The news of her appointment as running mate to Lagos PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje came as a surprise to many people, for so many reasons. This is because Mrs. Haleemat Oluwayemisi Busari does not cut the picture of a politician one bit. She is too prim and proper. She is highly disciplined and principled. And she even looks meek, gentle and tender. That was why not until her name was officially announced, many just didn’t believe that Yemisi Busari would accept to go into Politics.
What further shocked many is that she is a corporate lawyer who is happily married to a SAN. Months back, when she was picked, Jimi Agbaje explained why.
Felix Oboagwina, the Director of Media and Publicity of Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation (JACO), said that her choice, followed comprehensive consultations with leaders and stakeholders within and outside the party.
“Mrs Oluwayemisi Haleemat Busari became highly recommended and widely endorsed. “Stakeholders all agree that without any iota of doubt, the Jimi-Haleemat combination is a winning ticket on every count.
“Busari will be bringing to the joint ticket, her versatility and connections as a professional in corporate governance, as a Muslim activist and as a bona-fide daughter native of Lagos,’’ he said the statement.
Busari was born in 1964 to the family of the late Ahmed Tijani Shehu Giwa, an Epe born businessman and Vice-President of Jamatul Islamiyya of Nigeria and late Mrs Mujibat Abeni Mopelola Giwa (nee Shonibare), a princess of the Kosoko royal family of Lagos.
Married to Teslim Olatunde Busari (SAN), the law graduate of the University of Lagos is on the board of several blue-chip companies, including Airtel Nigeria and First Bank, Sierra Leone.
Busari was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991 and an active member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA).
“Oluwayemisi’s life and beliefs are guided by her strong Islamic faith, which has been her foundation all her life,” the statement said. (NAN).
Reacting to her selection, Busari declared that there was nothing greater than a call to serve God, one’s nation and people.
In a tweet, Busari wrote: “There is nothing greater than a call to serve your God, people, and Nation. I am humbled by this opportunity. #AgbajeBusari2019 Let’s go!”
What kind of a person is she? City People can tell you that Haleemat Oluwayemisi Busari was born on the 24th of September 1964 in Lagos to Ahmed Tijani Shehu Giwa of blessed memory. He was a very successful business man from Isale Agoro, Epe. Alhaji Giwa was very passionate about his Islamic faith and was also the Vice president of Jamatul Islamiyya of Nigeria under the leadership of the late Alhaji Chief Imam L.B. Augusto B.L. QC. He married Mujibat Abeni Mopelola Giwa (nee Shonibare) of blessed memory, a princess of the Kosoko royal family from Isale Eko. Alhaja Giwa was also a successful business woman in her lifetime.
Oluwayemisi is the last child from this family of five children. They are a close-knit family who love and support one another in all that they do.
Oluwayemisi attended the prestigious Methodist Girls High School Lagos and following her secondary school education, she successfully completed and was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Ilorin in 1986. She went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Lagos in 1990. Following her call to the Nigerian Bar in 1991, she earned a Masters of Law degree from the University of Lagos in 1995. She thereafter obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Lagos Business School in association with the IESE Business School in 2005. She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and Federation of International Women Lawyers.
As part of her commitment to further education and personal development, She has attended various international and local training courses and conferences including International Trademark Association Conference, New Jersey, USA; Anti-Counterfeiting Group Spring and Autumn Conferences London; Asia-Pacific Law-Licensing in the PRC, Hong Kong; International Trade Mark Association Conference, London;
Competitive Strategies in an unfolding Brand Economy, London; Competing in a Global Environment, IESE Business School, Barcelona; Managing the Corporate Affairs Functions; E-commerce in Nigeria; Finance for non-Finance Managers; and Building & Leading the Team (Lagos Business School) as well as the first set of WIMBoard Directors course organized by WIMBIZ at the IE Business School. Oluwayemisi has also published a paper in the Intellectual Property Magazine titled Law of Copyright in Nigeria.
(3) PROFESSIONAL CAREER
Oluwayemisi is an accomplished legal practitioner with almost 3 decades of extensive experience in the areas of company secretarial, corporate governance, litigation and commercial law practices. She started her career in legal practice at the prestigious Irving and Bonnar/ Bentley Edu law firm in Lagos. She joined the firm in 1992, and rose to the position of a senior associate before she left in 1999. She worked in the commercial law unit as well as the Intellectual property unit and offered value adding opinions to clients whose respect she gained as a result of the quality of her work.
She joined the Honeywell Group, (one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous conglomerates) in 1999 as Company Secretary/ Legal Adviser. Her most recent role within Honeywell is Head, Group Legal and Regulatory Affairs, where she oversees all the legal activities of the Group and its member companies and also serves as the Group’s primary interface with various regulatory institutions.
Through her multifaceted role at Honeywell Group, Oluwayemisi has developed a reputation as a strong commercial lawyer with deep insight and knowledge across a number of business sectors such as the Foods and Agro allied industry, the Energy industry, and Real Estate including the hospitality sub sector. She has worked on a number of complex transactions and provided valuable advice to the Group in other sectors where the Group is also active such as Financial Services and Telecommunications. She has been involved in a number of capital raising initiatives including leading and coordinating all legal and regulatory compliance activities towards the successful listing of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in October 2009. She has also acted as the Group’s internal legal representative on a number of large scale, multi-currency debt capital raising transactions where she brought to bear her experience in structuring and documentation.
Oluwayemisi is also responsible for managing the wide range of regulatory stakeholders of the Group and its member companies. Through her role, she has developed a network of contacts across these regulatory stakeholders and she is widely acknowledged for her ability to get things done, whilst ensuring strict adherence to the Group’s ethical standards.
As Company Secretary for the Group, she leads the company secretariat function for all operating companies within the Group including Honeywell Flour Mills, a publicly listed company with over thirty thousand shareholders. She has been able to develop and cultivate relationships with the company’s institutional and retail shareholders, and has played a key role in the successful conduct of the company’s Annual General Meetings.
As a senior member of the Group’s leadership team, she also plays an active role in talent development and grooming of the next generation of the Group’s leadership. She is a Faculty member of Honeywell Group’s in-house management development programme called Honeywell Excellence Programme and works with other internal and external faculty members to develop and deliver the training curriculum for the Management trainees selected to join this program.
Oluwayemisi is an accomplished Board director. She was an alternate Director on the board of Airtel Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s leading telecommunications companies, while it was known as Zain Nigeria Ltd. She also currently sits on the Board of First Bank, Sierra Leone where she serves on several Board committees including the Board Audit & Risk Assessment Committee, and Board Finance & Human Capital Committee which she chairs.
Oluwayemisi’s intellectual ability, extensive network, dogged determination & resilience, and excellent people skills have enabled her to cut through complex legal issues, producing consistently value adding and enduring results. She is able to influence and persuade people at all levels. She is seen as a respected and dependable resource by her peers and colleagues who respect and trust her judgement.
(4) OTHER INTERESTS
Oluwayemisi’s life and beliefs are guided by her strong Islamic faith, which has been her foundation from a young age. While in her twenties, in conjunction with other young Muslims, she co-founded an association for young Muslim professionals known as Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA), to provide a platform for other young Muslims to network and fellowship. She was the founding Amira (female head) of the organization and played several other key roles in the organization. The association is still very strong and she continues to play a mentoring role to a number of young members of the organization.
Oluwayemisi is happily married to Teslim Olatunde Busari, SAN, a lawyer and chartered arbitrator and a founding partner of Akinwunmi and Busari Legal Practitioners, a leading Nigerian law firm. They are blessed with three lovely children.