“Fidelis Nwadialo with the June 19th mandate,” Uchenna Nwadialo remembers the Legal Legend

My name is UCHENNA NWADIALO. Today, I remember as always, my dad, FIDELIS Nwadialo [SAN].

My eulogy goes, “World FIDELIS Nwadialo Day” I dedicate this day to you, the man with an inescapable date and destiny with June 19th. Could it be coincidental or is it just fate that you were born June 19th, you retired from the civil service June 19th and you passed away on Tuesday June 19th?

My tall, dark and handsome daddy, my cerebral embodiment of knowledge, intelligence and excellence. My mathematician who calculated my list of provisions with his eyes and always gave an accurate answer with his pen whilst I fumbled with the calculator.

Rare gems, they say, come but in a century and you were indeed a rare gem! My fountain of legal knowledge who was always ready to solve legal issues and problems whenever called upon.
My trillion in value Dad, a stalwart amongst men, a great soul, a legal titan of all times.

FIDELIS Nwadialo, my mentor even though fate did not let you mentor me like you did a host of lawyers, I find solace in the fact that I have your books to help me steer the course which destiny prevented you from doing.

My Ossomala born, Ogbaru raised Dad, my heart is filled with a whole lot I will love to tell you, like Mum has been quite strong for us and has ensured we got the best education you would have desired for us; you owe her a very big thank you for leaving all that job to her, do make sure you say thank you. Emeka is also all grown up now, he took your height and stature, but I am still the shortest and I really don’t know what happened.

It is also said that some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them, but Dad, you were an embodiment of all these and more.
I miss my Professor as he was fondly called by law students and other lawyers who at one time or the other had the privilege of being lectured by him in either Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure or Evidence. I know all about your selflessness in freely sharing your Legal knowledge and ideas with all, sadly you didn’t wait to share them with me, but it’s ok Dad, I held unto your legal works; Criminal Procedure in the Southern States; Modern Nigerian Law of Evidence and the Lawyer’s Red Bible Civil Procedure in Nigeria. Though my legal hero has fallen, your weapons of legal war are not perished.
Your legal works continue to arm many Practising lawyers and even law students in the legal warfare.

Humility Personified, I remember in 1994 when you were unilaterally appointed the Director-General and Solicitor-General of the Federation by the late General Sani Abacha, an announcement we all heard over the 9’o clock network news, and immediately our land line kept buzzing from well-wishers congratulating you, but days later Mummy said you had declined the appointment on grounds of principle, that you had not been informed prior to the announcement. I could not but marvel at my Dad, Mr. Principle.

Mr. Kentucky as you were popularly called because of your neatness,
I miss your smile and your gap-tooth, the gap tooth I always wished I had. I may not have inherited the gap-tooth and your height but I became a lawyer like you wanted and I’m sure you are proud of.
You also need to thank Ikemba-N-Alor, I have been with him since after my NYSC. He bridged the gap and has been taking good care of me.

Let me conclude my tribute, by declaring June 19th as World Fidelis Nwadialo Day, May your soul continue to rest in perfect peace.
Adieu Daddy, continue to rest in the bosom of your creator.

It’s your girl,
UCHENNA NWADIALO

3 thoughts on ““Fidelis Nwadialo with the June 19th mandate,” Uchenna Nwadialo remembers the Legal Legend

  1. I had the privilege of working with Mr. Fidelis Nwadialo for a short period, 1983-85, in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Marina Lagos. I fondly remember him as a serious and engaging Boss, as he then was an Assistant Director Civil Litigation, while Mr. Ajala was the Director, Department of Civil Litigation and Public Law. Mr. Nwadialo was a worthy role model and mentor, with whom I deliberately cultivated a relationship that lasted beyond my period of employment as a State Counsel. His contributions to the legal profession will continue to be acknowledged beyond now. He was no doubt a great man.

  2. That is great Uche that your Dad did all these even if his shoes remain too big for you to step into but it is a challenge that you leave a deep foot print on the sand of time in the Legal profession.

  3. I don’t know Mr Nwadialo on personal ground but from the wealth of legal knowledge he birthed while in the land of the living, it’s obvious that he was a brilliant mind and legal ‘ Iroko tree’ that stood taller than his contemporaries .

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