The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN, has expressed sadness over the death on October 29, 2023, of two distinguished icons of the Bar, Prof. Benjamin Obi Nwabueze, OON, SAN and Chief George Nwokocha-Ona Uwechue, SAN.

Prof. Nwabueze SAN was the first academic to be conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and until his death, he was the oldest member of the inner bar. He was a trailblazing and foremost constitutional lawyer and was a leading authority in that field. Prof. Nwabueze was also an administrator of note. He served the country as a Minister of Education and Youth Development.

Chief Uwechue SAN was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1966 and took the silk in 1993. He was reputed as a gentleman of the Bar and an exemplary legal practitioner. Chief Uwechue was a life member of the distinguished Body of Benchers, who served as the Chairman of the Body between 2010 and 2011. He was also a two-term member of the Nigerian House of Representatives.

Mr. Maikyau has described the passing on of both Prof. Nwabueze and Chief Uwechue as a great loss to the country and the legal profession in particular, and he noted that their immense values would be sorely missed as they did not only excel as lawyers but they were leaders of thoughts and actions in Nigeria. The NBA President stated that the Bar would play its part in ensuring that the legacies of these two legal luminaries abide as guide to legal practitioners to acknowledge and live by the the famous statement by the first Nigerian lawyer, Chief Alexander Sapara Williams that “a lawyer lives for the direction of his people and the advancement of the cause of his country.”

The NBA President has urged families and friends to be consoled by the irrefutable fact that Prof. Nwabueze and Chief Uwechue lived fulfilled lives, and he prayed that Almighty God grant those they left behind, the strength to bear the irreparable losses.


Akorede Habeeb Lawal
National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association