Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN) : Exit of a legal giant
It was after Nwaiwu took silk that the rank of SAN was bestowed on Sir J.T.U Nnodum SAN, Chief D.C Denwigwe SAN, Chief Eze Duruiheoma SAN, Chief K.C.O Njemanze SAN, Professor Francis Dike SAN, Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru SAN and Sir Ndukwe Nnawuchi SAN.
In Abia State, his home state, Nwaiwu is the fourth lawyer of Abia State extraction to attain the rank of SAN only after Dr. Nwakanma Okoro SAN, Chief I.N. Umezuruike SAN, Chief Awa Kalu SAN.
It was only after Nwaiwu took silk that the rank of SAN was awarded to Chief Chris Uche SAN, Chief Solo Akuma SAN, Chief Etigwe Uwa SAN, Chief I.N. Ijiomah SAN, Chief J.U.K. Igwe SAN and Chief Gordy Uche SAN.
In the history of the legal profession in Nigeria, he was No.173 in the roll call of SAN’s while Chief Rotimi Williams SAN is number one.
In the Nigerian Law School Class of 1985, Nwaiwu was the 3rd person to be elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He attained the rank of SAN at the remarkable and clearly young age of 40 years in 2001. Nwaiwu was indeed a legal icon.
Nwaiwu achieved the highest height in all areas of learning and practice in the legal profession in Nigeria. He was a Phd holder in law from the University of Nigeria having been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in law, specializing in Human rights and compensation law.
He was a fellow of the chartered Institute of Arbitration in Nigeria. This is the highest rank, an arbitrator in legal practice can attain.
In the Rotary club, Nwaiwu was a Paul Harris fellow and past Rotary President. He attended so many International Conventions of the Rotary club in the company of his wife.
In the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, he was a distinguished Alumnus of the highest achievements. In the church, Nwaiwu was the National Legal Adviser of the Methodist Church of Nigeria. This is the reason his funeral service was fixed, personally, by the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche, who insists that he must personally preside over the funeral church service of his Legal Adviser, worthy knight of John Wesley and an Elder of the Methodist Church of Nigeria.
In Bar activities, Nwaiwu was a past Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Owerri Branch and until his death, a National Executive Committee Member (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association.
He was a consummate Bar man. He was Chairman Law Week Committee of Nigerian Bar Association Owerri Branch (2014-2015).
Nwaiwu was a member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. he was a member of the International Bar Association. In the Area of law books and publication, he made Monumental Contributions to legal research and development. Nwaiwu was the editor of Supreme Court Of Nigeria monthly digest of judgments.
His publications include (i) A PLEA FOR MORE PRISONS (1986) (ii) LEGAL AID AND HUMAN RIGHTS (1985)(iii) THE LEGAL PROFESSION AT 100 (1986) (iv) CITIZENSHIP AND INTERNAL DEPORTATION IN NIGERIA (v)THE LINGERING PROOF OF ELECTORAL OFFENCE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT IN ELECTION PETITIONS-THE IMPERATIVE OF A NEW LEGAL REGIME OF MINIMAL PROOF. (vi) INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (vii) THE EFFECT OF HANDOVER OF SCHOOLS TO MISSIONS BY THE STATE.
In his community, he made so many contributions that his immediate and larger community honoured him with the Chieftaincy Titles of OKA-NGA-OZIRI of NKWOEGWU AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY and CHIMEREZE OF EGWU UKWU AFUGIRI AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State.
He was born on July 26, 1960, 55 years ago, to highly educated parents, late Chief Onwusikakwa Nwaiwu and Nneoma (Chief) Maria Mgbugo Nwaiwu of Umuegwu Okpuala, Afugiri, Ohuhu, Umuahia North Local Government Area, Abia State.
For his primary education, he attended Santa Maria Primary School Aba 1965-1967; Union Secondary School Afara Ukwu Ibeku Umuahia 1970-1971 and Methodist Primary School Uwani Enugu 1971-1972.
For his secondary school education, he attended Methodist College Uzuakoli 1972-1977; Government Secondary School Owerri (1977-1978) where he obtained Division one in West African School Certificate (WASC) and he did his Higher School at Federal School of Arts & Science Aba, 1979-1980.
He went to the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus from 1980-1984 where he obtained Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) with honours in Second Class Lower Division, Nigeria Law School Lagos in1985 where he obtained Bachelor-at-Law Degree Certificate with honours in Second Class Lower Division (B.L).
He later went to Abia State University Uturu from 1996 and 1999 where he obtained
Master of Laws (LL.M) in Environmental & Energy Law and University Of Nigeria – 2002-2011 where he obtained Doctor of Philosophy in Law (Ph.D) Human Rights &
Nwaiwu was very happily married to Mrs. Blessing Nwaiwu, a lecturer at University of Abuja, and they have six adorable and brilliant children, namely; Ezioma, Chiamaka, Munachiso, Kamsiyochi, Onyinyechi and Akunna.
He is survived by five younger brothers and an only sister, namely, Nnochiri, Obiyo, Ogueri, Eze, Kelechi and Dr.(Mrs.) Eziaku Osarolube (Ph.D) and his aged mother, Nneoma (Chief) Maria Mgbugo Nwaiwu. Adieu Legal Icon! Adieu Consummate Bar man! Good night Great man!
Ekomaru SAN is Chairman, NBA Owerri Burial Committee for and on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria.