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November 6, 2023
November 6, 2023
My Dede Ogbo,
My earliest memory of you was when you returned from England, Mama Nneke had sent one of the numerous children she brought up to inform my mother that you have finally arrived Aba,
We ran to your mother's house before our mother could get there .
There stood our own "BARRISTER AT LAW" in company of Ifeyinwa's Chukwu's father .
Now we have our own Lawyer and the next day at school, we made sure everyone heard that we now have our own Barrister and soon they will see his Signage as was then the practice at Aba
We were disappointed when you settled in Lagos and trust Aba children they taunted us for bragging that we now have our own Barrister at Law

Dede Ogbo, you meant different things to so many people but for me ,I will miss your counsel and when I fell short your unreserved admonition and reminder that my parents deserved better from me.
Above all I thank you for being there for me, encouraging ,spurring me on to achieve the goal my late sister Jenny Uko intended for me

Dede Ogbo, I will forever miss you till we meet again

October 20, 2023
October 20, 2023
This is to convey our heartfelt condolences to the Irukwu family, our beloved pastors, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Pastor Chizor, and the Item community on the homegoing of their beloved father, Prof J. O. Irukwu, who stood tall in both the worlds of business and academia - a rare feat. Thank you, Prof for giving the world wonderful people in your children who are making impact globally and touching and transforming the lives of many. Rest on with the Lord, Sir. (Emem & Ese)
October 6, 2023
October 6, 2023
From Uzoamaka Anagbogu

Tribute to Late Prof. J.O Irukwu SAN(A Great Mentor)

The news of the demise of Prof. J.O Irukwu SAN(Prof) came to me as a rude shock. Where do I start to eulogise Prof, my great mentor?

I got to know Prof J.O Irukwu through a mutual family friend, Honourable Justice Anthony Igu of the Supreme Court (Nigeria).

In my interaction with Prof., in the past 30years I observed that he was extremely kind and humble. A scholar and complete gentleman who encouraged me and indeed several others to pursue further studies in insurance law.

During my doctoral studies at the University of Wales, Bangor United Kingdom Prof., would get scarce, important pedagogical materials in insurance law and practice to me, at no cost in support of insurance scholarship.

On the occasion of my book presentation on "Utmost good faith and Warranty in Nigerian Insurance Law" dedicated to His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR held on the 8th of September 2015 in Abuja at the National Defence College Auditorium, Prof., was the Chairman. He was so admired for his oratory and command of the English language and indeed his command of insurance that most immediately enrolled for a course in insurance law at the university thereafter. He wrote the forward to the second edition of the book Utmost good faith and Warranty in Nigerian Insurance Law.

While I was Visiting Professor at the University of Wales, Prof., supported scholarship encouraging Nigerians to study and research on insurance law and practice and return to Nigeria to assist in insurance law reform for the development and progress of the country.

In 2018 Prof.,encouraged insurance Colloquium in his honour to support scholarship and insurance law reform in Nigeria.

To further consolidate insurance law reform in Nigeria, Prof. had plans regarding establishing Prof. J.O. Irukwu Insurance and Risk Management Research Center at the Federal University of Agriculture Umudike. Prof. had earlier been awarded a doctorate degree at the University of Agriculture Umudike in recognition of his achievements in insurance and other areas of law and he wanted to leave a legacy for insurance scholarship and as a reference research center for excellence in the University of Umudike in Abia State. He invited me and other mentees for a meeting in this regard.

The last discussion I had with Prof. in furtherance of insurance reform, development and growth was on how to partner Prof.J.O Irukwu Insurance Research Center with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Agricultural Insurance Research Center as a solution to poverty eradication and empowerment of girl child education in Nigeria. Prof., was the Chief Consultant of the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Agricultural Insurance Research Center thus, the great plan for the global launching of the Center has been affected.

He wished all that came in contact with him well. Prof. was extremely kind. He was such a figure, once seen never forgotten.

I wish to thank Prof's friends particularly, Honourable Justice Anthony Igu, General Ike Nwachukwu and Dr. Mgbojikwe for their time in discussing the way forward for the Prof. J.O Irukwu Insurance and Risk Management Research Center.

To his excellent family, I am proud of you all for the great love and care given to Prof.and to please do accept my condolence on behalf of myself and family

An Iroko has fallen. A great mentor has gone. A great leader has gone. The doyen of Nigerian Insurance Law has gone.

Adieu great mentor, Adieu father of modern Nigerian Insurance Law and Practice, Adieu former President General Ohaneze Ndigbo. I pray for God to grant Prof. eternal rest.

Prof. Emilia Anagbogu-Ezenwa.
Former Legal Advisor,
Nigerian National Defence College, Abuja and Former Visiting Professor of Insurance Law, University of Wales, Bangor (UK)

October 6, 2023
October 6, 2023
Daddy we love you, but God loves you more. You are mentor to the Legal Counsel we miss you sir, Rest With the Lord
October 6, 2023
October 6, 2023
Prof J. O. Irukwu - Dee Ogbo as my people called him, is a man knowledgeable in many areas. I worked directly with him as my immediate supervisor for more than thirteen years and you have to be 100% sure, I mean 100% of your facts and figures before you present them to him. His meticulous both in his spoken words and most especially the written ones. He ensured that all the commas, and t’s are crossed. His secretaries had to type and re-typed before it is certified okay by him.
This is a man that gave all his all in the nurturing of the young ones and those things he had deposited into you whilst under his mentorship, you find useful when you find yourself working under another setup. You will so excel that your now new colleagues wonder how come.
We have lost an icon, who stand out in everything his contacted with
Rest Prof JOI, the Enyi I of Abia State. The Omeziroha of Item Kingdom
October 4, 2023
October 4, 2023
Tribute to Uncle

Many mixed emotions as I write this tribute.

Professor Irukwu (I actually never called him that, always Uncle) was generous, loving, caring and always interested in one’s progress. He also had a wicked sense of humour which was quite interesting when interspersed in conversation. He was filled with wisdom and one left his presence wiser than when they arrived.

When Chizor and I became friends in Holy Child College over 45 years ago and our names kept echoing in our respective homes, our fathers - on learning our surnames - were quick to point out that the foundation of our friendship/sisterhood had been laid many years earlier when my daddy and uncle were co-inhabitants at London House, Hans Crescent as young students in the United Kingdom! Interestingly and quite uncanning, when Chizor and I arrived at the same university our room numbers were exactly the same as our fathers had had many decades earlier!

Uncle and aunty Eno welcomed me into their home with warmth. Many weekends were spent in Surulere, Amodu Tijani……and also walking to ‘the site’. The several years of trips at Christmas to Enugu, Item, Ovim, Umuahia, Etinan etc when I spent the latter part of many holidays in their homes and always being introduced as ‘my daughter’. This continued in Canfield Gardens, and uncle was for all intents and purposes my guardian when I was at school in England. The many visits to London to see him as he breezed through the town while on business trips (now that I find myself doing those kinds of trips I am
more appreciative of the time he gave). The many Chinese dinners on Finchley Road - nowadays, a duck pancake treat always invokes those memories.

He was Chairman at my wedding - could never have been anyone else as he certainly had a hand in moulding me. I appreciated that he accepted to do this; knowing how busy he always was.

Returning to Nigeria, I still got to see them and spend time with both of them…but not as often as I would have liked to.

I was so looking forward to celebrating him at 90 but God had other plans. He was a colossus and has left an indelible mark in the insurance and reinsurance sectors both domestically and internationally as well as impacted and imparted many lives.

Dear uncle, rest in peace and may light perpetual continue to shine on you.

‘Kemi Awodein (née Ogutuga)

October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023

This has been a very difficult tribute for me to write as I have enjoyed a special relationship with Professor Irukwu. I fondly called him Daddie Mummie (DM), as he has stood in for my parents since they passed away more than 20 years ago. I was also looking forward to celebrating his 90th birthday on 20th July 2023 with him, my cousins, other family and friends. Indeed, he and I spoke happily about his upcoming 90th birthday when I visited Nigeria in April 2023 and spent time with him.

DM is extra special, to me, for many reasons. He gave my Mummie’s hand in marriage to my Daddie, at their wedding in 1959, in England. He has always been my Dede and Dad for as long as I can remember. When Mummie passed in 1995, DM was there for us. When Daddie passed in 2002, DM was also there for us. He has been a great guide for me throughout my career and especially when I served as Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. Given the complexity of my role as a regulator and the timing - just after the great financial crisis - DM made sure he was there guiding me and enabling me to stand on his huge shoulders, navigating the challenging job of excelling as a public servant in Nigeria. He checked in frequently and became the intermediary between myself and the many people, who could not reach me, but were concerned about my courageous decisions to build a world class capital market for Nigeria. This was instrumental to my success as I leaned on his wisdom and wealth of experience. As was often the case, our conversation lasted for very long and covered everything. In one instance, I arrived Lagos from Abuja, one early Saturday evening and our discussion lasted from when I got to his home at 7pm until 7am the next day. He guided me about the thorny issue I was managing and also shared wisdom, and perspectives that were everything that I needed. Armed with the solutions to the issues I was handling, I returned to Abuja, and successfully implemented the solutions we came up with.

Off course, I am a proud daughter of DM! Who would not be! He was caring, generous, suave, and handsome. He was widely travelled and we shared stories about our experiences traveling the world. We also shared stories about finance and global affairs. We shared a passionate desire for Nigeria to unleash its enormous potential. He also told me phenomenal and funny stories about my Dad and my Mum. It was a privilege to be with him as it was as much a learning opportunity as it was enjoyable. We laughed a lot as he had a great sense of humour. I cannot thank God enough for specially blessing me with DM.

DM is an exemplary teacher and leader worthy of emulation because his mantra was excellence. He was a pioneer in many areas including insurance, international affairs, law and leadership. He excelled at home and abroad. He was a man of integrity, was humble, hardworking and went to extraordinary lengths to distinguish himself and excel in everything that he did. He was an intellectual colossus who authored at least twenty books. He shaped Nigeria’s successes in business and politics in ways I wish many more would do. He remains a role model of distinction because he was compassionate and maintained deep relationships with anyone who encountered him. He was a patriot who cared deeply for Item, for Nigeria and for society at large. He was sacrificial in all the pioneering roles that he served in.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, colleague, and leader.  My profound gratitude to Agu, Ikechi, Chizor, Chioma, Ola and Tochi for permitting me, and indeed several others, to share DM. I know you had no choice. Also you exemplify those special attributes that God gave DM abundantly as “the fruit does not fall far from the tree”, Thank you, my beloved brothers and sisters for ensuring that we continue to honour DM’s request that we love each other as dearly as he loved each of us.

DM has a rich legacy as I know like me, many others who have had the good fortune to learn from him, will always seek to be their best self no matter the barriers and challenges. While my heart remains heavy, I am grateful to God for blessing me with DM and for blessing society with an icon and legend who made sure he tirelessly taught us all, what it means to live a great and full life, one of service to humanity and that is worthy of celebration.
May God comfort us all. May DM’s soul rest in perfect peace.

Arunma Oteh OON
September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023

Prof J O Irukwu (SAN) was the first Professor of Insurance Law and Practice in Nigeria. He was also the pioneer and founding Managing Director of Nigeria Re Insurance Company, the President Nigeria Insurance Law Association and on several occasions, appointed Chairman of Nigerian Insurance Reform Committee by several successive Nigerian governments demonstrating his expertise of Insurance and knowledge particularly in the Nigerian circumstance. He was highly involved in the development initiative for insurance reforms. He focused on promoting Insurance scholarship.

It was in search of insurance knowledge that I was introduced to Prof Irukwu during my fieldwork at the University of Wales in 2015; a relationship that culminated to very important developments.

My relationship with Prof became even stronger when I discussed my desire to further Insurance research to doctoral level at the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.

It was to celebrate his time, knowledge, hard work, provision of rare insurance materials, kindness, his several interviews with me and his relaxed disposition that I dedicated my book entitled ‘Insurable Interest in Nigeria Insurance Laws: A Critical Analysis’ to Prof J O Irukwu.

Due to his pioneering role, achievements, excellence, and hard work in Insurance he was seen as the father of modern insurance law and practice in Nigeria. He was equally seen as a role model for others to emulate.

Prof was so respected in the insurance industry that for a research in the insurance law and practice to be well regarded in Nigeria such aspirants needed Professor Irukwu's input. It was thus a privilege for me to have been guided from my Masters to the Doctoral level by no less a person than the highly cerebral and venerable Oracle of insurance law and practice, Prof Irukwu during my research program at the University of Wales Bangor United Kingdom, and I learnt so much from him.

Indeed, Prof was so impressed with my inquisitiveness during our interactive sessions that during my book presentation on the 12th of April 2016 in Abuja he stated that he highly was impressed that a military General was conducting a research of this magnitude in insurance law. He concluded that Insurance law and practice has a brighter future with the involvement of military officers which would be useful for prospective insurance law reform in Nigeria.

His wish was for Nigeria Insurance Law and practice to be at par with other developed countries in achieving excellent milestones in this subject.

I would thus miss Prof's wise counsel and presence.

To his lovely family and friends, please do accept my heartfelt condolence as God is the giver and taker of life.

Adieu Father of modern insurance law of Nigeria. Adieu peace maker and respected former Chairman Ohaneze Nd’Igbo.

Good night great inspirator and mentor.

Air Commodore (Rtd) Dr SG Jeff- Zanni PhD (Wales)

Chief Executive Officer,
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Agricultural Insurance Research Center, Abuja/London.

September 24, 2023
September 24, 2023
Prof your departure created a great vacuum within the Nigerian Insurance industry. You were a great icon and pacecetter for the industry. We will miss your friendly disposition and words of advice. May the good Lord continue to comfort the family you left behind and may your soul rest in peace. Amen.
September 24, 2023
September 24, 2023

It is with great personal pain, that I pay tribute to a remarkable soul, who touched my life, and that of others severally.

Our revered father, Prof. Joe Irukwu’s passing has left a void that cannot be filled, but the legacy of his life will forever illuminate our hearts. He was a person of extraordinary character, a beacon of light in the lives of all who were fortunate enough to have real life contact with him. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone feel valued and heard, no matter their background or circumstances.

His passion for mentorship was infectious and I am a living beneficiary of his fountain of wisdom and sagacity. In the tapestry of our lives, Professor Joe Irukwu was a vibrant thread weaving love, compassion, and joy into the fabric of our existence.

As we say our final goodbyes, Professor Joe Irukwu’s colossal influence remains indelible in our collective psyche.

To his circle of children, to which I proudly belong, we will take solace in the righteous lessons he taught us, and the love he gave us. In this way, we keep his spirit alive, ensuring that he forever remains a cherished part of our heritage.

Rest in peace, our father of inestimable value.

Fola Daniel.
Nigeria’s former Commissioner for Insurance.
Chikezie Nwosu
September 24, 2023
September 24, 2023
To my beloved De Ogbo

Dede, to say we will miss you is one of the greatest understatements in my life.

What is there not to love about you?

Only those who sat at your feet and listened to you espouse such words of wisdom, compassion and love would understand this: and I was so blessed to be one of them.

You loved me fiercely and the list of the battles you fought for me are endless – from my childhood to my young years as a graduate when I ran to you for help, to my recent years in Corporate Nigeria where, with one phone call, all my challenges went away. I always laughed when you would say to them; ‘this is my nephew and if one strand of his hair is misplaced, you will have me to contend with’.

Nobody, absolutely nobody, fights for his own like you – I have seen it, on several occasions, as you ‘battle’ for your family and friends.

Of course, I loved you fiercely and deeply, and it was a blessing to say that to you on the last birthday we celebrated with you.

We were looking forward to celebrating you again when the sad news of your passing to glory came.

We will celebrate you forever, my beloved Dede!!

Your life brought meaning to us and the memories of the beautiful times we shared will continue to be a blessing.

You have journeyed well on this Earth and may God reward you with peaceful rest.

Your nephew’s family, Chikezie, Joannes Nwosu and family

September 23, 2023
September 23, 2023
My Past President, Boss and Friend,

We met as employee/employer, then we became friends and lo ... the relationship continued till death.

You nurtured me to become a better administrator, secretary and person. Thank you Prof.

I am missing you and will continue to.

May your soul continue to rest in peace. Amen.
September 22, 2023
September 22, 2023
The entire industry will forever miss you sir. RIP
September 22, 2023
September 22, 2023
My first memories of Dede Ogbo were as a dashing young lawyer fresh from a successful and accomplished sojourn in the United Kingdom.
Unabashed, I engaged him in what can best be described as an ‘interrogation’ in the lush gardens of our residence at 34 Cameroon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. I asked him point blank if he was married. The next thing I remember is pilling into the back of his fashionable (at the time) Volkswagen beetle with my siblings to see “the apple of his eyes” Aunty Eno at her flat up the road in Ikoyi. Glamorous, intelligent and accomplished, Auntie Eno worked with the Federal Broadcasting Services and was therefore deserving of a flat in such a posh area of town.
Uncle Ogbo and Aunty Eno were a celebrity couple.
My late father, Prof. O. K. Ogan adored them with a passion. Visits to what became their matrimonial home, at Razak Balogun street, Surulere were a permanent feature of our family agenda. This was before the mass exodus of Igbos from Lagos in the wake of the pogrom that finally escalated into the civil war.
After the war, Uncle Ogbo and Aunty Eno returned to Lagos and moved up the road to 9 Augusto Close, Surulere, off Razak Balogun Street, (one of the properties owned by our late father). These close family interactions continued.
My father remained in the East establishing the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology University College of Medicine of Nigeria. He then returned to Lagos having been appointed as Chairman of the Public Service Commission (incorporating the Police Service Commission) by the Government of the late General Muritala Mohamed on the recommendation of Gen. T. Y. Danjuma (rtd)
Dede Ogbo was one of the few people who called me using the acronym fondly devised by my late father “NEN”, Pronounced in sonorous and lyrical manner.
My late father died at 60. It is not surprising that he nominated Dede Ogbo as one of the Executors of his WILL. Unfortunately, De Onyekwere, another executor, also died in his early sixties (60’s). Dede Ogbo excelled in filling in this gap, forming an extremely close relationship with his co-Executor, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma in the process. Prof Uche was also an Executor and gave of his best in a calm and steady manner. We remain so very grateful to the three of them.
For the last 43 years Dede Ogbo has been everything to me: Uncle, Father, Mentor, Confidant, Adviser, Strategist and Friend. He happily agreed to serve as honorary consultant to our law firm, Nnenna Ejekam Associates. He invited me to serve as a director of 2 of his companies, first; ADIC Insurance Ltd (as at then was) and ADIC Properties Ltd. He also nominated me to serve as a lecturer in Commercial Law when Enugu State University of Science and Technology established an Executive MBA programme in Lagos.
Dede supported my cause in all things. He was extremely disappointed that I did not take up the challenge (with his unwavering support) of initiating steps and career paths that could open the way to (hopefully) becoming a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
He remained a steadfast pillar in all activities in connection with the preservation of the Legacy of our late Father.
As the collection of photographs set out below will show, Dede was always there for me at every significant part of my life; My call to bar, my father’s funeral, my wedding, my late daughter Ije’s wedding and others.
It is a source of deep pain that I was unable to see Dede as the final days drew near.
I know he is now in the Loving hands of God and the Angels.
Dede, I cannot thank you enough for All your love and care. Rest in the Heavenly Peace you so richly deserve.
Ikom Chineke kezee nke òma; ye ya amamihe, ye ya ogugu isi, ye ya ifu ifu, ya chozu echozu.
La rudo!
Ihe du elen kpikwari òjó

Chief (Mrs.) Nnenna Ogan-Ejekam     

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