Home Nigeria Former 2nd Republic Politician, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe Dies at 83

Former 2nd Republic Politician, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe Dies at 83

Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe
Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe

By Uche Amunike

Former maverick politician, Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe has just died in a hospital outside the shores of Nigeria, according to his family, Sunday morning at the age of 83.
In a statement titled ‘Our mighty Iroko has fallen: Senator Chief Francis is dead’, and signed by Ojiabu Francis Anyegbu Nzeribe, Ojiabu Oliver Nwedo Nzeribe and Anthony Akpati Nzeribe, on behalf of the Nzeribe Royal family, his death was confirmed to be true.
It partly read: ‘Umudei Royal Village of Oguta in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, in total submission to the will of God Almighty and in appreciation of a remarkably worthy life hereby announces the death of our Son, Cousin, Uncle, Husband, Father, and Grandfather, Distinguished Senator, Chief Francis Arthur Uzoma Nzeribe (Ogbuagu, Oshiji, Damarae Oyirrba of Oguta) on the 5th day of May 2022 at the age of 83.
‘While we are pained by this loss, we are proud of this African Legend who distinguished himself in various fields including sports, international business, and politics and gave the Nzeribe brand worldwide acclaim.’
While the family kicked off the requisite traditional consultations, they stated that programme for his funeral rites will be released in due course and appealed to the public to show regard for the privacy of the family and the solemnity of his demise, in order to enable them grieve in peace.
The late Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe was a multi-billionaire investment mogul.
His father, Onyimba Nzeribe was a former State Counsel and lawyer while his grandfather, Akpati Nzeribe took the traditional title of Ogbuagu, Oshiji, Damanze Oyimba of Oguta.
During his childhood, his mother died while he was in primary school. At that time, his father was away, studying Law in Britain. His care was therefore taken over by Catholic priests who were interested in furthering his education.
He schooled at Bishop Shanaham College, Orlu and Holy Ghost College, Owerri.
He left for Lagos in 1957 and gained employment with the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) as an Engineering Cadet. One year after that, the NPA offered him scholarship to study Marine Engineering.
The late Nzeribe was elected as Senator representing Orlu Senatorial zone in Imo State in 1999. He was also re-elected in 2003. However in November 2002, former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim had him suspended indefinitely over a N22m fraud allegation.
In August 2007, he got the appointment of Member, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Recall that Nzeribe was famous for forming the popular Association for a Better Nigeria (ABN), which supported General Ibrahim Babangida in scuttling the generally acknowledged June 12 election that would have made Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola the President of Nigeria. MKO later died in General Abacha’s gulag.
As at 2018 Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe was believed to be worth over 1.5 billion dollars. He built Sentinel Assurance and other companies in his prime.
He married a second wife who is the sister of Hajiya Asabe Yar’Adua, wife of the Late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who was incidentally, the brother of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
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