Slim-built, light-skinned and trendy Akoko, Ondo State-born Dr. Olukayode Abraham Ajulo, can be referred to as a youth ambassador, and that is on the basis of how well he’s done for himself as a young man.
At a relatively young age, Ajulo contested for a senatorial seat after which he became the national secretary of the Labour Party. Away from an impressive political resume of a young man, amiable and brilliant Ajulo has also carved a niche for himself in the law profession as well as a human rights activist. This handsome dude is the founder of Egalitarian Mission Africa, an organisation that focuses on human rights issues.
There is no doubt that Ajulo is doing very well and holds more prospects in the law profession, but certainly, the journey must have begun from a point. In this regard, Ajulo recalls he never had toys to play with as a child; rather, he buried himself reading more, especially since his father was a book seller. But ultimately, the respect his father used to accord the Bishop of his church and the late Justice Kayode Eso, made young Ajulo to be determined to either end up as a lawyer or a cleric.
His words, ‘I believe in providence and that God always leads you to wherever you want to go. I have to say I am happy I came from my parents, the book seller. They made us to know the importance of education and the same reason is why I will continue to praise Obafemi Awolowo, for he knew the importance of education and he made it free in the south west so that people could be liberated.
The first place where I appeared as a lawyer was the Supreme Court. I think it was one of my happiest moment when Chief Rotimi Williams mentioned my name as one of those that would appear with him to represent the Federal Government and the next day, I checked the papers; I saw my name and I said whao, I have arrived. To me, that was the day I kicked it off
“I was made to understand the importance of education very early. I did not have toys as a little boy; it was only books. I can still picture where I used to lock myself up with books in one of the book shelves. Another reason why I said providence is that, as early as age eight, I had an encounter with Justice Kayode Eso, with whom I share first name. My father would tell me, ‘This man is a lawyer’ and I know how much my father revered him. He would almost prostrate for him. Aside from our Bishop, this (Eso) was the only man I had seen my father revere that much. So, the thought then was either I was going to be a Bishop or a lawyer, because of the respect I saw my father give to them. I must say I was motivated by songs we sang back then in school that says the end will be glorious only if you can concentrate on your studies, and the examples of people we saw around were also part of it.”
Talking about when he had his break as a lawyer, Ajulo goes back memory lane, recalling how his first appearance as a lawyer happened to be at the Supreme Court, after which co-handling of briefs with the likes of Afe Babalola, Tunji Abayomi and handling majorly, cases involving Gani Adams and Fredrick Fasehun, brought him to the limelight.
He says, “As a youth corps member, I was posted to civil litigation and next, Justice Kumuyi called me and I went to the pre-trial conference with him and all the big names in the Nigerian bar were there. Of course, you will be intimidated. Bola Ige was the Attorney General and that was when they were having the offshore and onshore case in 2001. And the following week, we were in the Supreme Court. The first place where I appeared as a lawyer was the Supreme Court. I think it was one of my happiest moment when Chief Rotimi Williams mentioned my name as one of those that would appear with him to represent the Federal Government and the next day, I checked the papers; I saw my name and I said whao, I have arrived. To me, that was the day I kicked it off. And since then, being in the Federal Ministry of Justice, most of the cases we did were big ones and that is what I have been doing. Even with Chief Afe Babalola, they were all big cases, because Chief Babalola handles the best briefs in Nigeria, the biggest, the juiciest.
“As a private lawyer, I think the break again came when we started with Ngige’s case. Then, I was with Dr. Tunji Abayomi; I was even the head of chambers. I was about two years as a lawyer then. We had to move to Akwa Ibom and Enugu for sometimes and Dr. Abayomi, being a very busy lawyer, literarily gave us free hands and that really exposed one. After that, then came the issue of the OPC. Fredrick Faseun and Gani Adams. They were locked up for about one year. GOK Ajayi, Gani Fawehinmi, Keyamo, all of us were there, but it got to a point that the whole thing fell on me to prosecute the case, may be because they were in Lagos and I lived in Abuja, and that happened to be one of my nicest ones because after a technical argument, they were eventually released and it was a fantastic victory because OPC is synonymous with Yoruba race and I shed tears of joy because the applause was much and all that. Since then, it has continued like that and God has been so faithful.”
Interestingly, Ajulo also narrates how he began dating at the age of twelve, back in the secondary school.
He says, ‘I don’t know if we will call it a date, but my first date was in secondary school at about twelve years. It was an issue of what we called slum book. Slum book was like the Facebook, you will write your name, favourite colour and all that. I went to Aquinas College, a boys only school, and St. Louis, an all-female school, was like our female counterpart. So, when we filled the slum book, we’ll send it to St. Louis. Some other ladies would fill there’s and send it back and from there, you know what the relationship of young people has always been like. We’ll trek and gist, you’ll go to Nitel in Akure and wait till night to make a call, if your parent did not have a telephone, just to say ‘how are you and good night.’ It’s not like what we have these days when everything is upside down. “
One other major thing one cannot but notice about this young lawyer is his great dress sense that makes his looks stunning. The story behind his impressive dress sense, according to him, is another interesting one.
‘I think I got it from my mum. My mum was trained as a seamstress, now they call it fashion designer. That’s what my mum was trained in. So, we had a sewing machine everywhere we lived. That was why at age seven, eight, I could tell Justice Kayode Eso he looked dapper. And up till today, I can sew. I sew my native dresses. When I’m
very busy, my designer comes home and I do the sketches. I think I got the fashion thing from my mum,” he said.