ABOUT THE EXPERTSBEHIND CENTURION

At Centurion, we strive for proactive—not merely reactive—solutions. We are a leader in progressive legal services in Africa, and this is why we continue to draw the best of the best in talent. It’s also what enables us to offer our clients a diverse, dynamic, multifaceted team.

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NJ AYUK JD, MBA
CEO, Centurion

A leading energy lawyer and a strong advocate for African entrepreneurs, NJ Ayuk is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today. A Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, one of Forbes’ Top 10 Most Influential Men in Africa in 2015, and a well-known dealmaker in the petroleum and power sectors, NJ is dedicating his career to helping entrepreneurs find success and to building the careers of young African lawyers.

As founder and CEO of Centurion Law Group, NJ strives through his work to ensure that business, and especially oil and gas, impacts African societies in a positive way and drives local content development. He is the current chairman of the African Energy Chamber and author of ‘Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity’.

NJ graduated from the University of Maryland College Park and earned a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.

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ZION ADEOYE
Managing Director

Zion is Managing Director at Centurion Law Group and is responsible for Legal Affairs in Project Finance, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Taxation and Energy law. He continues to advise a cross-section of clients across Africa on big ticket energy deals, especially in South Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Ghana, Gabon and Senegal.

Before joining Centurion, Zion was Lead Transaction Counsel/Group Legal Counsel to the Transnational Energy Group, presiding over critical Oil & Gas and Power projects in Nigeria. He also had pivotal spells at the Tax Division of KPMG Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Lagos based premium legal firms of Olaniwun Ajayi LP and Templars where he advised several multi-nationals on a host of Energy and Infrastructure projects. Also, at the Abuja based firm of Terra Cotta Legal, he advised key institutions of government and a host of multinationals on Energy and Taxation matters.

He was a strategic adviser during the various efforts at amending the Nigerian Petroleum Act and related legislations, including acting at one time as secretary to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Fiscal and Financial Management Syndicate Session commissioned by the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives and advised the Board of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on the fiscal aspects of the PIB.

Zion continues to advise on some of the most strategic deals across Africa, especially in the frontier Energy markets, and was recently awarded an ‘40 under 40 Rising Stars’ award at the Nigerian ESQ Legal Awards, for shaping the future of the legal profession in Nigeria and on the continent.

Zion graduated from the University of Ibadan, where he obtained his LLB and completed his B.L at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He is currently undertaking an Executive LLM in Global Business Law at Columbia Law School, New York, and completing his MBA in International Oil and Gas Management at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the Association of Independent Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN).

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STRAYSON VERMEULEN
Chief Operating Officer

Strayson Vermeulen is the Chief Operating Officer of Centurion Law Group. In addition to her specialization in International Business, Strayson has significant experience in Finance and Accounting, Assets Evaluation, Financial Analysis, Law Practice Development, Project Financing and Telecommunications. She garnered valuable experience working extensively in finance, accounting, audit, establish policies, compliance, business strategy, negotiation, investment, business management, financial planning and modelling, management of assets, forecasting and overseeing daily operations as an executive.
Prior to joining Centurion, she worked in a plethora of roles, including Group Accountant, Senior Accountant, Property Manager, and Operations Manager at Vodacom Business, LifeCo UnLtd SA Group, Advanced Telecoms International, Mobax South Africa and Group.
Strayson obtained her B.Sc. in Business Management from the University of Pretoria and an MBA at Edinburg Business School. She also completed her Advanced Management Programme & Finance and Accounting degree at the University of Witwatersrand and obtained the Financial Evaluation Analyst certification from the Corporate Finance Institute.

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SANTIAGO OLO LIMA
Director, Equatorial Guinea

With a specialization in international business, Santiago Olo Lima works as the Director of Government Relations and Special Projects at Centurion Law Group.

His responsibilities include working closely with the firm’s management to develop, refine and execute Centurion’s vision and development strategies. His knowledge of Equatorial Guinea’s business environment has earned him the reputation of being one of the best advisor and consultant for foreign investors entering the country.

His duties also include the implementation and maintenance of programs aimed at developing new streams of revenue growth at the firm.

He earned a Bachelors Degree in International Business at the American Intercontinental University in London, UK and holds an International Diploma in Project Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of California, Berkeley.

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ONEYKA OJOGBO
Senior International Associate

Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo is an International Senior Associate Attorney and Team Lead at Centurion’s German, Nigerian and Equatorial Guinea offices with significant experience working on finance, infrastructure, energy, start-up, entertainment and sports projects across the African continent, Europe and North America. She leads the Group’s Sports, Media and Entertainment Practice.
Oneyka has gained significant experience working with and leading multicultural and multilingual teams in structuring and executing epoch-making deals across the African continent while advising governments, private investors and industry players alike.
Over the course of her career, Oneyka has worked extensively in research, negotiation, advisory and document preparation and review capacities on projects, corporate, finance and investment transactions of varying complexities and across multiple sectors of the economy. She has also gained experience coordinating regulatory compliance in local legal systems including OHADA, CEMAC, ECOWAS, WAEMU, ECCAS, EAC and COMESA.

Oneyka is qualified in New York State and Nigeria. She is passionate about the right to education, gender equality, equal representation and economic empowerment through sports and energy.
Prior to joining Centurion , she worked as an Associate in Olaniwun Ajayi, a leading Nigerian firm and played a pivotal role in advising investors and sponsors on landmark power and infrastructure transactions.
She also worked with the Columbia Centre for Sustainable Investment based in New York where she advised on the peculiar provisions/terms in exploration and production contracts relating to the extractive industries in different countries around the world with the aim of helping governments, international investors and other stakeholders better understand the prevalent extractive industry investment framework.

Qualifications
LL.B. – University of Ibadan
LL.M. – Columbia University

Bar Admission
New York State
Nigeria

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MANUEL OLIVIERA
Managing Partner, Equatorial Guinea

C. Manuel Oliveira Toichoa is an associate attorney in Malabo office.
He is specialized in integral consultancy to companies. Manuel Oliveira principal area of work is the Commercial Law (OHADA Business Law among others), particularly the creation and liquidation of companies, registration and licenses, and Contracts. Additionally, Manuel also provide legal advise to clients in other legal matters related to the labor and social security law, Administrative law and Tax law.

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TOZAYE BALOGUN
Director of Centurion Tax Services

Tozaye has subject matter and industry expertise in providing corporate structuring advisory, investment portfolio development and business start-up advisory, corporate mergers and acquisitions advisory, tax due diligence, tax modelling, implementation of cross-border schemes, corporate and indirect tax compliance planning and advisory and compliance checks and audits services to national and multinational companies operating in various industries and sectors, including the technology, consumer markets and financial services industries.

Prior to joining Centurion Law Group, Tozaye was a Senior Manager in KPMG Nigeria who specialised in the provision of Deal Advisory, Mergers and Acquisition services, tax planning and management. She has led several teams responsible for the provision of domestic and international corporate and transaction advisory, compliance, planning and management services to companies operating in the Gulf of Guinea area such as Nigeria, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Sao Tome & Principe.

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JULIO MAKOUBA
Director, Congo- Brazzaville

Lawyer at the Kinshasa / Matete Bar (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Chartered Tax Expert in the six countries of the CEMAC zone (Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon Equatorial Guinea and Chad), Julio Makouba is the partner in charge of Centurion Law Group in the Republic of Congo. In addition to this position, he also holds the responsibilities of Regional Tax Leader for Central Africa.

Specialist in legal, tax and customs matters in the fields of Oil & Gas, mining, infrastructure and banking, Julio also has wide experience in OHADA business Law and CEMAC legislation. For more than ten years, he has supported many investors in Central Africa. Prior to joining Centurion Law Group, Julio worked for leading firms across Africa, including PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cameroon and Etude du Bâtonnier Coco KAYUDI in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Julio holds a Masters in Litigation and Business Arbitration from the Catholic University of Central Africa, a Masters in Applied Taxation and a Masters in Business Law from the University of Douala.

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ALBERT DESIRE ZANG
Cameroon Country Lead

CEMAC Certified Tax Consultant with qualifications in tax and legal related matters, Albert Désiré ZANG works as Tax & Legal Specialist at Centurion Law Group.

His responsibilities include coordinating business development representative for Cameroon in all aspects and leading the Tax Department. He is responsible for Energy, Natural Resources & Corporate Law advisory on questions relating to regulation, taxation and business practice in Cameroon and other African countries including Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Guinea, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Guinea Republic, Nigeria, Senegal and other countries where our firm conducts operations.

He is currently playing a pivotal role at the Centurion Law Group. His experience enables him to keep not only advising many companies long before their projects are implemented to mitigate the related risks; but also addressing their existing issues bringing down their tax and legal exposure significantly. He is one of our seasoned tax litigators.

He is holder of two postgraduate certificates, one in business law another in taxation (applied tax systems) both of which obtained at the University of Douala, Cameroon.

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LEON VAN DER MERWE
Director, Centurion Plus

Leon is currently the Director of Centurion Plus, an alternative legal solution platform embracing NewLaw, legal services that are process-driven, technology-enabled, and client-oriented.

He heads up a team of 80 lawyers across Africa, representing 40 countries on the African continent. This platform recently expanded into Europe, where Leon plays an active role in the daily operations and management.

Leon is a practicing Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and holds almost 8 years post admission experience. He heads up the team with all matters pertaining to the South-African legislative framework.

His expertise includes Corporate Law, Commercial Law, Law of Contract, General, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Insolvency, Compliance, Property Law, Regulatory Law, Competition Law, Company Law, Compliance and risk.

Drafting and negotiations of contracts, risk analysis and providing complex corporate advice to public, private and JSE listed enterprises are some of the projects Leon has worked on.

He has provided legal services to major national and international corporations in various industries, such as forestry, mining, construction, engineering and retail.

Leon is actively involved in the Company’s Business Development Strategies and client relationship. He prides himself in integrity, strong ethics and quality delivery.

He has represented numerous of high-profile clients, inter alia:
• Legal representative for third largest state-owned forestry company in South Africa, under the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).
• Legal representative for one of the biggest fibre optic and telecommunication companies in Africa.
• Legal representative for an international infrastructure and resources company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
• Legal representative for one of the largest financial services groups in Africa offering wholesale and retail banking services as well as insurance, asset management and wealth management.
• Legal representative for two renowned Property Development and Investment Companies.
• Part of legal representatives instituting action against a major financial institution in the sum of R1.1 billion to recover investors’ money.
• Major Cross Border Projects and tax compliance.

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PALOMA KEEVER
Director, Business Development

Paloma oversees the firm’s business development functions. With more than 10 years of experience in the industry, she serves as a strategic adviser to firm leadership and individual attorneys on best practices involving business development, key initiatives, client interviews, brand-building, marketing and digital presence.

An established legal marketing consultant, Paloma has guided law firms with their communications and marketing strategies.

She holds a MSc International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA Media and Communications from the University of London. Paloma is fluent in English and Spanish.

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CARL MBENG
Director, Central Africa

Carl is a seasoned legal and tax advisory service professional who has over six years of experience advising governments, multinationals and indigenous African companies on business law and practice across several African Jurisdictions.

He has a proven track record of delivering effective legal advice to clients in the banking and finance industry and in securities and has, over the years, provided insight on key issues relating to investment, Infrastructure project finance, M&A, securities & debt recovery as well as tax compliance and transfer pricing across Central Africa.

Carl has an extensive professional network across African Jurisdictions and is fluent in English and French.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Taxation, a Master’s Degree in International Disputes and a Master’s Degree in Business Law from the University of Douala, and a Bachelor in Law and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Law from the University of Yaounde II.

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JULIUS MOERDER
International Associate - Germany

Julius is an International Associate Attorney at Centurion’s Equatorial Guinea and South Africa offices with significant experience in corporate and commercial law as well as litigation in related matters.
Julius has advised clients on corporate law such as the establishment and structuring of companies and joint ventures, international transactions and in post M&A disputes. Moreover, he has experience in general trade and distribution law in both, domestic and cross-border matters and handling high-volume commercial disputes.
Prior to joining Centurion, Julius has worked for leading German law firms Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek and Beiten Burkhardt as well as Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Julius completed his First and Second Legal State Examination in Munich, Germany (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and the Higher Regional Court of Munich) and earned an LL.M. degree from the University of Cape Town. He is a member of the Munich Bar Association (Rechtsanwaltskammer München) and the German-South African Lawyers Association.

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ANDRES VEGA SANCHEZ
International Associate

Andres Vega is an International Associate at Centurion Law Group with significant experience in implementing, developing, and financing oil & gas and energy projects.

Before joining Centurion, he was a senior associate at the top-tier boutique energy law firm in Mexico City. In his practice, he has provided advice to key companies in the energy sector in the negotiation and implementation of structures to develop upstream oil & gas contracts, including production sharing contracts, joint operating agreements, and services agreements. Andres’ experience also includes advising clients in the financing and negotiation of security packages and the negotiation of construction agreements for different types of assets used in the development of energy projects. He has actively participated in government procurement procedures in Mexico, advising several clients in their participation, financing, and implementation of contracts with Mexico’s NOC (Pemex).

Andres obtained his LL.M. degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2016, with a Certificate in Energy and Clean Technology. He received his law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico, in 2012. Andres is admitted to practice in Mexico (2012) and in the State of New York (2018). Andres is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

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IBRAHIM MOSHOOD
Associate

Ibrahim Moshood is a qualified attorney with a tax specialization. He delivers commercial legal support across diverse sectors. He is particularly skilled at advising a global clientele on local and international tax with regards to corporate structuring/re-organization, private equity transactions, transfer pricing policy design and business combinations.

TAX AND INVESMENT DESK

EDEM ANDAH
Lead Consultant, Africa Tax Desk

Mr. Edem Andah comes with decades of Africa-wide tax experience.

Mr. Andah started his legal career as state counsel, rising early to become Assistant Director of criminal prosecutions and Litigations. He joined Shell Nigeria Development and Production Company (SPDC) as legal adviser and contracts draftsman in 1989. He was the pioneer Head of Tax in SPDC. He did his first expatriation to Shell Expro, UK and Shell International (SIPM) in the Hague in The Netherlands in 1995 to returning to Nigeria in 1997.

Mr Andah was also head of Shell Africa Oil Products Tax from 2004 to 2007, based in Nairobi Kenya, responsible for Shell downstream Africa tax in 30 African countries.

On leaving Shell, Mr Andah relocated to London, as the International Tax Manager for Sub -Sahara Africa, with Baker Hughes UK Limited. He returned to Nigeria and joined Ernst & Young (EY) as the Partner responsible for oil and gas tax services.

In 2016, Mr Andah became Tax Partner with the commercial law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi LP, one Nigeria’s premium firms.

Mr Andah is a graduate of the University of Lagos and also holds a master’s degree in law from the same institution. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1980. He is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom and Nigeria. Andah is also an alumnus of the Harvard University Comparative Tax Policy and Administration program. He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Aberdeen and an MA in Taxation from the University of London’s School of Advanced Study.

Mr Andah’s legal and tax journey has seen him pioneer the setting up of tax practices and has coached and mentored several tax persons and practitioners, who occupy strategic tax positions in multinational companies as well as with the Big- 4/5 consulting firms globally. Mr Andah continues to encourage and engage with young and aspiring lawyers and accountants who are interested in taxation. He has continued to engage in thought leadership and is an Examiner of a UK based taxation body. He belongs to several fiscal study groups and is a member of UK based Chatham House.

KESEENA CHENGADU
Head, Africa Investment Desk

Keseena is the Head of Investment at the Centurion Africa Investment Desk. She also serves as Executive Director of Centurion Mauritius and is Co-Chair of Centurion Plus.

With over a decade of hands-on international investments experience, Keseena is a powerhouse for Africa-bound investment structuring. She has advised a cross-section of institutional, government entities and private investors on business structuring within Africa and is a household name in energy sector investment.
Her deep unders
tanding of the whole gamut of African financial markets, her familiarity with the overall corporate needs of an organizations investing in Africa with respect to corporate and tax structuring places her at the pinnacle of investment relevance.

Keseena sits on the board of a plethora of local & international companies having a presence in Africa and comes with over a decade of experience in advising high-worth investors on the fiscal security of their organizations.

An “out-of-the box” legal thinker with ability to devise legal and financial solutions to unique fact situations, Keseena has a proven track record of providing accurate and effective legal and general investment advice; and of adding value to organisations through the development of comprehensive attention to help mitigate risk and enhance the businesses of our clients.
She is also an asset in the corporate/investment industry with the legal and commercial aspects of international contracts, international corporate framework, fiscal management, contract management and investment risk assessment. She is also well versed in the OHADA, CEMAC laws and regulations and continues to advice on key sector investments in all African regions.

ANSELMO EWORO
Head, Immigration and Governance Relations

Anselmo Eworo is an Associate in our Malabo’ office. He focuses his practice on dispute resolution strategies, including assessment of claims and potential litigation risks, migration law, administrative law, criminal procedure and oil and gas, represents international companies on a wide range of legal matters. His in-depth knowledge of civil system allows him to provide well-rounded legal advice.

SHANTEL MUFANDAIDZA
Administrator, Tax and Investment Services

Shantel is a legal administrator of Centurion Plus who plays a key role in client, advisor and regulator communications and co-ordination.

Having advised major State-owned Companies and Private companies across the African continent on Infrastructure Projects, Energy Transactions and cross-border transactions, Shantel communicates frequently with a cross-section of regulators and will ensure that clients receive the benefit of her experience in this regard.

Her reflexes on anticipating client needs with respect to regulatory interface turnaround time as well as her experience with stakeholder communications in frontier markets, will be significantly valuable throughout any project.

ACHARE TAKOR
Head, Intellectual Property Desk

Achare Takor is an International Associate and Head of the Intellectual Property Desk at Centurion Law Group.
She holds an LLM in International Business Law from the BPP University Law School in London, United Kingdom and an LLB from the University of Buea, Cameroon.
A skilled corporate lawyer with broad experience in varied legal jurisdictions, her areas of expertise include delivering effective legal advice to clients in the oil and gas industry, debt recovery, immigration, Intellectual Property, Compliance and Transfer Pricing across Africa.

She provides invaluable expertise and oversight in matters related to business start-ups, established corporate negotiations and transactional mergers and acquisitions.

NOEL LEJUKOLE
South Sudan, Tax and Legal

Noel leads the Centurion Tax Advisory team in South Sudan. He is a seasoned tax and legal experts with over 15 years of high value experience.

Noel also has significant experience with public sector engagement and is immensely valuable as an on-ground resource for high worth projects in Sudan and South Sudan.

AKINDELE PHILLIPS
Tax Coordinator, Africa Tax Desk

Akindele is Tax Coordinator, Africa at the Centurion’s Africa Tax Desk. He has over a decade experience as a chartered accountant and tax expert providing audit, financial and tax advisory services to organizations in the Energy and Oil & Gas industries in Nigeria and some other African countries.

Prior to the current role at Centurion, Akindele has been leading as a partner of PW Consult. He has been leading the team of chartered accountants providing professional service to organizations operating in a wide range of industries, across Africa, including Oil and Gas & the Fintech space to mention just a few industries. Prior to this, he practiced audit at KPMG Professional Services, Lagos providing audit services to organizations in the Oil and Gas industry.

Akindele holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state. He is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA, UK), Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN, Nigeria) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN, Nigeria). He believes strongly in self-development and in addition has attended a few courses including ‘Building, leading, and sustaining the innovative organization’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Sloan School of Management, USA, ‘Mastering competitive and blue ocean strategy’ at the Lagos Business School, Lagos, Nigeria and ‘Oxford executive leadership program’ at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK.

PABLO OBAMA MITOGO
Head, AfCFTA Desk

Legal Advisor at Centurion Law Group specialized in Alternative Dispute Resolution and negotiation. Pablo stands out in four main areas: a) Negotiation of conflicts and contracts b) Consulting, c) regulatory compliance in different sectors and d) legal research and graphic designer.

Pablo has successfully closed a dozen agreements. The most prominent has been among employers and employees avoiding millionaires lost to his clients and long and complex legal proceedings. He also has experience in negotiating difficult contracts between government agencies and companies in the construction, service delivery, various MOUs and join ventures contracts between companies.

The global market for legal services and business advising is changing. Clients are changing. Lawyers and law firms must change accordingly, and Centurion Law Group is at the forefront of this change.One thing will never change: We offer exceptional client service from experts who bring a wealth of deep specialism. And we’re always looking for talented lawyers and business advisors to enhance our pool.

One thing will never change: We offer exceptional client service from experts who bring a wealth of deep specialism. And we’re always looking for talented lawyers and business advisors to enhance our pool.

NJ Ayuk, CEO, Centurion

We regularly seek attorneys and business advising specialists in with in-depth Africa and Energy Industry expertise. Kindly send your resume to info@centurionlg.com.