One of Nigeria’s civil society leaders and founder of the CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma, has died.
His death was announced on Sunday via CLEEN Foundation’s Twitter handle.
Although the foundation did not indicate his age, multiple reports suggest that he died at 55.
“We are extremely pained to announce the death of Innocent Chukwuma on April 3. He was the founder and pioneer Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation,” the statement signed by Professor Etannibi Alemika on behalf of the foundation’s Board of Trustees.
“Until February 2021, a few weeks ago, Innocent Chukwuma was the West Africa Representative of Ford Foundation.”
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The foundation described its late founder as a patriot, who throughout his years, struggled for a Nigerian nation where peace, justice and development are attained and sustained.
The late Chukwuma was one of the students within the National Union of Nigerian Students (NANS) platform that opposed the arbitrary powers of the military rule in the 1980s.
He continued the struggle as a staff of the Civil Liberties Organisation where he led research and advocacy on police reform.
In 1989, Chukwuma established the Centre for Law Enforcement of Education in Nigeria registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as CLEEN Foundation.
Reacting to the unfortunate incident, one of his close allies and comrade in a civil right crusade, Chidi Odinkalu, said the late Chukwuma, “passed before the needle could be inserted.
“He was a man of decency. I knew him for nearly 35 and I am grateful for the privilege. In all things, as my late mum always said, we must learn to give thanks. He was a man of decency,” he told Vanguard.