Owie in focus as Asue Ighodalo searches for running mate


Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State are currently engaged in discussions regarding the selection of a deputy gubernatorial candidate to accompany Asue Ighodalo, particularly given the significant 58% voting strength in the Edo South Senatorial District. The name frequently put forth in these discussions is Dr. Ese Owie.

Dr. Owie requires little introduction in the realm of Edo South politics; he is a consummate political strategist. His political journey commenced during the aborted 3rd Republic, where he served as a “boy soldier” within the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC). Under the guidance of seasoned veterans such as Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, Pa Etose Dickson Imasogie, and Barrister J.A. Aghimien, he honed his skills. Following the conclusion of the 3rd Republic, he became a founding member of the now-defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP), actively mobilizing support in Uhunmwonde LGA. Subsequently, upon Abacha’s demise, he played a pivotal role in establishing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), personally drafting the merger agreement that birthed the local chapter of the PDP in Edo State. A grassroots mobilizer, he contested to represent the people of Edo South Senatorial District in 2019 and again in 2023. Widely admired across various factions of the PDP, he is regarded as a consensus builder and natural leader.

Dr. Owie, an Ivy League-educated lawyer, holds a Doctorate Degree in Public International Law from the University of Oxford, specializing in developing bespoke country-specific templates for the interface between global trade policies and national regulatory competence to foster development in global services trade. At Oxford, he was affiliated with Linacre College. He also possesses an LL.M Degree in International Law from the University of Hull, where he graduated with Distinction and received the Josephine C. Onoh Memorial Prize for the Overall Best Graduating Student. His academic journey began at the University of Benin, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B), followed by a B.L from the Nigerian Law School.


Dr. Ese Owie is an accomplished practitioner in International Trade Law, Trade Policy, and Trade Economics, with a career spanning over two decades across multiple jurisdictions. He has provided extensive advisory services to national governments, multilateral agencies, and private organizations, specializing in International Trade Law, International Economic Law & Policy, with a particular focus on Sustainable Trade, Regional Economic Integration, and Infrastructure Optimization Strategies, among other areas.

Between 2009 and 2011, Dr. Owie served as Special Adviser (Cabinet Rank) to the Executive Governor of Edo State on Policy and Strategic Planning, significantly influencing the administration’s strategic policy direction. He also held the position of Executive Chairman of the Edo State Board of Internal Revenue and was a Member of the State Executive Council, where he spearheaded a transformation of the State’s Internally Generated Revenue institutional framework, leading to substantial revenue growth.

A proponent of bridging theory with practice in governance, Dr. Owie served as Executive Director & Chief Responsibility Officer of the Centre for International Trade & Policy (CITaP), Geneva, Switzerland, between 2011 and 2016. CITaP is a Think Tank and Research Centre offering actionable advice to governments, non-state actors, and civil society organizations, particularly focusing on mainstreaming Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations in Trade Policy Formulation and Sequencing, Sustainability, and Developmental Strategy.


In response to the 2008 global financial crisis, Dr. Owie co-founded Climate Change Africa (CCA), a Third Sector Policy Action and Research Centre dedicated to urgent action on greenhouse gas emissions reduction, accelerating the global shift to renewables, and promoting a sustainable green economy. CCA advocates for a more just and equitable world, amplifying the voices of the Global South in the global climate change debate.

Dr. Owie is a leading international trade expert, offering technical capacity in trade policy formulation, particularly in Africa. In 2016, he co-founded The Cavendish Institute, providing specialized technical assistance and negotiating advice on international trade issues, which has garnered a reputation for high-quality service provision across multiple jurisdictions.

In his role as Senior Advisor at the Cavendish Institute, Dr. Owie has demonstrated advanced competencies in all areas of international trade law, policy, and economics, within and beyond the World Trade Organization (WTO) context. He specializes in various trade-related issues, including Services Regulation, trade competition, trade and climate change, WTO accessions, and regional integration processes and agreements.

Dr. Owie’s expertise extends to sustainable business and finance, where he engages in research and consultancy on financial market reforms, sector-level sustainability policies, and sustainability strategy in organizations, particularly in emerging economies. He provides strategic advice to national governments, development finance institutions, multilateral corporations, and multinational corporations on Sustainability, Energy, and Climate Change Policy, enhancing his influence in global sectors.


With over twenty-two years of experience in strategic leadership roles, Dr. Owie currently serves as the Group Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (Africa and Middle East) of the Numelec SA Group, Geneva, Switzerland, a global leader in healthcare infrastructure and clean energy development – with an operations network spanning over 67 countries across 5 Continents. Under his leadership, Numelec has executed ground-breaking energy projects across Africa and the Middle East, establishing a vast network of distributors and client service managers. Additionally, he has held multiple directorships for both listed and unlisted entities across the globe.

Dr. Owie’s commitment to continuous learning is evident from his array of certifications from prestigious institutions worldwide. He holds a Certificate in Privacy Rights and the Media from the Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany, a Certificate in WTO Law and Practice from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium, an Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Business Development from the Said Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, a Certificate in Comparative Tax Policy and Administration (COMTAX) from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA, a Certificate in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies (SMREA) from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA and a Certificate in Infrastructure in a Market Economy: Public Private Partnerships in a Changing World (IME) from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA an Advanced Certificate in Transition Finance and Sustainability-Linked Instruments from the Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford, an Advanced Certificate in Transition Planning from the Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford  and a Senior Executive Certificate in Sustainable Finance from the Public and Third Sector Academy for Sustainable Finance at the University of Oxford.

He is an Alumnus of The Hague Academy of International Law, The Hague, Netherlands, a member of the London Branch of the International Law Association (ILA), The American Society for International Law (ASIL), the London Shipping Law Centre and the Society of Legal Scholars (UK).

Dr Owie is an Associate Fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI), where he was a Member of the Inaugural Future Leaders Class in 2007. An accomplished academic, Ese holds concurrent Visiting Research Fellowships at the Law School, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom, The Shipping Law Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town, South Africa and the Centre for Infrastructure Policy Regulation and Advancement (CIPRA) Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria.


Beyond his professional endeavors, Dr. Owie is deeply committed to his faith as a devout Catholic and Knight of the Order of Saint Columbus. He actively engages in charitable works guided by principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism.

Given his political acumen and widespread appeal, there is a consensus among a broad spectrum of PDP stakeholders, particularly the Legacy Group/Old PDP bloc, that Dr. Owie is the most suitable candidate for Deputy Governorship. His ability to attract independent voters across the State is seen as pivotal in the upcoming gubernatorial elections.


Okosun is a public affairs commentator.


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.
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