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Prof. Ben Nwabueze

Patriot, Prof. Ben Nwabueze’s burial rites begin Thursday

By Adeyemi Adeleye

Lagos, Feb. 19, 2024

The Prof. Ben Nwabueze National Burial Committee on Monday,  announced activities for the burial of the foremost constitutional lawyer, who died on Oct.  29, 2023 at 92.

The committee, co-chaired by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide,  disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

The statement, signed by Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, Secretary of the committee, said the interment had been fixed for Feb. 29 in his home town.

According to Okunniyi, the burial activities will commence on Thursday,  with a Valedictory Court Session at the Lagos State High Court Premises, Ikeja, at 2.00 p.m.

He said: “The event will be presided over by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Kazeem Olanrewaju Alogba.

“As part of the obsequies to the dead, Friday, Feb. 23, has been scheduled as a Day of Tributes at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, at 2. 00p.m.

“The mortal remains of the eminent jurist will be interred at his country home in Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area of  Anambra  on Thursday, Feb. 29.”

Okunniyi said that March 1 had been scheduled as the day for national tributes and celebration of the impactful and very worthy life and times of  Nwabueze.

Describing Nwabueze as the Oduah Afo-na-Isagba of Atani, the secretary said that the ceremony would commence at 12 noon.

He added: “Thereafter, the funeral train will move back to Lagos, where the group of eminent national leaders,  popularly known as The Patriots will hold a National Colloquium/Dialogue at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Monday, March 18.

“The colloquium is scheduled to commence at 11. 00 a.m.

He said The Patriots deliberately settled for March 18 for the colloquium to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 2014 Nigerian National Conference, which was inaugurated on March 17, 2014 by former president Goodluck Jonathan.

He said that until his death , Nwabueze championed the cause of restructuring, which he believed was the only pathway to an egalitarian and prosperous nation.

“The historic National Colloquium being organised in honour of  Nwabueze  SAN, a foremost champion of the 2014 National Confab, will be chaired by Chief Emeka Anyaoku GCON, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth and Chairman of The Patriots.

“Expected at the various events of the obsequies announced above are delegations and representatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria, former Presidents and Vice Presidents of Nigeria, serving and former State Governors, former and serving members of the National Assembly.

“Others include present and former members of State Houses of Assembly, envoys of Foreign Missions in Nigeria, leaders of socio-cultural and political groups, members of the Bench and the Bar, close associates and friends of the late eminent jurist,” Okunniyi said.

The secretary described Nwabueze as an extraordinary scholar, teacher, lawyer, winner of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

He said  the late icon, who was also a one-time Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, died on Oct. 29, 2023.

“Prof Nwabueze, CON, who at the time of his passing was the most senior lawyer in Nigeria, had  a scholarly output that included over 34 books, 100 conference keynotes, and 200 peer-reviewed and scientific articles.

“He was probably also the most prolific and influential legal scholar out of Africa and was the Chairman of The Patriots,” the secretary said.

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