In almost three decades of working as Senior Partner at TEMPLARS, a world-class, multi-sectoral, multinational, and full-service Law Firm, with offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Accra, Olumide Akpata, the 30th President of the Nigerian Bar Association, has announced his disengagement from the firm with effect from August 31, 2023.
This was disclosed by Akpata in a statement obtained by EnergyDay on Thursday, revealing his plan to embark on active politics to contribute towards the critical task of nation-building.
Indeed, the story of my life will never be complete without a chapter devoted to the central role that TEMPLARS played thereinOLUMIDE AKPATA
In an emotional statement released to the public announcing his decision, the former NBA President said, ” It is therefore with mixed feelings, but with a great sense of pride and responsibility, that I announce my disengagement from Templars with effect from 31st August 2023.
According to him, the decision, which is not one that was taken lightly, became inevitable given my recent foray into active politics to contribute towards the critical task of nation-building.
Akpata said, “Sometime in 1996, after honing my skills in the Law Firm of Dr. Mudiaga Odje & Co. I took a huge leap of faith and relocated from Warri, Delta State to Lagos State, where I teamed up with my cousin, Oghogho Akpata, who had just set up the Law Firm, TEMPLARS.
“From 1996 to date, I have worked with Oghogho, our Partners, and other colleagues at TEMPLARS, in transforming a 4-man law practice into a world-class, multi-sectoral, multinational, and full-service Law Firm which is now in the 28th year of its existence and consists of over 100 lawyers, including three Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
“In this period, I have served TEMPLARS in various capacities including as Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate & Commercial Practice Group, in which role I led or participated in some of the major groundbreaking transactions that have shaped commercial law practice in Nigeria and indeed the Nigerian economy.
“It was also from TEMPLARS that I went on to become the 30th President of the Nigerian Bar Association, with the full support of the Partners and the entire staff of the Firm,” he said.
Akpata therefore assured the lawyers and staff at TEMPLARS, our clients, the legal community in Nigeria, and the general public that the decision was a collective one, which accords with the Firm’s governance protocols that he signed up to.
He further said, “In my absence, our clientele will continue to be served by over 100 lawyers in TEMPLARS led by twenty other partners (across different practice areas) working out of the Firm’s offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Accra.
The former NBA President appreciated Oghogho Akpata, the Managing Partner and other Partners, and the entire staff of TEMPLARS for their unwavering support and for always being there for him.
Akpata’s expertise and counsel have been highly regarded for his business savvy and problem-solving approach to legal analysis and services. He has advised international oil companies, oil service contractors, and multinational companies operating in Nigeria.
The former NBA President played a significant role in providing comprehensive advice and legal services to a diverse range of clients in different industries at Templars.
EnergyDay gathered that Akpata, who returned to the law firm in August 2022 after serving a non-renewable two-year term as NBA President, has therefore decided to leave his professional law practice to pursue his political ambitions.
He has therefore announced his intention to run for governor of Edo State in the 2024 election, which has been met with excitement and enthusiasm by citizens of the state.
As the race heats up, it remains to be seen whether Akpata’s legal background will be an asset in his bid for the governorship.
The renowned lawyer and former NBA President remained confident in his ability to lead and has promised to bring his legal expertise to bear on the challenges facing the oil-producing state.