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Osunbor Denies El-Rufai’s Claims About His Role in Obasanjo’s Third Term Bid



Former Edo State governor, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, has strongly criticized the account of the events concerning the controversial endeavor by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to extend his tenure through unorthodox methods.

Senator Osunbor voiced his disagreement while analyzing Chief Edwin Clark’s memoir titled “Brutally Frank” at a gathering in Abuja last Thursday.

Clark had made reference to a section from the book “The Accidental Public Servant” authored by former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, wherein El-Rufai elaborated on Osunbor’s involvement in the contentious bid for a third presidential term.

However, Osunbor surprised his audience by asserting that El-Rufai’s rendition of the third term situation was misleading.

The law professor acknowledged that “Brutally Frank” was an engaging read and praised the author’s impressive memory for dates, names, places, and events, attributing it in part to good record keeping. Despite this, Osunbor pointed out some flaws in the book, including minor typographical and spelling errors, as well as instances of intemperate language.


He highlighted the major flaw of the book, which was its excessive reliance on the statements and opinions of others, many of which could be unreliable and difficult to verify.

Osunbor cited an example from El-Rufai’s book where a discussion at Aso Villa was recounted. In this discussion, it was claimed that Chief Tony Anenih suggested Osunbor should move a motion related to the third term. However, Osunbor vehemently denied the accuracy of this account, stating that the process described did not align with the actual procedures in the Senate.


Osunbor clarified that it’s the prerogative of the Senate President, not the Clerk of the Senate, to decide whether to allow a motion of urgent national importance.

He also emphasized that a motion on the modality of Senate debate is a matter of privilege that can be raised by any senator without notice, and once invoked, it must be allowed by the Senate President.

Furthermore, Osunbor refuted the claim that he had fallen ill and been admitted to the hospital at any point during his time in the Senate.

Despite his disagreements, Osunbor acknowledged that “Brutally Frank” is an outstanding literary work, offering valuable insights into Nigeria’s political history, both ancient and contemporary.


He praised the book’s finishing and the inclusion of meaningful photographs that enhance its content.

The book review event also included a humorous moment when Osunbor remarked on a notable omission in Clark’s autobiography.

While the author mentioned the numbers of wives his ancestors had, he left out the number of wives he himself had married, prompting laughter from the audience and a light-hearted comment that he might still be counting his own wives.