Audu Maikori (born 13 August 1975, Kaduna) is a Nigerian lawyer and founder/CEO of Chocolate City Entertainment, and is well known in Nigeria as a former Idol series judge. The third of five children, Maikori was born to a Christian family in Kaduna and was raised in Lagos by his parents Adamu Maikori, a renowned lawyer/politician and mother Laiatu, a Princess of the ancient Jaba royal family. He attended Adrao International School and King’s College before obtaining his Law degree from the University of Jos, moving to Abuja for Law school and youth service
In 2001, Maikori and business partner Paul Okeugo formed the Guild of Artistes and Poets – a non-profit arts society aimed at encouraging creativity in Abuja which has held art exhibitions along with collaborations with the French Cultural Centre.
It was through GAP that he met with a range of artistes and started out rendering free legal services to aspiring artists. Two years later, Maikori registered Chocolate City – a record label, recording studio, events consultancy, and artiste management company -with earnings from his bonus quarterly, and enlisted Okeugo and brother Yahaya (who is also co-owner of Maikori’s Chinese restaurant Oriental Express) as directors of the board. The company has numerous artists on its books, including M.I, Jesse Jagz, and Ice Prince, Brymo.
A member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers, the Nigerian Bar Association and International Bar Association (IBA), Maikori cut his teeth as an Associate with the litigation-inclined firm of Chief Afe Babalola SAN & Co. and worked thereafter as Legal Advisor to Leasing Company of Nigeria (a subsidiary of Bank of Industry), and company secretary of Abuja Markets Management Limited (a subsidiary of Abuja Investment and Property company) before the age of 30.He is currently a Senior Partner with Law Allianz a firm of legal practitioners based in Lagos and Abuja and had handled the Lagos Rail Mass Transit project, Abuja Mass Transit project, as well as the legal and regulatory framework for mass transit in Kano.
In 2006, Maikori was appointed Senior Legal consultant with CPCS Transcom International, a Canadian infrastructure firm, where he worked on the legal and regulatory aspects of key privatisation transactions including the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Railway Corporation, unbundling and privatisation of PHCN. He represented Nigeria in the UNIDROIT Sub-Committee of governmental experts for the preparation of a preliminary draft Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Space Assets in 2005.
In May 2007, Maikori co-organized the first ever Nigerian International Music Summit aimed at establishing a legal/regulatory framework for the Nigerian music industry in March 2007. Over 400 music industry stakeholders drawn from all over Nigeria attended the event. His belief in the creative industries of Nigeria and Africa made him a spokesperson and mentor for many youth in and around Nigeria.
In 2010, Maikori was part of the Enough is Enough campaign which saw thousands of Nigerians protest against issues ranging from infrastructure failings, fuel shortages and power blackouts that reflected badly on the government’s effort to provide the basic amenities for its citizens. In a largely peaceful four-hour protest, they marched to the National Assembly in Abuja, carrying placards, wearing T-shirts which stated “Enough is Enough,” and carrying a letter outlining their demands. Maikori became the face of Enough is Enough after a police officer warned him to back down or be shot; Maikori refused to backdown and dared the officer to shoot. He later led the other protesters to march on peacefully to make their protests heard by the National Assembly.
On The 13th of February 2012 Audu Maikori was appointed a member of the Presidential committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme ( SURE- P) – the committee wasmade up of private sector business leaders with proven integrity who were selected by President Goodluck Jonathan to oversee and ensure the effective and timely implementation of projects to be funded with the savings accruing to the Federal Government from subsidy removal. Audu is the youngest member of the committee.
In May 2012 Maikori was elected to serve as a member of the board of COSON – On May 20, 2010, COSON was given the certificate of approval by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to be Nigeria’s sole government licensed collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings. Maikori was one of the brains behind the lobby for the NCC to official appoint a CMO to collect royalties for songwriters and performers after 13 years of the NCC failing to settle the dispute between the MCSN and PMRS both de-registered CMO’s which had been embroiled in legal battles for supremacy for years. His appointment has been lauded as the right step in the right direction by music industry stakeholders
In September 2010 Maikori was made a judge of the first series of Nigerian Idol alongside Nigerian singer Yinka Davies and American singer/dancer Jeffrey Daniel. The show proved to be a ratings success, but a year later he left the series to concentrate on other commitments, and was replaced by singer/publisher Charly Boy.
Maikori received a special judges commendation at the finale of the International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year where he beat nine other countries to win the global award in June 2007. At the Inaugural edition of the United Kingdom Young Music Entrepreneur 2008, Maikori was nominated to serve as a judge alongside four other British music industry judges making him the first black judge for a major British Music industry competition.
- International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year 2007( Nigeria)
- International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year 2007( Global Winner)
- Entertainment Executive of the year 2011 by the Nigerian Entertainment Award( NEA)http://nigeriaentawards.com
- Winner Award for outstanding award in Music and Entertainment by the National Youth Merit Awards 2011
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2011)- Diaspora Professionals Award 2011
- Mentor of the Year -2010- Enterprise Foundation)
- Creative Entrepreneur of the Year for Music- 2011- CIAN
- Winner -African Awards for Entrepreneurship 2011.www.africaawards.com
- Entertainment Executive of the Year- 2012- Nigerian Reunion Corporation