|Barrister (Dr.) Kayode Ajulo (Ph-D), Founder, Castle of Law Chambers, Abuja-Nigeria|
This is our fourth edition of the memoir-like encounter with Abuja based legal icon and former National Secretary of Labor Party (Nigeria), Barrister (Dr.) Olukayode Ajulo (Ph-D) in his Abuja’s Castle of Law chamber last December, 2016. The Afira-Akoko, Ondo State (Nigeria’s South West) born legal icon had taken his time to share the story of his life from cradle to stardom with Asabeafrika the way he has never done with any media organization before. It is the story of humility, the story of courage and destiny. The very dynamic legal icon who became Nigeria’s youngest secretary of a National Party in his very early thirties has recorded so many first in his career. Becoming a concierge at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja at age 15, Ajulo was full of life until late Major General Benjamin Adekunle Scorpion hurled him out of the hotel environment at 17 and forcefully dumped him at the inner nook of the University Of Jos, where Ajulo later graduated with a degree in law.
He has since added more degrees to his feather from institutions
across the world including a Ph-D
with his thesis majoring in Corporate Social Responsibility. In this last part
of our rare encounter with Ajulo, he
shared the story of his encounter with the soapbox from sheer activism and what
he intends doing in the future. His love for the Yoruba Bible and the Holy
Quran amidst other of his best kept secrets will thrill you. Find the best
moment and enjoy the exclusive with your favorite drink and small chop.
|L-R: The GDA with Dr. Kayode Ajulo's late Father's friend, Chief Joop Berkhout of Safari Books Ltd and the man who gave Dr. Ajulo fame, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State|
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo meets the GDA|
|Dr. Olukayode Ajulo....A Very Proud Ondo Man|
Well, I will thank you for saying one is a great politician from Ondo state. But I must quickly say this, Ondo state is in a class of its own with other comity of states in Nigeria. When you are talking of true politicking or talking of politicians with bright and big ideas, progressives with wealthy ideas, they are from Ondo state. And even, I made bold to say that from Ondo state, the Action Group that we talk about till date birth in Owoh. That is inside the palace of the Olowo of Owoh. And you know we in Ondo State, we are republicans. We are independent minded, you see millionaires, I mean those that have made money without even knowing where the government house is located.
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'The Most Sophisticated Politicians in Nigeria are from Ondo State'|
Some think Ondo people are arrogant?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'People from Ondo State are not strong headed. We are only principled'|
No, you see when you decide to maintain your lane and you are principled, people always misconstrue arrogance with being principled. We are principled. Someone will say to you “Awon Ara Ondo L’agidi” (The Ondos are very stubborn) and it is not always about agidi, it is just being principled. Everyone has his or her own peculiar idiosyncrasy. But I must say this, I took to Abuja as a young man and like I just mentioned, that I studied at University of Jos. Ever since, I have been living in Abuja and I have been doing what I know how best to do, that is law. And from there, (Nasir) El-Rufai started demolishing houses in Abuja and I was one of those that stood against him to say ‘No, you can’t do this’.
There was a moment and time in Abuja
that we had nothing less than thirty six different cases against the minister
of the FCT, that is El-Rufai, on demolition of properties
here and there. And even there was a time that he (El-Rufai) was even in the
dock for almost three hours because of his disobedience to rule of law and
particularly to court orders. I was just doing it on my own, thinking I am doing
my job not knowing that people were actually observing. So, people from nooks
and crannies in Abuja came and said ‘You have to lead and represent us in the
National Assembly’ and that is
why in 2011, I found myself contesting under Labor Party for the Senate. This is borne out of the fact that I am
a man who loves ideas and I believe in ideology. I won’t be in a party just
because everything goes; you have to mark your niche. That is why in 2011, I
ran for Senate in Abuja. The story is
for another day because the experience is something I don’t always like
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'I once instituted over 36 cases against Nasir El-Rufai'|
What really happened to you?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'I had a sad story trying to become a Senator in Abuja but that is for my memoir someday'|
The story is there for all to see, you can google it. I was abducted for 3 days, in this FCT, Abuja. But let us let the history stay as it is because it was a very bad memory. And from there, everybody started asking ‘where exactly are you from?’, ‘Oh, you are from Ondo State? Well, you need to come home and we need to see more of you’. So, my political popularity didn’t actually start from Ondo state. And most of my political activities in the state are not far fetched.
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'My freewill activism in Abuja fetched me a great volume of goodwill across Nigeria and particularly Ondo State'|
So, would you be ready to lead Ondo state someday?
|Dr. Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'We are all Political Animals by attitude'|
Let us be sincere, as long as man lives, man remains a political animal. Even goats, if you watch them very well, they do have their own leaders. We are all political animals. Our aspirations in life are to be the best we can be. My dream and prayer in the last 20 years is just one thing; I want to be a blessing to my people. And the more you do that, the larger it goes. I know some people will ask ‘Kayode, we know you as a lawyer and activist, what made you to find yourself in politics?’ The answer is simple—People, because in the confine of my office, I can only do little. But by the time you find yourself where you are given a platform to do what you have been praying and hoping to do to a greater number of people, you will sure touch lives and beautify destinies. My prayer is that ‘any position that will give me that opportunity to be a blessing to a larger number of people, I ask God to allow that’.
But it is not my lone
decision that will make that happen. We have leaders and I recognize them
because I know my age. And again, I have the Almighty God that looses the path
of men and that really counts. I believe I do not have that authority to say ‘this is what I want to be’. Only God
can decree that and whatever he decrees, I will follow.
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'That i will lead my state tomorrow as Governor is not going to be my sole decision'|
How do you start your day as a busy advocate?
|Dr Ajulo tells the GDA about his alarm which has been permanently tuned to ring a reminder of Praise offering to him|
Well, I start my day like every other person. What you may not know is this; the Almighty God is the author and finisher of our faith. Once you are awake, you thank God for what He has done. Even recently, I am doing something which I want to share with all. The idea just came to my mind and I implemented it. My alarm reminder is now programmed to remind me every hour to praise the Almighty God. So, once my phone beeps with that alarm, I go into the praise mood. Just the shout of Halleluiah alone is enough messages to God.
|Dr. Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'Anytime my alarm rings, i give God a Hallelujah Praise'|
What is the best book you read that changed your life?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'My Best Book is the Holy Bible'|
I think the best book in life is so clear, it is the Bible. You will appreciate the Bible not only when you read it but when you do the literary appreciation of the Bible. Because I remember my first year in the university, we were taught how to appreciate a literary work and I applied that to the Bible, each of the writers of the Bible, if you can identify and appreciate who they are individually. That is why you see that the book of Luke is different from the book of Mark and even the book of Mark is different from the book of Mathew.
When you go upper and
deeper, you have the Chronicles, you have the Judges
and all those ones and when you look at the narrations you will see a wide
difference in literary presentation.
And again, I must say this one. It was my
mum that told me this; she said the best way to appreciate the Bible is when you read the Yoruba
Bible, the synthesis, the lexicon, the grammar, it is very deep and you
appreciate the Bible very well. You
just read it. Look at the Psalms; let me give you one, by the
time you interpret in Yoruba and you interpret
in English, you will see that
something is missing. For example when you read the book of Psalm
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo's Best Book-The Holy Bible|
|Mum, Madam Christiana Mojisola Ajulo taught son, Dr. Kayode Ajulo how to read Yoruba Bible|
|'The Yoruba Bible is more Profound in terms of letter and diction'--Dr. Kayode Ajulo|
|Dr. Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'The Bible is the most Comprehensive book that gives you everything from love, politics, justice to law'|
You emphasized so much on the Yoruba Bible, why?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'My Mum told me about the Power of Psalms through Yoruba Bible'|
I remember, it was my mother that even told me the reason, because the Yoruba Bible was not translated from English to Yoruba but from Jewish language to Yoruba because Bishop Ajayi Crowther did the translation not from English to Yoruba but from the conk dialect, that is why when you are reading it, you can feel it. Even, your book of Psalms, just read it through from the Yoruba Bible and you will be so thrilled and it will broaden your horizon. So, if you are looking for law, you will see it there, if you are looking for politics, you will see it there, if it is justice, you see it there. Even if you are looking for romance and love, it is in the Bible.
The greatest love letter that I have ever read I got it from the Songs
of Solomon. You just read and you will be inspired. So, everything
is found in the Bible. And if you ask
me ‘what is the second one? (Best Book) I will tell you, it is the Quran.
Funny enough, I went to a Northern University (University of Jos) and I
can remember that I had As in my Islamic studies throughout my days in the
University and funny enough, that tilted me to a certain school of thought that
is favorable to mankind. I tell people that I belong to the Hambali School of thought.
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo reads The Holy Quran fervently|
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo's Next Best Book: The Holy Quran|
What is the meaning of Hambali School of Thought?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'I am an Egalitarian'|
Hambali School of thought is the most egalitarian in the about four schools of Islamic thought. If you are talking about justice, equality and fairness, we are egalitarian in the Hambali School of thought. You know we have the Sunnis; we have the Shiites and all of them. We have so many schools of thought but I think I hold Hambali School of thoughts in high esteem because I so much believe in their doctrine because you can identify yourself with it.
All what I believe
that must be given to humanity is found in the Hambali School of thought and that is why I founded Egalitarian Mission Africa (His NGO)because I believe everybody must be
treated equally. That is my philosophy.
|Ajulo in a student of one of this four Imams (Imam Hanbali)|
What would Dr. Kayode Ajulo not be caught doing apart from writing your briefs, politicking and advocating?
|The GDA with Dr. Kayode Ajulo inside his Castle of Law Chambers|
Well, I need to say this and you will be surprised if I say it. All my life as a man, I know there is sin and there is a difference between sin and inequality. Today may not permit us to explain further but one thing I want you to know is this, as a lawyer, I have made it a principle of living and I can say this is to the memory of the late Chief G.OK Ajayi, he will tell you that anything that you don’t want to be splashed on the front page of a newspaper, you should not be caught doing it. Anything in my life that I know I am doing and I cannot invite you as a blogger to come and cover it, then I will never do it.
That is why we
Nigerians need to really ensure that this Freedom
of Information Bill works. You will see our (political) leaders today; they
will call the entire journalists if they are trying to give out money to the
poor. But if they are stealing, they dare not ask. They are ready to pay you to
report their little charities which is even their constitutional responsibility
but if they have done something wrong, even for you to ask, they are ready to
kill. That is why I believe in Freedom of
Information. So, for me, anything that cannot be said of me to be good,
anything I cannot do with you covering it with all your paraphernalia of work,
I won’t do it.
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'I am an advocate of the Freedom of Information Bill'|
Maybe you are following the four way of the Rotary which you have in your chambers here?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'Anything i will do and my conscience will query me, i wont venture into it'|
Absolutely! That is my guiding principle. I want my life to be as open as a good book. If I don’t want anybody to report it, then, why should I do it? Anything I am not proud of doing, I shouldn’t be found doing it.
If you are to find yourself in a room with one million Nigerian youths, what is going to be your chief message to them especially those who think making it is easy?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'I want the Young Ones to believe in themselves'|
Number one is that they should believe in themselves. They should believe in themselves that they are gods. They shouldn’t believe that there is anything to limit them; there is no limitation that is what I always believe. And most of the things you see me doing most of the time are because I believe in myself. Because once you believe in yourself and you can think, you will succeed. Let me cite an example, I remember during the time when we had the issue of the illness of President (Umar) Yar’ Adua, right here in this office, the idea came, that it is possible, that there must be a way out. And glory to the Almighty God and some few others, the Doctrine of Necessity came on the issue of permanent incapability and we birthed it here on this table (Pointed to his seat)
(Cuts in) You mean the famous Doctrine of Necessity came from this Castle of Law?
Right here, it is so clear.
But someone else claimed the glory?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika...'We created Doctrine of Necessity in this chamber but we let others take the glory'|
Yes, those in the Senate. Even they will tell you today that it is this senator from Oyo State, Folarin. I think he was the house leader at the time, I didn’t even intend to raise it but I remember that we even went to court. We sued them because when we are talking of permanent incapability, which means that somebody sent in a message and it was transcribed in the paper, and our constitution didn’t even give the stipulation of how it should go. After all, when you are to resign, our constitution says it must go first to the clerk. But in this particular case, they said once it is transcribed and if we can hear your voice where you said ‘I am sick, I am coming soon’ like it was been published in the newspaper and this same thing has been tendered in the house, that is enough notice. And we went to court and funny enough, the judge; I think Justice Kolawole even thanked us. As of the time we were withdrawing the matter from court, he said ‘this process is something of commendation and this is what Nigerians are supposed to be doing’. And they received it, I remember they deliberated upon it and I was even invited by some senators to discuss it. That was one legal feat we, made for ourselves. So, it is just for you to think and they should think in their ability. And let me raise one thing. Most of our youths today, you see them doing Yahoo-Yahoo. In a day, I receive nothing less that 20 or 30 yahoo-yahoo mails and do you know my worry?
|Dr. Kayode Ajulo to Asabeafrika....'I get fake mails here in my chambers but i do advise them to redirect their intellect prowess to something profitable'|
When you read their proposals, you will see display of elegance; you will see display of intellect and initiatives. So, sometimes if I want to reply I will say ‘look, this is a very good proposal, why don’t you just be legit?’ you know what I am trying to say? So, that means that whosoever that is writing this must be very, very smart, must be very, very brilliant, must be very brainy, why don’t just be legit? But their focus is wrong and diabolical
Ona ton gbe gba lo yato, instead, won a gbe gba oju window. No, I am serious; I have been receiving those scam letters in my office here. You need to see most of their proposals and at the end of the day you discover that the purpose is to scam people but why don’t you go legit? I believe I am one of the living examples of the glory of God to raise somebody from nowhere and become something. It is so clear; it is so obvious I have that story to tell. And the Nigerian youth should realize that, if I can do it, if he can do it, if all of those I mentioned can do it, then you can. Funny enough, most of our leaders, many of them never had a privileged background and they made it. So, what is their problem? And again, if they always think it is the American dream and it is always in America, we have our own examples of Nigeria dreams and they should try and strive to ensure that they become Nigeria dreams.
|The GDA with Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State: The Man who made Dr. Kayode Ajulo become famous|