Okanga Ogbu Okanga
Okanga trained as a lawyer in Nigeria between 2009 and 2015, when he was called to the Nigerian Bar. He practiced law from late 2015, before joining the academic train of Dalhousie University in 2019 as a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate. After what he describes as “a gratifying and illuminating time of steady discovery”, Okanga immediately resumed as a Doctoral Candidate at the school. Okanga’s doctoral research examines how the politics of international tax cooperation and the (adapted) concept of state responsibility impact and can impact the containment of international tax abuse in today’s globalized world. Okanga mainly researches issues of domestic and international tax and international trade law. He also has research history in dispute resolution and Nigerian constitutional law.
"I am no jack of all trades, but I believe that I can do a few things. I had a blossoming career as a young advocate and solicitor in Nigeria. I can continue along that path. I use my growing knowledge and experience to mentor others, and whatever else I do, I will continue that, inside or outside the classroom. I recognize the importance of transitioning my research competence from the metaphorical ivory tower to the main street, which, for me, means lots of policy work. I hope to be an impactful contributor in the broad spectrum of the tax reform conversation, and to join in amplifying Africa’s underrepresented voice in the international tax and international trade ecosystem. My preference would be to live a finely combined experience of these goals, without compromising excellence.
I am a tax law enthusiast… from my days as a law student at the University of Nigeria. After law school, I had the privilege of engaging in some interesting tax work as a Nigerian lawyer and generally followed the vibrant cycling wheel of the tax conversation in Nigeria. My curiosity soon metamorphosed into resolve for career specialization in tax. I decided to build competence by pursuing further studies. In 2018, one of my mentors and friend, Dr. Jude Odinkonigbo, himself a Dalhousie (LLM) alumnus, advised me to focus on Canada for my LLM studies because of Canadian law schools’ greater emphasis on intense research-based scholarship. I prepared an LLM research proposal and reached out to a few professors to ascertain who could be my potential supervisor. I got good responses all round, but Professor Kim Brooks was, by a distance, most enthusiastic and encouraging. Her reply email made Dalhousie my undisputed choice and I resolved to work with her, if given the chance. Of course, her radiant CV also fueled my eagerness to work with her. That working relationship has progressed immensely since my arrival and she was the biggest influence in my immediate pursuit of doctoral studies. Overall, I have enjoyed tremendous mental and material support from this magnificent institution."
Nigerian constitutional law, international tax law, international tax abuse, state responsibility
Constitutional Law | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | International Law | International Trade Law | Tax Law