Controversial former lawmaker, Senator Arthur Nzeribe dies

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LAGOS HERALD –  A former lawmaker, Arthur Nzeribe who represented Imo West Senatorial District in the 4th National Assembly, is dead.
He was reported to have died on Thursday in a foreign hospital following an undisclosed ailment, at the age of 83. The development was further confirmed in a statement jointly signed by members of his family, Ojiabu Francis Anyegbu Nzeribe, Anthony Akpati Nzeribe, and Ojiabu Oliver Nwedo Nzeribe released on Sunday

“The Nzeribe Royal Family of Umudei Royal Village of Oguta in Oguta Local Government Area of ​​Imo State, in total submission to the will of Almighty God and in gratitude for a remarkably dignified life, hereby announce the death of our son, cousin, uncle, husband, father and grandfather, the distinguished Chief Senator Francis Arthur Uzoma Nzeribe who passed away on Thursday 5-5-2022.

While this loss pains us, we are proud of this African legend who distinguished himself in various fields, including sports, international business, politics and gave the Nzeribe brand worldwide recognition.” 

Considered a maverick in some quarters, Senator Nzeribe who hails from Oguta in Imo State represented Orlu Senatorial District as it was then called, from October 1983 to December 1983.

He was later elected in May 1999 to represent Imo West Senatorial District at the National Assembly under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Nzeribe was re-elected in 2003 and stayed in office until May 2007 after he failed to secure a third-term ticket to parliament.

READ ALSO: Senate to hold valedictory session in honour of deceased Senator

The former lawmaker worked with Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and many other African leaders subsequently.

The multi-billionaire is reputed to have played controversial roles in Nigerian political history, and is most remembered for the unpopular attempt of his group, the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), to stop the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election

The ABN had procured a court order at midnight to annul the election, which was granted by the late Justice Bassey Ikpeme of an Abuja High Court.

In November 2002, he was handed an indefinite suspension by then-Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, following a N22 million allegation of fraud levelled against him. He was said to have been planning an impeachment motion against the Senate President.

READ ALSO: Valedictory session: Senate pays homage to late Senator Uwajumogu

Senator Nzeribe was also said to have been embroiled in a running battle with former Imo Governor, Achike Udenwa who hails from the same senatorial district as him.

One major source of disagreement between both politicians disagreed when Udenwa who was championing the proposed creation of Orlu State was opposed by Nzeribe who was the arrowhead in the demand for Urashi State.

In April 2006, a Governor Achike Udenwa-backed Orlu Peoples Consultative Assembly staged what they called a “One million march” in support of Nzeribe’s recall from the Senate.

He would later be defeated by Osita Izunaso during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) December 2006 Senatorial primaries ahead of the 2007 election.

SOURCE: LAGOS HERALD

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