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CSOs to hold ‘Night of Tribute’ in honour of civil society leader, Innocent Chukwuma

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and friends of Innocent Chukwuma in Enugu State have agreed to hold a Night of Tributes in honour of their friend and colleague, the late Mr. Innocent C. Chukwuma, who passed away on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Lagos.

Uchenna Achunine, Executive Director, the Centre for Memories (Ncheta Ndigbo) in a statement on Tuesday announced that the event will hold Friday, May 7.

Achunine explained that the night of tributes is part of a national funeral programme for the late civil society leader, Innocent Chukwuma, a dedicated, thoughtful and admired leader.

He said the ceremony will be coordinated by the centre for memories in collaboration with, Society of Igbo Professionals (SIP), South Saharan Development Organisation (SSDO), DevEast, Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Peter Mbah Foundation, iServe2050, and Nwanyibuife Cooperative.

Until January 2021, Innocent Chukwuma was the West Africa representative of the Ford Foundation.  Innocent first came to prominence when as a student union leader at the University of Nigeria in the 1980s. He led many protests against the military autocracy. 

Upon graduation, he joined other young activists at the Civil Liberties Organisation, Nigeria’s first human rights organisation, where he played a crucial role in fighting for many police brutality victims and injustice. 

In 1989, Innocent founded the Centre for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria (CLEEN Foundation), a leading NGO to promote public safety, security, and accessible justice in West Africa. 

CLEEN was the first African non-governmental organisation to receive the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.  Innocent served on many global non-governmental boards and initiatives, including the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, Open Society Global Criminal Justice Fund, and the Africa Advisory Council of Human Rights Watch.

He supported and built solid partnerships with donors, civil society leaders and public and private sector leaders across Nigeria and West Africa. He was also an inspirateur of the Centre for Memories (Ncheta Ndigbo) and many other organizations. He built and left a legacy that will always be with us, and he will always be remembered.


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