Mazi Afam Osigwe was born on the 25th of October 1972. He attended Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha for his secondary education before proceeding to the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, to study law. He bagged his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1997 and was called to the Bar in September, 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) in 2002.
In 2006 he became a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In 2007 he proceeded to the University of Jos for prost graduate studies and obtained a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M) in 2010. In pursuance of his quest to diversify his legal practice as well as deepen his knowledge of alternative dispute resolution he concluded a face-to- face tutorial at Keble College, Oxford, United Kingdom and obtained a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration. He also passed the Fellowship programme of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) in 2011.
Afam holds another Master of Laws (LLM) degree in (Transnational Commercial Practice) from the Centre for International Legal Studies, Austria (in collaboration with the Lazarsky University, Poland).
In 2017, he passed the Fellowship exam of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators and became a Fellow of the Institute.
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, Tele-communications, 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 arbitrator in commercial disputes. He is avid reader, researcher and prolific writer. He is also a public speaker and public affairs analyst and commentator who has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes.
Afam has held numerous leadership positions at different levels of Nigerian Bar Association. In his service to the Bar, he believes in setting a programmatic agenda that offers growth, value added or a competitive existential or professional edge to the members of the Bar as well as putting in place an effective platforms for the involvement of members outside Bar politics.
He has contributed in growing independent revenue sources which will improve the independence of the Bar and the legal profession, curtailing or eliminating the possibility of the Bar and its leadership contracting potentially awkward associations with politically exposed persons (PEPs) who sometimes have partisan interests in compromising an independent Bar
As a member of the NBA Abuja Branch, he served in the following Committees of the Branch:
- Law Reporting Committee – 2003-2005,
- Bar Dinner/Awards Committee – 2004.
- Secretary, Committee on Continuing Legal Education – 2005-2007.
- Secretary, Committee on Continuing Legal Education – 2009 -2011.
- Alternate Chairman for the LOC of the NEC hosted by NBA Abuja Branch – June 2011.
- Alternate Chairman of the LOC for the 2012 Annual General Conference.
- Co-opted member of the TCPC of 2012 Annual General Conference.
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 –
- Committee for the Review of High Court (Civil Procedure Rules) of the FCT- 2011- 2013.
- Committee on the Review of ADR Laws and Rules – 2011 till 2013.
NBA LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Afam was the Publicity Secretary (PRO) of NBA Abuja, from 2006-2008. He became the Chairman of the Branch from December 2010 to December 2012.
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.
Afam was a discussant at the NBA Annual General Conferences in Port Harcourt (2011), Calabar and Abuja (2012) (as well as presented a paper to the Young Lawyers Forum at the 2013 Annual General Conference in Calabar and at the YLF National Summit in Abuja and Benin in 2014 and 2015 respectively. He has presented papers at various Law Week of many branches of NBA.
Afam has been providing pro bono consultancy services to Non-Governmental Organizations on the subject of Human Rights. He has also provided pro bono legal representations to indigent persons undergoing criminal trial. 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 and served till August 2016.
He is a member of the following bodies:
- Member Body of Benchers – From May 2016
- Member Council of Legal Education from 2015 till date
- Member Legal Aid Council of Nigeria – from September 2014 – 2016
- Member General Council of the Bar – from 2015 till date
- Life Member National Executive Committee of NBA
- Member, Elders Committee, NBA Abuja December 2010- August 2015.
- Life Member, Advisory Committee, NBA Abuja
MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES
Afam is a member of
- International Bar Association
- Nigerian Institute of Management,
- Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK),
- Fellow Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (FCArb),
- Associate Member, American Bar Association and
- Institute of Chartered Mediators & Conciliators
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, Ejike.