned after the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) model to deliver fair and speedy dispute settlement in a courtroom setting.
Speaking about the programme, the producer, Neil Oyenekan, said: “Unlike other reality TV shows, The Justice Court is real both in concept and execution, dealing with real life judicial matters.”
The Justice Court is aired every weekend on both satellite and terrestrial networks across the country.