1999 Constitution lacks elements to address Nigerian problems-Olanipekun

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describes Nigerian 1999 constitution as ‘fake’

A frontline Lagos.-based lawyer and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, on Wednesday (January 31, 2024), appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tibubu to overhaul the Nigerian Constitution now or fail to develop the nation.

Olanipekun said this while delivering the 32nd and 33rd convocation lecture of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

“We 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”,

Olanipekun however narrated how ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo almost boxed him.

He said the ex-president grew angry when he advised him (Obasanjo) to amend Nigeria’s constitution during his administration.

Olanipekun stated this while describing the 1999 constitution as “fake”, adding that it lacked the required elements to address the various challenges confronting the country.

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 us 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.

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