•Joins APC legal team
Undoubtedly, one of the the issues which have dominated discussions in recent times is the hearing of election petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar against candidate of All Progressives Congress (PDP), President Muhammadu Buhari who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Well-meaning Nigerians from various quarters and groups prevailed on Alhaji Atiku not to challenge the victory of President Buhari, rather he should congratulate him. Atiku, however, decided not to toe the path of the advice given to him and therefore headed to the election tribunal. In response to the petition filed against the incumbent president, the APC filed out a legal team many were confident will be able to rise to the occasion, based on the brilliance and intellectual sagacity of members of this legal team. Some of the members of the team that boasts of about best Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) included, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, team head, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Niyi Akintola, SAN and Festus Keyamo, SAN, among others.
Atiku is now becoming the hunted, on account of a salvo fired by the Buhari’s legal team in defense of their client. Atiku presently battles with a submission by this legal team that he was in the first place not eligible to contest elections in Nigeria as he’s alleged not to be a Nigerian Citizen by birth, an allegation he had dismissed.
However, while Buhari’s legal representation is being thumbed up, what Nigerians didn’t know is the source of the story and the person who blew the lead about Atiku’s faulty citizenship. The lead was blown open by a brilliant lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, although not a SAN. Ajulo has now been approached by the APC to be part of this legal team.
Prior to the presidential election, Ajulo did a comprehensive research, publish same and proceeded to a Federal High Court in Abuja through a Civil Society Organization, Egalitarian Mission for Africa. He sought to stop Atiku from contesting the Presidency based on the allegation that he was not a bonafide citizen of Nigeria by birth, as the Constitution only permit a Nigerian Citizen by birth to contest for the exalt office of President of Nigeria.
This singular gesture of Ajulo, has shored up admiration and accolades from the intelligentsia. Part of such responsibility is his recent inclusion in the committee saddled with responsibility of resolving the crisis between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). A few among other highly placed individuals in the committee included, Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Chief Edwin Clark, Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and Femi Falana (SAN).
However, facts and events have shown that Ajulo, a former National Secretary of Labor Party, is not new to coming up with laudable initiatives as there are handful of such developments at his instance of that could be pointed at.
During the days of President Umoru Yaradua’s illness that resulted in his demise, it will be recall there was desperate moves by a cabal to prevent the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan from becoming the substantive President. Ajulo, then counsel to the Ijaw leader and Jonathan’s Godfather, Edwin Clark, came up with a thesis after which he approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, to compel the cabal and National Assembly to make President Jonathan acting-President. An this, the doctrine of necessity birthed and was adopted by the National Assembly.
Adepoju, a Public Affairs Analyst lives in Abuja