Gbenga is Of Counsel of Aluko & Oyebode (“the Firm”), one of the largest integrated law firms in Nigeria with 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 the Of-Counsel, he provides an advisory role to the Firm’s management and on specific transactions. He has over 35 years of experience in legal practices with expertise in the following practice areas:
- Energy and natural resources
- Power projects
- Foreign investment and privatisation
- Project finance
Gbenga has been described by IFLR 1000, the guide to the world’s leading financial law firms, as one of Nigeria’s most prominent lawyers and by Chambers Global as a “consummate deal maker who has received plaudits from clients and peers alike for his corporate expertise”. The Legal 500 referred to Gbenga Oyebode as a charming and highly professional practitioner offering the highest level of legal services.
According to Chambers Global, Gbenga Oyebode is “a specialist in corporate commercial work and is particularly knowledgeable with regard to the telecoms market.” Chambers Global ranked him in Banking and Finance, Corporate and Commercial, and Project & Energy 2022 and 2021 editions as a Senior Statespeople and described him as “He is very well respected and influential.”
Gbenga is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) (FCIArb) and the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI). He was actively involved as a Council Member of the IBA’s Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL).
He was Chairman of the Section of Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-SBL) 2012 – 2014. As Chairman of NBA-SBL, he was instrumental in reviving the activities of the NBA-SBL after a two-year lull and re-established the SBL to become the foremost Section of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Gbenga was conferred with one of Nigeria’s highest honours, the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR) in the year 2000. He was also conferred with the Belgian Royal Honour of ‘Knight of the Order of Leopold’ in 2007.
Gbenga is the Chairman of Okomu Oil Palm Company, PZ Cussons Nigeria, CFAO Nigeria and Teach for Nigeria and the Vice Chairman Teach for All, New York. He is a member of the board of directors for Nestle Nigeria, Lafarge Africa, DHL Aviation Nigeria and Socfinaf S.A, listed on the Luxemburg Stock Exchange. He is a Director of Jazz at the Lincoln Centre, New York, and the African Philanthropy Forum. He serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, Ford Foundation, and The African Center, New York.
Gbenga was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Access Bank from 2005 – 2015 and served on the Board of Directors of MTN Nigeria 2001-2019. Further, he was the President of the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce from 2007 – 2015.
He sits on the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy Johannesburg and also on the Africa Advisory Committee of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He is also a member of the INSEAD Directors Program Corporate Governance Network (IDPN) and a member of the Academy of the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
He supports various charitable causes and specifically has granted scholarships and supports various educational institutions, including the Faculty of Law, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, the African Leadership Academy (ALA) Johannesburg, SA, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, USA and the Children’s Development Centre, Lagos.
Gbenga is married to Aisha Oyebode (Nee Murtala Muhammed) and they have three children.
- Nigerian Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- International Bar Association
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) (FCIArb)
- Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI)
2017: Doctor of Laws, Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, [Ll.D Honoris Causa]
2016: Doctor of Laws, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti [LL.D Honoris Causa]
2014: Certificate Iin Corporate Governance, INSEAD Fontainebleau, France
2007: Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA
1983: Admitted To The New York Bar
1982: University Of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia [LL.M]
1980: Called To The Nigerian Bar
1979: University Of Ife, Ile-Ife [LL.B Hons]
2020 – Date: Of Counsel, Aluko & Oyebode
2013 – 2020: Chairman, Aluko & Oyebode
1993 – 2013: Managing Partner, Aluko & Oyebode
1985 – 1992: Partner, Ajumogobia, Okeke, Oyebode and Aluko
1983 – 1985: Gulf Oil Company, Lagos and Houston
1982 – 1983: Associate with White & Case, 14 Wall Street, New York
Awards & Accolades
- Gbenga has been described by IFLR 1000 as highly regarded lawyer and one of Nigeria’s most prominent lawyer.
- Chambers Global referred to Gbenga as a “Consummate deal maker who has received plaudits from clients and peers alike for his corporate expertise.
- The Legal 500 referred to him as a charming and highly professional practitioner offering the highest level of legal services.
“A specialist in corporate commercial work and is particularly knowledgeable with regard to the telecoms market.” — Chambers Global
“A combination of being a good lawyer and being very commercial”. — Chambers Global 2018
Gbenga has consistently been ranked Band 1 in Banking and Finance, Corporate Commercial, Energy and Natural Resource”. — Chambers Global 2017 through to 2019.
- Gbenga has extensive experience advising several top-tier Nigerian, international and multinational clients on energy and natural resources, project/infrastructure finance, privatisation and telecommunications.
- Advising the clients in connection with the Brass LNG Project, a joint venture between NNPC, TOTAL, Conoco Philips and Agip for the construction of a USD 3.5 billion LNG plant.
- Advising a client in connection with the USD 1.275 billion financing of the Exxon Mobil Natural Gas Liquid II Project.
- Advising a client in connection with the USD 1.06 billion financing of trains four and five of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Expansion Project.
- Advising a client in connection with the implementation of the first private Independent Power Production (“IPP”) Project in Nigeria by a major international electricity corporation.
- Advising a client in connection with the USD 3.5 billion financing of the NNPC and Mobil Producing Unlimited Satellite Oil Field Project.
- Advising an oil and gas company in connection with allegations made by a whistle-blower in respect of unethical practices by some staff members with respect to the company’s production data, including providing a holistic review of existing corporate governance framework; advising on employment related matters, reporting lines, allegations of threats, fiscal incentives by senior managers and the steps to be taken in respect of erring employees; identifying compliance gaps in respect of sector regulations; and providing recommendations in terms of corporate governance practices and mitigants for identified regulatory infractions.
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