It is likely to be the most difficult news for all those in his circle to believe but Intervention has learnt of the passage of Mr. Innocent Chukwuma around 8 pm April 3rd, 2021. A well connected source to him confirmed his unfortunate passage.
He is the immediate past West Africa Director of Ford Foundation. What is, however, unique about him is his membership of the young activists who penetrated the space of man’s inhumanity to man called Nigerian prisons in the late eighties when they worked at the Civil Liberties Organisation, (CLO).
In a series of reports, the team exposed the dehumanizing conditions of the prisons as to make the statement that the reformatory essence of prisons is not the case in military run Nigeria. The work the team did remains a major one because no one is doing anything about the conditions of prisons and prisoners in Nigeria anymore, a big paradox in the context of a much better funded and more expanded NGO activism.
Mr. Chukwuma is the founder of CLEEN Foundation which pioneered NGO work with a focus on the Police, especially training and capacity building involving well heeled Sociology professors and criminologists as resource persons, long before the Police got its own academy off the ground.
Intervention could not confirm Mr. Chukwuma’s age immediately but he is very unlikely to be beyond 56 – 58. It is, however, authoritatively understood that he did not die of Covid-19.
Innocent Chukwuma’s death is coming on the heels of that of Yinka Odumakin which occurred in Lagos April 2nd, 2021. They did not attend the same university, Chukwuma having attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) while Odumakin went to the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife but they were part of the nationalist student movement politics at the time, fighting military dictatorship and Structural Adjustment Programme, (SAP).
Chukwuma’s death is bound to be a developing story and Intervention would follow up in what appears to be the world jumbling up its cards!