President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday described the late Dr. Joseph Nwodo as “one of the leading lights of the legal profession” at burial ceremony of the deceased held in Ukehe Nsukka, Enugu State.
A statement by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday said Buhari was represented at the ceremony by a presidential delegation led by Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.
The Minister was accompanied by Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State, Environment; Senator Ita Enang; and Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
The funeral service, held at St Peter’s Catholic Church, Ukehe, was graced by distinguished personalities like Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; former Governors Jim Nwobodo and Sam Egwu; and the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State.
Others were members of the National Assembly, Bar and Bench, top government officials and people from different walks of life.
Buhari in his eulogy to the Nwodo family, described him as an epitome of humility and good manners.
He said: “I write to condole with you on the death of your Patriarch and brother Dr Joe Nwodo – the Agadagbachiruzo of Ukehe, Ochendo Umu Ogbenye.
“The late Joe was an epitome of humility and good manners and radiated utmost friendliness in his relationship with people of all ethnic groups and calling.
”He was also an intellectual who despite having bagged his LLB; BL (Cantab) at the prestigious University of Cambridge went further to acquire a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in International Law and Jurisprudence from the London School of Economics (LSE).
“The legal family in Nigeria will always remember him as one of the leading lights of the profession, because of his erudite contributions to the nation’s jurisprudence.”
According to Buhari, in the political arena, the Ochendo was a great grassroots mobiliser and will forever be remembered for his philosophy of Equity and Justice to all.
He said: “He was a strong Governorship contender that emerged in Old Anambra State in 1990-1991 and later the National Republican Convention Presidential aspirant that emerged from Enugu State under the Party’s Option A4 Presidential Election in 1992.
“With his towering stature, as a great giver and philanthropist and servant of the people, I have no doubt that God will grant him eternal rest in his Kingdom.”
Nwodo passed away recently, aged 77.