Olumide Akpata: A Portrait of Leadership


Olumide Akpata stands as a testament to the power of resilience, intellect, and dedication. Born
and raised in Nigeria, Akpata’s journey is not merely one of personal success but also inspiring
leadership. This profile delves into his upbringing, background, family, and lifestyle, shedding
light on the remarkable man behind the accolades.


Upbringing and Early Life

Olumide Akpata is from Edo State, Nigeria. His upbringing was marked by a blend of traditional
Nigerian values and exposure to the rapidly evolving global landscape. Growing up, Akpata
demonstrated an insatiable curiosity and a drive for excellence that would become the hallmark
of his character.
From a young age, Akpata displayed a keen interest in law and justice. He was fascinated by the
intricacies of the legal system and the role it played in shaping society. This early passion would
ultimately steer his educational and professional trajectory, laying the foundation for a career
dedicated to advocating for justice and equality.


Educational Pursuits

Akpata’s academic journey was characterized by remarkable achievements and a commitment to
academic excellence. After completing his primary and secondary education at Kings College,
Lagos State, he pursued a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria
in 1992. During his time at the university, Akpata distinguished himself as a diligent student with
a deep understanding of legal principles and a knack for critical thinking.

Professional Trajectory

Akpata’s professional journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence and
integrity. Upon completing his legal education, he started his legal practice in Delta State as a
litigation lawyer under the guidance of Dr. Mudiaga Odje, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and one
of the most seasoned litigators in Nigeria. Akpata was called to bar in 1993. In 1996, he
relocated to Lagos State, where he joined forces with his cousin, Oghogho Akpata. Oghoho had
just set up the law firm, Templars a year earlier. Olumide was only 23 years old when he joined
Over the years, Akpata rose through the ranks, establishing himself as a trusted advisor and
advocate for his clients. His expertise in litigation, arbitration, and dispute resolution earned him
a reputation for delivering results with integrity and professionalism. As his career progressed,
Akpata continued to push boundaries and challenge the status quo, advocating for fairness and
justice in every case he took on.
Mr Akpata recently served as Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial Practice
Group at Templars law firm. He has played a pivotal role in several transactions that have helped
define commercial law practice in Nigeria and positively impacted the Nigerian economy.
In July 2020, Akpata made history by being elected as the President of the Nigerian Bar
Association (NBA), the first non-senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) to hold the position in over
30 years. His election marked a significant milestone in the legal profession, signalling a new era
of inclusivity and progressive leadership. Under his stewardship, the NBA witnessed
unprecedented growth and transformation, further solidifying Akpata’s legacy as a visionary
leader. Previously, Mr. Akpata held the position of chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association
Section on Business Law.

One of Olumide Akpata’s most significant achievements as the President of the Nigerian Bar
Association (NBA) was the revitalization and modernization of the organization. He recognized
the need to adapt the NBA to the dynamic and evolving realities of the 21st-century legal
landscape. Understanding the crucial role of technology in modern legal practice, he spearheaded
the digital transformation of the NBA. His administration introduced several technological
innovations that streamlined the association’s operational processes, enhanced service delivery,
and improved access to legal resources for members. These initiatives brought the NBA in line
with global best practices and significantly improved the efficiency of legal practitioners
throughout Nigeria.

Beyond operational advancements, Akpata also championed initiatives to improve the welfare
and professional development of Nigerian lawyers. He recognized that the well-being of legal
practitioners is directly linked to the quality of legal services they provide. He implemented
programs aimed at improving remuneration and working conditions for lawyers, particularly
early-career lawyers who often face challenges. His administration launched initiatives focused
on capacity building, mentorship, and continuous professional development. These efforts
fostered an environment conducive to professional growth, ensuring that the quality of Nigeria’s
legal professionals continued to meet the ever-evolving demands of society.
Under Akpata’s leadership, the NBA became a more assertive voice for the rule of law and
protection of human rights in Nigeria. He courageously spoke out against abuses of power,
corruption, and violations of citizens’ rights, fearlessly holding those in positions of authority
accountable. The NBA became a beacon of hope, particularly for marginalized groups and those
deprived of justice. His unwavering commitment to justice and the rule of law resonated deeply
within the Nigerian legal community and society at large.

Akpata’s presidency of the NBA also witnessed a heightened emphasis on public interest
initiatives. Recognizing the pivotal role that lawyers play in promoting social justice, he
encouraged the NBA to take a more active role in addressing societal issues. The association,
under his direction, led interventions aimed at promoting access to justice for vulnerable groups,
advocating for legal reforms, and fostering civic education. He understood that the NBA’s
influence extended beyond the legal profession and could be leveraged as a powerful tool for
positive change in Nigeria.
One of Akpata’s defining leadership qualities was his vision and strategic thinking. He possessed
a future-oriented mindset and a clear understanding of the direction in which the NBA needed to
evolve to remain impactful. He was able to articulate this vision effectively, rallying members
around a common purpose and inspiring excellence. This ability to set clear goals and
communicate them successfully was instrumental to the NBA’s accomplishments during his

Akpata also demonstrated great courage and integrity through his leadership. This strong
leadership style earned him both admiration and respect within the legal community and beyond.
In addition, Akpata was a highly collaborative leader. He believed in harnessing the collective
wisdom and potential of the NBA’s diverse membership. His administration fostered a culture of
inclusion and actively encouraged participation from all segments of the legal profession. He
understood that the strength of the organization lay in its unity, and through collaboration, the
NBA achieved more than it otherwise would have.
Olumide Akpata’s tenure as NBA President was transformative in many ways. He modernized
the organization, improved lawyer welfare, championed the rule of law and human rights, and
expanded the NBA’s social impact. His visionary leadership qualities, including courage,
integrity, and collaborative approach, were instrumental to his success. Akpata’s presidency has
left a lasting legacy, shaping the Nigerian legal profession’s trajectory and setting a high bar for
future NBA leaders.


Political Career
Olumide Akpata announced his journey into politics on the 1st of August, 2023 by joining the
Labour Party. In his words, “rather than complain about the state of affairs of the country…I want
to be part of the solution”. In February 2024, Olumide emerged winner of the Labour Party’s
Governorship primary for the September 2024 Edo State Governorship Election.


Family Life
Olumide Akpata is happily married to Osayamon Ogbebor. The duo tied the knot in August,


From his humble beginnings in Edo State to his historic election as President of the Nigerian Bar
Association, Akpata has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence and integrity in
every aspect of his life. His upbringing, educational pursuits, professional trajectory, and family
life collectively paint a portrait of a remarkable leader whose impact transcends boundaries and
inspires generations to come. As Nigeria and the world continue to navigate the complexities of
the modern age, Akpata stands as a beacon of hope and a shining example of principled
leadership in action

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