Barr Sir Kevin Orabueze Onwuekwe
(1939 - 2013)

Profile:
Barr Sir Kevin Orabueze Onwuekwe
Nickname: Chukwunweoge

Birth:
Anambra, Nigeria
October 19, 1939

Passing:
Nigeria
August 7, 2013

Interests:
Education, things of God
Memorial
This site's dedicated to Kevin Onwuekwe.

It is often said that good men must die, but death cannot kill their names: The life of Barr. K.O. Onwuekwe has clearly laid credence to this assertion. Though papa is no more with us, his name will forever remain green in our memories and the golden pages of history, generations to come.
Barrister (Sir) Kevin Orabueze Onwuekwe (Chukwunwoge) hailed from Abubor Nnewichi Nnewi, Anambra state. He was born in 1939 (from available record) to the family of late Pa Osubu and Mrs. Catherine Mmekam Onwuekwe. He attended St. Peter Clavers primary school Odida Nnewichi Nnewi in 1946, and in 1947 he proceeded to Okwuani Central school, Nnewi where he was until the death of his father.
Upon the death of his father in 1948, he was taken to Kumba in Cameroon under the care of his maternal uncle late Mr. Henry Onuselogu, there he resumed his primary education. Though he found it a bit difficult to acclimatize to the education system in Cameroon at the initial stage, but he later picked up by dint of hard work and determination. He was there until 1951 when he was promoted to elementary six in Sacred Heart School, Fago, Kumba. In 1952, his excellent performance at Sacred Heart School, earned him an admission into St. Joseph’s College, Kape Buea also in Cameroon where he did his secondary education.
Upon the completion of his secondary education in 1957, he got employment almost immediately in the Federal Ministry of Labour also in Buea, Southern Cameroon. At that time, Southern Cameroon was still part of Nigeria. In 1960, he was transferred to Calabar as a clerk in the Federal Ministry of Labour. While in the Ministry, he performed his official duties creditably well, and in 1962 he was transferred to Lagos and was promoted to Inspectorate level. His civil service career also took him to Kaduna in 1962 where he spent two years and then to Asaba from 1964 to 1966. Following the outbreak of hostilities in the country in 1966 which later culminated into a full blown civil war, he crossed the River Niger Bridge from Asaba and came back to Nnewi. He was then enlisted into the Biafran Army as an officer and contributed immensely in the prosecution of the war on the side of Biafra.
After the civil war in 1970, he went back to Asaba and from there he was recalled back to Lagos for post war absorption into the Nigerian civil service. He was in Lagos until 1971 and was subsequently transferred to Enugu under the same Federal Ministry of Labour. He worked there meritoriously and in 1984, he was transferred to Maiduguri as an Assistant Chief Labour Officer in charge of Borno State.
Meanwhile, while he was at Enugu, he got admission to read law in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on part-time basis. He graduated in 1981, with Second Class Honours, and then proceeded to the Nigerian law School, Lagos where he also finished with Second Class Honours and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982. Following the successful completion of his law School programme and call to bar, he resumed his work in the Ministry of Labour until his transfer to Maiduguri where he voluntarily retired from the civil service in 1985 as an Assistant Chief Labour Officer after putting up a resounding 28 years of meritorious service in the Federal civil service.
After his voluntary retirement from the civil service, he came back to Nnewi, his home town to start legal practice. By then, lawyers were relatively few although, according to him, there was much more dignity being a lawyer, going to court and so on than it is at present. Since his retirement from the civil service, he had been in active legal practice in Nnewi till the day he was called to be with the Lord. In all, he found legal practice so interesting and enjoyable and played active role in the formation of Nigerian Bar Association, Nnewi Branch and also served as the pioneer Secretary of the Association. He was appointed a Notary public by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1990, and in 2002, he was appointed the President Ozubulu Customary Court in recognition of his outstanding performance in legal practice, sound sense of judgment and his wonderful reputation. He also served as legal adviser to various Organizations including: The defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) Anambra State chapter, Nnewi Catholic Council, and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Nnewi chapter (till his death). Papa was also one of the lawyers that represented Nnewi community in the legal battle to safeguard Nkwo Nnewi Triangle from land grabbers.

HIS HAPPIEST AND SADDEST MOMENTS:
As a hardworking youth and a devout Christian growing up with a great aspiration to be a successful man and establish his own family, Papa’s happiest moments in life was when he finished his country home building in 1966 and then decided to get married to his lovely wife in 1968. He bought his first car (Passat Volkswagen) when he got promoted to Labour Inspector between 1970 and 1972.
Conversely, as a loving and caring man and the only surviving son of his late mother, his saddest moment was when he lost his beloved mother Mmekam in 1996 after a brief illness. Though she died in her old age, around 85 years, she was still very significant in papa’s life, however, he had to bear the burden of her painful loss.

HIS RELIGIOUS LIFE:
Bar. (Sir) Kevin Orabueze Onwuekwe was a God fearing man, a devout Christian and a pillar in the Roman Catholic Church. Though he was born into a pagan family, however, his uncle late Mr. Henry Onuselogu who took custody of him following the death of his father played a major role in his early Christian upbringing. He was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church at the age of nine, and since then he had always been a practicing Roman Catholic member and was active in virtually all aspects of Catholicism. Despite his official/professional engagements, Sir Kevin Onwuekwe never played with his religious life, he ensured that he was at peace with God even at the point of his death. He was patron to various Church Organizations including: Catholic Boys Organization, Nnewi Deanery, Guild of Saint Anthony of Padua, St. Hilary Out station choir etc. He was also a member of the prestigious Knight of St. John International.

HIS FAMILY LIFE:
Papa met his lovely wife Mrs. Mary Nwakaego Onwuekwe (Nee Udechukwu) who also hails from Abubor Nnewichi, Nnewi when he came back to Nnewi shortly before the civil war, and got married to her in 1968 at St. Peter Clavers Catholic Church, Odida Nnewichi, Nnewi in the heat of the Nigerian/Biafran civil war. Their marriage was blessed with Ten (10) children; three males and seven females, majority of whom are happily married, with children. Papa Evan as he was fondly called, was a unique family man and was never found wanting in performing his roles as a true Christian husband and father. His exemplary married life with his lovely wife earned them the award as “Ideal Couples” by the CWO Catholic Diocese of Nnewi in the year 20…. Papa was very caring, humane and supportive to his family and even to outsiders who genuinely approached him for assistance in whatever form. Upon getting a job in the Ministry of labour after his secondary education in 19…, he immediately assumed the position of his late father and started taking care of his siblings and late mother Mekam, and trained his sibblings up to an appreciable level of education.

HIS SOCIO-POLITICAL LIFE AND COMMUNITY SERVICE:
Late Barr. K.O. Onwuekwe in his life time was an easy going man, a principled man, a very sociable person with a dogged approach to those values he strongly believe in. He enjoyed the company of his kinsmen and carried them along in virtually every aspect of communal life irrespective of his status. He belonged to many social Organizations including: Anaedo Social Club International, Anyi Bu Ofu Social Club of Nigeria. Although he did not hold any political office in his life time, however, he was a gentle politician who strongly believed in playing politics without rancor or bitterness. He was an active member/ legal adviser of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) Anambra State chapter as well as the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Nnewi chapter until his death. He also contributed his quota to the development of his home town Nnewi, his village Nnewichi and his immediate community Abubor, through legal representations/advice and active participation in community meetings and other social activities. Papa’s insistence in fairness, justice and equity at all levels of human endeavours and his love for his people spurred him to publish a book titled “The trouble in Nigeria: A historical perspective” a small but mighty work that has circulated even beyond the shores of Nigeria. The book aptly captured the political woes of Nigeria right from independence till date, especially as it affects the Igbo people.
HIS LAST MOMENTS
In the few days leading to his death, papa was still vibrant, although he occasionally showed slight sign of body weakness. However, he was active and insisted on driving himself and performing his normal daily routines. He participated actively in the burial ceremony of his in-law late Mr. Ikechukwu Udechukwu few days to his death. He performed his official duties and attended to clients as usual on Monday and Tuesday preceding his death. He loved the company of his children and grand children and also spent the evenings with them watching his favourite local movies. The night before his death, he watched his comedy with them, said the night prayers as usual and went to bed. Then in the early hours of Wednesday, 7th August, 2013, the hand of God touched him and he passed on peacefully in his sleep. Papa, you lived a life worthy of emulation. We love you but God loves you most. May your gentle soul rest in the bosom of the Lord till we meet again to part no more, AMEN.
Adieu Mpa anyi!
Adieu Chukwunweoge!
Adieu Okwulu ora!


My Darling, Nkem, Papa Evan jee nke oma.

You were a voice for the voiceless
A father for the fatherless
Strength for the oppressed
Lover of everything heavenly,
Who will call me Evan nwam
I love you more than words can express, Adieu my dear Father
Evy

We love you but God loves you more, sleep on Papamoo.
Rosy

A caring man you were. We will miss you.
Chy

The legacies, the foot prints you left behind will forever remain in the sand of time and it will never ever be forgotten.
Gozie

The Almighty God called you and you obediently answered
Amy

Oh! What a glorious transition. Chukwunweoge, you died like a saint. You fought and died a hero.
Nelo

My hero is gone, Papa rest in peace.
Oly

Thank you Jesus for allowing me be identified with this God fearing man, an Icon, a legal luminary, legend, peace lover, centripetal force; Barr. (Sir) K. O. Onwuekwe and sharing his love.You’re evergreen in our memory
Uju

The fond memories of the times we spent together will forever remain in my heart. You loved us so dearly that you called us by our pet names eg. Okey nwa m, Evan nwa m etc.
Okey

My beloved daddy has gone to be with Christ, may he continue to sleep in peace, Amen
Ify


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Guest Book (1 entries)
This is the memorial I set up for Kevin Onwuekwe. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Chris Onwuekwe
June 22nd, 2014
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"My Darling, Nkem, Papa Evan jee nke oma. From beloved mum, his wife-Mary"
Chris Onwuekwe
June 22nd, 2014
"My beloved daddy, rest in Gods' bosom"
Uju Obiorah
June 22nd, 2014

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