A top Nigerian lawyer, Professor Yemi Oke, has penned down an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden on Nigerian elections, faulting popular Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie’s stand on the February 25 presidential polls.

In the letter dated Sunday, April 9, Mr Oke said Ms Adichie’s letter to Joe Biden is “seditious” and a “case of extraterritorial ethnocentric politicking of a non-resident Nigerian-American.”

Professor Oke added that “Chimamanda’s letter is most unbecoming” and she went below expectations to pen-down a “seditious letter against the Government and people of Nigeria.”

The academic said he found it “most bewildering” that Ms Adichie, a “privileged Nigerian-born writer, has decided to paint her country of origin black.”


“Chimamanda’s letter was against entire Nigeria’s Democracy that was fought and procured with patriotic bloods and undeterred resolve of democrats, chief among them being Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said.

Ms Adichie, the internationally acclaimed Nigerian novelist and essayist, wrote a piece titled “Nigeria’s hollow democracy” published in the latest edition of The Atlantic magazine on April 6.

Ms Adichie, 45, had said in her open letter to Mr Biden that the process of the Nigerian presidential poll was imperilled by “deliberate manipulation” and the “electoral commission ignored so many glaring red flags in its rush to announce a winner.”

Before the elections, Ms Adichie publicly declared support for Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party, and hoped he would win “as many polls had predicted.”

Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared winner of the presidential elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ms Adichie believes Mr Tinubu could not have won the election if “results had been uploaded in real-time to the INEC portal. Mr Tinubu of the APC polled a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored a total of 6,984,520 votes. The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.

Ms Adichie also alleged in her piece that: “Many believe that the INEC Chair has been “compromised” but there is no evidence of the astronomical US-dollar amounts he is rumoured to have received from the President-elect.”

“It was surprising to see the U.S. State Department congratulates Bola Tinubu on his victory while rage is brewing, especially among young people in Nigeria,” the novelist said, adding that “American intelligence surely cannot be so inept. A little homework and they would know what is manifestly obvious to me and so many others,” she said.

“Ludicrous claims”

In his letter, Mr Oke said: “Chimamanda’s claims and assertions on the recently concluded Presidential elections in Nigeria is not only ludicrous, it is also illogical, baseless and depicts ignoble ranting of an uninformed mind about legal and judicial processes or procedures.”

“It is unimaginable that someone who did not participate or vote in an election would make categorical statements about an election she did not witness,” Mr Oke said.

The academic added that Ms Adichie represents recent generations of Nigerian intelligentsias in the diaspora.

“Her lonely voice on the election of President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu is, at best, a muted trumpet which is audible to no one except herself and her co-travelers,” he noted.

Below is the full text of Professor Yemi Oke’s letter

April 9, 2023


Mr. Justin Pierre James Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada


Mr. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., President of the United States of America,

Dear PM and President,



It is most bewildering that a privileged Nigerian-born writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1977 but now lives in the United State of America, has decided to paint her country of origin “black”. Sadly, Chimamandi’s letter is a reckless affront on our resolve not to be part of the “brain-drain” syndrome against our dear country Nigeria like the writer. Some of us are determined to be “brain-gain” to Nigeria. It is in view of this that we felt taken aback that Chimamandi went below expectations to pen-down a seditious letter against the Government and people of Nigeria.

Chimamandi’s letter titled “Nigeria’s Hollow Democracy” was not about the election or person of the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose victory was freely and fairly unveiled despite dis-oriented opposition politicking and those of their supporters in Nigeria and their allies in the diaspora. Chimamandi’s letter was against entire “Nigeria’s Democracy” that was fought and procured with patriotic bloods, labour, efforts, lives and undeterred resolve of democrats, chief among them being Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, by divine arrangement, is now the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The misplaced reference to certain “The smoldering disillusionment felt by many Nigerians” in her letter is, at best Chimamanda’s sole experience of agonies of defeat suffered by her and her preferred candidate/Party in the recently concluded Presidential elections in Nigeria.

Seditious Elements of Chimamandi’s Letter:

Sedition is an offence in the US where Chimamandi lives. It is also an offence in Nigeria, her country of origin that she now holds and views with disdains. Sedition not only covers a person’s actions but also any words or writings in print that may incite, encourage or promote the overthrowing of a government. The US criminalizes seditious conspiracy by virtue of 18 U.S.C. § 2384.

Sedition is a transnational crime defined as the “inciting by words or writing to show disaffection towards the state or constituted authority”. The transnational nature of sedition committed by US resident against sovereign nations led to the enactment of the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) which aimed to prevent “aliens,” or non-citizens, living in the United States from resorting to seditious acts or conduct, like Chimamandi did in her letter. The law authorized the President to deport “aliens,” and also permitted their arrest, imprisonment, and deportation for seditious acts or conduct. The Sedition Act also made it a crime for American citizens to “print, utter, or publish…any false, scandalous, and malicious writing” about a government.

Locus Standi of Chimamandi’s Letter

Under the Nigerian constitution, Chimamandi’s franchise, constitutional right to vote and be voted for, is guaranteed but the writer opted to snub the legal right by refusal to collect a PVC- Permanent Voter’s Card. She opted to be more “American” than the real Americans! She also did not participate in Nigeria’s election as a candidate or as eligible voter. She opted to make several videos to publicly endorse and campaign for her “messianic” candidate of the Labour Party. Chimamandi became needlessly embittered because her tribal option and those of her political Party failed woefully.

Chimamandi’s claims and assertions on the recently concluded Presidential elections in Nigeria is not only ludicrous, it is also illogical, baseless and depicts ignoble ranting of an uninformed mind about legal and judicial processes or procedures. It is unimaginable that someone who did not participate or vote in an election would make categorical statements about an election she did not witness. What Chimamandi did not tell her gullible readers is that her candidate won mostly in her/his ethnic enclaves and that the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu, President Buhari, notable Nigerian Governors, Senators and others also lost in their strongholds, which should ordinarily have been their locational advantage for “manipulating” the outcome, as Chimamandi unconscionably and recklessly alleged.

The Writer-turned ethnic politician did also not indicate that the Presidential election was conducted on the same date as the National Assembly elections in which the ruling party won about 60% of all seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. The winning trends of the APC is obvious, real, actual and all-embracing.

Chimamandi represents recent generations of Nigerian intelligentsias in the diaspora. Her lonely voice on the election of President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu is, at best, a muted trumpet which is audible to no one except herself and her co-travelers. The only legal and legitimate option is for her candidate, Peter Obi, not Chimamandi herself because she lacks the locus standi, to approach the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as provided by Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). This has since been done, and further makes it illogical for Chiamamandi to resort to writing letters capable of inciting ethnic or violent reactions in Nigeria while she resides in the comfort of the US, her new found home or haven, which was fought for and procured with hard labour and commitment of Americans. If Chimamandi is unwilling to sacrifice to make Nigeria better, she should kindly desist from undermining the resolve of those of us who believe that Nigeria could be better if we all make necessary sacrifices like American did to build their country where Chimamadi now sojourns.

Chimamandi’s and Reckless Undermining of Judicial Process

Chimamandi’s letter is most unbecoming. Nigerians have spoken with their votes in the election, and they spoke loudly and clearly. The losers have since taken to the legal and legitimate options of challenging the outcome. Legally speaking, the issue is now subjudice. Chimammadi’s letter may be viewed as an attempt to undermine the course of justice or pre-empt the outcome of judicial processes. This is similar to the same way and manner her party and candidate orchestrated polls to pre-empt the outcome of an election they knew they could never win, as they planked their electioneering and campaign activities on tribal and other ethnocentric and religious sentiments. This is also reflected in the outcome of the elections as results empirically validated this assertion.

The position of law in Nigeria (and similar to all civilized democracies of the world, including Canada and the US), is that: any individual or political party that intends to challenge or question the result of an election must ensure the petition is established on a valid ground or reason recognized by law. An election petition can only succeed with valid grounds recognized by the 1999 Constitution or Electoral Act, 2022.

The GIANT called NIGERIA Will Rise and Never Fall Again:

The expectations of Nigerians are very high on the up-coming Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency, which had triumphed over all known forces of religious bigotry of “Muslim-Muslim ticket, ethnicity and other divisive tendencies. Elections have come and gone. The battle now shifts to the Presidential Election Tribunal. The act of serious, progressive and purposeful governance must immediately commence and continue pending legal battles. The President-Elect is no longer for the APC. He has declared that he is now for APC as much as for PDP, LP, and other major political parties in Nigeria. More importantly, he has also declared that his administration will govern for the benefit of those who voted for or against it. Now that the season of politics, politicking and electioneering is over, it is time for all of us to collaborate, including diaspora Nigerian citizens, writers and intelligentsias like the Chimamandis of the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere, to team-up and get Nigeria working again under PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU.


The intention of this open letter is not to vilify, ridicule or incite and set the law of sedition in motion against Chimamandi. It is to right-size her over-bloated ego of perceived global self-esteem. She needs to realise that thousands, if not millions of Nigerians (including those of us who are now back home in Nigeria- but still frequently travel to those sides – to be a part of the solution and those still in the diaspora) have had similar and even better opportunities in Canada, US, UK and other countries of the world without deploying our privileged positions to undermine our country of origin, Nigeria.

At a time all hands are on deck to build a Nigeria of Renewed Hope under the in-Coming President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the unpatriotic Chimamandis opted for the ignoble act of stimulating crisis against Nigeria, a country that prepared them for their perceived global fames. This is not the Canadian or American culture we had imbibed and which has now positively and progressively shaped our worldviews and socio-political and other forms of engagements. For the records, the pride of Canada and the US democracies is Multi-ethnicity and Multiculturalism, not ethnocentrism. This is a vital lesson for all concerned.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Prof. Yemi Oke, PhD, FCTI, FCIArb.