By Our Reporter
Mrs Nella E. Andem-Ewa Rabana SAN is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a women’s leader of worthy consideration and a grassroots women mobiliser par excellence.
Her career has afforded her the opportunity to represent both the Federal government of Nigeria and in particular the Government of Cross River State in diverse capacities.
With her extensive social, business and political networks and associations within and outside Nigeria, Andem-Ewa is well regarded for her contribution and advocacy towards rights-based issues especially as it relates to the rights of women, children and vulnerable persons.
Consequently, her elevation to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, her appointment as a Life Bencher of the Body of Benchers and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators have collectively enlarged her vistas of service, influence and contribution to the larger society. Her appointment as a Member of the 5th Governing Council of the Human Rights Commission and her Chairmanship of the Committee on Women and Children of the Commission have equipped her with relevant skills, techniques, contacts and access to provide the required support and guidance that will sustain and maintain international standards.
Andem-Ewa is a member of the Council of Legal Education and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of The Leprosy Mission, Nigeria (TLMN).
Andem-Ewa was the Attorney-General of Cross River State from 1999-2003 in the PDP government and during her tenure she became the first African female to address the International Court of Justice as Counsel. Her Tenure as Attorney General of Cross River State is credited with the foundational innovation of providing the institutional and legal regulatory framework for the establishment of the socio-economic ecosystem. To date, her invaluable contributions especially in the areas of the State boundaries, and landmark decisions that redefine revenue distribution in Cross River State are linked to the emergence of an enviable institutional and economic memory for Cross River State.
Although litigation has long been one of her core competencies, she has intentionally and consistently utilised and applied her knowledge of the law and her vast experience in the public and private sectors to provide sound and well-researched advice where required.
Andem-Ewa is a founder and Principal Partner of Lexglobal Partners, LP, a renowned legal practice and consultancy service firm based in Calabar and Abuja.
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In this regard, she has not only handled highly contentious civil and criminal matters in court but has also been involved in complex Pre-election/Election petitions in various Courts and tribunals across the nation thereby positioning her to provide qualitative, innovative and pragmatic solutions to solving legal, governance and leadership problems.
SOME NOTABLE JUDGMENTS
• Cross River State vs Akwa Ibom – boundaries
• Abia State & 36 ORS vs Federal Government (Revenue Allocation)
• ICJ judgment – Nigeria Vs Cameroun with Equatorial Guinea intervening
• Public Interest litigation – Chief E.K Clark & 15 ORS vs President Federal Republic of Nigeria & 3 ORS
• Legal Team for PDP Presidential candidate 2023
Andem-Ewa has been involved in diverse Public Interest matters (Human Rights Litigation), especially in matters of gender exclusion, abuse and discrimination.
Andem-Ewa is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing & Commerce (RSA) UK.
Andem-Ewa was a member of the Legal Committee of the National Council on Privatisation 2017 – 2023. She is the National Legal Adviser for both the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV).
She is the Vice Chairperson of the Nigerian Wing of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW).
She successfully completed her tenure in the following capacities; Vice Chairperson of NBA Dispute Resolution Ad hoc Committee, Board Member of Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Chairperson Advisory Council, Lifeforte International Schools, Awotan GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State, Member Cameroon/Nigeria Mixed Commission mediated by the United Nations, Counsel/Advocate on Nigeria Legal Team Cameroon vs. Nigeria (Equatorial Guinea Intervening) at the International Court of Justice.
Andem-Ewa was listed among 100 leading Women Leaders in Nigeria in the 2022 Edition of Gender Perspective and she is on the Board of a number of private companies.
Nella Andem-Ewa has founded various community-based initiatives such as Creek Town Plantain Farmers Multipurpose Co-operative, Efik Association for Women and Youth Development and Aged Care etc.
She is also involved in grassroots/empowerment projects such as:
• Chairperson Advisory board Unicredit Cooperative Society Limited with membership spread across the nation
• Patron of Nka Uforo Ethics and Values which has a membership of over 4,300 women across Cross River State, 50% of whom are farmers and traders
• Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Calabar branch of the Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (OPGAN)
She is a consummate speaker on diverse local and international platforms where she addresses issues on legal reforms, good governance, gender issues and advocates for positive social change.
Nella Andem-Ewa, SAN was born into the family of Late Barrister Antigha Ekpe Nyong of Mbarakom, Creek Town, Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria.