Nigeria has bid farewell to one of its most revered constitutional scholars, Professor Ben Nwabueze, who peacefully passed away in his private residence on Monday. The legal luminary, aged 92, was reportedly found in eternal repose as he slept.
While an official statement from his family is anticipated later today, Nwabueze’s legacy as a titan of constitutional law reform is well-documented. He leaves behind a lasting imprint on Nigeria’s legal landscape, having actively participated in numerous constitutional conferences.
Professor Nwabueze was widely regarded as one of the nation’s finest constitutional lawyers, cherished not only for his profound legal acumen but also for his sagacious wisdom. His contributions to the ongoing quest for constitutional reform were recognized by many.
However, his involvement in framing Decree 34, which played a role in the transition of Nigeria into a unified entity by dismantling the regional structure that existed until 1966, has generated mixed opinions. While some commend his efforts, others view this as a controversial aspect of his legacy.
Additionally, Professor Nwabueze was known for his affiliation with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his support for the party’s presidential aspirant during the February 25 election, Atiku Abubakar. Atiku had expressed his admiration for the late legal luminary, describing him as a patriot and Nigeria’s foremost constitutional lawyer.
After a poignant meeting in Enugu, Nwabueze’s words regarding the “unfinished Nigerian Project” resonated deeply with Atiku, who promised to honor his commitment to the nation. In an emotional pledge, Nwabueze had gone on record to express his hope that he would not depart this world until Atiku ascended to the presidency of Nigeria.
Details regarding the final arrangements for Professor Ben Nwabueze’s farewell will be made available shortly.