Professor Ben Nwabueze was a True Patriot – Full Valedictory Address of Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN

ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, MR
YAKUBU CHONOKO MAIKYAU, OON, SAN, DELIVERED AT THE
VALEDICTORY COURT SESSION HELD IN HONOUR OF LATE PROFESSOR
BENJAMIN O. NWABUEZE, CON, SAN, NNOM, ON 22 FEBRUARY 2024 AT THE
HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE, IKEJA

Distinguished Colleagues,

On the 22nd day of February, 2024, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN delivered an address at the valedictory court session held in honour of the late Professor Benjamin O. Nwabueze, CON, SAN, NNOM at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja.

The NBA President chronicled the pace setting achievements of Professor Nwabueze, who he recalled “was the first person to be awarded the exalted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on account of his massive accomplishment as a legal scholar in 1978.” He continued: “It will be recalled that in the year Prof Nwabueze was conferred with the rank of SAN, he also earned his Doctor of Laws of the University of London. This stupendous and gargantuan intellectual achievement was predicated on the critical review of only three of his outstanding books. He thus became the second Nigerian, after the illustrious Taslim Olawale Elias, to be awarded a higher doctorate degree in Law (LL. D) based strictly on his published works. This should not be surprising because Prof Nwabueze, SAN had always been an authoritative legal voice and an undisputed authority on Nigerian law both at home and abroad. It will be recalled that Prof. Nwabueze, was one of the two foremost experts whose opinion were considered by the British Court in Alamieyeseigha’s case, in determining whether or not a governor in Nigeria was entitled to immunity in criminal proceedings in a foreign court.”

Mr. Maikyau described Professor Nwabueze, who was a former Minister of Education as a patriot who contributed in no small measure to the founding of civil liberty movements in Nigeria. His words: “In my humble view, the singular thread that runs through the entire gamut of his works and thoughts is his unconditional patriotism. Professor Ben Nwabueze was a true patriot in every sense of the word. I want to believe that this was the reason he co-founded the Patriots with his intellectual soul mate, Chief FRA Williams SAN, as the foremost platform of patriots who wanted nothing but the best for the country. He also co-founded the Constitutional Rights Project (CRP), a nongovernmental organisation dedicated to the promotion of civil liberties, human rights, and the rule of law in Nigeria. He was also the behind-the-scenes voice in the founding of the Civil Liberties Organisation”.

The NBA President concluded his address by extending the condolence of the National Executive Committee and members of the NBA to the family of Professor Nwabueze and the people of Atani (Prof. Nwabueze’s hometown) in Anambra State. He prayed that “God Almighty will comfort the hearts of all members of his family, his colleagues, and friends.”

Please find attached for your reference the full address of the NBA President.

Thank you, and have a good week.

Akorede Habeeb Lawal

National Publicity Secretary


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