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Ex-Education Minister Prof Fabian Osuji dies at 82

A former Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji, has died. He died on Wednesday morning, according to a family member who confirmed the news.

The former educationist died aged 82.

He had returned from a vacation in the United States on Saturday and had been treated for undisclosed medical issues.

Fabian Ngozichukwu Chinedum Osuji was born on January 20, 1942, and attended Holy Ghost College in Owerri, Government College in Umuahia, the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State, and the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

He conducted his post-doctoral research at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

He was Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan in 1973, a post he held till 1981.

He was also a Visiting Scientific Fellow at the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

He became a Dean of the College of Science, Dean of the College of Postgraduate Studies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and member of the Governing Council of Imo State University.

He was appointed Professor of Applied Biology, at St. John’s University, New York (CUNY) USA (1997-1999).

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He was also a Visiting Professor at several universities in Nigeria and worldwide.

Known as a scholars’ scholar, he published 35 papers and books to his credit.

He celebrated his 80th birthday in 2022 when family and friends gathered to extol the virtue of a man highly regarded as a sound educationist.

Prof. Osuji was appointed Minister of Education in July 2003; and his appointment was widely acknowledged as “a round peg in a round hole.”

According to his Wiki citation, “He was dismissed by President Olusegun Obasanjo in March 2005 following his indictment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly offering N55 million in bribes to the National Assembly to pass an allegedly inflated budget.

“Obasanjo announced the dismissal in a national radio broadcast that implied his guilt.

“The case was handed to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) for persecution.

“In April 2005, Osuji was questioned by the ICPC, as were former Senate leader Adolphus Wabara and Senators Abdulazeez Ibrahim, Emmanuel Okpede, Badamasi Maccido and Chris Adighije.

“In May 2005, Osuji appeared in the Abuja High Court along with Wabara and five lawmakers.

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“After extended legal battles, on 1 June, 2010, an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja declared that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against Osuji, describing the government’s actions as “embarrassing, barbaric and uncivilized” and subsequently quashed all charges against Prof. Osuji.”

Theresa Arike
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