Mazi Afam Osigwe was born on the 25th of October 1972. He graduated from the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus in 1997 and was called to the Bar in 1999. He started legal practice with Chike Chigbue and Co, Abuja Office in 1999 and left in 2002 to found his firm, the LAW FORTE (Legal Practitioners, Corporate Consultants, and Notary Public) which in 2002
In 2006 he became a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In 2010, he concluded a face-to-face tutorial at Keble College, Oxford, and obtained a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration. He became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) in 2011.
In 2010, he concluded a face-to-face tutorial at Keble College, Oxford, and obtained a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration. Afam became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) in 2011.
In 2007 he obtained a Master’s of Laws Degree (LL.M) from the University of Jos. Afam also holds another an LL.M in (Transnational Commercial Practice) from the Centre for International Legal Studies, Austria (in collaboration with the Lazarsky University, Poland). He is yet to complete his doctorate programme.
At various times Afam has had cause to carry out research and litigation in various areas of the law including Corporate and Business Law; Land law, Banking law, Intellectual Property; International Commercial Law, Telecommunications, Energy, Oil, and Gas Law; Domestic arbitration, International Commercial Arbitration etc. He has a special bias for commercial and financial practice and litigation. He is also the Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser of many companies.
Afam has continued to associate with some law firms in Nigeria and has at various times liaised with them on international business law issues as they arose in the course of providing legal services to their clients.
Afam has appeared as a counsel in many arbitral proceedings a well as sat as a sole arbitrator or member of arbitral tribunals in commercial disputes. He is avid reader and researcher.
As a member of the NBA Abuja Branch, he had at various times had the privilege to serve in the following Committees of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch:
1. NBA Abuja Law Reporting Committee – 2003-2005,
2. NBA Abuja Bar Dinner/Awards Committee – 2004.
3. Secretary, Committee on Continuing Legal Education – 2004-2006.
4. Secretary, Committee on Continuing Legal Education – 2008 -2010.
5. Alternate Chairman for the LOC of the NEC hosted by NBA Abuja Branch – June 2011.
6. Alternate Chairman of the LOC for the 2012 Annual General Conference.
7. Co-opted member of the TCPC of 2012 NBA, Annual General Conference.
8. Ex-Officio Member TCPC of 2015 and 2016 NBA, Annual General Conferences.
Aside from being a member of the Committees of NBA, Abuja Afam was also appointed a member of the following Committees by the Chief Judge of the FCT, Abuja –
1. Committee for the Review of High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) of the FCT- 2011- till date.
2. Committee on the Review of ADR Laws and Rules – 2011 till date.
NBA LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Afam was the Publicity Secretary (PRO) of NBA Abuja, from 2006-2008. He became the Chairman of the Branch from 2010- 2010.
As Chairman of NBA Abuja Branch, the Branch hosted a NEC Meeting in June 2011, NBA Delegates Conference in July 2012 and Annual General Conference in August 2012. He was a member of NEC from 2011 to 2013 but was an observer for many years before then. He was also the Editor-In-Chief of the Unity Voice (the monthly newsletter of NBA Abuja) from 2011-2013.
Under his able leadership the Unity Bar FC (the football club of NBA Abuja), was transformed into a laurel-winning team. The team won the silver medal at the Football Tournaments at the Port Harcourt, Annual General Conference and Gold medal at the Abuja Annual General Conference, respectively. The successes achieved by the team would rightly be attributed to his unwavering dedication to sports and physical development as well as settling for nothing but the best.
He was the last person to hold office as the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch (Unity Bar) for the whole Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Bwari and Gwagwalada Branches were created during his tenure as Chairman of the Unity Bar. By consent of the Chairmen of Bwari and Gwagwalada Branches of the NBA, he became the first Chairman of Chairmen of NBA Branches in the FCT, in 2012.
He was sworn in as the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association in August 2014 and held that position till the expiration of his tenure on August 26, 2016. He served as General Secretary under President Augustine Alegeh SAN, under whose tenure the following programmes were successfully introduced:
1. The NBA personalized adhesive Stamp, approved by the National Executive Committee of the NBA pursuant to Rule 10(1) of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, for mandatory use on all legal documents.
2. E-voting, Universal Suffrage and Uniform Bye-Laws for Branches, Sections, and Fora in the NBA Constitution;
3. Introduction of a Uniform NBA Identity Card (Bar Card) which functions as a payment card for ATM, POS and Online Transactions and also entitle lawyers to a variety of discounts and other packages negotiated by the NBA;
4. Automatic Insurance cover for all lawyers who have paid their Bar Practicing Fees;
5. Reduction of the Fees for our Annual General Conference;
6. NBA Partner Discounts with Corporate Partners who offer lawyers discounts on their goods and services;
7. Completed of the development of the new NBA House, at the Central Business District Abuja.
8. Matters for debate at NEC to be by Written Proposals/Counter Proposals submitted and circulated to all NEC members.
DISCUSSION AND OR PRESENTATION OF PAPERS AT CONFERENCES
Afam has been a paper presenter and or discussant at the NBA Annual General Conferences in Calabar, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Abuja since 2011. He has also presented a paper to the Young Lawyers Forum at the YLF National Summit in Abuja, Benin, and Uyo in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. He has also presented and or discussed papers during the Law week of many branches.
In 2015, Afam presented a paper at the session of the IBA Bar Issues Commission during the IBA Conference in Vienna. His paper titled ‘Legal ethics involved in the fight for the self-regulation of the legal profession in Nigeria with regard to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011’ was delivered at the session which focused on ‘Dealing dealt with conflicts in a global practice – challenges for the 21st century involving legal ethics and general morality’.
Afam provides pro bono legal representations to indigent persons undergoing criminal trial, incarceration or whose rights have been, are likely to be violated or threatened to be violated.
He has also served as Secretary and Deputy Legal Adviser of his Town Union.
Afam was a prosecutor at the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers from 2012 -2014. He was elected the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2014.
MEMBERSHIP OF CERTAIN BODIES
He is off and has been a member of the following bodies:
1. Member Body of Benchers – From May 2016
2. Member Council of Legal Education from 2015-
3. Member Legal Aid Council of Nigeria – from September 2014- August 2016.
4. Member, NBA National Executive Committee – 2010-2012
5. Member General Council of the Bar – from 2015-
6. Life Member National Executive Committee of NBA – from August 2016
7. Member, Elders Committee, NBA Abuja December 2010- August 2015.
8. Member, Advisory Committee, NBA Abuja September 2015-
MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES
Afam is a member of the International Bar Association, Nigerian Institute of Management, Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and Institute of Chartered Mediators & Conciliators.
He is a Knight of Saint Christopher.
Reading, research, writing, sightseeing, and photography.
Afam is married to his university sweetheart, Ukamaka Osigwe, LL.M (Turin). Their marriage is blessed with three children- Chilbuzor, Chiemelie, and Chidumebi. He is also a foster-father to Amarachukwu, the daughter of his late elder brother.