Dr Remi Olabutora, a senior advocate of Nigeria and politician stands tall among his peers. He earned his rank of senior advocate by courtroom practice with his proven intellectual curiosity powered by an appetite for research, learning, and knowledge.
His early life
Remi Olatubora was born in March 1967 at Ode-Iyansan, a town with the largest palm oil plantation in West Africa. His childhood days were spent at the town in Irele local government in Ondo State. He was called ‘The Water Boy’ those days because he was always on water following logs of wood from Ode-Iyansan all the way to Lagos – a journey of several days on the water.
His father, Oyinboegbola Ezekiel Olatubora, a timber merchant, was learned by the standard of his time. He had Standard Six Certificate and wrote English in cursive handwriting. He also had other lines of business in construction, sands, granite, and gravel. He died as the Regent of Laragunsin of Iyansan in 2000 at the age of 80. Remi’s mother, Mrs. Olufunke Ogunsakin-Olaluwoye, is not learned. She is a cassava and plantain farmer and she is now in her late 80s.
Dr. Olatubora started his primary school education at the United Native Authority (U.N.A) Primary School, Iyansan in September 1972. According to him,” After school, in those days, I would, along with my siblings and other children whose parents were also farmers, go to meet my mum on her farm. We called the farm area Ofiogo. It was a distance of almost 7 kilometers from Iyansan. On getting to the farmstead, my siblings and I, would be given some work to do in the farm. Depending on the season, it could be manual ploughing, yam heaps making, planting of cassava, or weeding. At the close of work, we would be given loads to carry back home. Those loads could be firewood, plantains, cassava, or anything useful.”
“In those days, we would return home from the farm sometimes around 6.00 pm and sometimes it could be as late as 8.00 pm. Whether we came back early or late, we the children, most times alone and some times along with our mums would be required to go to the river (Owena or Ejie) to fetch water for use in the house. That done, we would settle to cook or join our mum’s in cooking. We took our dinners sometimes as late as 10.00 pm. If you have been wondering why potbelly is common among village boys, you probably have gotten one here. But no matter how late we the children close with household chores, we must compulsorily read our books, do our assignments or ‘homework’ as they were sometimes called in those days. We must also get ourselves ready for school the next day. My dad did enforce this”.
After completing his primary school education in the year 1979, he proceeded to Comprehensive High School, Ode-Irele, and later joined Sani Luba Continuing Education Centre, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State where he studied for his Higher School Certificate between 1986-1988. From there, he was admitted to study Law in UNILAG in the 1989/1990 academic session and graduated in 1992. He attended the Nigerian Law School in 1993 and was called to Bar the same year.
His education, career and politics
Dr. Remi Olatubora started his early law practice in Lagos until he was elected to the Ondo State House of Assembly, Nigeria in 1999 as a Member of the Ondo State House of Assembly (Parliament).
In 2006, he obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.
In 2017, he successfully completed his Master of Philosophy of Law (M. Phil.) degree in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. he carried out his Ph.D. field study at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands. He successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis at the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State on the 23rd day of March 2021. His Ph.D. thesis topic is: “Challenges of the Enforcement of International Criminal Law”. His Ph.D. thesis supervisor is Professor Olutunji S. Oyelade of the Department of International Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. His areas of practice include commercial arbitration, competition law, real property investment advisory services, international criminal law (prosecution or defense), transnational criminal law, competition law advisory services, election litigation, criminal litigation, civil litigation, corporate and commercial law advisory services, constitutional law.
Offices held by Remi Olatubora
He has served Ondo State in various capacities which include
- Attorney-General of Ondo State, Nigeria from 2016-2017.
- Represented Ondo State as a delegate to the Nigerian Constitutional Conference of 2014.
- Member and Chief Whip Ondo State House of Assembly 1999-2003
- Chairman Ondo State Sports Council 2009 -2011
- Commissioner for Natural Resources 2011
- Commissioner for Education October 2011- February 2013
- Commissioner for Adult, Technical and Vocational Education 2013 -2016
Dr. Olatubora as an author
Also, he has some books on Nigerian law to his credit which include:
- Electoral Law and Practice in Nigeria in 2006
- The Petition of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Issues in Nigerian Election Law and Election Litigation in Nigeria (2015).
It is worthy of note that one of his texts titled ‘Electoral Law and Practice in Nigeria’ was listed by the Council of Legal Education (Nigerian Law School) in 2007 as a reference text for the training of law students at the Nigeria Law School. In 2019, the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria recommended Election Litigation in Nigeria Vols 1 & 2 (2015) as practice books for all election tribunals in Nigeria.
His teaching experience and journal articles
Dr. Olatubora, SAN taught constitutional law, criminal law, and the law of evidence in Elizade University, Nigeria between 2017 and 2020. He has contributed many scholarly writings to top Nigerian law journals. Some of such journal articles include the following:
- An Analysis of the Compensation Provisions of the Land Use Act in Comparative Context IJICL 2016, Part 1 (January –June).
- Prospects and Challenges of Plea Bargaining in the Administration of Justice in Nigeria IFJR 2016, Part 3, (June-July).
- An Examination of the Onus of Proof and Rule against Hearsay Evidence in Election Petition, IFJR, 2017 vol. 11(1) (January- April).
- Immunities of State Officials and the Challenges of the Enforcement of International Criminal Law (2018) (EULJ) Vol 1.
- An Examination of the Sui Generis Features of Election Litigation in Nigeria (2019) (EULJ) Vol 2.
Court Room Experience and Elevation to the rank of SAN
Dr. Olatubora, SAN is a courtroom advocate. He was elevated to the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2020. He obtained the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria as an advocate (courtroom lawyer), not as an academic.
Court Room Advocacy
Dr Olatubora, SAN is an astute courtroom advocate. Some of the cases recently conducted by him at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Court of Appeal of Nigeria, High Courts, and Election Tribunals include the following:
Recent Supreme Court Cases handled by Dr Olatubora, SAN
- Senator Rashidi Adewole Ladoja v Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi &3 Ors and Accord v Senator Abiola Ajimobi &2 Ors SC/12/2016 (2016) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1519) 87-177.
- All Progressive Congress (APC) v Senator Rashidi Adewole Adeyemi Ajimobi v Senator Rashidi Adewole Ladoja & 3 Ors SC/12A/2016 (2016) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1519) 87-177.
- Adeyemi Pedro v The State SC. 209/2015
- Ayo Adegbite v The State SC.182/2015
- David Philip v State SC.652/2016 reported in 2019 NWLR (Pt.1690) 509.
- Ogunleye Sanmi v The State SC.653/2016 reported in (2019) NWLR (Pt. 1690) 551.
Recent Court of Appeal Cases handled by Dr Olatubora, SAN
- Gbenga Edema &1 Ors v Coker Malachi & 2 Ors Appeal No: CA/AK/EPT/HA/166/2015.
- Festus Oladapo Aregbesola & 1 Or v Appeal No: CA/AK 50/2015
- Olabamidele Olanubi & 1 Or v Hon. Joseph Iranola Akinlaja & 5 Ors Appeal No: CA/AK/EPT/HR/125/15.
- People’s Democratic Party (PDP) v Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa & 3 Ors appeal No: CA/AK/HR/145/2075.
- Smart Adeuyi Omotadowa & 1 Or v Peoples’s Democratic Party (PDP) CA/AK/EPT/HA/168/2015.
- Ogunyemi Olumuyiwa Ojo & 1 Or v People’s Democratic Party Appeal No:CA/AK/EPT/174/15.
- Pastor Akingboye Leke David v Prince Aboyomi B. Akinruntan & 2 Ors Appeal No: CA/AK/HA/175/2015.
- Feyisara Ojasanmi v Federal Government of Nigeria Appeal No: CA/AK/185C/17.
- Accord v Senator Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi& 3 Ors Appeal No: CA/IB/EPT/31B/2015.
- Eddy Olafeso & 10 Ors v Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe & 12 Ors Appeal No: CA/EK/72A/2017.
- Feyisara Ojasanmi v Federal Republic of Nigeria Appeal No:CA/AK/185C/2017.
- Abimbolu Afolalu v Mr Olumakinde Appeal No: CA/AK/36/2018.
Recent Election Petition Cases handled by Dr Olatubora, SAN
- All Progressive Party (APC) & 1 Or V People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Petition No: EPT/AK/HR/1/2015.
- Olabamidele lanubi & 1 Or v Hon. Joseph Iranola Akinlaja, Petition No: EPT/AK/HR/3/2015
- Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa & 1 Or v Akinjo Kolade Victor & 3 Ors, Petition No: EPT/AK/HR/4/2015
- Festus Oladapo Aregbesola & 1 Or v Adesanya Kemisola Adenike & 2 Ors, Petition No: EPT/AK/HA/5/2015.
- Pastor Akingboye Leke David & 1 Or v Prince Abayomi B. Akinruntan & 3 Ors Petition No: EPT/AK/HA/7/2015.
- Gbenga Edema & 1 Or V Coker Adeniyi Malachi & 2 Ors Petition No: EPT/AK/HA/7/2015.
- Ogunyemi Olumuyiwa Ojo & 1 Or v People Democratic Party (PDP) & 3 Ors, Petition No: EOT/AK/HA/13/2015.
- Smart Adeuyi Omotadowa & 1 Or v People’s Democratic Party (PDP) & 3 Ors, Petition No: EPT/AK/HA/14/2015.
- Hon Albert Akintoye & 1 Ors v Ikengboju Dele Gboluga & 2 Ors, Petition No: EPT/NAS/OND/03/19.
- Abayomi Akinfemiwa & 1 Ors v Hon Akinfolarin Mayowa & 2 Ors, Petition No: EPT/NAS/OND/02/2019.
- Omotadowa Smart Adeuyi & 1 Ors v Akingbaso Festus O. & 3 Ors, Petition No: EPT/HA/OND/05/2019
Recent Criminal Cases Prosecuted at the High Court by Dr Olatubora, SAN
- The State v Jacob Momodu, Charge No: Ak/60c/2014.
- The State v Damilare Awoniyi & 2 Ors, Charge No: AK/128C/2014.
- The State v Abiola Oyeyemi, Charge No: AK/34C/2016.
- The State v Sunday Adeogun, Charge No: AK/34C/2016.
- The State v Adegbaye Akinmusayo, Charge No: AK/60C/2015.
- State v Adesan Adedugbe, Suit No: AK/ 69C/2016.
- The State v Godwin Ifeanyi, Charge No: AK/82C/2017.
- The State v Amadu Omojowo, Charge No: AK/ 6C/2017.
- The State v Turoti Adeleke, Suit No: AK/3C/2017.
- The State v Olasanya Tosin Friday (a.k.a. Target), Suit No: AK/ 125C/ 2016.
- Federal Republic of Nigeria v Ogunlisa Igbekele FHC/AK/14C/15.
Recent Criminal Cases Defended Pro Bono by Dr Olatubora, SAN
- The State v Ayodele Bunmi & Ors, Suit No: AK/66C/2017.
- The State v Umoru Bello Suit No: AK/118C/2016
- The State v Abigail Aregbesola, Suit No: AK/15OC/2016
- The State v Olaniyi Philip, Suit No AK/5C/2017
Recent Civil Cases at the High Court handled by Dr Olatubora, SAN
- HRM Oba Thomas Oluwole Adesayo (JP) & 3 Ors v HRM Oba G.B. Faduyile Suit No: HOK/34/2015.
- Adebayo David Alarapon & 34 v The Governor of Ondo State & 5 Ors Suit No: AK/7/2017.
- Arc. Sadiq Obanoyen v Peoples Democratic Party & 4 Ors, Suit No: FHC/AK/CS/80/18.
Marriage and family life
Dr. Olatubora is happily married to Mrs Oluwasayo Janet Olatubora, a senior accountant with Ondo State Government. The marriage is blessed with three children, Ayodeji Moses Olatubora LL.B; LL.M (Northampton England); BL (Counsel Wole Olanipekun & Co.); Opeyemi Josephine Olatubora LL.B, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti; and Ayomide Joseph Olatubora (Aeronautic Engineer in training, National Aerospace University, Kharkiv, Ukraine).
Editor’s note: Some parts of this article were culled from Triangle News Magazine and www.remiolatubora.com).