Justina Akpoabugo Lewa
Justina Akpoabugo Lewa is the immediate past Company Secretary & Chief Legal Counsel of Sterling Bank Plc. An alumnus of such prestigious institutions as St. Louis College, Jos, the University of Jos (from where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1987), the Nigerian Law School and the University of Lagos (where she bagged a Master of Laws degree in 1998).
Justina started her career with the Ministry of Justice, Jos, Plateau State as a State Counsel from August, 1989 to September, 1990.
She was employed by NAL Bank Plc in September, 1990 as Supervisor with the Legal & Company Secretariat Department and was appointed Senior Manager, Legal & Company Secretariat & Head, Debt Recovery Team in 2005.
Justina’s employment was transferred to Sterling Bank Plc in January, 2006 following the consolidation exercise of the banking industry. She was appointed Assistant General Manager and Head, Legal Department in 2007.
In June, 2009, Justina was appointed by the Board of Directors as Company Secretary & Chief Legal Counsel and Group Head, Credit Collections & Recovery. As Group Head, Credit Collections & Recovery, she was responsible for setting and executing strategic goals for recovering the bad loan portfolio of the Bank and ensuring that criticized assets remain performing.
She was also appointed Company Secretary & Legal Adviser of Sterling Bank’s subsidiary Companies: Sterling Asset Management Company Limited (SAMTL) and the Nigerian Stockbrokers Limited (NSL) from 2009 to 2011.
As Company Secretary & Chief Legal Counsel, her role required legal professionalism and business mastery given the complexities and challenges surrounding banking business.
Justina has drafted, reviewed, and advised on many complex transactions and agreements on project and asset based financing, public & private debt equity issues, loan syndications, Power, Oil & Gas, Mergers & Acquisitions etc. A significant part of her function also involved negotiating and settling disputes arising from customer/banker business relationships and employee management.
Justina has served as resource person on customer/banker, mediation, legal, career development issues at Training/conferences.
Justina is a recipient of the following awards:
- General Counsel of the Year 2016 awarded by ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards
- General Counsel of the Year 2017 awarded by Law Digest Africa Awards
- Banking and Finance Team of the Year 2018 awarded by ESQ Nigerian Legal Awards
- Corporate Legal Counsel of the Year 2019 awarded by Trek Africa
Justina is a member of the following Professional Bodies:
- Nigerian Bar Association -NBA
- Council Member, NBA- Section on Business Law
- International Federation of Women Lawyers (Federacion Internacional De Abogadas – FIDA Nigeria)
- Nigerian Institute of Management (MNIM)
- Honorary member, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (HCIB)
- Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ACIS)
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
- Institute of Directors Nigeria (M.IoD)