For many years, the small proud town of Unadu in Igbo Eze south local government area of Enugu State, struggled to produce a lawyer.
Time and again, ambitious young men and women with the intention of breaking the jinx of not having a lawyer in the town, entered universities only to be derailed and ended up graduating in other disciplines other than the desired law.
Just as it was appearing almost impossible to break this knotty issue, a young starry-eyed young man from the household of the Late Ekwueme of Unadu, Chief Simon Ogara, startled the town with the news that he has studied and graduated as a lawyer.
Before the ecstasy could die down, the young Ogara was called to the Nigerian Bar and became Unadu’s very first lawyer. The feeling was electric! His courage accentuate the true meaning of his parent’s pet name “Taa Bu Gboo’…the present is sacrosanct!
George Ogara Tabugbo, popularly known as GOT, was born on the 10th of April, 1974 in Lagos State and attended Ireti Primary School, Ikoyi Lagos, and graduated in 1983. He proceeded to Boys Secondary School Ovoko, Nsukka, Enugu State, and graduated in 1989.
George had his university education at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State, from 1991 to 1997 where he studied Law.
After graduating from the university with LL.B Hons in September 1997, he went straight to the Nigerian Law School, Abuja Campus, and graduated with a Second Class (Upper Division) and was called to the Nigerian Bar on 28th September, 1999.
He is happily married and blessed with a child.
Following his call to the Nigerian Bar, George Tabugbo Ogara went for the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme where he horned his legal mind under the tutelage of Nemi & Nemi Solicitors, from December 1999 to October 2000.
After his Youth service, he continued working with Nemi & Nemi Solicitors till August 2001. He joined the law firm of B.E.I. Nwofor & Co. in October 2001 and practiced law there till July, 2006.
In 2007, he established LawEdge Legal Practitioners with about four partners. Since then, he has grown remarkably in his legal practice. His firm has handled an ample number of cases in various jurisdictions and courts across the country including the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Even though his town was not expecting so much from the young lawyer other than ‘being our first lawyer’, Barrister George Ogara against all ‘advice’ preferred the field of fiery legal practice of defence solicitor for the downtrodden, rather than the usually ‘safer’ practice of corporate and property law.
His quest to use law as a liberation tool and true agent of justice, took him deep into representation for oppressed individuals and communities in the deprived areas in the Niger Delta region.
In this ‘risky’ practice of getting justice, compensations and restitution for people that hardly had anyone speaking for them, and most times stepping on the toes of multi-national companies and government agencies, George Ogara sharpened his litigation stealth to a compelling edge! He thus became a master in Class Action cases that seek to bring agents of oppression to account.
George is well-known for his fights against human rights abuses. He is also an environmental activist. His firm has fought severally for the environmental protection of many oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region.
He is fondly called Employees Rescuer by his friends because of his continuous fights for the rights of employees especially those in the oil companies.
His activism in human rights and environmental protection has earned his firm reputation locally and internationally. The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, haven seen his zeal, has been partnering with his law film to rescue and protect the rights of Nigerians living abroad especially those in Libya.
In addition to Law Edge Legal Practitioners, George Tabugbo Ogara is the chairman of Law Edge Advocacy, a non-governmental organization that partners with International bodies and organizations to champion human right cases including advocacy for the preservation of human environment.
George Tabugbo Ogara is a member of the Public Interest Lawyering Initiative for West Africa (PILIWA) which is a regional movement of lawyers driven by social justice to serve threatened communities.
George Tabugbo Ogara has been in politics as far back as 1998 and he was a very devoted PDP political member. In 2011, he contested in the primary election for the Igbo-Eze South/Nsukka Federal House of Representative, but did not emerge as candidate.
In 2014 he was among the original Enugu State members of the then ‘new’ All Progressives Congress (APC). Since then he has represented the APC in several Court proceedings in various jurisdictions in the country including the Court of Appeal.
He has done some landmark constitutional cases ranging from the legality or otherwise of the Local Government Caretaker committee, suppression of Constituencies, etc.
In reality the quest to become the governor of Enugu State stemmed from his unquenchable desire to improve the aging infrastructure of Enugu State.
This desire was actually fired up when he took up a pro-bono battle to get justice for all the communities and towns along the stretch of a federal road connecting Enugu and Kogi states that was abandoned when politicians connived with the federal government contractor to embezzle the funds meant for the road. Using his known skills in law, GOT and his law firm has been handling this Class Action suit since 2013.
Using his known skills in law, GOT and his law firm has been handling this Class Action suit since 2013.
Barrister George Ogara Tabugbo is an epitome of doggedness, revolutionary tendencies, progressive mindedness and grassroots advocate, all rolled into one.
“GOT is not a professional politician, but a professional in politics”.