Prominent Bar Leader and former Secretary of the Electoral Committe of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA) Cordelia Eke has been named among Africa’s top female lawyers.

Announcing Eke’s listing on the chart while unveiling the “Courtroom Mail 100 Women 2024,” the Founding Editor of Courtroom Mail, Mr. Anthony Atata wrote: “We are also very proud of all our listed colleagues and the work they are doing.”

In profiling Eke, a seasoned litigator who has served the Bar in several capacities, the organisers wrote: Cordelia Uwuma Eke is a Nigerian born legal practitioner based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University), Port Harcourt, and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Public International Law, from the University of Kent, Canterbury in the United Kingdom. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1995.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators ICMC Nigeria, a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria. She specializes in Criminal law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Mrs Eke is the Author of the fast selling book- CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA, A PRACTICAL GUIDE, and has also published articles and edited legal works and Newsletters.

Mrs Eke is presently a Director in the Rivers State Ministry of Justice, where she has been actively engaged in mediation, civil and criminal litigation at the high court, Appeal court, and the Supreme court for over 20 years. She is acclaimed as an ace prosecutor and has also held down several roles at the Ministry of justice, including, being the Team Lead, Committee on Drafting of Prosecution Manual and Code of Conduct for Prosecutors and Team Lead, Attorney-General’s Special Committee which treated abandoned casefiles of over 350 awaiting trial inmates in the Federal prisons in Rivers State.

Mrs. Eke’s expertise in criminal law practice made her a much sought-after Speaker, trainer, and Resource person on legal and other subjects and has presented papers to members of the Bench and the Bar, and the public at various Seminars, workshops, conferences and trainings including the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conferences and Continuing Legal Education trainings, amongst others.

Cordelia Eke has held several leadership positions in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), African Bar Association (AFBA), African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) Nigeria, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria and the Law Officers Association of Nigeria (LOAN) at state and National levels, including being Council Member of the NBA Human Rights Institute and the National Executive Committee. She is presently a member of the NBA National Remuneration Committee.

Mrs. Eke has broken several glass ceilings, including being the first female Secretary of the prestigious NBA Port Harcourt Branch of over 7,000 members , and pioneer President of her Law school call set Alumni Association.

Mrs. Eke has continued to groom young lawyers posted to the Ministry of Justice during their service years for over 20 years, making time for personal coaching and counselling. She also assisted some of them in securing employment after the service year. Some of her mentees now run their own law practice while some are partners in law firms, Special Advisers to Governments, Law lecturers and even Senior advocate of Nigeria, amongst other leading roles in society. She has used her various roles to groom and mentor many young lawyers, male and female, teaching them self-confidence in excellence in aw practice.

As a women rights advocate, Mrs. Eke has continued to be a bridge builder across the female lawyers Associations of FIDA, AWLA and NBAWF in order to promote sisterhood, mutual respect, and support for other women.

She is a trail blazer, a role model to many young female lawyers and a mentor to law students, new wigs, and junior lawyers.

CITY LAWYER recalls that the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, has hailed the popular Bar Leader on the feat. 

In a statement by Gloria Ohia, AWLA Rivers Coordinator, the association noted that “This is a truly phenomenal achievement, and we are incredibly proud to have you as a part of our AWLA Rivers State Branch family. Your pioneering spirit and dedication to the legal profession have paved the way for countless other women lawyers in our state, and your inclusion on this prestigious list as one out of three Nigerian women, is a testament to your exceptional contributions.”

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