Biography of Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN)


Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo GCON is a Nigerian lawyer, professor, and politician who is the 14th and current Vice President of Nigeria since 2015. A member of the All Progressives Congress.

Born on March 8 1957 at Creek Hospital, Lagos, Yemi is a professor of law and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He is married to Oludolapo Osinbajo (nee Soyode), grand daughter of the late sage and statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. They are blessed with three children.

Yemi’s early years in primary school were spent at Corona School Lagos. Between 1969- 1975, he attended Igbobi College, Yaba where he was the winner of the State Merit Award (1971); the School Prize for English Oratory (1972); Adeoba Prize for English Oratory (1972-1975); Elias Prize for Best Performance in History (WASC, 1973); School Prize for Literature (HSC, 1975); and African Statesman Intercollegiate Best Speaker’s Prize (1974).

Thereafter, he studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Lagos between 1975-1978 when he obtained a Second Class Upper Degree in Law. Here, he also won the Graham-Douglas Prize for Commercial Law.

In 1979, he completed the mandatory one-year professional training at the Nigerian Law School whereon he was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of Nigeria's Supreme Court. In 1980, he attended the London School of Economics & Political Science, where he obtained a Master of Laws degree. An accomplished scholar, teacher, lawyer and administrator, Yemi is one of the nation’s leading experts on the Law of Evidence, National and Regional Corporate Commercial Laws and Public Law.

From 1979 –1980, Osinbajo participated in the one-year youth service programme as a Legal Officer with Bendel Development and Planning Authority (BDPA).

In 1981, the University of Lagos, Nigeria, engaged Osinbajo as a Lecturer. From 1988–1992, he was appointed as an Adviser (Legal Advice and Litigation), to the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, KBE.

In 1994, he became a Professor of Law following which he was appointed Head of Department of Public Law, University of Lagos between 1999 and 2007, Osinbajo was a Member of the Cabinet of the Lagos State Government where he served as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

Key Achievements in Justice Sector Reforms:-

• While in public office as Attorney General, Lagos, he is credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reform in Lagos State, addressing critical areas such as judges' recruitment, remuneration, training and discipline. • He addressed access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC) thereby repositioning the ministry from a “law and order” agency under the military, to a citizen-focused department of justice. • The Office of the Public Defender (OPD) offers Government-funded free legal services while the Citizens Mediation Centres offers Small Claims Mediation. • Worked with the Judiciary on task restoring people’s confidence and trust in a judiciary widely believed to be corrupt and inefficient. •Initiated wide-ranging reform in the appointments, discipline and welfare of Judges and Magistrates and new Rules of Court (civil and criminal). • Conducted corruption perception surveys of the Judiciary as a tool for reform.

From 2007 – 2013:-

Osinbajo was once again employed as a Professor of Law, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. -In 2007, Osinbajo became Senior Partner at SimmonsCooper Partners, Nigeria (a commercial law practice).

Membership Associations:-

Yemi is a member of the International Bar Association and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and has served on the Nigerian Body of Benchers and the Council for Legal Education of Nigeria. He was also an independent director of CitiBank Nigeria and an ethics adviser to the board of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He has authored several books.

Reform and Charity Work:-

While in public office as Attorney General, Lagos, Yemi was credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reform in Lagos State, addressing critical areas such as judges' recruitment, remuneration, training and discipline. In addition, he addressed access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC). Similarly, Yemi founded the Orderly Society Trust (OST), a charity involved in an Excel literacy programme that aims to provide children in public primary schools with the same level of training in English as is available to their counterparts in private schools. Yemi also co-founded Justice Research Institute (Gte), a justice sector think-tank as well as the Convention On Business Integrity.

Other Charitable Initiatives:-

On his 60th birthday, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo launched The Learning Centre in Borno State, an initiative of the North East Children’s Trust, NECT, an integrated learning and rehabilitation centre for orphans and displaced children in the North East. As a spiritual leader, Osinbajo has organized various initiatives that work toward social justice. He organizes the Liberty Schools Project which provides free primary school education with free school lunches to poor children. This Project has three sites in poor communities in Obanikoro, Ikota and Makoko, all in Lagos. Other initiatives include free health care facilities, free legal services, social rehabilitation, skills acquisition for the very poor, a regular soup kitchen service, and free shelter for young people without accommodation. He is an ordained Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and an Emeritus Ambassador for the Environment in Lagos.

Political Career:-

After the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was tasked with other notable Nigerians in the party with the development of a manifesto for the new political party. This culminated in the presentation of the "Roadmap to a New Nigeria", a document published by APC as its manifesto in 2013. The highlights of the Roadmap included a free meal school plan, and a conditional cash transfer to millions of the poorest Nigerians if they enrol their children in school and immunise them. On 17 December 2014, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, announced Osinbajo as his running mate and vice-presidential candidate for the 2015 general elections. On the 31st of March 2015, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket had won the Presidential Elections, thus Osinbajo became the Vice President-elect of Nigeria. They were both sworn in on the 29th of May 2015 for the first term. In February 2019, the Buhari/ Osinbajo ticket won the Presidential Elections for a second term in office starting May 29, 2019.

In 2022, Osinbajo declared his intention to be the president of Nigeria. However, he did not emerge the winner of the APC primary presidential election. He lost to Tinubu.

Traditional Honours:-

The "Enyioha 1 (Abia); The Obong Emem Ibom (Akwa Ibom); The Jagaban (Adamawa); The Madagun Jihar (Nasarawa); The Olori Ogun of Yorubaland (Osun); The Ada Idaha ke Efik Eburutu (Cross River); The Garkuwan Yamma Nupe (Niger); The Danmadamin Daura (Katsina) and The Ebiyiakubo-Owei Keni of Angia-Ibe (Bayelsa).
Professor Yemi Osinbajo is active on social media. You can connect with him via his official handles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.

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