Why Buhari’s ‘foes’ work for him, Falana


Femi Falana

THE victory of Muhammadu Buhari in the recent elections in Nigeria and his inauguration last week as the country’s sixth elected president certainly did not come easy.

It came as a combination of several factors, including contributions from perceived enemies of Buhari who suffered bruises during his brief reign as Military Head of State in 1984.

Among those that fell victims and suffered some degree of bruises were Femi Falana, then a very young lawyer, Yemi Adefulu who was a commissioner in the administration of late Chief Bisi Onabanjo in Ogun State and Tunde Thompson then a journalist with The Guardian Newspaper.

Curiously all these men including many others, did not only canvass for votes for Buhari, some went as far as going to court to defend him when some individuals challenged his eligibility to contest the election.

One of them, Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and one of the lawyers that defended President Buhari in the eligibility suits, told The Guardian in an interview that, “I decided to put all the ugly past behind me so that it would not rob me of the opportunity to make candid and informed decision as well as take redemptive actions which the country’s critical situation today requires.

“I decided to defend Buhari in the suits because I was convinced that apart from my professional responsibility, I was also contributing my own quota to the expansion of democratic culture in our country.

“I think General Buhari’s personal integrity has continued to earn him admiration even from those who have suffered under a military junta headed by him.

“I must also add that as far as I am concerned, I do not nurse any bitterness against any former military dictator that detained me, including General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, because I was convinced about what I was doing, it was a voluntary exercise. My involvement in the struggle of our people and the restoration of democracy in our country is voluntary”

Falana said his action was borne out of the conviction that since there is no law barring Buhari or any past military leader from exercising their democratic rights, he is free to contest for any office in the country provided he meets the requirements, adding that when this happens as a patriotic citizen he would always put the overall interest of the country first by ensuring that the best candidate is made to emerge.

On what particularly inspired him to mobilize support for Buhari, the senior lawyer said, “I am convinced he would arrest the grave culture of impunity in the country which has reached a disturbing phenomenon.

“My support for him during the poll was also driven by my conviction that he would muster the courage to wage a meaningful campaign against corruption under the rule of law. Of course, I know the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo very well; I have worked with him in the area of judicial reforms. I am of the belief that the duo have the required discipline and integrity to make the rule of law work in our country.

“However, I am jittery about the economic programme of this new administration, which I strongly suspect is going to be market forces driven. I am not comfortable with the embrace of market forces.”

  • Prince T

    Falana has no credibility anymore. He is now admitting the obvious. We knew all along that he was partisan and biased. Why pretend as if he was neutral.

    • Oluwasanmi

      So you expected Falana to support GEJ with all the corruptions and impunity. You must be a kid when Gani Fawehinmi and Femi Falana were regular Prison Inmate under Babangida. No one in its right mind will want GEJ to continue Except for tribal sentiment and sense of irresponsibility

      • Dre

        You get sense jare. Let the ethnic bigots continue to fume for nothing. Their man is now in otuoke lol

        • Abayomi A

          It was a mistake to have allowed the man to return to Otuoke. Only those who achieve reside in Otuoke. The woeful failure (as with Jonathan) should be consigned to OtuIsale. The man belongs in OtuIsale.

      • Prince T

        i did not expect falana to keep quiet. by the way, stop comparing falana with gani. they are two parallel lines. it was true that gani and falana fought and hold all our government agenciies to account in the past. gani could be a one man riot if need be. however many of them including falana and onagoruwas fell off the wargon. how many of them have been to court and prison for human right issue. gani sued obj on virtually everything to the grave. falana and other speak with two sides of the mouth. falana is no longer neutral

    • The Trib3sman

      The man is angling for relevance and possible appointments.

    • Dre

      What Nigerian law forbids a practicing lawyer from being partisan? If he wanted to pretend as being neutral, he never would have fought tooth and nail for the candidacy of Mr President. As I post this, I’m still trying to phathom how bias he’s been in the whole saga. Don’t be naive pls. Let’s make Nigeria work together. GEJ failed and that’s why he’s been kicked out of office. Many Nigerians have become wise. You either join the moving train or remain with the mediocres. Top of the morning to you

      • Prince T

        no law forbid anyone from being partisan. However you have to make your intention clear. you cannot abuse your priviledge as a human right fighter to go partisan. human right people are always NEUTRAL. I am not against kicking out gej nor anybody in pdp but speaking with two sides of the mouth is wrong. and also keeping quiet when the party you supported is doing the wrong thing. did falana who hails from ekiti condemned the actions of decieased ekitii law makers or that of amaechi runing the judiciary aground. I guess that you see where I am coming from, top of the afternoon to you too.

        • Alamu

          “Human right fighter” is a privilege? “Human right people” are always neutral? Balderdash.

          • Prince T

            You can move the goal post the way you want and it does not change the facts. My answer to you is “na you and your big grammar sabi”.

  • Iheonunekwu Joseph Nwabueze


    • Alamu

      Was el-Rufai on the ballot?

    • Proud Yoruba

      APC is ready for governance, it is Buhari and his Northern Cabal who want absolute power that are not quite ready. They are finally realizing how democracy works and they can’t go back to Northern Born to Rule!

      I love it! The only ruler in Nigeria now is the law, any human being is subordinate.

  • Vicolo

    Falana or whatever u call yourself should not be talking about integrity cos he doesn’t have, he’s full of double standard so I believe U will serve urself the already battered hypocritical inegrity and allow us have peace. Juciary, ur 1st constituency was murdered for over one yr in Rivers state n humanity suffered untold hardship, U never said anything now u
    Av mouth to talk. u r a disgrace to ur group.

  • Lubama

    Why did you not make your disclosure before the election? Double talker and political lawyer