The Chairman of Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN recently celebrated his 60th birthday anniversary. Organised by his Committee of Friends led by Mr. Chijioke Okoli SAN, he used the occasion to launch his pet project, the “Nigerian Law School Support Initiative” aimed to revamp the decaying infrastructure at the Nigerian Law School. The event turned out a naira rain for the initiative, even as Ngige encouraged more donors to commit to the project by paying into the “Council of Legal Education” account on REMITA platform.

CITY LAWYER recalls that among those who felicitated with Ngige, fondly called IKEMBA n’ALOR, were President Muhammadu Buhari; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim T. Muhammad; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN and many of Ngige’s classmates and alumni associations.

The colourful ceremony which was heralded by a Thanksgiving Mass at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Yaba was witnessed by the cream of Nigeria’s political class and Bar and Bench. Below are some of the faces at the events.




Former Deputy Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu (PhD, CFR) will deliver the Keynote Address at the virtual birthday celebration of respected former Chairman of Nigeria’s Body of Benchers, Chief George Uwechue SAN, FNIALS who clocks 82 years on Monday.

The event which is aimed to honour Chief Uwechue, a former Speaker pro Tempore of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, has as its theme “The lawyer in Parliament: A catalyst in the legislative process.” The birthday lecture is billed as a tour de force between politics, lawyering and lawmaking. Chief Uwechue was the Deputy Leader of the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) Caucus and Chairman of the Public Petitions Committee.

A statement by the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN which was made available to CITY LAWYER noted that “As Owelle was a lawyer-member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic, we consider the topic apposite for the occasion, moreso as Senator Ekweremadu is not only the immediate past Deputy Senate President but is also a lawyer and has been in the Senate for unbroken 17 years.”

The event which kicks off at 4:30 pm will be chaired by renowned senior lawyer, Senator Onyeabo Obi. It will witness goodwill messages from political leaders and foremost jurists. It will also be streamed on several social media channels as well as feature sensational saxophonist, BeeJay Sax who is billed to thrill the global audience.

Chief Uwechue is adjudged one of Nigeria’s foremost jurists, with many leading precedents to his credit. These include Magnusson v Koiki; NAS LTD v BA PLC; Ashibuogwu v AG Bendel State, and the regularly referenced Adeniyi v Governing Council of Yabatech which concurrent verdicts of the trial court and Court of Appeal he upturned at the Supreme Court upon being hired by the appellant.

A longstanding Faculty member at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Chief Uwechue was appointed as a Member of the Rules of Court Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court between 1985 and 1986. He produced a draft review of the rules which was later subsumed into the Supreme Court Rules 1999 (as amended).

Chief Uwechue, the “Owelle of Ogwashi Uku,” was born on 30th November, 1938. He was a two-time member of the House of Representatives, representing Aniocha Federal Constituency of former Bendel State on two different party platforms. He rose to the pinnacle of the House leadership following his assumption of office as the Speaker pro Tempore.

Following the interruption of civil rule by the military, he returned to law practice and again rose to the apogee of the legal profession with his admission into the Inner Bar and his election as Chairman of the Body of Benchers, the apex body that regulates the profession in Nigeria.

He was admitted into the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, Inns of Court School of Law for the English Bar in February 1961 and passed the “British Constitution” with distinction at the North Western Polytechnic, London. He repeated this uncommon feat at the Holborn College of Law, Languages and Commerce where in 1962 he again earned Distinction in “Constitutional Law.” His teacher and one of the world’s foremost constitutional lawyers, Prof. Ben Nwabueze SAN once described Chief Uwechue as unarguably the best among his classmates. This was during the launch of a compendium written by leading Nigerian jurists in Uwechue’s honour.

Chief Uwechue enrolled at the London School of Economics and Political Science courtesy of his mentor, Prof. Nwabueze, and in 1965 received his Bachelor’s Degree in Law, graduating with Second Class Honours. He returned to Nigeria the same year and enrolled at the Nigerian Law School. Having passed the Bar Finals, Chief Uwechue was admitted to the Nigerian Bar on January 21, 1966 – almost 55 years ago.

To register for the virtual event, click OR

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Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong and his Benue counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom are among dignitaries expected to participate in an online colloquium that would discuss law and technology.

The theme of the webinar is “The COVID-19 new normal: leveraging law and technology to promote good governance; ensure food security in a sustainable environment.”

The colloquium is in commemoration of the 60th birthday anniversary of Mr. John Echezona Unachukwu, (John Austin), former National Publicity Secretary of the NBA and the unveiling of John Austin Unachukwu and Associates Law and Media Centre. The event will hold today by 1 pm.

While Mr. Obi will present the Keynote Address, the Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Lanre Fagbohun (SAN) would be the 6th speaker.

The chief host, according to The Guardian, would be the pioneer chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), while the former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), Chief Sebastine Hon (SAN), Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor (SAN), among others would host the event.

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A group of lawyers under the aegis of Lawyers for Welfare Advocacy (LAWFWA) has felicitated with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Olumide Akpata on his birthday today.

NBA Benin Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ogaga Emoghwanre has also congratulated Akpata on his birthday, describing him as “a  quintessential gentleman, effervescent, intelligent, savvy, spruce, dapper and a stylish personality.”

In separate messages made available to CITY LAWYER, they prayed for greater success for the NBA President.

Meanwhile, popular lawyer and TV host, Mr. Ebuka Obi-Uchendu has also joined in the flurry of congratulatory messages to Akpata. In the message posted on his verified Twitter handle, he wrote: “Happy birthday my presido @OlumideAkpata !!! More wins boss Folded hands

Below are the messages:


The Lawyers for Welfare Advocacy wishes to congratulate the most innovative President of the bar in modern history; Olumide Akpata on the occasion of his birthday.

Sir, not only do you seamlessly adapt to addressing the emerging challenges from the persistent ones that we face in our country today, but you are also always striving to make things better with new approaches and such unfaltering determination and focus.

We therefore seize this opportunity to thank you for all of your amazing efforts in repositioning our dear bar, for your sagacity in making Nigeria better and for your pragmatic approach to addressing her numerous challenges for the betterment of all.

We wish you many happy returns today and always.

Happy birthday sir.

For: Lawyers for Welfare Advocacy
Ezekiel Ugwueze Esq.
National Secretary


Today is the oldest you have ever been and before it loses that privilege, I will attempt to eulogize your good self. Words may fail me in doing that, however, this eulogy is inextricably linked with verifiable facts.

Mr Olumide Akpata, before the day goes dim or lusterless, I want to say a huge Happy Birthday to you. You are a  quintessential gentleman, effervescent, intelligent, savvy, spruce, dapper and a stylish personality, I wish you all the best as you celebrate today.

Our President Sir, you are a man with a keen sense of beauty, a genius of the first magnitude, a man of transparent honesty, your amiable disposition, regal dignity and humility makes you a matchless colossus.

Today may be like any other day for some, but a special, glamorous and illuminating day for you. It is not the years of our lives that counts but the life of our years.

You are a man who breaks down barriers, explores new frontiers, sets records only to  break them.

You are  quintessential in all that you do, a leader par excellence. You are revolutionary and progressive in ideas.

To truly know you is to have a  piece of heaven as you are God’s hand on earth. Your philanthropy transcends mortal reasoning; a man with a heart of gold and accessible to all.

You are by every means a man of the people and loved by all. We are indeed blessed to have you around; a gift to humanity.

Mr Olumide Akpata is a detribalized Nigerian with a penchant for bringing everyone together. As a trailblazer who has shown light in so many ways, moreso as a unifying factor to lead the largest community of learned personalities in Sub Saharan Africa.

The internet is agog today, the 7th day of October, 2020 from both lawyers and non lawyers with so much encomiums and birthday wishes. This shows that the Support and acceptance that trailed your emergence as PRESIDENT of the NBA was vox populi and a testament of the fact that it was divinely orchestrated. 

As is true about life, some hard balls may be thrown at you at some point; some days are good and some are bad, pain is written on all our cards so we remember to value our good times.

But one thing I know is that you have the grace to always weather the storm.

There is no doubt and it is crystal clear that your vast knowledge is unprecedented and oceanic, these and so many of your stirling qualities endeared me to you and I am indebted to you with so much gratitude, thank you for all you have done and will still do.

Your birthday is an opportunity for me to express my sincere and unalloyed gratitude to you for everything.

My wish for you on your birthday is that you always be, happy and healthy.

May you live a prosperous and abundant life.

May God grant you more wisdom, knowledge and leadership prowess to pilot the affairs of our Association, the NBA.

Happy birthday once more sir. May this year bring for you all the graces you require to sustain the good works you have gained notoriety for.


Cherish and savor the unprecedented love of God in your life and enjoy your Natal day to the fullest. God bless the President of Nigerian Bar Association Mr Olumide Akpata.


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Consummate Bar Leader and Chairman of Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige SAN is 59 years today. Fondly called “Emeka Ngige” by his teeming admirers, the renowned activist Bar Leader was born on 11th July, 1961 to the family of late Chief Pius & Mrs. Priscilla Ngige of Urueze-Ide Village, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He is the last of seven children.

Shortly after the end of the civil war in 1970 Chief Ngige started his primary education at St. Francis Primary School, Uruezeani, Alor in 1970 and completed same at St. Patrick’s Primary School, Ogbete, Enugu. In 1974 he was admitted to St. John’s Secondary School, Alor for his secondary school education. He graduated in 1979 with the much coveted Division 1 grade.

After his secondary school education and precisely between August 1979 and September 1980, Chief Ngige had a stint with the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity where he worked as a clerical officer. In September 1980 he gained admission to study Law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNN). He graduated in July 1984.

In August 1984 he was admitted to the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island for his Bar Qualifying Examinations. He successfully completed the programme in 1985 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar on 23rd August, 1985.

Following his call to the Nigerian Bar, Chief Ngige was posted to Ondo State for the mandatory National Youth Service (NYSC) programme. His primary place of assignment was at the Nigeria Police Force, State CID, Akure where he prosecuted criminal matters on behalf of the Police.

Upon completion of his national youth service in 1986, Chief Ngige was employed as a Pupil Counsel in the Chambers of G. N. Uwechue & Co., Lagos. Chief Ngige practised in the law firm for four years and rose through the ranks to the position of Deputy Head of Chambers. In September 1990 Chief Ngige set up his law firm, Emeka Ngige & Co at the same Bank Chambers building before moving to his present location at Lewis Street in central Lagos.

Chief Ngige was on 10th July, 1992 appointed a Notary Public for Nigeria by then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Mohammed Bello. In 2002 Chief Ngige was adjudged to have achieved legal excellence and distinction, and elevated to the enviable rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on account of his contributions to the development of Nigeria’s legal profession. Chief Ngige was one of the private legal practitioners engaged by the Government to prosecute cases at the Failed Banks Tribunal at Enugu and Lagos. He was also among the private legal practitioners engaged by the Federal Government to represent the government in various cases filed by the Abacha family to stall the recovery efforts of the Government.

Chief Ngige is a consummate Bar man and has held various offices in the Nigerian Bar Association. He was a member of National Executive of the association between August 1991 and September 2016. Between 1995 and 1997, he served as Publicity Secretary, NBA Lagos Branch. He later became the Branch Secretary between 1997 and 1999. He was in 2009 appointed a member of the Body of Benchers as a representative of the NBA. He remained in that Body till November 2012.

He was also a member of the NBA National Disciplinary Committee between 2002 and 2004. Chief Ngige is a longstanding Assistant Secretary of Body of Senior of Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), having mounted the saddle since 2005. Chief Ngige also doubles as the Chairman of Class of ‘85 Nigerian Law School Alumni. The Class is among the alumni classes supporting the Nigerian Law School in various aspects including donation of law books and other materials.

Highly passionate about Bar governance, Ngige contested for NBA Presidency in 2012 and lost in very controversial circumstances. Subsequently, he penned a memorandum on Bar reforms, saying: “Every effort must be made to insulate the Election Committee from the influence, authority, direction or control of the National Secretariat or the National Officers. Under no circumstance should the Election Committee take directives or instruction from a National Officer or the National Secretariat.”

On 22nd May, 2019 Chief Ngige was appointed a non-executive Director of Air Peace Ltd, one of Nigeria’s leading airlines. A week later and precisely on the 28th May, 2019 Chief Ngige was inaugurated as Chairman, Council of Legal Education (CLE) by the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN.

Chief Ngige is happily married to Mrs. Ogochukwu Ngige (Nee Anichebe), a civil servant with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO). The lovebirds are blessed with four children. In recognition of his contributions to his community, Chief Ngige was conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Ikemba N’Alor.”

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The University of Lagos (UNILAG) will on Tuesday turn to a mecca of sorts as jurists and scholars storm the famous citadel of learning to honour renowned professor of international law and jurisprudence, Prof. Akin Oyebode. The learned scholar turns 71 same day. Continue Reading