few weeks to the expiration of the tenure of office for the President of the
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Mr A.B. Mahmoud SAN, the time has come to vote
among others, the next President of the Nigerian Bar Association and in accordance
with the internal zoning arrangement of the Association, the position of the
NBA President has been zoned to the Eastern part of Nigeria comprising of
Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo States.
report examines and compares the respective profiles of the 4 (four) candidates,
thereby allowing lawyers, the opportunity to independently vet & select the
most capable to lead the Bar. These 4 candidates include Mr.
Paul Usoro, SAN, FCIArb; Prof.
Ernest Ojukwu, SAN; Mr.
Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN FCIArb and
Afam Osigwe, LLM, FCIArb. Also the information
contained in this report has been sourced from the profiles independently
released to the public domain by these candidates.
categories of our comparison include –
Background/Active Law Practice
Welfare Support for young
Advocacy Experience &
Corporate Governance &
Papers Presented &
is trite that the President of the Bar Association must not be selected merely
by whims but by careful examination of the Candidates. The next President of
the NBA must have the qualities of an exemplary leader and a rich background of
legal advocacy and competence; he also must be honest; have a passion for the
welfare of lawyers and quite knowledgeable in corporate governance. It is also
most important the next president of the Bar understands finance and how to
open Nigerian lawyers to more international and local opportunities.
big question however remains “who is the right candidate to lead the Bar
This first part shall be examining the Background and Active Law Practice of all four (4) Presidential Candidates, Please find same below –
1. Born on 07 September 1958.
University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) Osun State,
3. Called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982.
4. Senior Partner and founder of Paul Usoro
& Co (PUC).
5. PUC is a top commercial law firm founded
in 1985 in Kaduna. Now headquartered in Lagos with offices in Abuja and Uyo.
6. Firm employs over 38 lawyers excluding
7. Notary Public from 23 June 2003.
8. Heads the Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
Practice Group and the Communications Section of the Firm.
9. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of
10. Elevated to the Inner Bar as a Senior
Advocate of Nigeria in 2003.
11. Attends International Bar Association
12. Attends Nigerian Bar Association
13. Actively participated in the activities of
the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
14. Paul was Awardee of the Corporate
Governance Rating System (GCRS) “Rating Certificate” by the Board of the
Nigerian Stock Exchange and The Convention on Business Integrity. February
15. He has acquired leadership, finance and
corporate governance skills from the executive trainings in world’s top
institutions attended over the years some of which are listed below:
Harvard Business School, Boston, USA (November 2014),
• Audit Committees in a new Era of
Governance Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, (July 2013),
Business School, Boston, USA,
Fontainebleau Campus of INSEAD, France (April 2017) and,
Nonfinancial Executive, Columbia Business School in New York, USA (March 2018).
Born on September
He attended the Methodist
College, Uzuakoli and Government College, Umuahia.
Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws Degrees
in 1983 and 1987 respectively from Obafemi Awolowo
University, Ile-Ife where he received the
Called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984.
Elevated to the Inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria on 12 July 2014.
In 1988, he established Eleuthera Chambers
with his friends.
Former Deputy Director General, the Nigerian Law School,
Augustine Nnamani Campus, Agbani Enugu.
Associate Professor and Dean Faculty of Law, Abia State University, Uturu from
Partner at the Law Firm of Ojukwu, Faotu and Yusuf (OFY Lawyers).
2016 (Law Lecturer in academic institutions)
11. 3 years of active law practice.
1. Born on the July 18 1965.
2. First school leaving
certificate from all Saints Primary School, Onitsha, Anambra state, in 1976
school education at St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Awka-Etiti in Anambra State
where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1981.
Ordinary Certificate in Business Administration at School of Accountancy and
Business Studies, Uyo, Cross River State (an affiliate of Calabar Polytechnic
at that time); now Uyo City Polytechnic in Akwa Ibom State.
of Laws degree in 1990, from the University of Calabar.
to the Bar in 1991.
the law firm of Arthur Obi Okafor & Associates in 1995.
to the Inner Bar in 2010.
9. 27 years of active law
1. Born on 25 of October 1972.
2. Attended Dennis Memorial Grammar School,
3. Studied law at the University of Nigeria,
Enugu and graduated in 1997.
4. Called to the Nigerian Bar in September
5. In 2002 founded his firm, the Law Forte
(Legal Practitioners, Corporate Consultants and Notary Public).
6. Notary Public in 2006.
7. Master of Laws Degree (LL.M), from the
University of Jos in 2010
8. Master of Laws (LLM) from the Centre for
International Legal Studies, Austria (in collaboration with the Lazarsky
9. Diploma in International Commercial
10. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of
Arbitrators (UK) in 2011.
11. Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of
Chartered Arbitrators in 2017.
12. Member, International Bar Association.
13. Member, Nigerian Institute of Management.
14. Associate Member, American Bar Association.
15. Member, Institute of Chartered Mediators
16. 19 years of active law practice.
would be sharing other comparisons between the profiles of the NBA Presidential Candidates. Kindly read, evaluate
all contestants and share.