By YUSUF MOHAMMED
According to the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, Prof. Ben Nwabueze is the greatest constitutional lawyer in the world.
He made this known on Thursday at the National Institute of International Affairs, Lagos for the public presentation of the book, Challenges of Good and Democratic Governance in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Prof. Ben Nwabueze
Prof. Sagay (SAN) who is one of the writers of the book gave his thoughts on the legend. According to him Nwabueze is “the greatest constitutional law scholar alive.”
To him, “Those who are not present here would not know what they have missed. Prof Nwabueze is described as the greatest constitutional law scholar in Africa. I think that is a bit modest. Personally I have not seen in contemporary times, I am not aware in terms of the whole international community of a man of the prodigy in that area of law as Prof. Nwabueze. We are being modest. He is the greatest constitutional law scholar alive.
Sagay also made it clear that contrary to how he his being described by journalists, he is not a constitutional lawyer.
He said, “My personal relationship with him, contrary to what journalists always describe me as, I am not a constitutional lawyer or expert. I studied international law. But I found with time that everybody must be involved in constitutional law. It is the most important area of law and I was not happy about my relative illiteracy in that area so I started reading books, mainly his books. Reading cases and beginning to develop a body of knowledge in it and he noticed it himself and did me the honour of asking me to review a book he wrote which was a fantastic experience for me. I read it, did a review.
“He was very happy with the review and since then we have been quite close in that area. So it is a great honour and a privilege to have been picked as one of those to take part in this essay in his honour. I feel highly privileged and I thank God for the honour and pray that this prodigious man who has written over 30 books maybe about 40 should be spared to continue to live long amongst us so we continue to enjoy and benefit from his incredible output.”
Prof. Nwabueze is Nigeria’s first academic Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He is a former Teacher, Administrator, Businessman and former Minister of Education and Youth Development. He was born on December 22nd, 1932 in Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He has written over 200 articles in academic journals and more than 100 keynotes at local and international Conferences.