He Almost Attacked Me — Olanipekun Reveals Shocking Encounter With Obasanjo

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

Wole Olanipekun, a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has revealed a shocking incident involving former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Olanipekun claimed that Obasanjo almost attacked him when he suggested making changes to Nigeria’s constitution during his presidency.

The revelation was made during Olanipekun’s speech at the 32nd and 33rd convocation lecture of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

In his lecture titled “Mass Exodus of Human Capital in Nigeria: An Anatomical Analysis of the Causes and Effects,” Olanipekun strongly criticized the 1999 constitution, describing it as “fake” and insufficient in addressing the nation’s challenges.

He called for a complete revamp of the constitution to better address the country’s needs.

The former President of the NBA recounted an incident in 2002 when he led a delegation to meet with President Obasanjo. During the meeting, he suggested initiating a process to amend the constitution.

However, not only was his suggestion rejected by Obasanjo, but it also almost resulted in a physical altercation as the former President nearly confronted him in response to the proposal.

Olanipekun attributed the significant emigration of young Nigerians to various factors, including insecurity, an inadequate constitution, a struggling economy, and flawed federalism.

He said, “We need a constitution with a humane face. I’m a lawyer, but we are deceiving ourselves, our constitution is fake and I have said this over and over, but then you will ask we lawyers that, ‘if we say the constitution is fake, why are we practicing it’? Lawyers and judges apply the law as it is, not the law as it ought to be, so we apply the law as we have it now and we have been pleading that we should amend the constitution, let us overhaul it.

“I, as president of the NBA, I led a delegation of the association to president Obasanjo in 2002, he almost boxed me, I’m here in Ogun State and I’m saying this, he is still alive, he said ‘no you can’t change it’, I said Mr. President, let us seize this opportunity to do it.

“We also appeal to the powers that be now, to our president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the time for us to restructure this country is now if we do not do it, these children that we have abroad might not return home, they won’t come here.”

In reference to past changes made to the constitution, he referred to them as mere pretenses and superficial changes. He also advocated for a complete overhaul of the country’s structure.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.