It was a mixed grill of the serious and hilarious at The Justice Court last weekend. With Justice Funmi Asaolu on the bench, her adjudication offers business lessons to the plaintiff, the defendant and viewers. And just as she was serious in the court session, the disposition of the defendant brought laughter to the audience.
The case on hearing last weekend was between one Olatunji, a kerosene merchant, who was the plaintiff and widow cum mother of three, Adunni Olatunji, the kerosene retailer and defendant.
The plaintiff had alleged that Adunni, who has been his customer for five years, breached his trust when she purchased kerosene worth N90,000 from him but refused to pay. “Rather than pay the debt she owed me since 2018, Madam Adunni stopped patronizing me and started doing business with my competitors. And when all efforts to make her pay proved abortive, I decided to drag her to court,” Olatunji said.
Asked whether the plaintiff’s statement was true, Adunni affirmed in the positive, adding that she couldn’t meet up with the payment due to the ‘condition’ of the country. Speaking through an interpreter, Adunni indeed portrayed herself as a recalcitrant debtor.
However, in her judgement, Justice Asaolu blamed the plaintiff for granting credit to a person without guarantor or collateral, just as she also berated the woman for behaving like an ingrate to a benefactor. She said it was her hope that many will learn useful lessons from a business transaction that had been skewed right from the outset.
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 court room setting.
According to the producer, Neil Oyenekan, “unlike other reality TV shows, The Justice Court is real both in concept and execution, dealing with real life judicial matters.”
The programme is aired every weekend on both satellite and terrestrial networks across the country.