Popular Nigerian Rights Activist Is Dead.
OnyxNews Nigeria reports that a Nigerian civil society leader, Innocent Chukwuma, is dead.
He died on Saturday evening in Lagos, according to close friends who indicated that he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, an aggressive cancer of the blood.
“With profound shock & sadness, I regret to inform you that Innocent Chukwuma passed away a few hours ago, in the evening of April 3. May his soul rest in peace,” announced Edetaen Ojo, a frontline freedom of expression advocate and executive director of the Media Rights Agenda, who was a friend of Mr Chukwuma.
The 55-year-old Chukwuma came to public attention first as a student union activist at the University of Nigeria, where he read religious studies, in the heady eighties when Nigerian students led relentless campaigns against military autocracy.
Upon graduation he joined a cluster of young activists who came to bloom at the Civil Liherties Organisation (CLO), Nigeria’s first human rights organisation led for most of the nineties by Olisa Agbakoba, now a member of the velvet rank of the legal profession called senior advocates of Nigeria.
At CLO, Mr. Chukwuma, a father of three daughters, one who graduated in law and was called to the bar last year, met people like Chidi Odinkalu, a lawyer, academic and former chairman of the Nigeria Human Rights Commission.