By Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo Esq.
I am compellingly constrained to put my thoughts to papers on the raging and indecent exchanges of abusive words and vulgar languages , fitted only for motor parks touts that have been trending on the internet and the social media network by two of my respected Seniors and Benefactors, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN who is the Asiwaju of Ido and Alhaji Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, the present Honourable Minister for Communications in Nigeria.
I am sufficiently very close to both of them and the duo always regarded me as their “good and loyal boy and foot soldier “.
While Asiwaju Adeniyi Akintola is my reverred “Egbon” and kinsman as we are both “shons of the soil”, but I must state clearly that I am not an Ibadan irredentist like the learned Chief ; Alhaji Shittu and I are bound together only by professional and Islamic ties. However, while the latter is an Islamic fundamentalist, I am just a nominal and or a liberal Moslem who is even faithfully married and “committed” to a very devout Christian spouse.
It is pertinent for me to state that both the learned Silk and the learned Sheikh are some of the greatest admirers of my Principal , mentor and role model, Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu Esq., SAN , the vintage Aketi ,who is the incumbent Governor of Ondo State. In actual fact, it was through Aketi that I became closer to both reverred Senior Counsel especially during the the impeachment saga of Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja. Both of them would attest to the fact that I was fully and actively involved in all the cases as an obedient and loyal junior to them from inception of the cases till the end together with my friend and brother, Sunday Aborisade Esq. a.k.a. ” Orisa / Boris or the Learned Life Bencher”
I must add that it was the witty and savvy Aketi in his usual characteristic self who nicknamed the 2 gladiators as “Sai Niyi” and ” Ya Shittu” respectively during the Ladoja’s impeachment cases and most especially the locus classicuss case of INAKOJU & ORS v. Hon. Adeolu Adeleke & Ors ( now popularly known as Senator Rashidi Ladoja’s impeachment case.
Please permit me to state that I have been deliberately consistent in mentioning Chief Akintola’s name before that of Alhaji Shittu because of the established tradition of our noble legal profession which is greatly premised on Seniority at the Bar.
While Alhaji Shittu was called to the Bar in 1979 , Chief Akintola was called called to the Bar in 1986 but he had progressed to take Silk and became a member of the prestigious inner Bar in 2003 , thus becoming , by human providential efforts, the re-odered Senior of Alhaji Shittu who still remains a member of the outer bar till date.
Posterity had records and accounts of the great roles played by both of them in the build-up events to the impeachment of Senator Ladoja as the Governor of Oyo State and also their conducts in the prosecution of the cases up to the Supreme Court where we eventually got justice for Senator Ladoja . May the good Lord accord them and all other counsel in the matters (including myself)their due and deserved rewards for all their actions and inactions in the case. Amen.
Unknown to many, it was Aketi who put a mobile phone call to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who was then the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State at that material time in my very presence to plead and persuade the then Governor of Lagos State, the iconic Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu to urgently intervene and come to the aid and rescue of Senator Ladoja who was then fastly being swept off by the impeachment tide set in motion by Alhaji Lamido Adedibu ( now late) with the active support of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo and with the active connivance and collussion of the leadership of Oyo State Judiciary.
What eventually saved Senator Ladoja was that phone call that afternoon by Aketi in his law office to Professor Osinbajo, the then HAG, Lagos State in my very presence and Aketi said, ” Oj, please close that door” and after which I complied he started the telephone conversation as follows, ” Jebby, you people should be interested in the unsavoury development in Oyo State where some touts and thugs were camped together at a private hotel and proceeded to impeach a duly elected Governor in a wanton and brazen manner. Please talk to your Governor to arrest the tide and reverse the aberrations for posterity sake and in the overall interest of our nascent democracy. ” Aketi put the phone on speaker since it was just the 2 of us that were in his office that afternoon. The learned Professor replied , ” Aketi, what exactly do you want us to do moreso that Ladoja and his troublers are all members of the PDP while we were in the opposing party”
Aketi pleaded with him and said, ” if you assist Senator Ladoja, I can assure you that he would forever appreciate you and join your party well ahead of the 2007 general elections. ” The HAG was satisfied and asked Aketi to proceed with the strategies he has in mind. Aketi opined , ” We should retain all the counsel already in the matter which majorly included the cerebral Mallam Yussuff O. Ali, SAN Chief Akintola SAN, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, S.S.Akinyele Esq., and M.O.Adebayo Esq., BUT it is extremely important that we bring on board immediately the following leading Counsel, the reputable Chief Wole Okanipekun SAN, Kola Awodehin Esq. SAN , Professor Taiwo Osipitan SAN,the respected Femi Falana Esq., and the immaculate Dele Adesina Esq., ( as both of them were at that time).
I have distressed this far to underscore a very important point which is very germane to the exchanges of letters by both Chief Akintola and Alhaji Shittu in that till date and except as being just stated by me here for the very first time, neither Aketi nor Professor Yemi Osinbajo has ever come out in the public to claim authorities for constituting that great and bright consortium of lawyers unlike what would have been the case with some lesser mortals who would have selfishly arrogated such to themselves and flaunt same unnecessarily to score some cheap and pedestrian political gains, even after earning their fees.
Let me also add and state that Aketi did not suggest himself as member of the Legal Consortium, rather it was the learned Professor who said that , “Aketi, I ruled and ordered that you must be there for effective and efficient co-ordination”. And Aketi also complied.
The needless and unnecessary letters being exchanged by a former junior counsel and his erstwhile Principal could have been totally avoided if both of them are true and faithful students of ” Yoruba Ayanmo” or ” Destiny” . What will be will be without much ado as it is only the Almighty God that ordain and install a king or leader as He wishes. You plan, we plan but Allah(swt) is the best of planners.
The outburst which to me is undeservedly needless and the guttural response by an aide who consistently illiterately uninformed referred to his boss as “Barr. Shittu which is unethically against the manner of addressing Counsel who should be simply referred to as Alhaji Adebayo A. Shittu or as Adebayo A. Shittu Esq., both unscrupulous letters or interview or releases or whatever they may be are mere “show off” especially the first letter to curry political favours and sympathies ahead of the APC Governorship primaries of Oyo State for the 2019 elections.
I make bold to say and am very proud to assert that none of the 2 gladiators here can claim to be as sufficiently close as me to the Governor of Too State, Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi. Whatever facts , figures and data they may be brandishing and flaunting around now, like many other aspirants to succeed Senator Ajimobi in 2019, are not only false assumptions or over-estimation of themselves and or their imaginary contrivance to deceive the gullible and unsuspecting party members and the public.
I am a core SENACO person and a disciple of Ajumose politics of Ajimobi, I know him too well that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and eschew psychopantic and dogmatic behaviours and tendencies. He may, most unlikely, ignore such people but he is never taken in or deceived by such.
Ajimobi doesn’t need any attack dog to ward off any pest or strayed meddlesome interlopers as he is in himself an ” Oyo mesi”and would therefore not engaged any rabble rouser or stormy pretrels to do so on his behalf. In actual fact, he always admonished us not to bring down the bar of intellectual discourse in the state to the hitherto pedestrian level because according to him , “if you choose to fight with the pig, you will end up being dragged in the mud of pigstu which is the pig’s natural habitat. And men, for crying out aloud , we are too refined, civil and decent for that kind of amala politics”
I would refrain myself fro giving the details of the N8M financial request solicited by Alhaji Shittu from Senator Ajimobi to offset his house rent in Abuja shortly after he was nominated as Minister by PMB. Alhaji appealed to the Governor to cover his nakedness as he had no money to get a house in Abuja and also that he has no serviceable vehicle prior to his appointment.
Some persons whom he co-opted to achieve the easier grant and release of the fund are- Professor Abdul-Rasheed Aderinoye, Alhaji Akintunde Yunuss, and Mr. Oyaremi. When the Governor gave him the bail-out, the Minister, Professor Aderinoye and Alhaji Yunuss told me about it and asked me to please help them to appreciate the Governor for the prompt and kind gesture/ bailout and I did just that.
The reference to the money by the Minister and his Aide as ” Greek gift” is mostly uncharitable and unfortunate. Ditto for the Aide’s feeble and lame duck excuse that the money was thus diverted and use for the publication of some NCC books. The Minister and his Aide can tell that cock and bull story to the marines as same is not only untenable but a mere afterthought ingeniously devised by the Minister to pocket and keep the other rent money of N8m which he also collected from my esteemed Learned Senior, Benefactor, Pious Quintessential Gentleman and a consummate Bar Man, Ahmed Raji Esq., SAN whom the Minister had also, cleverly ,obtained another N8m from for the same and one only house rent.
If the Minister perceived the money to be Greek Gift, why did he fail to return it to the owner instead of insulting our intelligence here by telling us that he gave directive that the money be used for NCC project. It is a notorious fact that NCC is one of the most buoyant federal government Commission. ” No be NCC, Na NNPC”. What an allocutus?
I must add that Alhaji Shittu has, long before his appointment as a Minister being a beneficiary of Senator Ajimobi’s largesse and bail out fund for various needs including domestic upkeep and vehicle maintenance.
I was even privy to the fact that it was Senator Abiola Ajimobi who paid for Alhaji Shittu’s nomination form for CPC Gubernatorial candidate in the 2011 election.
Having put all these issues in proper perspectives, it is very vain , mischievous and gross display of ungratefulness on the part of my respected and brilliant Egbon, Adeniyi Akintola’s SAN to knowingly deny and failed to acknowledge his watershed which historically is the Crescent Chambers of Alhaji Bayo Shittu. There must be some modicum of honours , even among thieves. Also, Sir , your first salvo fired at Alhaji Bayo Shittu is, to say the least, unprovoked and unwarranted. The man under whom you cut your teeth in the Legal profession deserves an unreserved apology from you Sir.
Alhaji Bayo Shittu, you also owe the Governor , Senator Abiola Ajimobi , first and foremost a great debt of gratitude, which must be followed up immediately with an unreserved apology and please use the grace of this holy month of Ramadan to seek for Allah’s forgiveness for you have unknowingly offended Allah through your ungrateful disposition to the Governor.
Alhaji Kunle Sanni of NACOMYO fame once told me and I verily much believe him that your facade of Islamic fundamentalism notwithstanding, that the only distinguishing feature between your good self and my humble self is that you don’t drink alcohol while I do, but that we both do all other things together and have them in common. I had since 30th December , 2016 also abstained totally from alcoholic drinks. Let’s pray to Allah in this Ramadan month to take off that other thing too from us so that we can be better Moslems.
On who will become the Governor of Too State in 2019, only God the ultimate Decider and Finsher of human affairs aha do that for us in Oyo State just like he did the unprecedented Second term victory for us in 2015 by ceremoniously broken both the myth and the jinx that surrounded it.
The Most High God who is the Alpha and Omega is still there and we trust and believe in Him to again do the best for us in Oyo State in 2019 and we are very sure and assured that He shall do it again. It is done deal case of prayers already answered and who even knows whether tonight is the Ramadan’s Night of Majesty.
Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo Esq., is the Immediate Past Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Oyo State.