Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN

Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN

Principal Lawyer, Prime Chambers

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BRIEF PROFILE

Prof Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN is the founder and principal of Prime Chambers.

ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Professor Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN graduated from the Faculty of Law with LL.B. Honours in 1977, Masters in 1981 and Ph.D in Property Law in 1990, University of Lagos. He was called to the Nigeria Bar in 1978, having passed the Bar examinations and obtained the B.L. He has also earned the MCIArb(UK) by examination (2004) and  Certified Mediator since 2002.

EXPERIENCE

  • He was invited to join the Department of Private Property Law in 1982. He is a profound legal scholar with numerous publications. The first alumnus of the Faculty of Law to have the three degrees of the Faculty and became a Professor of the Faculty. The first Nigeria to have Ph.D in planning Law.
  • Immediate past Deputy Governor of Delta State from 2007 to 2015.
  • A former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Delta State from 1999 – 2006. As Attorney – General, Professor Utuama faced the challenges of the office by applying his scholarly expertise and experience to advocacy and made significant contributions to the development of Law and entrenchment of Rule of Law in Justice delivery system in the country. As an innovative administrator, he created the department of Peoples’ Right to apply Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques for speedy resolution of disputes among other innovations. The high water mark of his advocacy as Attorney General was in the Seaward Boundary case between the A.G. of Federation v A.G. Abia State & 35 others. The success of the Delta State counter-claims in the case largely redefined the principle of revenue allocation of the Federation in the line with the 1999 Constitution.
  • Former Lecturer at the University of Lagos from 1982 – 1999 and rose through the mills to the rank of Professor in 1998.
  • Acting Head of Department, Department of Private and Property Law, University of Lagos.
  • Sub Dean of Law, 1990 – 1994.
  • Utuama’s services extended beyond the University of Lagos. He served as Member, National Universities Commission Accreditation Panel to Cross-River State University, Uyo, 1990. In recognition of his Ph.D Thesis on Planning Law, the Federal Government appointed him as a Member, National Committee on the Review of Town and Country Planning Laws set up by the Federal Ministry of Justice, 1991.
  • Utuama as Attorney General, served the Nation in a number of councils and committees among which were:- Member, Body of Benchers 1999-2006; Member, Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, 2005-2006; Member, Council of Legal Education, 1999-2006; Chairman, Tenders Board of Council of Legal Education, 1999-2006; Chairman, Technical Committee of the South-South Governors and National Legislators Forum.
  • Presently, Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama SAN is a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee.

PUBLICATIONS

Utuama A.A.—- (2016). Critical Issues in Nigeria Property Law. (ed) Malthouse Books

—-(2012).Nigeria Law of Real Property: An Introduction, Lagos: Malthouse Press Ltd.,

(2nd Edition)

—-(1989).Nigeria Law of Real Property: An Introduction. Ibadan; Shaneson C. I. Ltd (1st Edition).

—-(2003).Nigeria Planning Law.(ed)University of Lagos Press, Lagos.

—-(2003).The Law of Trusts and Their Uses in Nigeria.(ed) Lagos: Malthouse Press Ltd.

—-(2002).Law of Wills in Nigeria. (eds). Ibadan; Shaneson C. I. Ltd.

 

CONTRIBUTIONS TO BOOKS:

Utuama A. A. (2006). “A Critique of Election Petition Tribunals in Nigeria in Perspectives”

“On Contemporary Legal Issues”Essays in Honour of Hon. Justice Dolapo Akinsanya Osipitan Taiwo, p. 249

—-(2006).“Land Law” in Uwais Through the Case, Niki Tobi. Scion Press Ltd, Chapter 10 (eds)

—-(2004).“Constitutional Unification of Imperium and Dominium – The Nigeria Experience in Judicial Excellence”. Essays in Honour of Hon. Justice Anthony Igik JSC, CON.  Irukwu, J.O., Umezulike, I.A. (eds), Chapter 9.

—-(2004).“The Politics of Resource Control Case”. In Prof. Oluwole Akanle (ed). Essays in Honour of the Hon. Justice Michael Ekundayo Ogundare JSC (in the Press)

—-(2004).“The Future of Planning Law in Nigeria” in Essays in Honour of Hon. Justice A. G. Karibi-Whyte JSC

—-(2001). “Evaluation of Wills” in Law of Wills in Nigeria, G. M. Ibru (ed) Shaneson, pp 104-137

—-(2000).“Savannah Bank (Nig. Ltd. V Ajilo) (1989) NWLR (PART 97) 305. “Problems and Consequences in Nigeria Today”, in T. Fakoyede (ed): “F.R.A. Williams through the Cases Congress pp 215-232

—-(1977).“The Rent Control and Recovery of Residential Premises Edict No. 6, 1997-Evaluation of the Policy and Principles” in E. N. U. Uzodike (ed) Rent Control and Recovery of Residential Premises Edict No. 6, 1977-Report of Workshop, pp 140-158

—-(1995).“An Evaluation of Tenurial Issues in The National Urban Development Policy”, in A. O. Obilade (ed). A Blueprint for Nigeria Law, pp 218-236

—-(1992).“Town and Country Planning Law in Nigeria: Evolution and Philosophy” in C. O. Okonkwo (ed). Contemporary Issues in Nigeria Law: Essays in Honour of Judge Bola Ajibola, ppp 345-367

—-(1991).“Customary Land and Land Use Act” in Yemi Osinbajo and Awa U. Kalu (eds) Towards A Restatement of Nigeria Customary Laws, Ministry of Justice, pp 102-128

—-(1990).“Planning Law and Environmental Protection” in J. A. Omotola (ed) Environmental Laws in Nigeria Including Compensation, pp 16-34

—-(1990).“Town and Country Planning Authorities: A Critical Appraisal” J. A. Omotola (ed), Essays on Nigeria Law, Volume 11, pp 53-57

—-(1989).“Town Planning Law: A Search for a Viable Concept of Development,” in J. A. Omotola (ed), Issues in Nigeria Law, pp 142-151

—-(1987). “Ownership and Possession” in M. A. Ajomo (ed), General Principles of Law for Professional Examinations, pp 129-166

—-(1987).“The Place of Possession in the Acquisition of Title to Land” (Joint) in J. A. Omotola & A. A. Adeogun (eds), Land and Development, pp 239-258

ADVANCEMENT OF LAW THROUGH ADVOCACY

  • As Attorney General, Professor Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN was an erudite advocate. He handled numerous cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on behalf of the State which went in favour of the State. Within the period through powerful advocacy he articulated the legal principles to provoke and sustain the political agitation for Resources Control and true federalism. He successfully prosecuted and defended several cases at the Supreme Court affecting the various tiers of government in the Federation. One of his notable cases in the Seaward Boundary case between the Attorney General of the Federation and Attorney General of Abia State v 35 Others. The success of the counter-claim of Delta State in that case largely redefined the principle of revenue allocation of the Federation Account in line with the 1999 Constitution.
  • Acknowledging the contribution of Prof Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN to the legal jurisprudence through advocacy, the eminent jurist, Hon. Justice Karibi Whyte JSC, who was a member of the panel of Justices that heard the case, wrote a letter of commendation to him which states in part:

I thank you sincerely for your contribution to the development of our legal jurisprudence. Please keep it up. Realize that your image and reputation are inextricably involved in whatever legal views your express.

  • Prof Amos Agbe Utuama’s boss, the former Governor of the State, spared no words in attesting to his outstanding professional competence in an official letter of commendation dated 6th June 2003 in the following words:

I want to acknowledge that as the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice from 2nd July, 1999 to 28th May 2003 you exhibited a high level of admirable managerial competence and professional skill in the State’s Ministry of Justice, especially in the areas of legal drafting, in interpretation and advocacy. Of particular note was your role in the struggle for resource control and fiscal federalism which, among other things, endeared the administration to the people of the State for which they in return, freely and overwhelmingly gave me a second mandate as Governor of the State.

  • In his second term as Attorney General, Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama SAN maintained the momentum as a high performing Attorney General with the gift of advocacy. It was no wonder therefore that the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee deservedly conferred the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on him in 2005.

FAMILY LIFE

Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN is married to Dr. (Mrs) Nelly Tuwere Utuama and the marriage has been richly blessed with four children who are equally doing very well in their own right.

HONOURS & RECOGNITIONS

Prof. Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN has earned numerous national and international honours and recognitions amongst which are:

  • Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
  • Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
  • Fellow Nigeria Institute of Town Planners.
  • Member of the Chartered of Institute Arbitrators, United Kingdom.
  • Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Lagos Award.
  • Gold Merit Award for Outstanding Contributions and Commitment by the Nigeria Institute of advanced Legal Studies.
  • Best Deputy Governor in the year 2011.
  • Honorary Citizen of the State of Louisiana, USA.
  • Holder of the key to the City of Baton Rouge, USA.
  • Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.
  • Merit Award for Outstanding Contributions by Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Usiefurun.
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award by University of Lagos.
  • Long and Distinguished Service Award by the University of Lagos.
  • The worthy Alumnus of the Faculty of Law by University of Lagos.
  • Merit Award by Human Right Defenders Organization of Nigeria.
  • Number one defender of Justice in Delta State by Law Student Association in Delta State.
  • Merit Award as Deputy Governor of Delta State by NBA, Warri Branch.
  • Merit Award on the contribution to the growth and progress of Warri Branch of NBA.
  • Leadership Award for selfless service by St. Thomas Moore Chaplaincy University of Lagos.
  • Award of Excellence by Cardinal Anthony Okoje Annual Lectures Foundation.
  • Distinguished service Award by the Nigeria Union of Journalist.
  • Award of Excellence by the National Association of Nigeria Students Union.
  • Eminent Lawyers Award by NBA Ado-Ekiti Branch in recognition and appreciation of his positive exploits, not only in legal hall of fame but also in academic world and the Nigeria polity.
  • Award of Honour by Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Warri Branch.
  • Merit Award by NULGE in recognition of immense contribution to the welfare and humanity.
  • The prestigious United Nations POLAC Ambassador for Peace.