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Monday, July 22, 2024

After Begging God for More 5 Years, Prof. Ben Nwabueze Dies at 92


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The first Nigeria’s academic Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has died.

This is coming ten years after the legal luminary had begged God to give him more five years to finish his works on earth before calling him home.

Prof. Nwabueze had made the call in 2013 during the presentation of his two-volume autobiography titled: “Ben Nwabueze, His Life, Works, Times – An Autobiography,”

Howbeit, the popular constitutional lawyer, died on Sunday, at the age of 92 years.

Prof. Nwabueze, a one-time Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, who hailed from Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, was said to have passed on in his hometown.

Until his death, he was a teacher, administrator, businessman and former Minister of Education and Youth Development.

According to reports, Nwabueze’s academic pursuit started at the CMS Central School Atani, from 1938 – 1945; C.M.S Central School, Onitsha (formerly, African College), 1947 – 1950. 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. 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

Although, well supported by both father and uncle initially, the greater part of his Academic pursuits abroad were made possible by scholarship awarded to him for his academic excellence.

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.

He is also the first academic lawyer to be made a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1978 strictly on the basis of his published works.

A seasoned Academician, he was member of Senate of the Universities of Lagos, Dar-es-salaam, Nairobi, Haile Selassie in Ethiopia, Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland between 1971 – 1978.

He was appointed the University Assessor for Academic Appointments, Universities of Ghana, Lagos, Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and Jos between 1978 – 1979.

A firm believer in publishing, Prof. Ben Nwabueze is the proud author of over thirty books and treatises with an average extent of 400 pages. They include; The Machinery of Justice in Nigeria; Constitutional Law of the Nigerian Republic; Nigerian Land Law and Constitutionalism in the Emergent States. Others are Presidentialism in Commonwealth Africa, Judicialism in Commonwealth Africa; The Presidential Constitution of Nigeria; A Constitutional History of Nigeria; Federalism in Nigeria under the Presidential Constitution; and Nigeria’s Second Experiment in constitutional Democracy in Africa in Five Volumes.

He has written over 200 articles in academic journals and more than 100 keynotes at local and international conferences.

Prof. Nwabueze had long been partially incapacitated with age and ill-health, until the news of his demise.

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