Christopher Adebayo Ojo, SAN
is a former Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As such, he is
also a past head of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice. He is a legal
practitioner and is licensed to practice in Nigeria, England and Wales.
Chief Bayo Ojo hails from Ife-Ijumu,
Kogi State, in central Nigeria. He had his primary school education in Maiduguri
and Kaduna and his post-primary education at Zaria in Kaduna State. He worked
briefly as a civil servant in Ilorin, Kwara State, before he proceeded to the University
of Lagos where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Law in June 1977. Chief also did
his LLM at the world-acclaimed London School of Economics and Political

He was former Head of Chamber,
Oniyangi & Co. and founded Bayo Ojo & Co. in 1986. Elevated to the
prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1999, he was
elected President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in 2004. Subsequently,
he was appointed Attorney General and Minister of Justice by President Olusegun
During his term as
Attorney-General, he regularly appeared in court personally to argue cases on
behalf of the government. Previous attorneys-general had mostly preferred to
engage lawyers in private practice to appear for the government. He was noted
for his brilliant efforts in decongesting Nigerian prisons by engaging lawyers
in private practice to defend various individuals who were being held by the
state without trial.
As Attorney General and Minister
of Justice, he also undertook numerous reforms in the Justice sector
including the development of eight critical bills. In addition, he
reformed all the investment laws in Nigeria. He also advised on the
exit of Nigeria from foreign debts owed to the London and Paris Clubs. Regarded as one of the leading
lights of Arbitration and ADR in Africa, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN is Africa’s representative at the Board of Trustees of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London
I was opportune to meet Chief
Bayo Ojo at the Esq. Arbitration International School held in Lagos and I was
amazed at his humility and grace. We talked about policy making in Nigeria and
how there was a dire need for credible and sound policy makers in the country.
He was also gracious enough to give me practice tips and career advice.