EX BODY OF BENCHERS CHAIR, ABDULLAHI IBRAHIM IS DEAD

Foremost senior lawyer and former Chairman of Body of Benchers, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN is dead. CITY LAWYER can authoritatively confirm that the leading lawyer died this afternoon.

Confirming the incident, a Partner in his law firm told CITY LAWYER thus: “He’s gone. He died this afternoon.” Alhaji Ibrahim is suspected to have died in Abuja from heart complications. A trending online post stated: “Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun the death of Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN has just been announced right now in Abuja from a heart ailment. May Allah swt forgive his indiscretions and grant him jannatul firdaus.” A former Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice in one of the South West states had also posted thus: “May Allah grant Alhaji Abdullahi Ibraheem, SAN aljannah fridaus. Ameen.”

Ibrahim was a Commissioner, International Boundary, National Boundary Commission from 2000 to 2006. He was a member of the Nigerian team that successfully negotiated the Maritime Boundary Treaty between Nigeria and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and also the Unitization Agreement of the Zafiro/Ekanga oil fields. He was Nigeria’s Agent and later Co-Agent in the dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Cameroon at the International Court of Justice, the Hague Netherlands. He also led the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations conference on the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

Below is his biography as posted on his law firm’s website:

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, CON, FCIArb, FINALS, SAN.

Our founding Partner; he was called to the English Bar in 1963 where he practised in chambers for a while before returning to Nigeria. He was later called to the Nigerian Bar in 1964. He was at different times legal adviser at the then Ministry of Finance, Northern Nigeria and New Nigeria Development Company; a one-time Senior State Counsel and head of prosecutions at the Ministry of Justice, Kano State; Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim has since 1973 remained in active private legal practice.

He was admitted into the Inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) (equivalent of a QC in England) in 1982. He is a Notary Public, a Life member of the Body of Benchers and was the Body’s Vice Chairman and Chairman between 1999 and 2001. He was a member of the National Judicial Council (NJC) between 2004 and 2008; Chairman, Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee between 2001 and 2006 and also Chairman, Legal Aid Council from 1990 to 1994.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria (FCIArb) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) (MCIArb), he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Nigeria (FINALS).

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim served the nation at various times in several capacities as Commissioner for Education in the old Kwara State, Nigeria, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Technology; Minister of Transport and Aviation and as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He was a Commissioner, International Boundary, National Boundary Commission from 2000 to 2006. He was a member of the Nigerian team that successfully negotiated the Maritime Boundary Treaty between Nigeria and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and also the Unitization Agreement of the Zafiro/Ekanga oil fields. He was Nigeria’s Agent and later Co-Agent in the dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Cameroon at the International Court of Justice, the Hague Netherlands. Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim also led the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations conference on the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

In acknowledgement of his contribution to the Nation he was conferred with the National honour/Award of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) and later Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). He was also conferred with the honours/Award of Gran Cruz de la Orden de la independencia de Guinea Ecutorial by the Government of Equatorial Guinea for his service to the country and Nigeria.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim was Chairman Nigerian Stock Exchange, Kaduna Branch and as a member of the National Stock Exchange he was the first Vice President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1989. He was Chairman, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs from 1988 to 1994 and also Chairman of New Nigeria Development Company between 1992 and 1998.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim has acted as Amicus Curiae in several contentious matters before the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of the Nigerian Law and legal System, he was conferred with an honorary Doctorate Degree in Law (LLD, Honoris Causa) by the University of Kogi, Nigeria in 2008.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim is a seasoned Arbitrator; he once sat and he is currently a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, Netherlands. He has chaired and sat as a member of several Arbitration panels. He is very much interested in International law, Taxation/Revenue Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Investment Law and core litigation.

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LIFE BENCHER, SENATOR ONYEABO OBI IS DEAD

Life Bencher and leading lawyer, Senator Onyeabo Chukwunedum Obi is dead. Senator Obi died yesterday. He was aged 82 years.

Announcing his passage on a social media platform, his younger brother and Bar Leader, Mr. Zik Obi II said: “Good morning All, Pending a formal announcement from the family later today, I wish to personally inform members of Otu Oka Iwu that my eldest brother and past President of Otu Oka Iwu and Bencher, Senator Onyeabo Obi, Os’oji Nnewi, passed on to greater glory yesterday at the age of 82 years. We are grateful to God for his life.

“Kindly note that due to the current COVID-19 safety protocols, physical condolence visits are not necessary or encouraged. Thank you so much.

“Best regards. Zik Obi.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that the respected jurist was said to have attended the last Ofala Festival of His Royal Highness, Igwe Kenneth Orizu III of Nnewi on December 28, 2020. Before then, he chaired the virtual birthday celebration of his then protege and former Chairman of the Body of Benchers, Chief George Uwechue SAN.

In one of the early reactions on his passing, veteran politician and lawyer, Chief Guy Ikokwu said:”This is shocking as I had the last meeting with him at our Enugu Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Imeobi meeting and took pictures with him and Nwodo jnr our PG Ohanaeze Ndigbo and wished he will show up at Owerri meeting of 9th January. What a pity. Terrible as we had a heart to heart chat. May he rest in perfect peace.”

Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch, Mr. Okey Ilofulunwa wrote: “Ugwunnia, please do accept my deepest condolences on the death of Senator Onyeabo Obi. He was a quintessential gentleman and a bar man through and through. My last interaction with him was on December 10, 2020 during a webinar on International human rights day which I hosted and moderated. He was in the element and participated actively at the event and made incisive contributions. Your family will miss him but the legal community will miss him greatly. I join in praying for the repose of his soul.”

Leading human rights lawyer, Chief Frank Agbedo said: “Not again, lord! Os’oji Nnewi only recently chaired the birthday colloquium in honor of Chief Uwechue SAN, and was his full witty and cerebral self, as usual. Lord, please shut the door against this morbid breeze depleting our most cherished stock. No doubt Chief Onyeabor Obi was a great man of style, culture and the law, and departs this sinful world to a better place. We mourn, even as we celebrate a great life well lived for the greater good of mankind.”

BRIEF PROFILE

LLB, BL, lawyer, politician, born November 20,1938; married Evelyn Nnenna Obioha 1967, two sons, three daughters; Education: St Cyprian’s School, Port Harcourt, 1943-50, Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar, 1951-55, North-Western Polytechnic, London, 1958-59, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, 1959-62, called to the English Bar at Gray’s Inn, 1961; Legal Adviser to the Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, January- September 1966; in Private Legal Practice, since 1963; Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Anambra West Senatorial, District, 1979-83 and Secretary, NPP Senate Caucus; Vice-Chairman, Arbitration Committee, International Bar Association, 1986-88, Nigerian member, Panel of Conciliators, International Centre for Settlement of lnvestatent Disputes, Washington DC, USA, since 1987; Political Party: member, banned Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP), 1979-83; Hobby: lawn tennis; Official Address: c/o Onyeabo Obi and Company (Barristers, Solicitors and Notaries Public), Western House, 8/10, Broad Street (13th Floor), P.O. Box 4040, Lagos; Telephone: 01-634604, 630843 (SOURCE: “Blerf’s Who is Who in Nigeria”)

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UKIRI, FIERY BAR ACTIVIST, IS DEAD

Firebrand Bar Leader and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 1st Vice President, Mr. Emonena Blessing Ukiri is dead.  Continue Reading