TOPE TEMOKUN CHAMBERS
TOPE TEMOKUN’S PROFILE Tope Temokun, born in Ode-Aye, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State and trained in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as a lawyer, is a frontline legal practitioner and human rights activist in Nigeria, who over the years, since his call to the Nigerian Bar in November 2007, has continued to fight every form of injustice and Human rights abuses in Nigeria, most especially for the poor who cannot afford legal services. He is a member of Nigerian Bar Association. PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP ROLES In 1994, he was the Senior Prefect of his school, Community Grammar School, Igbotako, Ondo State. In 2003, he was a Member (Law Constituency), Student Representative Council, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. In 2004, he was the Co-Ordinator, Campaign Against Commercialization and Privatization of Education(CACAPE) Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. In 2005, he was the Secretary, 3-Man Interim Executive Committee, Student Union, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. In 2007, he was a Member, Student Representative Council, Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus, Nigeria. PUBLICATIONS: Since 1997 when his first article, “Crying My Beloved Country” came out at page 18 of Nigerian Tribune of January 30, 1997, he has contributed consistently to national discourse through his interviews, radio and television programs and writings in newspapers and he is the author of the human rights booklet “Rights Of Nigerians In Civil Rule And The Police” first printed in 2007 and reprinted in 2022 for free distribution. AWARD AND RECOGNITION Tope Temokun was conferred with the award of the SENIOR ADVOCATE OF THE OPPRESSED in 2021 by GANI FAWEHINMI HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION. NOTABLE HUMAN RIGHTS CASES: 2009 The case of the three Ikale boys from Ilutitun in Okitipupa Lpocal Government Area of Ondo Ssate, , ADEKANLE ADEWALE, SEGUN ENISAN and AYODELE OMOJUGBA, who were arrested in their trading shop at 19 street Junction, opposite University of Benin, Ugbowo, Benin City, at about 7.30 pm on Friday June 6, 2008, while they had closed for the day and were preparing to go home and on the 1st of August, 2008 were arraigned before the Evbuoriaria Magistrate Court 12, on a Holden Charge of Conspiracy and Armed-Robbery and were remanded in Oko Prison, Benin, Edo State, without trial for almost two years, until Tope Temokun took their case up pro bono gratis, few months after being called to Bar, filed an Application for their releasel, before Justice I. Imodehme of Court 9, High Court of Justice, Edo State, who eventually released the innocent boys from prison after going from Lagos to Benin for about a year to appear in court for the case, even as a younger lawyer of little means in 2009, barely a year of being called to Bar. 2010-2011 Also, the 2010/2011 case of a commercial driver, Friday Ekpotor, against the Ondo state Government, a man whose vehicle was hit by the Ondo state government Hilux which led to an accident in which the commercial driver’s vehicle caught fire and was burnt. Tope Temokun took up this matter before the High Court of Ogun State, Ijebu-Ode division, in suit no: HCJ/36/2010 and succeeded in favour of the helpless commercial driver who was awarded damages of N5.1million for his loss against the Ondo State government. 2011-2018 There was also the case of the two brothers that were killed by Police Officers in Okitipupa in Ondo state over non-payment of 50 naira bribe. Tope Temokun took up this matter pro bono, for the widow and the children of the killed motorcyclist, before the Federal High Court, Akure Division, in suit No: FHC/AK/CS/05/13 and got judgment for the widow of the deceased for damages against the Nigerian Police. On the fateful night of Thursday, the 13th day of October, 2011, for failure to part with the sum of fifty naira (N50) bribe demanded by the police officer at an improvised money-making check-point, one Christopher Akarewan, an Okada rider was unlawfully and extra-judicially shot and killed by the police officers at Okitipupa, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State. Early morning the next day, 14th of October, 2011, members of the Deceased family visited the police station to report the incident formally to the Divisional Police Officer at Okitipupa Divisional Police Headquarters, but policemen who had obviously been aware of the fatal act of the previous night had stationed strategically around the station in war-like manner, denied the family right of entrance and upon the insistence of the family to see the DPO before they go, the police also shot the younger brother of the slain Okada rider, Robinson Johnson Okotie and killed him. In the case we instituted by Tope Temokun for the wife and children of the deceased, the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, presided over by Justice A. DOGO, delivered judgment in SUIT NO FHC/AK/CS/05/2013 (QUEEN AKAREWAN VS NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND ORS) on the 26th of November 2018, awarded the sum of N7.9 million damages against the police for the killing of Christopher Akarewan, which the Court ordered to be paid within 30 DAYS from the day of judgment. 2013-2015 There is also the human rights case of Barrister Zerrubabel Olanrewaju and the Nigerian Army, where a lawyer was assaulted by a soldier, Tope Temokun took up this matter pro Bono, for the enforcement of the right of the lawyer to dignity of human person, before the Federal High Court, AKURE DIVISION, in suit No: FHC /AK/CS/69/2013 and got judgment in damages of N10 million against the Nigerian Army in favour of the lawyer. 2021 KEMISOLA OGUNNIYI There is pathetic recent case of the Kemisola Ogunniyi a 17-year old girl who was arrested in Akure Ondo State during the ENDSARS protest that took place in Nigeria in October 2021 and remanded in prison in Ondo State, Nigeria, for 9 months. She found out she was pregnant while in custody and all efforts of her parents to get her released hit the rock till Tope Temokun got to know of her predicament and took up her matter pro bono and filed all necessary papers in court at his expense to fight for her release. Few days after filing bail application for this girl, she delivered a baby boy in prison. Temokun’s desperate moves, according to his several interviews to the media, was to ensure the girl never gave birth in prison but the strike action of Nigerian judicial workers in Nigeria frustrated his efforts until the court resumed and the fireworks began. Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) declared indefinite nationwide strike action on the 3rd of April 2021, which took off on the 6th of April owing to the public holiday, which halted all efforts that could be taken legally to secure her release, till the JUSUN strike was called off on the 15th of June 2021 and the next day, the 16th of June 2021, he approached the court for her release and the fireworks for the journey to Kemisola’s freedom began. Whiling filing his papers in court for Kemisola’s release, the girl went into labour and delivered a baby boy in prison. After the girl delivered in prison, in separate petitions, he petitioned the Chief Judge and Attorney-General of the State, insisting the naming ceremony of the innocent baby must not take place in prison-yard. When the naming ceremony was coming up on the eighth day, he got the girl released on the eve of the naming ceremony to the applause of the whole world. His nomination as AFRICAN OF THE YEAR is firstly on this feat. 2021 AYODELE BUKUNMI. Another case was of this EndSARS detainee who was arrested on the 22nd of October, 2020, alongside Kemisola OGUNNIYI, was one of the public interest cases he took up in public interest towards the end of the first quarter of this year 2021 after being abandoned in prison for many months. On the 5th of August, 2021, Bukunmi Ayodele regained her freedom, after spending 10 months in prison. She was engaged before her ordeal. She suffered miscarriage in prison and has carried through her condition of post-miscarriage complications without any medical aid till her release. His nomination as AFRICAN OF THE YEAR is secondly on this feat too. 2021 THE DUNAMIS 5. This is the case of BUHARI MUST GO worshippers who joined others, on the 4th of July, 2021, to attend the DUNAMIS church in Abuja, to worship but were arrested after church service by the invited men of the DSS at the DUNAMIS church premises, with the help of the DUNAMIS church security men, on the ground that theywore Buhari Must Go T-shirt! On the 7th of July 2021, Tope Temokun approached the Federal High Court Abuja, to file a case to enforce their fundamental right to freedom from discrimination, right to freedom of thought, right to freedom of expression and right to personal liberty. On the 26th of July 2021, after arguing his application for their release, the court, per Hon. Justice Chikere of the Federal High Court Abuja, granted the application and ordered the DSS to release them immediately and unconditionally, after spending 30 days in DSS custody. The DUNAMIS 5 are: EMMANUEL LARRY, BEN MANNASEH, SAMUEL GABRIEL, HENRY NWODO and VICTOR NDOKA. 2022-2023 MR OLUWASEGUN OLAYINKA OLUWAROTIMI Mr Tope Temokun, has just dragged Ondo State government and State Security Network Agency code named Amotekun to court over alleged shooting of Mr Oluwasegun Olayinka Oluwarotimi, a motorcyclist, which resulted in the amputation of his left leg. Joined to the suit is the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Ondo State as well as Commandant of the Ondo State Security Network Agency. Tope Temokun is currently in court in many other cases to challenge violations of the rights of innocent Nigerians including Omoyele Sowore, a foremost human rights activist who is perpetually being persecuted by the federal government of Nigeria for his standing up for the masses of this country against oppression.