Prof. Epiphany Azinge, OON, SAN, was born on November 13, 1957 in Aba, Abia State, although he hails from Asaba, Oshimili South L.G.A of Delta State. He attended St. Patrick’s College, Asaba between 1970 and 1975 and then proceeded to the University of Lagos, in 1976, where he obtained a degree of Bachelor of Laws with a Second Class Upper Division.
He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1980 and proceeded to the University of London for his LL.M degree specialising in Comparative Constitutional Law and Shipping Law in 1983 and completed his PhD in 1986, writing his doctoral thesis on “Electoral Laws in Nigeria”. He began his academic career at the University of Benin in 1981, where he taught several courses including the Nigerian Legal System, Legal Process, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, Labour Law, Public International Law and Administrative Law.
He also taught Information Technology Law and Law of Taxation at the University of Abuja. To demonstrate his extreme passion for education he also taught the Nigerian Legal System at the Nassarawa State University, free of charge. At the University of Benin, he held several positions in academics and administration.
He was appointed Special Assistant to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF) where he served from 1991 to 1997. During that term, he contributed to many landmark legal developments that led to the promulgation of several enactments including the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Failed Banks Act, Advanced Fee Fraud Act, Money Laundering Act and Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act.
He was a Member, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Legal Practice (2004 -2008); Member, NBA Continuing Legal Education Committee (2003 -2006); Chairman, NBA, Section on Business Law and its Sub Committee on Sports and Entertainment. He was elevated to the status of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2006. He has published extensively in diverse areas in local and international journals and also editor of several books.
In May 2009, he was appointed the 5th Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies where he demonstrated outstanding passion for legal scholarship and education and edited over sixty three (63) books and journals. Outside his academic career, he is actively involved in community development. He is the Founder of The Sojourners Medicate Foundation, which he personally funds to help accident victims on the highway as well as award of scholarships to indigent Nigerians.
He is a Member of the Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In recognition of his academic and administrative achievements, he was awarded honorary LLD in 2013, by the Commonwealth University, Belize and National Honour – Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2014, by the federal government. In 2015, he was appointed member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, CSAT.
According to Prof. Paul Obo Idornigie, Head, Department of Commercial Law, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS, the appointment to the Tribunal is a great honour. “Members are recognized as persons of high moral character who currently hold or have held high judicial office in a Commonwealth country or who are jurisconsults with at least 10 years experience.”
Prof. Azinge is happily married to Dr. (Mrs.) Valerie Azinge and they are blessed with four children.