About us

Dr Onyoja Momoh

Onyója is the inaugural chair of the NGPIL. She is a leading English barrister and academic expert in international child and family law. She was a finalist for Rising Star – Barrister/Advocate of the Year in the Women in Law Awards UK 2020 and is consistently ranked in the Legal 500 UK for children law since 2017. She practises from chambers in London and also receives instructions to prepare expert advice in international proceedings. In May 2021, she was an invited expert to the UK House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee’s private roundtable presenting on international cooperation in cross-border family law disputes.

She holds a PhD in private international law (family law), undertaking her doctoral research as an Elphinstone Scholar examining domestic and family violence in the context of the Article 13(1) b) exception of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention. She has undertaken assignments as UN volunteer for a grassroot charity combating GBV and VAWG in Papua New Guinea, and is a trustee of the Global Arrk charity (international custody disputes). Onyója is also a post-doctoral research and teaching fellow at the University of Aberdeen and appointed UK research assistant on the EU funded POAM project.

She is passionate about the development of the private international law of family law in Africa, especially Nigeria, in both academia and practice. Her family law practice has engaged countries in Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Libya, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Uganda and Madagascar. She is currently developing international collaborative research to combat child trafficking in the context of inter-country adoption in Nigeria, with the aim of persuading Nigeria to adopt the international framework of the 1993 Hague Convention, as well as the other HCCH Family Conventions. Onyoja has published in peer-reviewed journals, delivered training, lectures and papers around the world on international family law, with a focus on child rights and gender equality issues.

Dr Chukwuma Okoli

Chukwuma is a Postdoctoral researcher in Private International Law at the University of Amsterdam/ T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, Netherlands, one of the editors on conflict of laws.net, and a co-founder of the Nigerian Group on Private International Law.

Prior to joining T.M.C Asser Institute, he was inter alia, a Teaching Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Luxembourg for about four years, where he taught Comparative Private International law, Comparative English Law of Contract, and Comparative English Law of Tort. He joined the Asser Institute to work on the research strand on International dispute settlement, where he focuses on three main jurisdictions in private international law: Nigeria, the African Union, and the European Union. He has a special interest in international commercial litigation or commercial conflict of laws.

He is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2008. He practiced law in reputable law firms for about three years in the area of domestic and international commercial transactions. He also holds an LLM in International Commercial Law (with distinction) from the University of Aberdeen and undertook his PhD in commercial conflict of laws (University of Luxembourg),.

His principal research interest is in all aspects of Private International Law/Conflict of Laws, with a special focus on the European Union, Nigeria, and Africa. He has significant publications on these subjects. He is the author of a substantial monograph on a civil and commercial aspect of European Union Private International Law and the co-author of the leading text on Nigerian Private International Law.

Dr Abubakri Yekini

Abu is a lecturer at the Department of International and Islamic Law, Lagos State University. He was a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Private International Law, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom researching recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments under the Commonwealth and Hague schemes. He obtained his PhD in private international law in 2019 and published his thesis entitled “The Hague Judgments Convention and Commonwealth Model Law: A Pragmatic Perspective”.

He is also a qualified lawyer, called to the Nigerian Bar. His areas of specialism and interests include cross-border litigation, comparative conflict of laws, and Islamic law. He has written extensively on Private International Law, including where Nigeria and Africa is concerned.

Dr Chukwudi Ojiegbe

Chukwudi completed his PhD in private international law at the Univerisity of Aberdeen with a published book on “The interface between commercial arbitration and the Brussels I regime”. The book contributes to knowledge on the impact of Brexit on international commercial arbitration in the EU, examining the interaction of court litigation and international commercial arbitration, the implications of the mutual trust principle and other aspects of international commercial arbitration. The book also addresses other mechanisms that may be utilised by national courts and arbitration tribunals.

He has worked In-House legal commercial law and currently works for Ace Winches as a contract managers, a global leader in the design, manufacture and hire of winches, marine deck machinery and the provision of associated hire personnel for the offshore oil and gas.

Dr Pontian Okoli

Pontian lectures at the University of Stirling in the areas of Private International Law, Commercial Law, Business Law and Legal Research Skills.

Prior teaching experience at the University of Dundee covers: Private International Law — Common Law Perspectives/ International Commercial Litigation and Private International Law of Business Transactions at LL.M level, English Law of Contract (Advanced), Foundations of Law, and Public Law (Controls on Power) at LL.B level, and English Law of Tort (Advanced).

His thesis concerning fairness in the exercise of jurisdiction focused on a vital aspect of Private International Law (also known as Conflict of Laws) – the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. He drew on his post-call experience (including as Barrister/Solicitor and In House Counsel) in his thesis. A great part of his experience concerns international commercial/corporate dealings, investment risks, litigation and arbitration. He held a doctoral research tutor (Scrymgeour Scholar) from 2014 – 2018, responsible for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. He has several publications in various areas of law. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Law Bulletin (London), a co-convenor of the Dundee Africa Research Network (Scotland) and formerly of research assistance to the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (Scotland).

His publications include “Promoting Foreign Judgments: Lessons in Legal Convergence from South Africa and Nigeria” (Kluwer, 2019)

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