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Board members

Michael Onochie Ajukwu

Mr. Ajukwu has over 21 years of experience in the banking industry and an extensive understanding of the Nigerian political economy with a special focus on energy, real estate, and adolescent education. His other directorships include: Chairman, Broad Street Capital Partners; Independent Non-Executive Director, Sterling Bank Plc; Independent Non-Executive Director, Tiger Brands South Africa; Non-Executive Director, International Breweries Ltd; Independent Non-Executive Director, MTN Nigeria.

Mr. Ajukwu has a B.Sc. in Finance from University of Lagos and an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Olalekan Akinyanmi
Chief Executive Officer

Olalekan (“Lekan”) has over 20 years experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently with AllianceBernstein L.P. in New York where he spent six years as a research analyst and portfolio manager covering Energy and Materials worldwide.

Lekan has held senior positions at UBS Investment Research, 3Fold Ventures and Encabler Inc, a Californian headquartered technology company specialising in interactive television software, which he founded in June 2000, as well as successfully negotiating and raising the first round of equity capital for the Company’s operations.

Prior to founding Encabler Inc, Lekan worked as lead engineer for Schlumberger Limited, where he advanced High Pressure High Temperature wireline operations for Texaco’s North Sea oil prospects. Lekan’s work at Schlumberger took him to a number of different petroleum jurisdictions including Scotland, Oman, Pakistan, Egypt and Nigeria.

Lekan graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and also holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management.  He is also a Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Aisha Oyebode
Non-Executive Director

Mrs. Aisha Oyebode is the CEO of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation and Group Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Group (AMG) Limited. Prior to becoming CEO, Aisha was the Executive Director of AMG from October 1991-June 1993. Aisha is a legal practitioner with an LL.M (Public International Law) from Kings College, University of London and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a distinction in Finance from Imperial College, University of London.

Mrs. Oyebode has several years of practical experience in corporate and litigation matters having worked in the prestigious law firm of Ajumogobia, Okeke, Aluko and Oyebode. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989. She has completed several attachments with global financial institutions which include Caisse Privée Banque, Brussels; Banque Rivaud, Paris; and Banque Privée, Geneva. Aisha also serves as a member of various boards.

Aisha is a member of the Remuneration Committee of LEKOIL.

Tony Hawkins
Non-Executive Director

Mr. Hawkins, aged 48, is an English and Australian qualified lawyer of twenty (20) years' experience, who has worked in both private practice and corporate roles. He is a senior energy lawyer, asset manager and commercial negotiator, predominately in oil and gas but also in power, LNG and renewables. Mr. Hawkins is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Columbus Energy Resources plc as well as owning a consultancy firm. Previously, he was Legal and M&A Director at Columbus Energy Resources plc which followed his role as General Counsel & Head of Commercial for Sterling Energy plc, a London listed oil & gas company. Prior to Sterling Energy, Tony spent six (6) years at Centrica plc (a FTSE 100 listed utility), where he had several roles, including interim General Counsel for Centrica Energy. Prior to that, he worked for ten (10) years in private practice in Australia and the UK, most recently with Dewey LeBoeuf in London. 

Mr. Hawkins is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and was previously a member of the legal committee of Oil & Gas UK where he was instrumental in helping to develop the standard DES LNG Master Sale Agreement for the European Federation of Energy Traders.

The Rt. Hon. Mark Simmonds
Non-Executive Director

Mr. Simmonds, aged 55, was the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for fourteen (14) years and was also a senior advisor to the then Prime Minister, David Cameron. He focused on driving and facilitating inward investment into Africa and the Commonwealth across a range of key economic sectors including Hydrocarbons, Financial Services, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Energy & Agriculture. 

Mr. Simmonds has a deep knowledge of the economic and political composition of African Governments, countries and regions and has chaired the UN Security Council on two occasions. He is Chairman of Africa Oil Week, "The Davos of Africa's Hydrocarbon Industry" the link between African Governments and the Private Sector and chairs the African Oil Week Advisory Board. He is additionally involved in clean technology for the Hydrocarbon Sector. He has several other international roles which include being a senior advisor to Kroll, chairman of the Advisory Board of the global investment platform, Invest Africa, senior adviser to a Global Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund, senior adviser to a large UK based Family Office, Chairman of GIG Technology and an Advisory Board Member of the Commonwealth Investment Council. He also has roles with not for profit organisations, including as Honorary Vice President of Flora & Fauna International. He is a Trustee of the British Institute in East Africa, a Board Member of Engender Health and of a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council.

Thomas Donald Richardson
Non-Executive Director

Mr Richardson has over 20 years of experience across banking and oil & gas. Mr Richardson is currently CEO of Metallon Corporation Limited, a pan African Natural Resources and infrastructure investment company. Prior to joining Metallon, Mr Richardson served as CFO of Nostrum Oil & Gas Plc a UK premium listed company. Prior to joining Nostrum in 2011, Mr Richardson has worked for ING, JP Morgan and NM Rothschild covering investment banking, capital markets and credit.

Mr Richardson has a B.Sc in Economics & Politics from the University of Bristol.

George Maxwell
Non-Executive Director

Mr. Maxwell has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, including in both the producing and service/manufacturing arenas.

Mr. Maxwell founded Eland Oil & Gas Plc. in 2009 and served as the company's Chief Executive Officer from September 2014 to December 2019, Chief Financial Officer from 2010 to 2014, and as a member of the board of directors from 2009 to 2019, until the company was acquired by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Pls. on 17 December 2019.

Prior to founding Eland Oil & Gas Plc., Mr. Maxwell served as the business development manager for Addax Petroleum and, prior to this, commercial manager in Geneva. Mr. Maxwell joined Addax Petroleum in 2004 and held the general manager position in Nigeria, where he was responsible for finance, and fiscal and commercial activities. Prior to this, Mr. Maxwell worked with ABB Oil & Gas as vice president of finance based in the UK with responsibilities for Europe and Africa. He held a similar position in Houston, from where the organisation ran its operations in ten countries. He was finance director in Singapore for Asia Pacific and Middle East, handling currency swaps and minimising exposures during the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

Mr. Maxwell graduated from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with a Masters in Business Administration. George is a Fellow of the Energy Institute in the UK and has formerly served on the boards of directors of Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. and Westport Oil Limited.