MOOT TRIALS .THE FOUNDATION FOR SOUND ADVOCACY
There is a popular adage which states that; "seeing is believing". Initially, I failed to realize the reality in the above assertion, until when I found myself in ECOWAS chambers.
This chamber is one of the 5 prestigious chambers located in Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, (UDUS) Faculty of law. The whole essence of this chambers is to build up the potentials of law student not only on the theoretical aspect of law but also on the practical aspect of Law i.e. The way in which court proceedings are being carried out, it has to do with each chamber training their members to be good solicitors and advocates in their field of studies.
However, among all these chambers, I became so fortunate to find myself in ECOWAS chamber. All chambers comprises of students of law from 100 Level to 500 Level with one of the students being the Principal Partner (PP) of the chamber. The role of the PP is to guild and train his members on how court proceedings are done.
ECOWAS chamber was popular for being among the undefeated chambers in the history of UDUS, Faculty of Law, before the record was recently broken. Initially, when I joined the chamber, I felt my engagement in mooting activities was just a waste of my precious time. Then, I considered it to be out of the scope of my intendment in this great citadel of learning, but along the line, there was a sudden change in my thought and opinion about the chambers activities. I later came to realize the fact that being in one of these chambers and participating immensely in moot trials, is one of the best things that had ever happened to me in this great institution.
In fact , I consider this extra curricular activity to be of vital importance to law students who wish to be Legal Practitioners.
My days in ECOWAS chamber entails series of trainings as I fervently dedicate my time to the curricular. As a weekly routine of ECOWAS chamber, we usually convene in the moot court for trainings on how procedures are being observed.
I could remember vividly, the first training I received in ECOWAS chamber was from my Principal Partner in person of Mustapha Mustapha, a 500 level Law student, motivational speaker with sparkling words that could awaken a dead mind. That awesome day, I was curious on what he was going to teach me and what's so special about him.
He confidently came and sat in front of me, at that point, I was so furious to know what he was going to teach me. The first thing he asked was 'Did you what trial plan is?' On hearing this, my soul was buried in a sea of confusion. I wasn't expecting a question of that nature from him. I was thinking he was going to ask me about something that has to do with theoretical aspect of law which wound have earned ma a big plus that day. I tried severally to give him a good answer but at the end, he made me realize that am not even on the way, talk more of getting the right answer. On hearing this, I was disappointed. he later succinctly explained the concept to me. Having experienced this, I started developing interest in coming for trial trainings and meetings schedule by the chambers.
The most interesting part of the training was the Intra Mooting Competition introduced by the principal partner. All the members of the chambers will be divided into two in which one side would be for the defence counsel and the other side would stand for the prosecuting counsel. This intra-mooting was restricted only to members of ECOWAS chamber. with this development, members of the chamber were able to control and combat the high rate of ill-confidence in them. The rational behind this method is to enable the members to be conversant with the way court proceedings are being carried out and also, to build the courage of most of the members who feels coy at the gaze of crowd.
Although, toward this procedure, blunders and countless mistakes are bound to happen and corrections are made immediately. In fact, there was a particular day when we were conducting a trial plan and I was faced with the task of making an application for granting of bail to one of the accused persons in question. I stood up and read aloud 'I am before this honourable court to move the motion for the application of granting bail' on hearing this, all the members in the court bursted into an unstoppable laughter, I was immediately corrected by the principal partner that the correct way to move the application is to say; 'i have an oral application my lord,my application is brought pursuant to section 35(4)CFRN and section 341 (2),(3) of the criminal procedure code. From that moment onwards, I never make such a mistake again and which i believe that it something that would forever ring in my ear and memory.
The bitter problem that law student are facing contemporarily is there lack of commitment and dedicated minds to participate in moot/mock trials., thousands of law students across the nation sees moot trials as a total waste of time and unnecessary for them. To grace Mooting up, it would be better and a more beneficial idea if the school management can considered moot trials to be a compulsory exercise that must be observed by all law students.
To this end, it would be of paramount importance to bear in mind that the whole essence of being a law students lies not only on attaining the theoretical aspect of law but also on how to apply and put the theoretical aspect of law into practice which can only be achieved with the commitment of law students to activities of moot trials organized by each chamber of the faculty