Mr. Charles Adeyemi Candide-Johnson, SAN FCIArb - President

Mr. Candide-Johnson, SAN is the President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration and the Senior Partner at Strachan Partners – a leading commercial law firm based in Lagos with substantial practice across the Country. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1984 and was conferred to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 2003.

He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of England. He is also an approved tutor and examiner for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK. He is an honorary fellow at the Centre for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitration Association.

Mr. Candide-Johnson is an author of several scholarly papers in the public sphere, which includes, ‘Commercial Arbitration Law and International Practice in Nigeria’- a text he co-authored with Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN.

He is a member of several associations which include: the Panel of Neutrals for the Lagos State Multi-Door Court House, Lagos, and the Nigerian Communications Commission Panel of Neutrals, among others. He is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law.

Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN FCIArb – Immediate Past President

Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN is the immediate past President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) and a Senior Partner at the law firm of Ajumogobia & Okeke – a leading commercial law firm with offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

His areas of specialization include Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, Civil and Commercial litigation, Maritime and Shipping law, Commercial law, Public and Administrative law, and Business crime. In recognition of his contribution to the practice and development of law in Nigeria, Mr. Shasore was conferred to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2006.

He is also a member of the Nigerian Body of Benchers and a Notary Public for Nigeria. He was appointed as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State in 2007, a position he held until May 2011.

He is currently the Editor in Chief of Commercial Law Reports, Nigeria and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK (Nigeria Branch).

Mr. Shasore is also an accomplished author of books and articles in various journals and publications, which include ‘Jurisdiction and Sovereign Immunity in Nigerian Commercial Law’, ‘Commercial Arbitration Law and International Practice in Nigeria’ which he co-authored with Mr. Adeyemi Candide-Johnson, as well as ‘Possessed’.

Mr. Babajide Ogundipe FCIArb – Pioneer President

Mr. Ogundipe enrolled as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in July 1979, after obtaining his LLB degree from the University of London in 1978. He was a counsel at Chief Rotimi Williams’ Chambers, from September 1980 to September 1988, where he became a Founding Partner of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore – based in Lagos.

Mr. Ogundipe was appointed a Notary Public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in 1991. He became a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in England in 1994, and has, at various times between 1995 and 2009, held the posts of Secretary, Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK (Nigeria branch).

He acted as the Vice-Chair of the African Anti-Corruption Committee of the International Bar Association from January 2010 to December 2011, and a member of the Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN FCIArb - Vice President

Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN is a Senior Partner at the law firm of Kenna Partners. He holds a doctorate degree in law from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, an MBA from the IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Barcelona and law degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Lagos, respectively. He is also an alumnus of the Oxford University Business School and the Lagos Business School.

He is the founder and a fellow of the Society of Corporate Governance Nigeria, a fellow, and a member of the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK (Nigeria Branch), and a member of the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also a member of the Council of Legal Education, and serves on the Governing Council of the Pan-African University (Lagos Business School).

He has served as Honorary Counsel to the State of Israel in Nigeria, the Republic of South Africa in Nigeria, and has assisted the Securities and Exchange Commission in drafting Nigeria’s pioneer Code of Corporate Governance. He has also chaired the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Committee on Corporate Governance, a committee that produced the 2014 NCC Code of Corporate Governance for the Telecommunications Sector.

He is the author of the books, ‘Commercial Arbitration in Nigeria: Law & Practice’, ‘Fair Hearing’, ‘Corporate Governance in Nigeria: Law & Practice’, ‘Legal & Regulatory Aspects of Commerce’, and ‘Mergers & Acquisition in Nigeria, Law & Practice’.

Mrs. Olufunke Adekoya, SAN FCIArb

Mrs Funke Adekoya SAN is a partner at ǼLEX, a commercial law firm operating in Lagos, Nigeria. She heads the Dispute Resolution practice group which manages litigation and arbitration matters for the firm’s clients.

She obtained her LL.B (2nd Upper ) from the University of Ife in 1974 and her LL.M from Harvard Law School, Boston, Mass, USA in 1977. She was appointed as Notary Public in 1986, elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2001 (at that time the 5th woman to be so elevated) and thereafter qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales in 2004. She is both a Fellow and a Chartered Arbitrator of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

She has 40 years experience in commercial litigation and corporate dispute resolution; regularly sits as an arbitrator in both institutional and ad hoc arbitration proceedings both in international and domestic disputes. She also advises clients on commercial and corporate legal issues regarding business insolvency, receivership, corporate liquidations and business turnaround issues; and regularly lectures on arbitration law and procedure.

Funke is listed on the Energy Arbitrators List by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, and is a Board member of the African Users Council of the London Court of International Arbitration.

In addition to being recently elected a member of the Governing Council of ICCA [International Council for Commercial Arbitration], she was appointed a Vice President of the ICC Court of Arbitration as well as a member of the World Bank Group Sanctions Board.

She has been a Life Member of the International Federation Of Women Lawyers – FIDA since 1982.

Mr. Ucheora Onwuamaegbu

Mr. Onwuamaegbu provides advisory services to foreign investors and Governments, while also acting as an arbitrator in International disputes. For over a decade, he was a Senior Counsel at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) where he administered numerous arbitrations under treaties, national laws and contracts.

Prior to ICSID, Mr. Onwuamaegbu was a lawyer at the United Nations Compensation Commission, Geneva and was responsible for claims for business losses by airlines and shipping companies, as well as claims for lost bank remittances, among others. He serves as Legal Advisor to the State of Kuwait’s National Focal Point, and has served on a committee responsible for privatising solid mineral assets of Nigeria.

He is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, a former Senior Visiting Fellow at Columbia University’s Vale Centre on Sustainable International Investment, and has written and spoken extensively on international investment dispute resolution.

Honourable Justice Ayotunde Phillips (Rtd.) MCIArb

Justice Phillips was the former Chief Judge of Lagos State until 2014. She started her career at Kehinde Sofola & Co. in 1976. She also worked at the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, where she rose from the position of Legal Officer to the Chief Legal Officer. In addition, she was the Director of Commercial Law and Civil Litigation at the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

Justice Phillips was appointed to the Bench in 1994, where she rose to become an Administrative Judge, Head Judge and subsequently, Chief Judge of the Lagos State Judiciary in 2012. She is also a board member of the Association of Multi Door Houses of Nigeria, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK (Nigeria Branch), an arbitration consultant at Phillips Associates, and the County Chair of NCMG International.

Mr. Hubert Hourizene

Born and raised in Cote d’Ivoire, Hubert HOURIZENE boasts a sound experience within various industries including banking, private sector development, microfinance and private equity across the continent.
Prior to joining ICF Africa (The Investment Climate Facility for Africa Trust) as Director for Projects since 2010, Hubert served as Managing Director of “Socremo Banco” in Mozambique and CFO of “Africap Microfinance Investment Company”, a leading private equity fund mainly focused on microfinance institutions on the continent. In this capacity, he served on the boards of some microfinance institutions in Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. Before moving outside his country, Hubert was Head of Financial Control and Reporting for Standard Chartered Bank in Abidjan.

His current role entails the oversight of more than 73 projects in areas such as property rights, infrastructure facilitation, trade facilitation, contract enforcement and financial market development within 24 African countries and two regional blocks, OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) and EAC (East African Communities). 

Hubert HOURIZENE was awarded the distinction of Knight of the National Order of Burkina Faso in May 2016.

Dr. Nechi Sylvia Ezeako

Dr. Nechi Ezeako is a Lawyer, Chartered Secretary and Administrator, Authorised Corporate Governance Trainer and Certified Board Evaluator. She holds Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) Degree from the University of Nigeria (1984), Barrister at Law (BL) from the Nigerian Law School (1985) and a Master of Science (Distinction) degree in Corporate Governance from the Leeds Metropolitan University, now Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom (2009). Nechi became a Graduate in 1998, Associate in 1999 and Fellow in 2007 of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, London. She is an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School Senior Management and the Executive Leadership High Achievement Programmes.

For a cumulative period in excess of a decade, Ezeako served as Group Company Secretary and Legal Adviser of FinBank Plc, then a public-quoted financial institution (which emerged at the end of two mergers and was subsequently acquired by FCMB). Thereafter, she was Principal Consultant/CEO of EL-Values Advisory, a Management Consulting and Legal Services firm. While at EL-Values, Nechi led project teams with responsibility for various corporate governance projects including development of corporate governance frameworks, policies, processes and procedures for procurement and conflict of interest, automation of policies, processes and gap analysis, internalisation of developed policies, processes and procedures, among others.

Over the past thirty years, Nechi has acquired diversified and versatile experience in Company Secretarial, Legal Advisory, Corporate Governance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Training/Facilitation, HR Management, General Management/Administration, Logistics and Consulting roles spanning the Banking, Legal Practice, Business Membership/Not for Profit, Manufacturing, Service and Real Estate sectors. Ezeako served as a Member of the Corporate Governance Working Group (CGWG) charged with the Code development for the Nigerian Telecommunications sector. She is a well sought-after Speaker, Trainer and Facilitator whose passion for people empowerment through knowledge impartation fuels her drive for sharing knowledge. Her speaking engagements are anchored mainly on issues of Corporate Governance, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Board and Director Roles, Responsibilities, Rights and Liabilities, the Role of the Company Secretary and General/Corporate Counsel, Effective Management, Human Resource Management, the
Christian Life and the Law.

Nechi speaks at both local and international fora and has delivered well received papers on different aspects of Corporate Governance, Anti-Bribery and Corruption, etc. at major conferences on four continents. Ezeako sits on the Council of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), where she serves as the Chairperson of the Nominations Committee. She is also a member of the Board and the Chairperson, Rules & Governance Committee of the Kolade Endowed Chairs Foundation, among others.
Her desire for greater understanding and awareness of Corporate Governance in her native Nigeria led to the creation in December 2010 of a newspaper Column, The Governance Platform, published in the LAWYER Section of ThisDay Newspapers, which she anchors. The Governance Platform focuses on the subject of Corporate Governance and Ezeako’s vision is through it to promote the values-based concepts/principles of Corporate Governance including transparency, accountability, integrity, fairness, responsibility, independence, etc. She insists on the “spirit” of Corporate Governance above the letter of compliance.

Ezeako is an Authorised Corporate Governance Trainer on the Board Leadership Toolkit, and the Company Secretary’s Toolkit, both of the IFC/Global Corporate Governance Forum as well as an IFC Board Evaluation Certified Professional. She is also an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and Member of the Institute of Directors.

Ezeako is currently Executive Director, IoD Nigeria, seconded to IoD Centre for Corporate Governance as Executive Director/CEO. She loves travel, reading and writing. Nechi has received awards, locally and overseas, and considers raising her four adult children; Anthonia Nkechi, Chioma Sylvia, Ogechi Samuel and Amarachi Gloria, her greatest fulfilment.

Mr. Sadiq Abubakar Adamu

Mr. Adamu is currently the Company Secretary and Assistant General Counsel of ExxonMobil Nigeria. He attended Bayero University, Kano, where he obtained an LLB, the Harvard University Law School where he obtained a Master’s degree in law, the University Of Oxford School Of Energy and Natural Resources for a postgraduate certificate in Advance Negotiation, and the Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies for a post graduate certification in Advanced Legal Drafting.

He started his legal career as a public prosecutor with the Plateau State Ministry of Justice, and has also worked at the law office of R.O Yusuf and Co. as well as  Miskom Puepet & Co. after which, he exited to set up his law firm, Sadiq & Co.

Mr. Adamu has vast experience in the hydrocarbon development industry that spans for over 23 years. This includes legal support for upstream, midstream (natural gas monetization- domestic and International planning, developing and sales) and downstream business with emphasis on the negotiation and finalisation of development agreements, financing, human resource management, dispute resolution, project agreements, regulatory compliance and general joint venture relations management.

Mrs. Bimpe Elebute Nkontchou MCIArb

Mrs. Elebute Nkontchou is a Partner at the law firm of Addie & Co. Solicitors, London. She has over 20 years’ experience practising law in the Nigerian law firms of Bentley, Edu & Co. and Aluko & Oyebode, as well as in the law firm of SJ Berwin, London.

As Partner and Head of the Corporate Law and Commercial Litigation departments at Addie & Co., she advises foreign investors doing business in sub-Saharan Africa (both Anglophone and Francophone), as well as African entrepreneurs and companies in their various activities in Europe and on the African continent.

Mrs. Elebute Nkontchou is a member of the Law Society of England & Wales, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, and a qualified Trust and Estate Adviser (accredited by the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners STEP). She is currently in training as a Commercial Mediator at the London Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Trustee of the Africa Centre in Covent Garden, London.

Mrs. Funmi Roberts FCIArb

Mrs. Roberts is the Principal Partner of Funmi Roberts & Co., as well as the head of the firm’s ADR unit. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Nigeria Branch and an Accredited Mediator of the CEDR.

Mrs. Roberts is also a member of several professional organizations, including the Nigerian Bar Association and the Women’s Forum Executive Council. In addition, she is the Vice Chairman of the Arbitration and ADR Committee of the Section on Business Law arm of the NBA.

Mrs. Roberts has made several presentations and published numerous articles on dispute resolution. These include, ‘Cultural Nuances to Mediating Commercial Disputes in Nigeria’ published in the Journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK, among others

Mrs. Oyinkan Badejo-Okusanya MCIArb

Mrs. Oyinkan Badejo-Okusanya is a former General Counsel to the then Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN. Prior to this appointment, she was the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Justice Sector Reform, a position she held from August 2007 to July 2011. In this capacity, she worked in the Office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, to help conceptualise and implement the various justice administration and justice service delivery reform programmes of the Administration.

She has worked as a barrister in the Dispute Resolution practice of Olaniwun Ajayi, LP; one of Nigeria’s leading commercial law firms, and headed the firm’s Public Affairs and Regulatory Unit of the Enterprise Practice.

Mrs. Badejo-Okusanya was educated at the University of Lagos, where she obtained a B.A. (Hons.) degree and an LL.B (Hons.) degree respectively. She is a CEDR Accredited Mediator and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrator, UK (Nigerian Branch). She was also the inaugural Secretary to the Board of the Lagos Court of Arbitration from 2010 to 2012, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK (Nigeria Branch).

Oluwatosin Lewis FCiArb - Executive Secretary

Tosin is a solicitor and dispute resolution specialist with a proven ability and extensive experience in the areas of arbitration, litigation, contracts and documentation. Her experiences in legal practice span over two decades and diverse areas and clientele. She is experienced at advising teams and departments, ensuring their compliance with substantive and regulatory laws and terms and conditions of operating licenses.

She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992 and is a Notary Public of Nigeria. She has postgraduate diplomas in international law and business and maritime law from the London Guildhall University and the College of Law UK. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK, a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Lagos Court of Arbitration, the International Bar Association and Arbitral Women.

She has delivered papers at International conferences on dispute resolution options in the energy industry and on emergency arbitration and emergency relief procedures. She has contributed twice to the Virtual Round Table publication on Technology, Media and Technology published by Corporate Live Wire.