Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s legal team is a 13-man squad made up of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and lawyers appointed by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) political party to defend the mandate of their presidential candidate.
Their names include: Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN (Lead Counsel), Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq (Life Bencher), Sam Ologunorisa SAN, Rotimi Oguneso SAN, Olabisi Soyebo SAN, Gboyega Oyewole SAN, Muritala Abdulrasheed SAN, Aliyu Omezia Saiki SAN, Tajudeen Oladoja SAN, Pius Akubo SAN, Oluseye Opasanya SAN, Suraju Saida SAN, and Kazeem Adeniyi SAN,
The appointment of Tinibu’s legal team came on the back of the scuffle between him and major presidential candidates Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who are contesting his victory in the 2023 elections.
Nigeria’s 2023 presidential elections which were held on February 25th, 2023, were reportedly flawed by so many irregularities alleged to be caused by riggings and manipulation of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to favor the ruling party. The results of the election showed that APC’s Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes in 12 states ahead of PDP’s Atiku who came second with 6,984,520 votes and LP’s Peter Obi who took third place with 6,101,533 votes.
The first and second runner-ups in the presidential elections have rejected the outcome of the elections and have taken their grievances to court. However, the APC has vowed to defend their mandate as well and has appointed a 13-man team which includes 12 SANs and the National Legal Adviser of the Party, Ahmad El-Marzuq, to help them fight the legal war.
List of Lawyers in Tinubu’s Legal Team
Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s legal team consists of 12 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and the National Legal Adviser of the ruling party
1. Abdullateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, SAN, is the Lead Counsel
- Date of Birth: June 22, 1956
- Age: 67 years old
- Alma Mater: University of Jos, University of Ife
Barrister Abdullateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, born on June 22, 1956, is a renowned senior Advocate of Nigeria and one of the most influential lawyers in the country. He is also known as a philanthropist. Lateef Fagbemi is the lead counsel of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s legal team. After years of hard work and dedication to his studies at the University of Jos, he graduated in 1981 and was called to the bar shortly after.
He also bagged a Master of Law (LLM) at the University of Ife in 1984. Fagbemi soon started out with Chief Afe Babalola SAN under whom he began practicing as a lawyer. Fagbemi later established his own law firm called Lateef Fagbemi & Co where he made a name for himself in the Nigerian legal space.
His works earned him several notable positions with the government, including a Judge in the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court. He has contributed significantly to justice and the rule of law and has a lot of wins on landmark cases. He has also successfully handled high-profile election issues. Lateef attained the peak of his career in 1996 when he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
2. Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq ESQ. (Life Bencher)
- Alma Mater: Bayero University, Kano
Ahmad Usman El Marzuq who hails from Katsina state is the National Legal adviser and member of the APC’s 13-man legal team. He is also the Minister of Justice at the Katsina State Executive Council and a life bencher in the Nigerian legal profession.
Barr. Ahmad studied at Bayero Univerity of Kano where he bagged his LL.B (Hons) in 1985. He also had his masters in 2005 in the same school. He is a significant figure in the Nigerian legal profession and has served in different capacities with the most notable being his appointment as Katsina state’s Minister of Justice.
EL-Marzuq who became the APC National Legal Adviser in April 2022 has since then piloted the progressions and legal logistics of the party during the electioneering. Shortly after his appointment, rumors were rife that he resigned, however, the party has since debunked the reports.
3. Sam Ologunorisa SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Ife
Barr. Sam Ologunorisa is the third name on the list of Bola Tinubu’s legal team. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos from where he bagged his LLB in 1986. The distinguished lawyer had his Master of Law degree from the University of Lagos. He established his law firm, Sam Ologunorisa & Co, in 1989 and has made significant strides in his over three decades in the legal profession
In 2007 he reached the peak of his career, as he was elevated to the prestigious rank of a senior advocate of Nigeria at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Sam has been involved in a lot of litigation which cuts across different areas like commercial litigation, corporate law, banking, comparative constitutional law, and comparative criminal Law and procedure, etc.
4. Rotimi Oguneso, SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Ife
Rotimi Oguneso is another reputable name in the legal profession. Rotimi who joined the Nigerian Bar in 1991 bagged his LLB at the University of Ife in 1990. He is a legal practitioner and partner at the prestigious Abdullahi Ibrahim & Co law firm where he has been since 1995.
5. Olabisi Soyebo SAN
- Alma Mater: College of St. Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA; University of Buckingham, England
Mrs. Olabisi Soyebo, SAN, one of the formidable women in legal practice, is a renowned advocate, solicitor, arbitrator, and conciliator. She is also a partner at Abbdullahi Ibrahim and Co and heads the firm’s office in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT)- Abuja.
Olabisi started her career with a degree in sociology which she earned at the College of St. Elizabeth New Jersy, USA. She then proceeded to study law at the University of Buckingham, England, and graduated with LL.B (Hons) in 1987. She joined the Nigerian Bar in 1988 and has since then made a name for herself in the legal field.
Her forte revolves around civil/criminal appellate litigation as well as commercial transactions which encompasses corporate finance, capital markets, labor, and oil and gas. Olabisi is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved capital market consultant. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK).
Among her numerous involvements includes the high profile suit involving the Federal Government, Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Union Bank, and Petro Union, with the renowned SAN defending the CBN.
In the case, the latter sought to compel the CBN, Union Bank, and the other agencies of the Federal Government to deplete their treasuries by $15 billion to satisfy a court judgment delivered in its favour. Reports have it that Petro Union’s application was rejected by the court.
6. Gboyega Oyewole, SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Ibadan, Oyo State
Gboyega Oyewole is well-seasoned in dispute resolution and is experienced in litigation; this has taken him to different courts, including the Supreme Court and High Courts. Gboyega is the Head of Chambers of the prestigious Afe Babalola SAN & Co, a law firm where he started out as an associate. He was also a partner in the firm of Oyewole and Oluborode and the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, in Ekiti State.
He is a graduate of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. Barr. Gboyega who has been involved in a lot of dispute resolution has worked on landmark cases revolving around election petitions, oil and gas, manufacturing, etc. His specialty includes but is not limited to company law, intellectual Property, Arbitration/Dispute Resolution, Oil & Gas, Construction Law, Debt Recovery and Insolvency, and Fundamental Human Rights Law.
The renowned SAN has also worked on issues revolving around commercial transactions. Records of his records on his commercial cases are:
- The 2B financial arrangements involving Sanderton Ventures and Union Bank
- the Scheme of financial arrangements for Ebun Industries Limited
- The coordination of re-financing of African Independent Television by a consortium of 17 Banks across the nation, among others
Gboyega was an active bencher in the Nigerian Body of Benchers for four years (from 2006 to 2010). Within this period he was also a member of the Council of Legal Education Nigeria, as well as a member of the Ekiti State Judicial Service Commission.
7. Muritala Abdulrasheed SAN
Muritala Abdulrasheed is also part of Tinubu’s legal team. He is a seasoned lawyer and senior managing partner at the reputable Muritala AbdulRasheed & Co. Law firm. In the course of his legal profession, he has served as a member of the Osun State Judicial Service Commission, an elected National Officer, and an appointed member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Like some of his counterparts, Barr. Abdulrasheed is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK. He specializes in commercial litigation which encompasses election petitions, arbitration, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, public interest litigation, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, assets & project management, banking & finance, capital markets, probate & administration of estates, real estate & infrastructure, etc.
8. Aliyu Omeiza Saiki, SAN
Kogi state indigene, Aliyu Omeiza is one of the Senior Advocates in the team who adorned the silk only a few years ago. Although there is little information about him, it is known that he was conferred with the title of senior advocate in December 2020 at the Supreme court of Nigeria in Abuja. He is the proprietor of Aliyu Saiki & Co law firm located in the FCT.
9. Tajudeen Oladoja, SAN
Sources reveal that Tajudeen Oladoja was selected in 2017 by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to be appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court (JSC) under the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari. However, there is no verified follow-up information on that as it was later reported that Federal Judicial Service Commission rejected the list.
10. Pius Akubo, SAN
Pius Akubo is a renowned senior advocate of Nigeria with over 30 years of experience in legal practice. He made the news on March 9 2023 following reports that he rejected the appointment to be part of Tinubu’s legal team tasked with the responsibility to defend his mandate.
This is buttressed with a statement by the senior advocate saying he was not informed about the appointment before his inclusion on the list. The statement also added that the Senior advocate was declining the offer for personal reasons. There have not been any updates on the development.
Barr. Akubo is popularly known as a successful businessman, investor, and philanthropist. Pius Akubo is the founder of the Pius Akubo Foundation and the Akubo Healthcare Foundation. Through the Pius Akubo foundation, he provides aid for less privileged children. Through the latter, he provides healthcare aid for people in impoverished communities.
11. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Lagos, Nigeria; University of London
Also part of Tinubu’s legal team is Oluseye Opasanya, a seasoned legal practitioner and a renowned senior advocate. He is the Deputy Managing Partner at Olaniwun Ajayi LP law firm located in Lagos. The skilled litigator prepared himself for the profession at the University of Lagos where he earned his LL.B (Hons).
He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School Lagos to acquire his Bachelor of Law (BL), and later attended the University of London where he bagged his Masters of Law LLM degree. His forte includes a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, trade finance, insolvency, receivership, and capital markets.
His impressive strides in the corporate field have earned him appointments as receiver-manager for notable creditors in respect of distressed assets and companies. He has also been of significance to the Nigerian government; as he has successfully handled a couple of landmark cases and advised past and present administrations on several matters.
12. Suraju Saida, SAN
Suraju Saida is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and is also part of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s legal team in the tussle between key parties challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential elections. There is little or no information about him, however, Suraju Saida is said to have handled a political application by four Kano Emirate Kingmakers against the creation of new Emirates and installation of new emirs by the state government.
13. Kazeem Adeniyi SAN
Barr. Kazeem Adeniyi is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and is also part of BAT’s legal team defending his mandate. However, there is little or no information about him.
List of SANs and Lawyers in Tinubu’s Legal Team
- Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN (Lead Counsel)
- Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq (Life Bencher)
- Sam Ologunorisa SAN
- Rotimi Oguneso SAN
- Olabisi Soyebo SAN
- Gboyega Oyewole SAN
- Muritala Abdulrasheed SAN
- Aliyu Omezia Saiki SAN
- Tajudeen Oladoja SAN
- Pius Akubo SAN
- Oluseye Opasanya SAN
- Suraju Saida SAN
- Kazeem Adeniyi SAN