It was another moment in the sun especially for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, unarguably NBA’s poster-child, as its outgoing Chairman and top corporate lawyer, Mr. Ikechukwu Uwanna was last week named Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice by Abia State Governor Alex Otti.

This is coming on the heels of yet another rancour-free biennial elections held by the Uwanna-led branch Executive Committee to elect a new leadership for the branch.

CITY LAWYER recalls that Uwanna’s elevation followed his earlier appointment as the Senior Special Assistant on Legal Matters to Governor Otti, having won a popular mandate in the governorship race on the ticket of the emergent Labour Party (LP).

Viewed by many industry watchers as an astute technocrat with deft people skills, Uwanna brought several innovations to the running of the branch, not least his mainstreaming of technology in branch operations and skillful management of the branch monthly meetings.

Otti last week swore in the 16 commissioners who were cleared by the Abia State House of Assembly, leaving out three candidates who are yet to be screened by the lawmakers. His words: “Do not betray the trust of our people who have remained patient and loyal to our course by toeing the same path that brought Abia to the sorry state we met it.”
In the clearest pointer that Uwanna is regarded as a ranking commissioner in the cabinet, he was given the privilege to speak on behalf of his fellow commissioners.

He thanked Otti for giving them the opportunity to contribute to the development of the state, and assured that they would not betray the confidence reposed in them.

Uwanna was until his appointment a Partner with Tsedaqah Attorneys. Before joining Tsedaqah Attorneys, he was an Assistant Manager, Tax Advisory and Regulatory Compliance Services with SIAO, a Lagos based consulting firm. He had also practiced Law and Taxation with Serenity Legal Union and Partners, Port Harcourt.

Uwanna received a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Abia State University, Uturu and a Master of Laws degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar after completing his professional training at the Nigerian Law School. He also possesses a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the Pan African University, Lagos.

He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), International Bar Association (IBA), Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Chartered Institute of Taxation (CITN), Chartered Institute of Mediators and Conciliators (CIMC), Association of Outsourcing Professionals of Nigeria (AOPN), and Capital Market Solicitors Association (CMSA).

A Notary Public for Nigeria and a member of the elite Ikoyi Club 1938, Uwanna is reputed as a leading expert in dispute resolution and cutting-edge commercial law practice, with emphasis on Company and Commercial Law as well as Taxation.

Other members of the cabinet are Prof. Monica Ironkwe, Agriculture; Kingsley Anosike, Budget and Planning; Prof. Uche Eme Uche, Education; Philemon Asonye Ogbonna, Environment and Urban Renewal; Mike Akpara, Finance; Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, Health; Prince Okey Kanu, Information and Culture; Chaka Chukwumerije, Lands and Housing, and Prince Uzor Nwachukwu, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

Also sworn in are Prof. Joel Friday Ogbonna, Petroleum and Mineral Resources; Chima Emmanuel Oriaku, Science and Technology; Nwaobilor Ananaba, Sports and Youth Development; Dr. Chimezie Isaac Ukaegbu, Trade, Commerce & Industry; Ngozi Blessing Felix, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation; Don Otumchere Oti, Works; Sunny Onwuma, Transport; Ikechukwu Monday, Power and Public Utilities, and Dr. Mathew Ekwuribe, Digital Economy/ SME.

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