Gbenga Oyebode



Born on the 30th of March 1959, He is one of the founding partners and Chairman, Management Board of Aluko & Oyebode a full-service commercial law firm in Nigeria. He is the Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode, one of the largest integrated law firms in Nigeria with over 70 lawyers and three offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The firm provides a comprehensive range of specialist legal services to a highly diversified clientele including top-tier Nigerian, international and multinational clients. In his capacity as chairman, Oyebode coordinates the various practice areas of the firm.

An alumnus of Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti, he obtained his first degree from University of Ife now known as Obafemi Awolowo University in 1979 and was admitted into the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1980. He went further to bag a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. He is also a member of the New York State Bar.

Described as a consummate dealmaker who has received plaudits from clients and peers alike for his corporate acumen, Oyebode’s areas of expertise cover energy and natural resources, power projects, foreign investment and privatization, telecommunications and project finance. It is not just his formal dressing that is unusual.

Oyebode started his career at an American law firm White & Case before moving to Gulf Oil now known asgbengaaa Chevron in Houston Texas. In 1992, he formed a partnership with Bamidele Aluko, Odein Ajumogobia and C.N Okeke to practice law in Nigeria. In 1993, He and Aluko broke out from the partnership and started Aluko & Oyebode which runs till date. His practice areas include oil and gas and power projects, foreign investment and privatization, telecommunications, project finance and aviation.

Oyebode is a highly rated lawyer with vast knowledge and experience in business and law. According to the International Financial Law Review IFLR 1000 (the guide to the World’s leading Financial Law Firm) he is one of Nigeria’s most prominent lawyers. Chambers Global another legal guide, also regards him as a consummate deal maker who has received pundits from clients and peer alike for his corporate expertise. This is clearly evident in the several accolades and awards he has received both individually and through his law firm.

Law firms in the country, family-owned by tradition, almost never run their firms like well-oiled machines providing solutions for several sectors at the same time. Oyebode was one of the pioneers of this concept. And it has not been an easy journey. “In those days, being a civil servant was the dream of every young person due to the stability of the job. However, as I started reading law, it became clear to me that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and for a lawyer that means opening a law firm,” Oyebode once said in an interview.

Currently, in addition to his position as Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode, he sits on the board of several companies in various capacities including Nestle Nigeria Plc, Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc as Chairman, Asset Management Group Ltd as chairman, Combined Industrial Agro Consultants Ltd as Chairman, Timbuktu Media Ltd as chairman, Socfinaf S.A as Director, Crusader Nigeria Plc as director, MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd as director. He is also on the Africa Advisory Committee of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. In 1985, Oyebode went into partnership with friends and started his first law firm
Ajumogobia, Okeke, Oyebode & Aluko. After eight years of success, the firm was dissolved due to internal challenges.

gbenga oyebodeOyebode’s is also the story of a smart entrepreneur who, spurred by the increase in the proliferation of Western companies in Nigeria, spotted an opportunity in corporate law and has methodically worked to cash in on it. He is currently advising on the Brass LNG Project, a joint venture between NNPC, TOTAL, Conoco Philips and Agip for the construction of a $3.5 billion Liquefied Natural Gas plant. He has also advised on key transactions like the $1.275 billion financing of the Exxon Mobil Natural Gas Liquid II Project, the $1.06 billion financing of trains four and five of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Expansion Project and the $3.5 billion financing of the NNPC and Mobil Producing Unlimited Satellite Oil Field Project. He sits on the boards of MTN Nigeria, Nestle Nigeria and CFAO, among many others.

Oyebode also advised on the US$1.25 billion financing of the Exxon Mobil Natural Gas Liquid II Project, the US$1.06 billion financing of trains four and five of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Expansion Project and the development, financing and implementation of the first Independent Power Plant project in Nigeria.

For Oyebode, the key is passion for what you do. Ever the opportunist, Oyebode is also looking to capitalize on the growth in demand of global companies looking for local partners in the real estate sector. He has a two-hotel deal with the Fairmont Group to establish hotels in Lagos and Abuja. Given the size in the number of tourists and business people in the country, Oyebode believes there is tremendous growth opportunities in this sector.

Oyebode is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association. He is a past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law.

Oyebode who was bestowed the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic in 2001 and the Belgian Royal Honour of Knight of the Order of Leopold is happily married to Aisha Mohammed-Oyebode, the daughter of late General Murtala Mohammed and they are blessed with children.

DAWN Commission recognizes your stride as a legal luminary.

We celebrate you sir.

You are an Akinkanju!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email