Tuesday 21 May 2024


Ayo Obe (born 24 May 1955) is a British-Nigerian lawyer, columnist, TV presenter and human rights activist. She attended the University of Wales.

Obe is known for Nigeria's human rights, legal and social movements, and advocating for democratic reforms. She was the president of the Civil Liberties Organisation and advocated for the actualisation of Chief MKO Abiola's 1993 presidential election victory. She was listed as one of the heroes of June 12.

Her passport was seized in March 1996 while leaving Nigeria to attend a meeting of the UN Human Rights Committee in New York as a result of her activism.

She chaired the Transition Monitoring Group which was an election-monitoring and democracy-building coalition of Nigerian NGOs from 1999 to 2001. She also represented the coalition from 2001 to 2006 at the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Obe serves as a managing partner in a Lagos-based law firm named Ogunsola-Shonibare and sits on the board of multiple civil society organisations such as Goree Institute and Vice Chair of the board of the International Crisis Group.

Obe chaired the World Movement for Democracy's steering committee(2004- 2008),  and also served as part of African Democracy Forum's steering committee. She took part in the Managing Global Insecurity project run by the Brookings Institution, New York University, and Stanford University. She also participated in panels at the Oslo, Beijing, and Women's forums.

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