15 things you should know

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One of Nigeria’s foremost constitutional lawyers and one-time Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Professor Ben Nwabueze, is dead.

The spokesperson for the family, Eni Nwabueze, in a statement on Monday, confirmed that he died on Sunday evening in his home.

“With great sadness, we announce the passing on to celestial glory of our patriarch, Professor B. O. Nwabueze SAN, NNOM, CON, pioneer Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Oduah Afo-na-isagba of Atani, Anambra State, on Sunday, October 29, 2023,” the statement read.

Here are 15 things to know about the legal icon:

  1. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria was born in 1931.
  2. His academic pursuit started at the CMS Central School Atani, from 1938 – 1945; C.M.S Central School, Onitsha (formerly, African College), 1947 – 1950.
  3. He later went to London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, 1956 – 1961 and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1961 – 1962.
  4. From 1962–1965, he was Senior Lecturer at Holborn College of Law, London, and Senior Lecturer, University of Nigeria Nsukka, between 1967 – 1970. In 1971, he was Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Zambia and Director, Law practice Institute, Zambia, 1973 – 1975
  5. Prof. Nwabueze earned his Doctor of Laws (LL.D) at the University of London in 1978, based on his three outstanding books–Constitutionalism, Presidentialism, and Judicialism, thus entering the record books as the second (since the death of Dr. T.O. Elias), the only Nigerian and African holder of a higher doctorate degree in Law by published works.
  6. He is also the first academic lawyer to be made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1978 strictly on the basis of his published works.
  7. He was a member of the Senate of the Universities of Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland between 1971 – 1978.
  8. He was appointed the University Assessor for Academic Appointments, Universities of Ghana, Lagos, Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), and Jos between 1978 – 1979.
  9. Prof. Nwabueze is the proud author of over thirty books and treatises with an average extent of 400 pages.
  10. He has written over 200 articles in academic journals and given more than 100 keynotes at local and international conferences.
  11. He was appointed to Professorial Chairs in the following Universities; Zambia, 1970 – 75; Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria, 1974; University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1975 – 76; Anambra State University of Technology; Nnamdi Azikiwe university, Awka 1989 – 1983 (visiting)
  12. Prof. Ben Nwabueze is also a strong advocate for the Igbo cause. He, alongside other prominent Igbo sons like Akanu Ibiam, M.I. Okpara, K.O. Mbadiwe, Chief Ugochukwu, P.N. Okigbo and Udoji, co-founded Ohaneze Ndigbo in 1976.
  13. He served as Secretary – General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo between 1978 to 2004, in which capacity he transformed the body into a formidable, highly regarded non-partisan Pan Igbo pressure group.
  14. He is a recipient of several chieftaincy titles, and the Nigerian Order of Merit.
  15. In 2019, he played a crucial role as a member of the election petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party. These petitions were filed against President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection, adding to the already intense political climate in Nigeria. The team faced defeat in the case.