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Remembering Late Hon. Justice A. K Uche - Culture - Nairaland

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Remembering Late Hon. Justice A. K Uche by Anatech(m): 1:08pm On Sep 07, 2021
Hon. Justice Anaga Kalu Uche ( Okele Odonyi, Ania) served as the President of Ohafia Improvement Union for a record period of 17years.

HON. JUSTICE ANAGA KALU UCHE
OKELE-ODONYI OF ANIA, OHAFIA
(1917-1983)

(UP-DATED COPY) Jan.28, 2021

B.L. ( UNIVERSITY OF LONDON).

LLB. (UNIVERSITY OF EXETER).

HON. MEMBER, EASTERN NIGERIA HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

COMMISSIONER, EASTERN NIGERIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

LEGAL ADVISER, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH SYNOD.

LAY READER AND ELDER OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NIGERIA.

MEMBER BIAFRA CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY.

COMMISSIONER, BIAFRA POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION.

HON. ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE, ORLU JUDICIARY.

Hon. Justice Anaga Kalu Uche was the third of seven children born into a noble family in Ndi Uduma Awoke, Ohafia, Abia State, Nigeria. He was however the first son.

His father, the brother of Prof. Eni Njoku's mother had relocated from Ebem, Ohafia to Ndi Uduma Awoke, Ohafia and married Nneafor. The couple was engaged in subsistence farming. Anaga Kalu Uche was the third of seven children and the first of five boys.

Anaga obtained his First School Leaving Certificate from Akanu Primary Mission School and proceeded to Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, for his Higher Elementary School Teacher’s Certificate. Soon after, he started his teaching career with the Presbyterian Church of Scotland Mission School in Akanu. At this time he fell in love with a shy, very beautiful young girl, Eresi Ezi Mbila. It turned out that she was from Ndi Ikpo Compound as he. He married her. Their wedding ceremony was attended by many of the white Missionaries he worked with. It was the first time Ndi Uduma Awoke villagers witnessed a wedding attended by white Missionaries. The story about the wedding was told for generations. He took her back to Akanu to start their family

He quickly rose to become Inspector of Schools within Bende Division which included Igbere, Abiriba, Ohafia and Arochukwu. As he travelled around these territories his passion for his homeland Ohafia grew. The more he travelled through Ohafia he realized her developmental potentials and was enamoured by the beauty of its topography

He had always believed that development of any Community starts from the grassroots. Living in Akanu and being close to the other neighboring villages including his native village Ndi Uduma Awoke inspired him to conceive a Union that could bring the neighboring villages together for faster development. He and other community stalwarts created ANIA Development Centre, an Autonomous Community comprising of five neighboring villages of: Akanu, Abia, Ndi Uduma Awoke, Isiugwu and Amankwu for accelerated development. He established the ANIA CENTRE as the Headquarters and soon after relocated his family from Akanu village to Ania so he could supervise its development. ANIA market days was instituted through his leadership and all villages under ANIA brought their wares and farm products to sell. Ania Development Centre was right on the road between Ebem Ohafia and Ndi Uduma Awoke on the way to Ihie and Arochukwu. These Communities patronized the market and it thrived. ANIA was the first Development Centre created for development in Ohafia. Soon, other Communities in Ohafia copied and created Development Centres such as Isiama and others, which were established to drive grassroots development. These became the precursors of the creation of the present Autonomous Communities, which are politically motivated.

In 1952 he secured admission into the University of Exeter in England to study Law. He was called to the Bar in 1957 at the Middle Temple after obtaining his LLB Exeter and BL London. He turned down a job offer by the British Railway Authority and returned to Nigeria the same year. He was driven by his desire to return and drive the development of his Community and Ohafia as a whole. He set up a vibrant Law practice in Aba, Eastern Nigeria. Soon he was elected simultaneously President of the following unions - Ohafia Improvement Union (O.I.U.), Ania Improvement Union and Ndi Uduma Awoke Welfare Union.

In 1963 ran and won an election to the Eastern Region House of Assembly representing Bende East Constituency under the party NCNC. His unique political slogan during his campaign was “ THE HOUR THE MAN”. He won the election.

While a Legislator, at Ohafia level Anaga Kalu Uche attracted the establishment of Government Technical College (G.T.C.) Ania, and the then novel Post Offices at Ania, Ebem and Amaekpu. He also attracted the tarring of roads through Ohafia by the then Regional Government of Eastern Nigeria. There were no Federal roads in the days of the Regions.

Just before the Nigerian Civil War (also referred to as the Biafra War) broke out he was appointed a Commissioner in the Eastern Nigeria Civil Service Commission. He took this opportunity to ensure the appointment of many young Ohafia University Graduates into the Eastern Regional and Federal Civil Service. He mentored many Ohafia young men and women to choose the Law profession. He also inspired many others to become effective Community Leaders and Politicians. During the Nigerian Civil War, he was nominated a member of Biafra Constituent Assembly, representing Ohafia. This was a Think-Tank group that met periodically with the top Command of Biafra to brain-storm on the way forward. He was also appointed a Commissioner in the Biafra Police Service Commission.

After the Civil War in 1970 he once again set up a vibrant Law practice in Umuahia, in the then Imo State. He led the Umuahia Bar for many years as Chairman of the Bar Association. He was one of the prominent Abia elites who lobbied for the creation of Abia State which was to be carved out from the former Imo State. In 1976 he was appointed a High Court Judge.

Anaga Kalu Uche was the President General of Ohafia Improvement Union for unprecedented 17 (seventeen) years. As President General of Ohafia Improvement Union (O.I.U), he led the O.I.U to establish the Ohafia High School, Ebem. Ohafia High School became the symbol of the unification of Ohafia, to march forward together as an entity, leading to the stability O.I.U enjoyed under his leadership. This period covered the greater part of his Law practice years. He only stepped down meritoriously when he was appointed a High Court Judge in Eastern Region. He stepped down to avoid conflict of interest in his new role as a Judge.

A. K. Uche had an abiding faith in God.This guided him throughout his life. He never missed an opportunity to preach the Sermon in any Church he was invited. He loved farming and owned a large Plantation which he visited and happily harvested crops often whenever he visited home to Ndi Uduma Awoke. His passion for Ohafia culminated in his authorship of a book titled" OHAFIA CUSTOMS AND PRATICES" He was called to glory on September 7th, 1983, while still in service as the Administrative High Court Judge in Orlu. He is survived by ten children, many grand and great grandchildren.

Written By: Aunty Nneonyeodiri Ukoha

With inputs from: Aunty Stella, Uncle Fab and Philip.

Re: Remembering Late Hon. Justice A. K Uche by Anatech(m): 1:11pm On Sep 07, 2021
More Pictures

Re: Remembering Late Hon. Justice A. K Uche by TarOrfeeek: 1:19pm On Sep 07, 2021
This man even with the black and white pictures still remain ugly.


But his achievements seem to be very good.

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