Joachim Iroko Chinakwe, a textile trader, was arrested by police last month and charged with an act likely to cause breach of peace after naming his dog Buhari.
But speaking at the magistrate court in the town of Ota in the southwestern state of Ogun, Chinakwe said he only has love for the president.
“President Buhari is a man after my heart. I have great love and admiration for him because of his honesty, discipline and integrity,” Chinakwe told AFP before court proceedings started.
“I also salute his courage and resilience. Here is a man who ran for the presidency three times and failed. But he did not give up. He ran again for the fourth time and to God be the glory, won,” the 40-year-old added.
Chinakwe also revealed the dog wasn’t the only family member who shared a name with the head of state.
In September, he named his newborn girl “Aisha”, after the president’s wife.
“This is to further demonstrate my love for the Buhari family,” said Chinakwe.
Chinakwe’s lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa said the case was an abuse of power and should be dismissed.
Adegboruwa, a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, is known for his acrimonious relationship with the government and was this year arrested by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency.
“There is no law that says a man cannot give any name to his dog,” he told AFP.
Police maintain the dog case has nothing to do with the president, alleging that Chinakwe inscribed the name on the sides of his dog and paraded the pet in the streets to antagonize a neighbour whose father’s name is Buhari.
The matter has been adjourned until November 21.