The civil society community in Nigeria on Sunday suffered double losses in the death of two comrades, Yinka Odumakin and Innocent Chukwuma, in one weekend. Odumakin died in the early hours of Sunday at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASITH). The death of Innocent Chukwuma, another frontline human rights activist, founder and Executive Director of the CLEEN Foundation, which focuses on police reforms, was announced later in the day, though he died on Saturday night.
Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, had confirmed the death of Innocent Chukwuma in a statement, on behalf of the family.
Chukwuma was said to have died of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in Lagos on Saturday night. He was the Regional Representative for Ford Foundation in West Africa, and a board member of the Jonathan Foundation.
Chukwumah, 55 years, is survived by his wife, Josephine and three daughters.
The Executive Director of the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, (CHRICED), Dr Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, in a tribute, indicated that the late Innocent Chukwuma remained a consistent voice in the pre-1999 days and thereafter, as he made valiant efforts to rallying Nigerians to demand for democratic accountability and participatory governance.
Chukwuma was also an Executive Director at the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), and made remarkable contributions to electoral and security sector reforms. He played leading roles in the Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, and Centre for Law Enforcement Education, CLEEN Foundation.
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