Meet Audu Maikori; lawyer, entrepreneur, social activist and CEO of Chocolate City Entertainment - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Meet Audu Maikori; lawyer, entrepreneur, social activist and CEO of Chocolate City Entertainment




Audu Maikori is a Nigerian lawyer, entrepreneur, social activist and the Founder of Chocolate City Group, a 360-degree Media and Entertainment Company. He was born on August 13th, 1975 in Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria, to Adamu Maikori and Laiatu Gyet Maude.

Born into a Christian home, Maikori is the third of five children. His father, Adamu Maikori, is a renowned lawyer and politician while his mother, Laiatu, is a Princess of the ancient Jaba royal family. 

He grew up in Lagos where he attended Adrao International School and the prestigious King's College. He thereafter, moved to the University of Jos in Plateau State, where he obtained a degree in law in 1999. After that, he had his National Youth Service in Abuja.

In 2008, he got married to Zel Umunna Maikori. In February 2017, Maikori was arrested by the police in Lagos. The arrest was linked to his tweets about a fatal attack on his relatives in Southern Kaduna that turned out to be false. After his release, he was again arrested on March 10th, 2017. Three days later, he was granted bail by a Kaduna Magistrate’s Court.

In 2001, Maikori and business partner Paul Okeugo formed the Guild of Artistes and Poets - a non-profit arts society aimed at encouraging creativity in Abuja which has held art exhibitions along with collaborations with the French Cultural Centre. It was through GAP that he met with a range of artistes and started out rendering free legal services to aspiring artists.

Two years later, Maikori registered Chocolate City - a record label, recording studio, events consultancy, and artiste management company -with earnings from his bonus quarterly, and enlisted Okeugo and brother Yahaya (who is also co-owner of Maikori's Chinese restaurant Oriental Express) as directors of the board. The company has numerous artists on its books, including M.I, Jesse Jagz, and Ice Prince, Brymo, Pryse, Dj Caise.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers, the Nigerian Bar Association and International Bar Association (IBA), Maikori cut his teeth as an Associate with the litigation-inclined firm of Chief Afe Babalola SAN & Co. and worked thereafter as Legal Advisor to Leasing Company of Nigeria (a subsidiary of Bank of Industry), and company secretary of Abuja Markets Management Limited (a subsidiary of Abuja Investment and Property company) before the age of 30. 

He is currently a Senior Partner with Law Allianz a firm of legal practitioners based in Lagos and Abuja and had handled the Lagos Rail Mass Transit project, Abuja Mass Transit project, as well as the legal and regulatory framework for mass transit in Kano.

In 2006, Maikori was appointed Senior Legal consultant with CPCS Transcom International, a Canadian infrastructure firm, where he worked on the legal and regulatory aspects of key privatisation transactions including the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Railway Corporation, unbundling and privatisation of PHCN. He represented Nigeria in the UNIDROIT Sub-Committee of governmental experts for the preparation of a preliminary draft Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Space Assets in 2005.

In May 2007, Maikori co-organized the first ever Nigerian International Music Summit aimed at establishing a legal/regulatory framework for the Nigerian music industry in March 2007. 

Over 400 music industry stakeholders drawn from all over Nigeria attended the event. His belief in the creative industries of Nigeria and Africa made him a spokesperson and mentor for many youth in and around Nigeria. In 2008, he was invited to Albania to deliver a keynote speech at a seminar organized by the Albania Ministry of Youth and Employment, Minister of culture and British Council.

In 2010, he was part of the Enough is Enough campaign which saw thousands of Nigerians protest against issues ranging from infrastructure failings, fuel shortages and power blackouts that reflected badly on the government's effort to provide the basic amenities for its citizens. 

In a largely peaceful four-hour protest, they marched to the National Assembly in Abuja, carrying placards, wearing T-shirts which stated "Enough is Enough," and carrying a letter outlining their demands. Maikori became the face of Enough is Enough after a police officer warned him to back down or be shot; Maikori refused to back down and dared the officer to shoot. He later led the other protesters to march on peacefully to make their protests heard by the National Assembly.

In September 2010 Maikori was made a judge of the first series of Nigerian Idol alongside Nigerian singer Yinka Davies and American singer/dancer Jeffrey Daniel. The show proved to be a ratings success, but a year later he left the series to concentrate on other commitments, and was replaced by singer/publisher Charly Boy. 

In November 2014, Audu was inducted as a Fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Institute (NLI) at the NLI-YALE Leadership Conference which held at the campus in New Haven. He is a fellow of Nigerian Leadership Institute (NLI), Guild of Artistes and Poets (GAP) and Institute of Chartered Portfolio Management Nigeria (honourary).

Audu Maikori ward awarded International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 (Nigeria), International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 (Global Winner), Entertainment Executive of the year 2011 by the Nigerian Entertainment Award (NEA) and Winner Award for outstanding award in Music and Entertainment by the National Youth Merit Awards 2011