Gbenga Oyebode Tops 2015 NLA Awards List
This year, the NLA is honor to present the 2015 NLA Awards to the following Awardees:
Gbenga Oyebode, a long time supporter of the NLA, has been the managing partner of Aluko & Oyebode since 1993. Prior to his current position, he was a partner with the firm of Ajumogobia, Okeke, Oyebode and Aluko from 1985 to 1992. Gbenga also was previously affiliated with the Gulf Oil Company (Lagos and Houston) and White & Case (New York).
In his capacity as Managing Partner, he coordinates the various practice areas of the Firm. In addition to his managerial role, he heads the Firm’s corporate and energy practice areas. Gbenga has extensive experience in corporate and commercial practice, in the negotiation of complex commercial agreements for a wide variety of transactions, and has a special emphasis on the following areas:
- Corporate and Commercial
- Banking and Corporate Finance
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Privatization & Foreign Investment
Chioma Azi, Esq.
Chioma Azi is a community advocate, attorney and a strong voice for the African community in the Greater Philadelphia area. Ms. Azi began her community advocacy work as a law student. Working as a certified legal intern, she represented indigent clients with the Defenders Association of Philadelphia and the Office of the Public Defender of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 2007 and 2008 respectfully. After graduating from Duquesne University in 2008, Ms. Azi began a career as a solo-practitioner handling a variety of legal matters including immigration, small business consulting and civil cases. In 2012, she joined the African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc. (ACANA), a non-profit organization that assists African and Caribbean immigrants in their resettlement in the United States. At ACANA, Ms. Azi has developed a strong background in various aspects of immigration law, specializing in family based applications, deportation (removal) defense, dual criminal and immigration issues, and complex cases. In 2014 Ms. Azi testified before Philadelphia City Council in support of a proposed City of Philadelphia partial ban on cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on detaining non-violent undocumented immigrants. Also in 2014, Ms. Azi was selected by Mayor Michael Nutter to join a 15 member task force charged with making recommendations on paid sick leave in the City of Philadelphia.
In addition to her legal work, Ms. Azi is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Philly Nigerian Professionals; a professional development and networking group that brings African students and professionals together for social, networking, charitable and volunteer events in Philadelphia. Ms. Azi graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a minor in French and a certificate in Global Studies. She makes her home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Abayomi O. Ajaiyeoba
Abayomi O. Ajaiyeoba (“Yomi”) is a Deputy Managing Attorney and Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings/New York City Environmental Control Board (“OATH/ECB) where she, among other things, directs the legal operation of the administrative tribunal, manages staff productivity and acts as a legal advisor to administrative personnel. In addition she serves as the agency’s EEO Counselor.
Ms. Ajaiyeoba is an experienced litigator, certified mediator, arbitrator, and adjunct professor at Touro College. Ms. Ajaiyeoba graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in May 2004, where she was an associate editor of the Race and the Law Review, member of the Moot Court Board, clinician with the Community Development Clinic and provided pro bono services to the Domestic Violence Project. In addition, Ms. Ajaiyeoba interned with the Honorable Debra A. James, New York Supreme Court Justice. She received her B.A. from Connecticut College, graduating cum laude with distinction in Psychology and a Helen Lehman Buttenweiser scholar.
She started her legal career at the New York City Law Department, where she served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Administrative Law Division and is admitted to the New York State Bar, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Ms. Ajaiyeoba is committed to empowering and servicing the community through her involvement in various organizations: she has chaired the Nigerian Lawyers Association’s (“NLA”) Legal Clinic Committee, chaired ABWA’s Community Service Committee, served as a mentor for the Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Mentoring Program, co-chaired the New York State Bar Association’s (“NYSBA”) Dispute Resolution Section’s Diversity Committee, a volunteer mediator with the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Inc., provided pro bono services to: Changer, Inc., BBA’s Volunteer Lawyers Project, and InMotion, Inc. In addition, she serves as an arbitrator: on the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Part 137 Fee Dispute Committee and Small Claims Court.
In addition to chairing several committees, Ms. Ajaiyeoba served in the following positions with the Nigerian Lawyers Association: past President (2011-2013), Vice President (2010), Public Relations Officer (2007) and Secretary (2006).
She is currently an Executive Council member of the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA”) Conference of Bar Leaders, serves as an NYSBA House of Delegate member and sits on the Kings County Democratic Judicial Screening Committee.
She has a featured essay in the publication, Conquering the Bar Exam, Insight for First Generation and Minority Law Students and Graduates. In her spare time, she enjoys writing poetry.