Nj Ayuk Cameroonian attorney

Centurion Law Group was established in 2006 by myself, two other partners and two associates, who have remained with us till date. We have 10 offices on the continent with some of them operating as satellite offices of our head office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Our African operations are based in Ghana, Liberia and Ethiopia. I am a partner of the firm along with my wife, Rose-Ann Katatumba Ayuk and Sam Ndaiga. We are a continental law firm with clients in more than 22 countries across the continent.

Tell us about your background. How did you first get interested in law? And how did you become a partner at Centurion Law Group?

I studied for my LLB and BSc in Finance from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. I was admitted to practice as an attorney and solicitor of the High Court of Uganda in 2005 before I migrated to Nigeria the following year where I was called to the bar as a barrister. In 2011, I was called to the bar in Nigeria and also admitted as an attorney-at-law of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. My interest in law began at Makerere as a student. I was surprised that there were very few takers when I joined law school – just only 300 students out of 10,000 applied for the course that year. The majority of those who started off with me did not finish. With time, I gained interest in my subject and as one who loves reading – books and journals – it was not surprising for me to make it to the Law School Hall of Fame at Makerere University upon graduation in 2005.

In 2006, Nj Ayuk partnered with Hon. Emmanuel Uduaghan (SAN) to establish Centurion Law Group in Lagos, Nigeria. We later moved our firm to Abuja, Nigeria and opened a branch in Ghana. In 2010, we opened our first foreign office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and we have since opened another office in Monrovia, Liberia and are currently building an office in Ghana due for completion by April 2018. I became a partner of Centurion Law Group when the firm was established.

In your opinion, what do you think is Africa’s biggest challenge in achieving both independence and development?

I will be speaking on my home continent which is the African Great Lakes – East Africa region. The biggest challenge we are facing on the African continent is the leadership structure. This leadership is made up of some leaders who are not serious about their position in life. They are just interested in making money for themselves first; family second and then their people. With this kind of leadership, it is impossible for a nation to be free and developed.

How can Africa be free from colonialism? What can citizens do to help in achieving this goal?

Africa should always remember that we were colonized by another race and they will always want us to remain weak so that they can exploit us. Africans must embrace the idea that if we want to be free, we must create our own freedom. This means that we must start thinking positively and not allowing those who may wish to exploit us. That is why it is essence of a true African to remain himself. This positive attitude in embracing the possible change Africa can achieve is what will have us moving forward and fighting for our freedom. I don’t believe in racial equality or political correctness; only true equality among Africans will see us free from colonialism once and for all.

How does the media portray Africa? How can Africa overcome this challenge?

The media has always been deceptive about Africa being a continent of war and poverty; this has been the perception since colonial times.