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

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

Paul Usoro’s 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

Paul Usoro was appointed by the Akwa Ibom
State Government to manage its portfolio investment in Airtel in 2001 and  henegotiated 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.

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. 

In 2010, Celtel
BV 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. 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 Report


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matters Reported in Law Pavilion
Electronic Law Report


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

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

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

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

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

Edet Udo v Akpabio (2013) LPELR-22119(CA)

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)

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

Ogundipe v NITEL
LPELR – 24920

The Teacher as often called has been into
active legal practice over the years. From 1984-1985, he served his NYSC in the
Legal Aid Yola. He was Counsel, Law Firm of GNA Atulomah and Co, Aba from 1985-
1988. Counsel, Law Firm of GNA Atulomah and Co, Aba. He was partner to Ekenna
Nwajei Nwauche & Ojukwu Aba from 1988- 1992; Partner, Nwonye and Ojukwu,
Aba from 1992-2001 –2014; presently partner, OJUKWU FAOTU & YUSUF
(OFY-Lawyers), Aba, and Abuja and was appointed  in 2014 as a Senior
Advocate of Nigeria. He is a Pioneer, Clinical Legal Education in Nigeria. Over
12 Law Clinics were established in Nigerian Universities under his watch.

As a Member, NBA Committee on the review of
the Legal Practitioners Act & Legal Education Act 2011, Ojukwu produced a
new draft for the Committee and that draft is currently pending before the
National Assembly today. In addition to the Legal Practitioners Act, Ojukwu
also submitted to the Bar draft bills on Legal Education and Legal Services
Commission. These are also presently before the National Assembly. In 2006, the
NBA under President Olisa Agbakoba SAN requested an amendment in place of a
completely new Act and Ernest Ojukwu submitted a new Legal Practitioners
(Amendment) Bill which was submitted to the National Assembly. He Proposed the
introduction of a Mandatory Continuing Legal Education for the Bar at the NBA
Annual General Meeting Ilorin 1998. As a Member of NBA NEC, he proposed a
resolution dated 3rd November 2003 for NBA NEC to “direct the
General Secretary NBA to publish on or before the 31st day of
December 2003 the list of co-opted members of NEC and Branch representatives in
accordance with section 9(a)(iv) and (v) of the NBA Constitution.” He also
Organised as Chairman NBA Aba Branch, the 1st Law Reform Workshop in
Abia State in 1998.

Under the tutelage of Chief Ikeazor, SAN,
Arthur Obi Okafor, as a young Counsel was exposed to the best of litigation,
practice and procedure in diverse aspects of Nigerian law. He was led by Chief
Ikeazor in some of the most-celebrated cases in our law reports, such as;
Chinemelu V. C O P (1995) 4 NWLR (Part 390) 467 @ 484 and Anatogu v. Iweka II
(1995) 8 NWLR (pt. 415) 547 among others.

Arthur Obi Okafor is a litigation lawyer par
excellence. With a large clientele from different walks of life, he has
concluded many high profile and contentious civil and criminal litigations,
cutting across diverse areas, including election petitions, land matters,
receivership, company proceedings etc. at the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal,
Federal and State High Courts and other superior courts of record. In
furtherance of his strong belief in making justice accessible, he consistently
offers his experience and expertise to indigent members of the society by
handling their matters pro bono. Below are some of the celebrated cases of the
Supreme Court that he participated in:

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

2.        Balonwu
v. Governor of Anambra State 2009 18 NWLR 13 (Pt. 1172).

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. 

He was recently appointed Chairman of the
Administration of Criminal Justice Reform Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association.
In addition to the above, Arthur Obi Okafor is also an Assessor with the Delta
State Multi-Door Court House for listing Arbitrators, Mediators and