HomeFallen Legal HeroesLuminaries Pay Tribute to Legal Legend, Late Chief Uwechue, SAN

Luminaries Pay Tribute to Legal Legend, Late Chief Uwechue, SAN

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The Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba has described former Chairman of the Body of Benchers, late Chief George Uwechue SAN, FNIALS as an erudite senior lawyer who would be dearly missed by the legal profession.

Uwechue died on October 29, 2023. He was aged 85 years.

Justice Alogba spoke during a Special Court Session in honour of the late jurist who also rose to become Speaker pro Tempore of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.

In a tribute by the Body of Benchers signed by its Chairman, Hon. Justice Mary Odili and delivered on its behalf by Deacon Dele Adesina SAN, it noted that “Chief George Uwechue, SAN was a quintessential practitioner, a rare gem, a great leader, an epitome of humility, a mentor and a respected Elder Statesman,” adding that “He distinguished and made a name for himself within and outside the legal profession. He was one Nigerian that served the legal profession and the nation diligently and meritoriously in various capacities.”

On its part, the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) noted that “So much has been said about his brilliance as a lawyer and his astuteness as a politician,” adding that Uwechue “appeared as counsel in a large number of important cases and played an active role in the affairs of the Nigerian Bar Association.”

Delivered by foremost maritime lawyer, Mr. Louis Mbanefo SAN, BOSAN stated that Uwechue, also known as the Owelle of Ogwashi Uku, “became a Life Bencher and Chairman of the Body of Benchers.”

Mbanefo noted that “During my visits to his house shortly before his death, he expressed his delight at the honour bestowed on him by the Body of Benchers by naming a building at their headquarters in Abuja after him.” BOSAN noted that “The death of Owelle has left a void in our hearts. He shall sorely be missed.”

In a tribute by NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN, he stated that “The learned silk was an active and committed Bar man. He was a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association in the Body of Benchers for 17 years, before his appointment as a Life Bencher. He also served our nation to the best of his abilities and in varying capacities, having served as Chairman of the Body of Benchers; Member, Rules Advisory Committee that drafted the Supreme Court Rules, 1985 (as Amended) and Member, Federal House of Representatives representing Aniocha Federal Constituency, in the old Bendel State. Truly, he was a statesman to the core.”

Tributes were also delivered by the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Mr. Lawal Pedro SAN and a representative of NBA branches in Lagos State.

Among senior lawyers who attended the event are former NBA President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN; Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN; Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN; Mr. Toyin Pinheiro, SAN; Chief Val Uche Obi, SAN; Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon, SAN; Dr. Chuka Agbu, SAN; Mr. Luke Chidi Ilogu, SAN; Mr. Chijioke Okoli, SAN and Mr. Lotanna Okoli, SAN.

Others are Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom, SAN; Mr. Clement Onwuenwunor, SAN; Dr. Leslie Nylander, SAN; Mr. Uzoma Azikiwe, SAN; Chief Henry Omu, SAN; Mr. Chibuike Victor Ihekweazu, SAN; Chief Uche Ihediwa, SAN; Prof. MacCarthy Mbadugha, SAN; Prof. Oludayo Amokaye, SAN; Mr. Ikenna Okoli, SAN and Senator Mike Ajegbo, CON.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Hon. Sally Uwechue-Mbanefo thanked the Lagos State Judiciary for the honour done to the patriarch of the family.

Meanwhile, requiem mass and Night of Tributes were held last Friday at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus in honour of the legal luminary.

Among those who attended the event were Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi; wife of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Dr. Beatrice Ekwueme; Leader of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Chief Gani Adams; Senator Daisy Danjuma, and a representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi CFR (Ọjájá II) among senior members of the bench and Bar.

Independent

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