Olumide Akpata (born: 7 October 1970; Age: 53) is an accomplished Nigerian legal practitioner who previously headed the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He has over 3 decades of experience in corporate and commercial law and recently got married to a lawyer and London graduate, Osayamon Ogbebor May Michelle.
In the course of his thriving career, Olumide has broken several norms and bounds. Since his emergence into the world of corporate and commercial law, he has become a household name to be reckoned with. Unknown to many, he is not only recognised locally but also internationally for the many successes he has recorded in the business and law sectors.
Olumide Akpata is from Edo State
Anthony Olumide Akpata is currently 51 years old and has Vitiligo (a disease that causes loss of skin color in patches). He was born on 7 October 1972 and is the son of Mr. Akpata and Mrs. Patience Oluwafunmilayo Akpata (née Obasahon) from Edo State.
His mother was a renowned businesswoman born on 15 April 1943, and his father who is a medical doctor was born on 29 May 1940.
The famous legal practitioner is from the south-south region of Nigeria specifically Edo State. From an early age, Olu as he is fondly called experienced education in different regions of the country.
He Was Called to the Nigeria Bar at the age of 23
Olumide Akpata has his primary education in Warri, Delta State, and shortly after, he was admitted into Kings College in Lagos State for his secondary education.
By the time he was ready to experience higher institutions, he was most enthusiastic about studying business administration but later decided to study law. This was not totally the wish of his father who wanted his son to study medicine. Nonetheless, it did not stop the older Akpata from guiding his then-young son to study law.
Olumide Akpata graduated from the University of Benin, Edo State in 1992. On December 15 1993 at 23, he was called to bar in accordance with the Legal Practitioners Act. He then proceeded to the Northern part of Nigeria, Kano, for his mandatory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).
Olumide Akpata is a Senior Partner at Templars, One of Nigeria’s Top-Tier Law Firms
Olumide Akpata is a legal practitioner with over three decades of experience. The Edo State native is a senior partner at Templars, one of the most distinguished law firms in Nigeria. He is also a director and shareholder of a growth drilling company in Nigeria called Depthwize Nigeria Limited.
Olumide started his career after his NYSC as a lawyer working in a law firm in Warri, Delta State. He worked for the now-defunct Dr. Mudiaga SAN & Co. in the hope of gaining experience from one of the country’s most recognized litigators at the time, Dr. Mudiaga Odje, SAN, OFR.
In 1995, Olumide’s cousin named Oghogho Akapata set up a law firm called Templars. This prompted the young man to relocate to Lagos and join the law firm while building his skills, strategy, prowess, and popularity. Olumide Akpata has spent over two decades at Templars and has risen to the position of senior partner.
He has Counselled Renowned Companies such as Google and Access Bank
Olumide Akpata specializes in corporate and commercial law. His area of expertise covers matters relating to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A); Corporate Law; Capital Markets; Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment, Technology; Regulatory Compliance matters, as well as employment and immigration amongst others.
In the course of his career, he has worked with several corporate giants and public organizations. Olumide Akpata advised the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises on the reorganization and restructuring of the National Electric Power Authority’s electricity monopoly. This opened the way for the privatization of the Nigerian power industry and the national power utility.
More than many of his contemporaries, Akpata has counseled the United States headquarters of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). This was on its US$1.05 billion accession of telecommunication towers from Airtel Networks Limited under the American Tower Corporation project.
Moreso, his career landed him a space to work with the global tech giant Google on the stationing of Google Street View, a feature on Google Maps and Google Earth in Nigeria.
His Other Career Breakthroughs
- Akpata’s job as an advisor has also benefitted his roots in that, he advised Azura Power West Africa Limited and its sponsors in championing a greenfield 459MW independent power plant development in Edo State worth over US$800 million
- He superintended over a US$152 million asset purchase transaction acquisition of the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria by a group of Nigerian investors under the privatization program of the Federal Government of Nigeria
- The legal practitioner is a member of think tanks like the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), and the United Nations Nigerian Humanitarian Fund (UN-NHF).
Olumide Akpata is the First Non-SAN to Become NBA President in over Three Decades
Olumide Akpata is not only committed to his private practice but is also devoted to the development of the legal profession in Nigeria.
He is a founding member, past secretary, and vice chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL). He also served as chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law Council in August 2016.
In addition, he is the vice chairman (West Africa) of the International Bar Association (IBA) Africa regional forum and a member of the IBA credentials committee.
In 2020, Olumide Akpata contested for the position of president of the Nigerian Bar Association. He was the only non-SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) to contest and defeated the other two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) at the association polls.
Akpata became president of the NBA with a 54.3% margin and polled 9891 votes giving a wide gap to his contenders. He was the first non-SAN president to be elected in 31 years after Aloa Aka-Bahorun’s tenure between 1987-1989.
Olumide Akpata’s Wife is also a Lawyer
Olumide Akpata’s wife is Osayamon Michelle Ogbebor. She is from the prominent Ogbebor family of Bini Kingdom, Edo State. The duo was said to have been dating for a long time before formalizing things.
The traditional wedding was held in Benin City, Edo State on 14 May 2022 while the white wedding took place on 2 October 2022 in the Island country of the Republic of Mauritius.
In attendance at the wedding were the vice president of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, actor and lawyer Richard Mofe Damiji (RMD), Ali Baba (King of Comedy in Nigeria), and other prominent dignitaries as well as friends and family
Olumide Akpata’s wife, Osayamon Michelle Ogbebor is a graduate of Law (LL.B) from the prestigious University of Essex. She also got a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the Queen Mary University of London.
Professionally, she works with Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, as a Financial Market Legal adviser. The company which was incorporated in 1992 is Nigeria’s Central Securities Depository (CSD), with permission to carry on the depository, clearing, and settlement of all transactions in the Nigerian Capital Market.
As one who prefers to keep his private life out of the public eye, there is hardly any information on whether Olumide Akpata was previously married and if he has any children.