Nigeria’s President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday inaugurated his legal team, charging the legal luminaries to defend his mandate and virtue of democracy.
The team, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, is made up 49 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANS).
Tinubu won the February 25 election, defeating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Ob, who are challenging the victory at the tribunal.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate won in three geo-political zones-Northwest, Southwest and Northcentral. He came second in Northeast, Southeast and Southsouth.
According to foreign observers, the poll was credible, transparent and peaceful.
At the inaugural meeting of the legal team at the Ikoyi office of the lead counsel, Olanipekun, highlighted the tasks before the members.
He said the task before them was not just about defending his election, but a task that had as its heart, the defence of democracy.
Reflecting on the poll outcome, he said results from Lagos, his home state, and Katsina, where President Muhammadu Buhari hails from, were unthinkable, adding that they were only possible due to the free and fair nature of the election.
Tinubu reiterated his Trust and confidence in the ability of the team, recalling that he had worked with most of them in the course of his own defence of democracy and democratic institutions.
He said he has complete faith in the ability of the counsel to bring their wealth of knowledge, experience and diligence to bear in the defence of popular wish of the people.
Thanking them for their patriotism, altruism and selflessness, he said by volunteering to accept his instruction, they not only represented him, but Nigerians who clearly stated their choice at the poll.
The president-elect commended the lawyers for their comity, camaraderie, collegiality, partnership and solidarity with the masses.
Olanipekun, who said the team had accepted the charge handed down by Tinubu, said given the calibre of the counsel, there will be team work.
He said the task before the team was a solemn and sober one, which must be executed through the deployment of expertise.
Olanipekun said the task has to do with the instrumentality of the law, adding that the team should be ready to extract, extricate and excavate any legal authority, no matter where they may be hidden in the world, to actuate the President-elect’s instructions.
Other counsel at the meeting included Prince Lateef Fagbemi, Mallam Yusuf, Ali, Tayo Oyetibo, Chief Niyi Akintola, Chukwuma Ekomaru, Dr. Hassan Liman, Professor Dakas Dakas, and Anthony Malik.
They pledged to leave no stone unturned in realising the President-Elect’s mandate.
Also at the meeting were Babatunde Ogala (SAN), the All Progressives Congress (APC) Legal Adviser, Ahmad El-Marzuq, Life Bencher, and Festus Keyamo (SAN). They assured the counsel of the party’s support.
The team members are Olanipekun, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, Chief Akin Olujimi, Mallam Yusuf Ali, Emmanuel Ukala, Chief Afolabi Fashanu, Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi, Chief Niyi Akintola, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, Tani Molajo, Tayo Oyetibo, Mike Igbokwe,
Bayo Adelodun, Oladele Adesina, Oladipo Okpeseyi, Lawal Pedro, Chukwuma Ekomaru, SAN
Olasupo Shasore, Abiodun Owonikoko, Dr. Hassan Liman, Adesegun Ajibola, Solomon Umoh, and Tunde Busari.
Others are Prof. Dakas Dakas, Ogwu James Onoja, Prof. J. Olukayode Olatoke, Chief Hakeem Afolabi,
Dr. Muiz Banire, Oladapo Olanipekun, A.U Mustapha, Chief Yomi Aliyu, Olusola Oke, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, Bode Olanipekun, Prof Lawan Yusufari, Anthony Malik, Babatunde Ogala, Funmi Quadri, Remi Olatubora, Kunle Adegoke, Abdul Mohammed Rafindadi, Chief Anthony Adeniyi, Marcel Oru, M.A Abubakar, Said Sanusi, Adebayo Mutalubi Ojo, Hanafin Mumin, Prince Lukman Fagbemi, and Ahmad El-Marzuq.