A former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law Olumide Akpata has emerged president of the prestigious body of legal practitioners.
Mr Akpata won the election despite not belonging to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
He was announced winner by the chairman of the NBA Electoral Committee Taiwo Taiwo (SAN) early Friday, July 31 after votes were cast virtually and monitored by the public.
Akpata amassed 9891 votes (54.3 per cent) to defeat Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) who polled 4328 votes (23.8 per cent) and Dele Adesina (SAN) who got 3982 votes (21.9 per cent).
Here are key things to know about the man who has promised to reposition the NBA for the next two years:
Akpata is a senior partner and head of the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group at Templars Law Firm.
Born on October 7, 1972, he had his early education in Warri, Delta State. He attended King’s College, Lagos from where he proceeded to study law at the University of Benin (UNIBEN). He graduated in 1992 and was called to the Nigerian bar on December 15, 1993.
Akpata did his compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) porgramme in Kano State and on completion joined the law firm of Dr Mudiaga Odje & Co. in Warri.
According to his profile on the NBA website, Akpata says: “It was under Dr Mudiaga Odje, SAN, that I learnt the rudiments of litigation and court room advocacy.”
Akpata relocated to Lagos in 1996 and teamed up with his cousin Oghogho Akpata who had just set up the law firm, Templars, the previous year.
The new NBA president has been with the firm to date.
Akpata has participated in some groundbreaking transactions that have shaped commercial law practice in Nigeria. He advised the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises on the restructuring and unbundling of the now defunct state-owned power monopoly, National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). He was also part of those who saw to the successful merger of Diamond Bank and Access Bank Plc.
Akpata sits on the board of several private companies in non-executive capacity.
To cool his nerves, the 47-year-old loves to hang out with friends and family, attend social events, travel and read biographies of distinguished personalities.
He is a devout Christian and a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.