OPINION: Bukola Saraki: Between Preaching Progressivism and the Breach of the Rule of Law. By Abubakar Baba Sulaiman

Date: 2014-08-11

I have always argued that Bukola Saraki has the tendency of a character that contradicts the contents of the gospel he preaches. For those who know the character in question, Bukola's manipulative tendency is on virtually every aspect of human endeavour; politics, culture, economy, social, religion, education, health, etc.

He would come here to read "scriptures" of good conduct to us but would subtly do other wise. I'm going to make a particular reference to the current woes of the politically dehydrated senator, which I can bet is not known to most of his lackeys.

My expectations at the end of this piece is for people to judge if it is legally and morally appropriate for the senator to attempt to arm twist the system.

For those who do not know, Bukola's first daughter by name, Halimat Tope Saraki is presently a student at the Nigerian Law School, (NLS) Lagos Campus. She was admitted as a Bar Part I student having come from an abroad based University where she had her LLB degree. She is to take part in the forthcoming Bar final exams which is to start 16th August, 2014 (this month).

By Law School regulations, every student must secure at least 70% attendance as one of the prerequisite to write the exams. This is part of the "fit and proper" ethics that has been in practice for years. Even if you are a first graduate and you are not "fit and proper" you can't be called to the Nigerian Bar. However, I know in Nigeria, "anything goes" but Nigerian Law School has never taken this discipline less serious.

In the past, a lot of students who didn't meet up with this requirements have not been allowed to write the final exams.

From a very reliable source, it has come to my knowledge that the first daughter of the senator has not met this requirement. By the School rule, she has been duly informed and her name among those that wouldn't be allowed to write the final exams for the above stated reason.

Where laws and ethics of an organisation have been found to have been broken, any attempt to "lobby" the non-execution of the sanctions prescribed for such action or inaction could best be described as obstruction of justice. Anyone found obstructing the course of justice, is equally liable.

I can tell you authoritatively that Bukola Saraki has been fighting tooth and nail, running helter skelter to illegally, by way of subtle influence on the School Authority, upturn the Law School decade long rules in favour of his erring daughter.

As at today, Bukola has sent a number of "big" personalities including some senior members of the Bar to the Director-General of Nigerian Law School to persuade him to allow the young lady (whose excuse for not regularly attending her classes was her frequent visit to her maternal grand mother) write the exams.

Let me tell you a little I know about the DG of Law School, Dr. A.O. Onadeko. It would take heaven to accommodate Satan than for Onadeko to tolerate indiscipline under his administration. Even as a DDG of Lagos Campus then, Dr. Tahir who was the DG then didn't find it easy to "tame" Onadeko.

However, I must acknowledge the fact that, in Nigeria, you can't be absolutely sure satan would not pollute an Angel through subtle machinations and manipulation. Bukola is perfect at the this - the same way he brain-washed and collected over N2b from Baraje for one phantom business partnership.

Nonetheless, may I remind all those involved in this unfolding saga that NIGERIANS ARE WATCHING and waiting to see if the rule of law would reign supreme or breach of it would be imposed. When an unsavoury precedent is set now, Nigerians would make reference to it.

Let me also add at this juncture that I have nothing against the young Halimat. Of course, I have no reason to do so, my concern is just the sanctity of the system and enforcement of all values and ethics a great Institution like NLS with decades of standing reputation is known for. If Bukola is begging to compromise the School regulations for his daughter, what justice (injustice) would have been done (for or against) those other poor students who fall under the same category (or even different categories) and who don't have a Senator as a father to lobby for them?

As always, I challenge any doubting Thomas to prove me wrong if this I have said above is not the correct situation of things. As always, we say it the way it is with assertive credibility.

Let me now ask you these questions and I want you all to answer same in all fairness: Is Bukola right to have lobbied to illegally influence the School Management to allow his daughter write the exams? Should the Management of Law School distort the age-long discipline and ethics for the Senator's daughter? If compromise is "reached" eventually and the girl is allowed to write the exams, are we going to be correct to suggest that money has exchanged hands? Is arm-twisting by a sitting senator and a "progressive" for that matter the new "rules of engagement"? Then what should Law School Management do on the young lady?



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