Ayo Obe

Chairperson, Board of Trustees of Gorée Institute


Ayo Obe is a legal practitioner and partner in the Lagos-based law firm, Ogunsola Shonibare.

Ms. Obe chairs the Board of Trustees of the Gorée Institute (Senegal) and is Co-Vice Chair of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.  In Nigeria, she is a member of the boards of the CLEEN Foundation (formerly the Centre for Law Enforcement Education), the Z.O. Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries and the community-based Ajegunle Community Project in Lagos.

Ms. Obe was President of the Civil Liberties Organisation, Nigeria’s oldest indigenous human rights organization, from 1995 to 2003, a period spanning the despotic rule of General Sani Abacha and Nigeria’s return to civilian rule in May 1999.  From 1999 to 2001, she chaired the Transition Monitoring Group, an election-monitoring/democracy-building coalition of independent Nigerian NGOs.  She represented Nigerian Human Rights NGOs on the country’s Police Service Commission from November 2001 to 2006.

Ms. Obe was Chair of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy from 2004 to April 2008 and ex officio was on the African Democracy Forum’s steering committee.  She participated as a member of the International Advisory Group of the Managing Global Insecurity project of the Brookings Institution, and New York and Stanford Universities.  Ms. Obe has also been a panelist at the Oslo Forum, the Beijing Forum and the Women’s Forum.

A former newspaper columnist, Ms. Obe now presents On Point, a current affairs program on the Nigerian Television Authority’s International service.  Most recently, she chaired Nigerian Civil Society’s Panel on Police Reform.