2021 LSA Distinguished Personality Award Nomination Submitted by Atinuke Idayat Balogun and Okikiola Jeminat Allison (Graduate Students at the Lagos State University)
Olasupo Shasore is a legal practitioner, politician, writer, and a historian. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a Partner in Africa Law Practice (ALP), a leading commercial law firm in Nigeria. He specializes in arbitration, commercial litigation, maritime and shipping, commercial and business crime. He has been engaged in both local and international commercial disputes by arbitration and has advised various clients in the oil and gas, power and construction industries for years. Shasore is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the immediate past chair of the Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association’s section on Business Law. He Chaired the Committee on the Reform of Nigeria’s National Arbitration Law and led the amendment of the Lagos Court of Arbitration Rules (2013) to provide for “special measure” emergency arbitrators.
Born in Lagos Island on the 22nd of January 1964 to Taoheed Olakunle Adio Shasore who was a diplomat and African Policy Expert, and Bilkis Oladoyinbo Adufe a civil servant, Olasupo started his primary education at the Christ Church Cathedral, Lagos in 1968 and completed it in 1975 at Broadfields Primary School, Middlesex, England. He thereafter started his Secondary education at Orange Hill Grammar School, Middlesex, England in 1974 but moved to Federal Government College, Lagos in 1975, spent five years and then completed at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos in 1981. Olasupo obtained a Bachelors Degree in Law (LLB) at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife in 1986, attended the Nigerian Law School and was called to bar on the 22nd of October, 1987. He proceeded to obtain a Masters degree in Law (LLM) from 1989-1990 from the University of Lagos. Olasupo has worked with several law firms in Nigeria and was appointed as the Notary Public for Nigeria in 1996. He was called to the inner chamber and conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2006. He is a member of several local and international institutions, commissions and bodies such as the London Court of International Arbitration Africa User Group; The Panel of Recognized International Market Expert (PRIME) and many more. He has acted as a counsel in a number of leading decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in Nigeria.
Over the course of his career, Olasupo has received several appointments, served and contributed immensely to public service especially in Lagos. He was the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Lagos State (2007-2011), President, Lagos Court of Arbitration; Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission (2012-2015); Chairman, Lagos state Waterways Authority; Chairman, Mortgage and Property Law Reform Commission, and many more. Olasupo’s performance in these offices was extraordinarily excellent and he left an indelible mark that has yet been matched by any.
He initiated the Lagos State Arbitration Law 2009; and established the Lagos Court of Arbitration. As the chairman of the Mortgage and Property Law reform, he produced and recommended the Mortgage and Property Law 2009 which was enacted to establish the Lagos State Mortgage Board. The Mortgage Board was to encourage the growth of mortgages in real property and the provision of enabling environment for the growth and development of mortgage finance industry in the state.
In pursuance of his vision, Olasupo authored the “Home Ownership Mortgage Policy” in 2011 which was launched as the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) on the 12th of September, 2011. As the Chairman of Lagos HOMS, he over saw the development of two hundred homes per month. This scheme provided low and middle income earner in Lagosconducive environment to access mortgage and also protects Lagosians from bad living conditions.
As the Attorney general of Lagos State, he also initiated and drafted the Tenancy Law of Lagos State to balance the inequality between landlords and tenants; Acted as the Head of the State Prosecution Service and Chairman of the technical Implementation Committee on the Reform of the Magistracy in Lagos State. As the Chairman, he constituted the committee and facilitated the review of the Criminal Code Law, Administration of the Criminal Justice Law, authored and issued the first Prosecutors’ Guidelines 2011 and initiated the first African Regional Conference of international Association of Prosecutors. He also developed the Limited Liability Partnership Law of Lagos State, the Lagos Arbitration Law, and a host of others.
His passion and drive towards the growth and development of Lagos in all ramifications knows no bounds. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lagos Studies Association and facilitated the registration of the Association at the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. His love for Nigeria and Lagos State in particular goes beyond the call of duty to what could be called ‘OMOKO EKO’. He worked tirelessly to achieve this at the various levels of appointment conferred on him by the state to even writing of books that showcases the rich culture of Lagos and the important role it plays in the overall development of Nigeria. He was a member of a Lagos State Government’s History Committee set up to retrieve historical documents on Lagos History at the National Archives (TNA), Kew Gardens, London, 2013. That Committee eventually became the Lagos State History Committee that wrote a History of Lagos State from the Earliest Times.
In his books, Possessed: A History of Law and Justice in the Crown Colony of Lagos: 1861-1906 and The King and the Colony: A Short History of the British Possession of Lagos, Olasupo Shasore place emphasis on the significant role of Lagos before, during and after Colonial rule and also accentuates the strength and position of Lagos State in the making of Nigeria. It is therefore not surprising that he advocated for a special status for Lagos State. In an interview on the Morning Show on Arise Cable Network, Olasupo emphasized the need to confer on Lagos a special status stating that ‘Lagos has played and still plays a significant role in the evolution of Nigeria as a whole’. He sees Lagos as a genuinely unique entity, a metropolis that contains the entire fabric of the Nigerian people, a state that accommodates and promotes that unity in diversity.