Labour Party Presidential Candidate Peter Obi’s legal team include at least twenty Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and lawyers. Among the SANs are Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, Chief Awa Kalu, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, P.I.N. Ikwueto, Chief Ben Anyachebe, S.T. Hon, Arthur Obi Okafor, Ik Ezechukwu, J.S. Okutepa, Dr Mrs Valerie Azinge, Emeka Okpoko, and Alex Ejesieme.
The Labour party candidate, Peter Obi, hired the services of at least 20 senior advocates of Nigeria to challenge the outcome of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election which saw the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, emerge as the winner. These lawyers are drawn from different chambers across the country and were furnished with materials that would be used as evidence in court.
Obi rejected the election result which saw Tinubu winning with a total of 8,794,726 votes, with each claiming at separate press conferences that the election was fraught with violence and massive rigging.
List of Lawyers in Peter Obi’s Legal Team
To know more about the members of Peter Obi’s legal team, here are facts we have to share with you
Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) is the Lead Counsel on Peter Obi’s Team
- Date of Birth: 15th April 1959
- Age: 63 years old
- Alma Mater: Evanston College, Lake Forest College and Oklahoma City University
Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) is undoubtedly one of the finest lawyers in Nigeria. The Lawyer who hails from Onitsha in Anambra state, Southeast Nigeria, is famous for his forte in election petitions. He is apparently, the first Lawyer in the history of Nigeria to convince a Nigerian court to send a sitting governor packing.
Dr Onyechi got his legal training in the United States of America (USA). He attended Evanston College after which he gained Admission to Lake Forest College, Illinois. For his degree of Doctor of Juridical Science, Ikpeazu attended Oklahoma City University and graduated in 1982
Still active in legal practice, Dr Onyechi owns a legal firm known as Ikpeazu Chambers. The firm which was established by his father, Honourable Justice Chuba Ikpeazu QC, OFR., in 1946, has earned a reputation in litigation as well as in Corporate and Commercial practices, with offices at Onitsha and Abuja.
Ikpeazu has served as Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onitsha Branch, and as NEC (National Executive Council) member of the national body, NBA. In 2002, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), and in 2007, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua honoured him with the National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger, (OON).
In 2006, he was behind the Appeal court’s declaration of Peter Obi as the winner of the April 2003 Gubernatorial election in Anambra state, thereby unseating Ngige who held the position for a brief period. Obi became the governor of Anambra state on March 17, 2006, two days after Appeal Court’s ruling against the sitting governor Chris Nige’s election victory.
In 2007, Ikpeazu also handled Obi’s court case against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and ensured he enjoyed uninterrupted his four-year tenure as Anambra state governor.
Other landmark cases handled by Dr Ikpeazu include
- He has handled cases that helped to preserve the inheritance right of a woman
- In 2019, he lead the Adeleke legal team that convinced Osun State Tribunal To Declare Adeleke As The New Governor Of Osun State.
- He is also a lead counsel in several State Governorship Election Petitions and appeals. These states include Ogun State, Akwa Ibom State, Enugu state, Abia state Oyo state, Ebonyi and Rivers state, just to mention a few.
Dr Livy Uzoukwu
- Date of Birth: August 30, 1958
- Age: 64 years old
- Alma Mater: Obafemi Awolowo University, Abia State University, University of South Africa
Born and raised in Umuhu-Okabia in the Orsu local government area of Imo state, Dr Livy Uzoukwu was a former Honourable Attorney General of Imo State. He graduated from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) with LL.B Honours Degree in 1981. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1982. He obtained his LLM Degree from Abia State University in 1991 and his LLD from the University of South Africa in 2010.
Uzoukwu also attended leadership training at the International Leadership Academy, United Nations University, Amman, Jordan. After completing his National Youth Service in 1983, he commenced his legal practice and was appointed the Honourable Attorney–General and Commissioner for Justice, Imo State.
Between 1994 and 1996, he was a member of the Imo State Security Council, Imo State Judicial Service Committee and Imo State Boundary Commission. He was also a member of the Imo State Magistrate/High Court Rules Committee. He was also a member of the Body of Benchers and Council of Legal Education at the Federal level.
After a two-year duty tour as Attorney–General, Uzoukwu went back to private legal practice in 1996 and three years after, particularly in September 1999, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
He has an impressive experience in the practice of law at all levels of the judicial system. He has also acted as a legal adviser to several companies, corporations and institutions. To honour his impressive legal skill, in September 1999, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In 2007, he was appointed by the Imo state governor as a member of the Imo State Council of Elders in 2007 following his exemplary services to the State. By December 2008, he received yet another national award as the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conferred him with the National Honour of Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) “n recognition of his outstanding virtues and in appreciation of his services to his country, Nigeria.
Dr Uzoukwu, OON, SAN is also an accomplished author and publisher of several legal works of literature. He is equally a poet who has participated in several contests and won several prizes, including the International Poet Merit Award Winner, International Society of Poets, Maryland, USA; Editor’s Choice Award Winner, and North American Open Poetry Contest.
Chief Awa Kalu, SAN is also one of Peter Obi’s Legal Team
- Date of Birth: March 9, 1953
- Age: 70 years old
- Alma Mater: Methodist College, Uzuakoli, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Lagos
Most recognised as one of Nigeria’s foremost litigators, Chief Awa Kalu hails from Ohafia, in the present Abia State. He attended the famous Methodist College, Uzuakoli, thereafter, he enrolled to study Law at the then-University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) Ile-Ife. His academic excellence at the University earned him several awards, including the Olu Ayoola prize as Best Over-all LL.B. part 1. Student; Irvine & Bonner Scholarship as best overall LL.B. part II student and Justice Madaraan prize as the best overall final year law student.
After graduating in 1977 Chief Kalu was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1978. He then also enrolled for his postgraduate degree (LL.M). For 41 years, Chief Kalu served his country in various ways and his testimonial in public service is both outstanding and perhaps a source of inspiration to budding lawyers and jurists. At different times, he was a Law lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Lagos and the Imo (now Abia) State University.
In 1989, he was appointed Special Assistant to the then Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and he had the unique opportunity of serving two Attorney Generals in a stretch, namely; Hon. Prince Bola Ajibola SAN, KBE (who later served as a Judge at the International Court of Justices at the Hague) and Hon. Sir Clement Akpamgbo SAN, both of cherished memories.
In 1986, Awa established a private law firm he named Awa U. Kalu & Associates in Aba and later moved his practice to Lagos in 1993. By 1999, he was already the first Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the new democratic dispensation in Abia State. He served for 6 years.
Awa was decorated as Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2000, thus ranking as one of the longest-serving silks in Nigeria. In 2005 he once again moved his practice to Abuja and in 2014, he was decorated as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in recognition of his contributions to the academia and legal discourse in the country.
For over two decades, Chief Awa Kalu, SAN has been a member of the inner Bar and has served in the various bodies of the legal profession, such as the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC). Presently, he is a member of the Body of Benchers and a proud Fellow of the prestigious Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, (NIALS).
P.I.N. Ikwueto, SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Nigeria Law School, Lagos
With over three decades of practicing law both in Nigeria and in the diaspora, Patrick Nwankwo Ikwueto is undoubtedly a force to reckon with in matters that concern election petitions, hence, it is not surprising to have him join Peter Obi’s legal team.
Patrick Nwankwo hails from the Umuokpara community in Orumba North local government of Anambra state and he is also recognised among his people as “Dike eji eje mba” – a chieftaincy title he received for his contributions to the development of the community and his many humanitarian works.
The legal luminary and distinguished legal Practitioner is largely described as one who does not compromise standards in his transactions and dealings with people even among his peers. His hard work, commitment and dedication to what he knows how to do best have made the name Ikwueto to be reckoned with amongst the top Nigerian brands in dispute resolution. Beginning as a solo practice about three decades ago, the Ikwueto law firm has evolved considerably.
Ikwueto graduated with his first-degree certificate (LL.B)from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, in 1984. He also enrolled at the Nigeria Law School in Lagos where he obtained his Barrister-at-law (BL) in 1985. He then returned to the University of Nigeria. Nsukka for his LL.M and graduated in 1991. He also obtained a certificate in International Law in 2004.
Upon completing his one-year compulsory NYSC at the Ministry of Justice, Imo state, Ikwueto began his service as a legal practitioner in the Chambers of Godwin `E. Ezeuko (SAN). He then founded Nwankwo-Ikvvueto Law Firm in 1992.
Patrick Ikwueto has served as Member Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Judiciary Committee on (ADR) and has attended and presented over a score of papers 21 at International Conferences. In 2003, he was awarded the Professional Merit award for excellence in Law Practice as Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Ikwueto’s practice areas also cover areas like Arbitration and Mediation Services; Intellectual and Real Property Consultants; Financial and Investment Legal advisory Services; Trade Marks and Patents Agents; General Civil Litigation.
Chief Ben Anyachebe, SAN
- Date of Birth: May 22, 1969
- Age: 53 years old
- Alma Mater: University of Nigeria, Nigeria Law School
Legal luminary, Chief Benbella Anachebe, is a native of Ndianiche Uno, Arondizuogu, Ugwu Aro in Imo state. Ben obtained his first degree in Law from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus where he was the overall best graduate in law and won the faculty’s prize in 1986. He also attended the Nigeria Law School, Lagos,where he notably emerged overall second-best in 1987.
Anaechebe was once nominated by the then Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha for a political appointment but he declined on the grounds that he has no interest in politics. However, the 53-year-old legal luminary is the owner of the Hometown Hotel Resort at Ndianiche Uno, Arondiziogu in the Ideato council area of the state. He established the hotel resort in 2017.
He is the principal partner in the firm of Anachebe and Anachebe and a member of many associations, including the Arondizuogu Patriotic Union, and Ndianiche Town Union. In 2007, he was promoted to Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
S.T. Hon, SAN
- Date of Birth: December 9, 1967
- Age: 55 years old
- Alma Mater: School of Basic Studies, Makurdi; University of Jos, Jos, and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos
Chief Sabastine Tartenger Hon, is an expert in constitutional law. He is also known for his recent appointment as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Benue State University, Makurdi after serving as a member for several years. He is one law practitioner who has distinguished himself among his contemporaries in terms of character, competence, courage, credibility and integrity.
In addition to his legal prowess, Sabastine is also a prolific author, dynamic and versatile consultant of Constitutional Law, philanthropist and a deep-rooted Christian. The 55-year-old was born on December 9, 1967, at the police barracks in Kano, Northern Nigeria, and he attended the School of Basic Studies, Makurdi; University of Jos in Jos, Plateau state, and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, after which he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991.
His experience has seen him practice law as a Barrister and Solicitor in all strata of Courts and Tribunals in Nigeria, including the Supreme Court. He is also a seasoned author with several texts being authored and published by him. Some of his publications are reference materials in all courts of law in Nigeria. Of course, his unquantifiable contributions to the development of law in Nigeria helped to see the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, elevating him to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN in 2008
Not relenting in his effort to grow better in his field, Sabastine Tartenger Hon joined the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators on November 21, 2014, and that is why he adds the acronym FCIArb after his name. Sabastine has been appointed and served in the following capacities:
- Member, Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Appeal Committee (2013).
- Member, Court of Appeal Rules Drafting Committee (2011-2016).
- Member, Advisory Committee on the Bayelsa State High Court Rules;
- Chairman (and later Consultant), Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, Port Harcourt branch (2012-2014).
- Alternate chairman (National), Editorial
Arthur Obi Okafor
- Date of Birth: July 18, 1965
- Age: 57 years old
- Alma Mater: University of Calabar, Nigerian Law School
A litigation lawyer par excellence, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor hails from Abatete in Idemili North Local Government Area in present-day Anambra State and he is one of the dozens of lawyers in Peter Obi’s legal team. He completed his secondary education in 1981 and went on to obtain an Ordinary Certificate in Business Administration at the School of Accountancy and Business Studies, Uyo, Cross River State.
Okafor obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1990, from the University of Calabar, and his Barrister at Law certificate in 1991, from the Nigerian Law School. He began his legal practice in 1992 after being called to the bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by Hon. Justice Muhammed Bello, the then Chief Justice of Nigeria.
His first place of work was at the legal colossus’s law firm, then-located at Ire village, Obosi, Anambra State. He worked under the tutelage of Chief Ikeazor, SAN until 1995 when he left to establish his law firm, Arthur Obi Okafor & Associates.
- Date of Birth: January 1, 1960
- Age: 63 years old
- Alma Mater: University of Jos, Plateau state, Nigerian Law School, Lagos State
Jibrin Samuel Okutepa hails from Kogi state in the North Central region of Nigeria. He graduated from the University of Jos in 1990 and then went to the Nigerian Law School in 1990/1991. He was then called to the Nigerian Bar on December 12, 1991.
Okutepa officially started his legal practice consistently on December 19, 1991, and has since been an actively committed and dedicated member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) both at the national and branch levels. While practising, he also held various important positions in the NBA Makurdi Branch, including a position as the first vice president of the Association.
Jibrin was also a member of the General Counsel of the Bar and a Member of the NBA National Executive Committee from 2004 to 2018. His years of distinguished legal practice earned him the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, on the 7th day of July 2011, by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, LPPC. He was then sworn in on 26th August 2011 by the Chief Justice of Nigeria. He was the only legal practitioner from Kogi State that was conferred with the rank of SAN in 2011.
Dr Mrs Valerie Azinge, SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Jos, Plateau state, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma
Mrs. Valerie is apparently the only female SAN in Peter Obi’s legal team. Dr. Valerie is the wife of the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal, Professor Eppy Azinge – Okailolo Ahaba. She hails from Ukehe near Nsukka in Enugu North/Nsukka Senatorial Zone of Enugu State and is a graduate of the University of Jos. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981 after finishing at Law School.
Dr. Valerie Azinge has an LL.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She took her Ph.D. in law from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, in 1990. She is best recognised as a former Commissioner and member of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a position she held from 1996 to 2000. She was the first Special Rapporteur on Summary, Arbitrary and Extrajudicial Executions in Nigeria.
Valerie was, on September 19, 2016, conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). She is the author of the ‘Jurisprudence of Failed Banks Tribunal’ and the ‘Law of Broking in Nigeria’.
Emeka Okpoko, SAN
- Alma Mater: University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigerian Law School, University of Lagos
Emeka Peter Okpoko is a legal practitioner with over two decades of cognate experience in litigation, arbitration, dispute resolution and consultancy in areas that include commercial litigation, aviation law, telecommunications, election petitions and banking practice.
His legal skills also extend to advocacy in election petition matters and in various ways he has shown his wealth of knowledge and experience. He was in the legal team that successfully represented Mr. Peter Obi on his tenure interpretation matter. He was also in the legal team that represented the then Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obian,o at the Election Petitions Tribunal amongst others.
Emeka is a member of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), the Nigeria Bar Association Section on Legal Practice. Amongst other notable positions he has occupied, he is a well-recognised member of the Governing Council Office of Public Defender, Anambra State, Governing Council Citizens Right Directorate, Anambra State, Governing Council Citizens Mediation Centre, Anambra State, the Anambra State Judicial Service Commission and the Chairman and member of the Disciplinary Committee for Petitions and Discipline of Magistrates in Anambra State, amongst others.
Emeka Okpoko is a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. He also attended the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1988 and was called to the Nigeria Bar in 1989. He obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from the University of Lagos in 2002.
On the 18th day of September 2017, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) which is the highest rank to be given to a legal practitioner in Nigeria.
List of SANs in Peter Obi’s Legal Team
- Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN;
- Chief Awa Kalu, SAN;
- Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN;
- P.I.N. Ikwueto, SAN;
- Chief Ben Anyachebe, SAN;
- S.T. Hon, SAN;
- Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN;
- Ik Ezechukwu, SAN;
- J.S. Okutepa, SAN;
- Dr Mrs Valerie Azinge, SAN;
- Emeka Okpoko, SAN;
- Alex Ejesieme, SAN.