Prospective JSC – Personality Check: Agbakoba, SAN 

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Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN was born May 29, 1953 in Jos.  He attended Government Primary School, Hillcrest School, Government Primary School all in Jost Plateau State. He also attended Zixton Public School Ozubulu and Christ the King College, Onitsha both in Anambra State. Agbakoba further went to College of Immaculate Conception, Enugu   and Government College, Ughelli, Delta State. He studied law at the  University of Nigeria Nsukka and  Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He proceeded to the London School of Economics & Political Science for his Masters Degree in law. He holds an LLB (Hons) of the University of Nigeria, BL of the Nigerian Law School and LLM (1980) of the University of London. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978 and became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1998

Agbakoba  served as a research fellow in the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs’ (NIIA) Law and Intelligence Department. He left  NIIA after a year to establish his own law firm, Olisa Agbakoba and Associates (now Olisa Agbakoba Legal. Agbakoba SAN  became known through his work in human rights and democracy movement in Nigeria. He was also the founder of United Action for Democracy and the Zambian Pan-African human rights organization AfroNet. He is also a Principal Partner and founder of Human Rights Law Services (HURILAWS) an NGO that specializes in advocacy and law. He is also the founder of Nigeria’s foremost human rights organization, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO). He was a defender for the Civil Rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa who was executed and was arrested several times because of his pro – democratic activities.

Aside from human rights, his work in maritime law in Nigeria has been profound. He is the founder and first president of the Nigerian Shipping Chamber of Commerce (NCS). 

Dr. Agbakoba has served in various appointive governmental positions and is at present a member of the Presidential Task Force on Petroleum Revenue Management.

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Among the numerous honours vested on Dr. Agbakoba are the Roger Baldwin Medal for Civil Liberties (1990, by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), Human Rights Prize (1993, by the German Association of Judges), Aachen Peace Prize (1996), International Human Rights Award (1996, by the American Bar Association), and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah African Leadership Award (2006).

Dr. Agbakoba is a prolific writer on public issues and has written on numerous contemporary subjects on law and the society.

He is a Fellow and 2nd Vice President Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Nigeria); Fellow, Chartered Institute of Mediators & Conciliators of Nigeria; Fellow, Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria; Fellow, Institute of Shipping and Freight Management; Founding President, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping; Member, International Bar Association; Member, Nigerian Maritime Lawyers Association; Member, Institute Of Directors, Nigeria; Member, Justice Sector Group Limited by Guarantee; Member, Advisory Board, MacArthur Foundation; Member, Nigerian Environmental Law Society; Chair, Arbitration Committee, Nigerian Bar Association. He was the president of the Nigerian Bar Association from 2006–2008.

Gentlemen, we present Olisa Agbakoba SAN…

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