The comparison of the Advocacy skills of the NBA Presidential Candidates will be the focus of this 4th post in our series. Our 1st post was centered on the background of the candidates while our 2nd and 3rd post were centered on their contributions to lawyer welfare and law reforms and their NBA activities respectively.
Kindly note that the information provided below has been derived from the profiles of the candidates published online via the following links; Mr.
Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb
; Prof.
Ernest Ojukwu, SAN
; Mr.
Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN FCIArb
Afam Osigwe, LLM, FCIArb

Pls note that you may also download the full report here

Advocacy Experience of Presidential Candidates 


1.      Paul has been
involved in virtually all major transactions and regulatory reforms in the
Nigerian communications sector.

2.      The world-acclaimed,
first-ever and all-round successful Nigerian Digital Mobile Spectrum Auction
conducted in 2000. The transaction earned the Federal Government of Nigeria
US$855,000,000.00 for 3 Digital Mobile Licences.

3.      Has been the primary
adviser to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in most of its reform
initiatives till date

4.      Served as and was the only African and the sole Legal practitioner in
the six-member Auction Control Team for the Global Systems of Mobile
Communications (GSM) Spectrum Licence Auction that introduced Econet Wireless
Networks Limited (now Airtel), MTN Communications Limited and NITEL GSM to the
Nigerian market.

5.      Additional core ICT
regulatory and transaction experiences are highlighted hereunder:

i.      Acted as sole legal
consultant to the NCC in respect of the Mobile Number Portability;

ii.    Preparation,
on behalf of NCC, of a National Carrier Licence and an International Gateway
Licences for NITEL, a hitherto unlicensed monopoly;

iii. Acted as
lead legal consultants to NCC for the Second National Operator licensing
processes, including the auction and preparation of the 3 SNO licences;
the process produced
Globacom Limited as Nigeria’s Second National Carrier;

iv. Preparation of the
Interconnectivity Agreement between NITEL and licensed private network

v.    Represented NITEL in
the negotiation of the Construction and Management Agreement for the laying of
the SAT-3/SAFE/WASC trans-continental fibre-optic cable project which spans the
sub-Saharan African Continent and extends to Far East Asia through Southern
Africa, with European landing points. 
This was the first trans-continental cable project in sub-Saharan

6.       On account of Paul’s
acknowledged eminence as Nigeria’s leading Communications Lawyer, Akwa Ibom
State Government appointed and relied on him to manage its portfolio investment
in Airtel in 2001. Paul negotiated this investment, valued as at the date of
entry at the sum of US$75,000,000.00. 
Akwa Ibom State Government cashed out most of its investments in this
enterprise in 2006, in the transaction by which Celtel BV successfully invested
over US$1,000,000,000, by way of share purchase from existing shareholders and
injected fresh capital into Airtel (“Celtel Transaction”), which transaction
was chiefly negotiated by Paul.

7.    Paul led
the Airtel Shareholders Committee in negotiating the Celtel Transaction as the
Committee Chairman, which, at the time, ranked as one of the biggest private
sector equity transactions in Nigeria’s history. Paul represented the interest
of all the shareholders which included three Nigerian State Governments and
blue-chip corporate citizens like First Assets Limited, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. It is a testimony to Paul’s
leadership quality that Celtel BV insisted after the Transaction that he
remains on the Board even though Akwa Ibom State Government whom he initially
represented had about sold out completely from the Company. 

8.    Celtel BV
in 2010 sold out its equity entirely to the Bharti-Airtel Group of India
resulting again in the reorganization of the Airtel Board.  Again, Bharti-Airtel, the new 65% owners of
Airtel insisted that Paul remains on the Board of the Company where, as at
date, he chairs the only Committee of the Board i.e. the Audit Committee.

9.    A founding
Secretary General, Telecommunications Law Association, Mr Usoro was named ‘Best
Pan African Telecoms Lawyer of All Times’ by the IT and Telecom Digest,
Nigeria’s leading and one of Africa’s foremost ICT magazines.

Matters Reported in The Nigerian Weekly Law


A.G Rivers State v A.G Akwa Ibom State (2011) 8 NWLR
(Pt. 1248) 31 (SC)

Engr. Frank Okon v INEC (2015) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1463) 113

INEC v Umana (No. 1) (2016) 12 NWLR (PT 1526) 260 SC

INEC v Umana (No. 2) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526)289 SC

PDP v Umana (No. 1) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526)299 SC

PDP v Umana (No. 2) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526) 307 SC

Udom v Umana (No. 1) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1526) 179 SC

Udom v Umana (No. 2) (2016) 12 NWLR (Pt 1526) 270 SC

A.G Lagos v A.G Federation
(2003) 12 NWLR (Pt.833) SC

A.G Ondo v A.G Federation
(2002) 9 NWLR (Pt. 772) 222 SC

Societe Bancaire (NIG.) Ltd
v De Lluch (2004) 18 NWLR 341 SC

Nitel v Okeke (2017) 9 NWLR
(Pt. 1571) 439 SC


Archibong v State (2006) 14
NWLR (Pt. 1000) 349 (CA)

A.G. Federation v A.G. Abia
State & Ors (2002) 6 NWLR (Pt. 784) 542 (CA)

A.G. Abia State v A.G.
Federation (2005) 12 NWLR (Pt. 940) 542 (CA)

Idiok v State (2008) 13 NWLR
(Pt. 1104) 225 (CA)

SEC v Osidero (2009) 5 NWLR (Pt. 1134) 377 (CA)

Habeeb Bank v Opomulero (2000) 15 NWLR (Pt. 690) 315

Technip v AIC Ltd (2011) 15 NWLR (Pt. 1270) 326 (CA)

Union Bank v Sadiku Lawal (2008) 7 NWLR (Pt. 1087) 613

NITEL v Ugbe (2002) 3 NWLR (Pt. 753) 1 (CA)

Mobil v Yusuf (2012) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1304) 47 (CA)

Leasing Company Nigeria Ltd
v Tiger Industries Ltd (2007) All FWLR (Pt. 347) 659 (CA).

Matters Reported in Law Pavilion Electronic Law Report


1.     Star Deepwater Petroleum &
3 Ors v AIC Ltd Limited & 3 Ors (2010) LPELR – 9165 (CA)

2.     NITEL v Emos Dynamic Nig. Ltd
(2008) LPELR – 4618 (CA)

3.     Hon. Iquo Nyong of PDP v Elder
(Dr.) Ini Akpan of Achan Congress Party (AC) & 3 Ors (2008) LPELR – 4656

4.     Scanad Nigeria Ltd v Prima
Garnet Communication & Anor (2014) LPELR- 23313 (CA)

5.     Hon. Minister of Environment
& Anor v County & City Bricks Development Co. Ltd (2011) LPELR – 4256
(CA); (2011) All FWLR (Pt. 644) 66

6.     Edet Udo v Akpabio (2013)

7.     Nigerian
Agricultural Co-op & Rural Development Bank Ltd. Anor. v Mbio Oku Ikot Oku
Odung Multi-Purpose Co-op Society Ltd. & ORS. (2013) LPELR-20202(CA)

8.     Gordon
Tom Iwok & Ors. v. University of Uyo & Anor (2010) LPELR-4345(CA)

Ogundipe v NITEL (2015) LPELR
– 24920 (CA).


Information was not provided on public
profile –


1.         Onuorah v. KRPC Ltd. (2005) 6 NWLR (Pt. 921) 393.

2.         Balonwu v. Governor of Anambra State 2009 18 NWLR 13 (Pt.

3.         Peter Obi v. INEC (2007) 11 NWLR (Pt. 1046) 565.

4.         Edward Nkwegu Okereke v. Nweze David
Umahi & Ors. (2016) LPELR-40035(SC).  

5.         Ikechukwu v. Nwoye (2015) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1446) 367.

6.         Ilobachie v. Ilobachie (2005) 13 NWLR (Pt. 943) 695.

7.         Odedo v. I.N.E.C (2008) 17 NWLR (Pt. 1117)554. 


At various times Afam has
had cause to carry out research and litigation in various areas of the law
including Corporate and Business Law; Land law, Banking law, Intellectual
Property; International Commercial Law, Tele-communications, Energy, Oil and Gas
Law; Domestic arbitration, International Commercial Arbitration etc. He has a
special bias for commercial and financial practice and litigation