Don’t blame Osinbajo if I forgot his teachings, blame me — Reuben Abati, ex-President Jonathan’s aide

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, inset is Dr Reuben Abati. (File photos)

By Oluwafemi Popoola

Dr Reuben Abati, a former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, and former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deputy governorship candidate in Ogun State for the 2019 governorship election, has joined the league of other past students of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to celebrate him in commemoration of his 40 years of teaching anniversary.

Some of Prof. Osinbajo’s law students, many of whom are today’s distinguished scholars and legal practitioners, in a five-minute video circulated on various social media, had applauded the Vice President, saying he’s a brilliant, fantastic and excellent teacher “who would enter the class without a piece of paper and yet leave you completely satisfied.”

Among some of the former students of the VP who spoke in the viral video are Onike Ikepo Braithwaite, Justice John Iyang Okoro, Adekunle Adediji, Bassey Ekwere, Pat Akem-Vingir, Gbolahan Adeniran, Mrs Toyin Odunsanya, Mrs Remi Ladega, Hon. Iduma Igariway, a member of the house of representatives, Bimbo Akeredolu SAN, and Chiedu Ugbo.

However, Abati, on Wednesday, speaking on Arise T.V, as one of the hosts on the programme with the topic ‘Celebrating Osinbajo as a Teacher,’ praised the former law teacher who started teaching in 1981 at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), at only 24 years of age.

Prof Osinbajo was a lecturer and then Senior Lecturer of Law at UNILAG, Professor of Law and Head of Department of Public Law at the same university. He also taught Law at the Lagos State University.

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Abati, a Nigerian journalist, politician, television anchor and newspaper columnist spoke glowingly of Osinbajo’s teaching dexterity and intelligence, describing him as “highly cerebral, very dutiful and diligent.”

According to Abati: “I was also privileged to have been in his class. He taught me the most part at the University of Lagos. But in those days, we had at the Law Faculty, Lagos State University, along Ojoo. Teachers from the Faculty of Law at the University of Lagos and he, used to come in those days to teach us Law of Evidence and Law of Equity.”

“And if you take those two courses, you will see how very tough they could be particularly you will be required to master sections of the ‘Evidence.’ This teacher, Professor Osinbajo, would just come in wearing his sharp suit and he would just be going up and down and will be quoting every section.

“So, I can confirm what those other persons who have sat in his class before have said in that video, highly cerebral, very dutiful, diligent and of course you will be praying let one just pass the course as soft as it is.

“You will be encouraged by his own example, his mastery of it. Apart from ‘Evidence and Equity,’ he is the author of one of the most authoritative books on media law.

“To speak generally now, first, congratulations to Prof Osinbajo, 40 years of teaching other people, grooming them.

“If I have issues with my remembering the ‘Evidence and the Law of Equity,’ don’t blame him, you blame me (laughs), it means I was a poor student (laughs).

“Generally, teachers we used to say their rewards are in heaven, but I think we should change that. A teacher’s reward should be here on earth,” Abati concluded.