On 27 June 2023, members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch (“NBA Lagos Branch” or “the Branch”) will be at the polls to decide the next chairman of the Branch to take over from the current Chairman, Mr. Ikechuwku Uwanna.

Over the years and till date, NBA Lagos Branch has served the interests of its members by promoting the institutional core objectives of the Branch. Also, NBA Lagos Branch continues to play a pivotal role in the overall affairs of the national body. Just recently, one of the Branch’s most priced assets, Mr. Olumide Akpata, served as the President of the NBA. His tenure remains one of the most memorable due to his remarkable accomplishments. Interestingly, I foretold this outcome

NBA Lagos Branch has therefore lived up to expectations as the Premier Bar. These and many more account for the reasons the leadership of the Branch remain something of significant importance especially to its members.

Mayowa Owolabi is an ACE

As a proud member of the Branch, I know all the gentlemen currently aspiring to lead NBA Lagos Branch. It gives me great pleasure to see such a lineup of worthy individuals who share one thing in common—great love for the Branch and its members. My pleasure becomes more immense when I realise my ability to single out one of them as the most qualified for the big job of leading the Branch. His name is Olumayowa A. Owolabi (Mayowa Owolabi). Yes, you read that right, Mayowa Owolabi!

The quantity of love Mayowa has for NBA Lagos Branch and its members supersedes that of his competitors. This love points to passion and some level of positive obsession. One of the greatest football coaches of all time, Pep Guardiola, recently spoke about positive obsession on the eve of the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final at Istanbul before eventually lifting the trophy to complete a historic treble with Manchester City. He said,

And to achieve things you always have to have that correct portion of obsession, to desire, to want it. Obsession is a positive word for the fact that you desire and you’re willing to try to do it.

Mayowa’s love for NBA Lagos Branch is perfectly mixed with Ability, Capacity and Experience. Mayowa is an ACE. These virtues work together to help him comfortably surpass whatever competences his competitors might have. I speak not in vacuum. I recommend Mayowa’s profile and manifesto which I’ll briefly highlight below.

Academic & Work Profile

Mayowa is the Senior Partner at Pistis Partners LLP—a firm he founded after gaining sufficient experience from top law firms where he had worked. He heads the firm’s Energy Group and sits on the boards of several leading Nigerian Maritime companies as well as entities which provide support services to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Mayowa holds LLB (University of Ilorin) and LLM (in view) in International Trade & Maritime at the University of Essex. He is a Notary Public of Nigeria, a Harvard Law School certified Negotiator, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria (ICMC). Mayowa is also a member of International Bar Association, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, The London Shipping Law Centre, Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria, and Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.

Service to the NBA

At NBA Lagos Branch, Mayowa served as:

  • Chairman, Continuing Legal Education Committee (2021-2023)
  • Co-opted Member of the Executive Committee (2021-2023)
  • Chairman, AGC Party Planning Committee (2022)
  • Secretary, Ethics & Disciplinary Committee (2019-2021)
  • Member, Dinner Planning Committee (2017-2019)
  • Chairman, SLF Dinner Planning Committee (2022)

At the national level, Mayowa served the NBA as:

  • Member, Law Reform Committee (2020-2022)
  • Member, National Executive Council (2020-2022)
  • Member, National Executive Council (2022-2024)
  • Member, Strategy Formulation and Policy Implementation Team of the Olu Akpata Presidency


In his manifesto, Mayowa rightly acknowledged that his experience in serving the NBA Lagos and NBA National at various capacities provides him with the “privilege of a front-row view, which comes with the added benefit of institutional knowledge of our Association. Such institutional memory is necessary to preserve legacies, ensure continuity of laudable projects, and avoid delays in kick-starting new programmes.”

Mayowa’s core agenda cuts across continuing professional development of members, promoting professional ethics and standards, prioritising the welfare of members, looking out for young lawyers with mentoring initiatives and creation of more opportunities, human rights promotion, working towards actualising the Lagos Bar Centre dream, law reform, synergy with NBA National, engagement with government agencies, among others.

Personal encounter

Mayowa is well-known to me. At the NBA-SBL 16th Annual Business Law Conference which held in Abuja in July 2022, I had a special encounter with Mayowa. This encounter set the pace for my deep reflection about his ambition to lead NBA Lagos Branch. 

On one occasion at the conference venue, Transcorp Hilton Abuja, I was sitting at a comfortable position in the hotel lobby, viewing the pool-side, as conferees awaited the commencement of the business of the day. Mayowa walked up and joined me. We exchanged pleasantries. He began to speak to me about his plans for NBA Lagos Branch if given the opportunity to serve in that capacity. I listened with rapt attention as he spoke with firm conviction, missionary zeal, and sincerity of heart and purpose. Unknown to him, he has been a point of admiration for me. Knowing his pedigree and watching him serve as the Chairman of the Continuing Legal Education Committee left me in no doubt. Mayowa’s humility and amiable personality is worthy of admiration.


Dear distinguished members of NBA Lagos Branch, be reassured that you have a great candidate in Mayowa Owolabi who is well-known to us. In keeping with the creed of excellence at the Premier Bar, Mayowa is our only hope at this time for greater accomplishments.

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has advised a number of both established and startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
Send this to a friend