THE Chief Judge of Enugu State, Mr Justice Raymond Afojulu Ozoemena, will lead members of the legal profession, comprising both judges and lawyers, in the state to hold a valedictory session for the slain erstwhile chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Oyibo Chukwu.
The Chief Judge’s office confirmed to newsmen this morning that Justice Ozoemena “will personally lead the session, which hold at 10 am on Friday, December 1, at the Auditorium of the Enugu State High Court Headquarters because of his deep regard for the NBA, his respect for this erudite, vibrant and eloquent lawyer famous for fighting for the downtrodden, as well as his deep personal distress at the manner Chief Oyibo was murdered”.
Chukwu, the Labour Party candidate for the Enugu East senatorial election scheduled to be held three days to his assassination, was returning from a meeting in his hometown of Amuri in Nkanu West Local Government Area when he was ambushed by unknown gunmen at Amechi Awkunanaw in Enugu South LGA.
His personal assistant travelling with him in the same Sienna van, Sunday Igweshi, was also killed.
Their remains were burnt with the vehicle.
“The killings were politically motivated”, declared Professor Arthur Chukwu of the Nigerian Law School in Yola, Adamawa State, who is Chief Chukwu’s younger brother.
“He was coasting home to victory as events have now fully confirmed”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) changed the Enugu East senatorial date election. Due to the murder, from February 22 to March 18, the same day gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections were conducted throughout the country.
The Labour Party chose Chief Chukwu’s younger brother, Sir Kelvin Chukwu, an entrepreneur with a background in law and Mass Communication, as its candidate in the rescheduled election.
The younger Chukwu won overwhelmingly by scoring 69,136 votes as against the 48,701 votes won by former Enugu State Governor Chimaraoke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was then the incumbent senator.
The NBA valedictory session for Chief Chukwu is part of his funeral service and will climax with the burial on December 9 at Amuri.
In view of the large crowd expected during the burial as a result of the nationwide interest and political passion generated by the manner of the assassination, the traditional rulers and other leaders in the Enugu East senatorial district decided to hold the burial rites in the town’s largest public school field, according to another younger brother of his, Chief Lucky Chukwu, a lawyer and a former commissioner in Enugu State who also an erstwhile state legislator.
Apart from being a former NBA chairman, Chief Chukwu, 64, was the national auditor of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Third Republic, a member of the Constituent Assembly from 1988 to 1989 under the leadership of Justice Anthony Aniagolu of the Supreme Court and the Enugu State PDP secretary, as well as the Nkanu West administrator from 1994 to 1996.
“With his burial”, stated George Ugwu, an engineer from Enugu State based in Abuja, in an interview with journalists, “his family can now get his gruesome murder behind them and face other life challenges squarely.
What is more, Oyibo’s burial will end a charmed public life of activism. Still, Oyibo’s dedicated fight for social justice and democracy in Nkanuland, Enugu State and elsewhere in Nigeria will continue”.
-Nov. 17, 2023 @ 14:45 GMT |