Top 10 Election Petition Advocates in Nigeria – Akin Olujimi (SAN)

Chief Akin Olujinmi , former attorney-general and minister of justice, is principal partner, Akin Olujimi & Akeredolu, a law firm he established in 1986 in partnership with Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Esq.

The partners have enjoyed remarkable success together in both the legal and political fronts evidenced by their joint victory in the course of the 2020 Ondo governorship election legal battle. Olujinmi led a team of 46 lawyers at the election petition tribunal in defence of the electoral victory of Governor Akeredolu – the APC candidate in the case brought by Jegede of the PDP.

The defence counsels successfully shifted the essence of the case from the petitioner’s argument on grounds of candidate’s sponsorship to one of validly of his nomination, which the petitioner failed to prove.

Olujimi is the lead counsel for President Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election petitions to nullify his election. Following once again the technical issue in the Jegede v Akeredolu case, the defence lawyers shifted the issue in consideration from the petitioners’ focus of non-transmission of electoral results to whether the non-transmission nullifies the results.

In their argument, failure to transmit election results to IReV should not change the results, as it does not contravene the law though it runs contrary to INEC’s own set rules for the game and despite that the electoral body’s guidelines were based on the electoral act.

While the petitioners at the presidential election petition tribunal pleaded corrupt practices and non-compliance with the electoral act, the defence counsels shifted the ground for decision – that non-compliance has not substantially affected the result of the election.

They roll the ball back to the petitioners to establish by evidence that non-compliance with the act effected the outcome of the election – which is the condition for election petition to succeed on the grounds of corrupt practices and non-compliance with the electoral act.

Olujimi featured in the July 2022 Osun State election petition as counsel to the former governor – Adegboyega Oyetola against the declaration of Governor Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the election. He successfully argued the case at the appeal court – which nullified the election before the supreme court overruled the decision.

He was also the counsel to the APC in the election petition arising from the June 2022 Ekiti State governorship election where he won the case.

He stirred a major legal battle that highlighted several electoral matters at the Rivers State election petition tribunal for the 2015 election when he served as counsel to the APC’s candidate – Dakuku Peterside. He led the tribunal to a ruling that nullified Wike’s election – which was upheld by the court of appeal but finally overturned at the supreme court.

Olujinmi holds an LLB (Hons) degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1979. He worked at Pan-African Gas Distribution, NISER and University of Ibadan, before setting up the law firm in 1986 –which operates from its offices in Ibadan and in Abuja.

He attained the status of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1997 and was appointed Nigeria’s attorney general and minister of justice in 2003.