Senator Osunbor @70: A rare politician with a Midas touch at the service of his people

By Emman Ovuakporie

Dubbed the Attorney General of the Senate between 1999-2007, Senator, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, a professor of law, author of many titles, a newspaper columnist is a rare legislative gem that Nigerians can never be in a hurry to forget because of his legislative prowess in legislative businesses and governance.

He stood tall among his colleagues serving his country and his constituents in Edo Central as he left nobody in doubt as one Lawmaker who knows what it takes to represent his country and his people.

Little wonder his fellow senators nick named him the Attorney General of the Senate.

Osunbor started the landmarks in Electoral Reforms in the National Assembly after his sterling inputs as the Chairman Senate Committee on Electoral Matters.

Became the Governor of Edo State in 2007 through 2008 before his tenure was truncated via a very questionable Appeal Court verdict that has left the heartbeat of the nation in political turmoil till date.

Within his 18 months of service to the state, Osunbor touched virtually all segments of the state with developmental strides unequalled in such a short space of time.

He constructed, refurbished more than 36 roads, gave health a true facelift, reintroduced bursary awards turned around the educational sector.

Osunbor touched virtually every field of all human endeavours as his slogan connotes then ‘taking Edo State to greater heights of excellence’.

It was indeed taking the heartbeat to greater heights of excellence as Osunbor was at the verge of fixing all the agricultural farm settlements in the State before the self inflicted Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Appeal Court verdict truncated his blueprint for Edo State.

He wanted to make Edo State the food basket of the nation as the agricultural farm settlements had been abandoned for over two decades. He knew once hunger has been captured, armed robbery and thuggery will relocate from the heartbeat of the nation.

It’s on record that for the first time in a Edo State in December 2007 no gun shot was heard as armed robbers had already relocated from Edo State as Osunbor equipped all security operatives in the State with modern security gadgets.

Educational Career and Childhood Days:

Oserheimen Osunbor was born on 5 October 1951 in Iruekpen, Esan West Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria. He attended P.T.T.C Demonstration Primary School Igueben from 1957 to 1962, then Anglican Grammar School Ujoelen Ekpoma from 1963 to 1968 and then obtained his sixth form at Holy Trinity Grammar School Sabongidaa-Ora Edo State.
Attended University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1971 1975) and graduated with a First Class Honours Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree

• Was awarded the Certificate for the Best Faculty Student and the Certificate for the Best
Student in the Department of Public and Private Law(1 975)

• Attended Nigerian Law School, Lagos (1975 1976) and was called to the Nigerian Bar
Received the coveted Certificate for the Student with the Best Overail Performance in the Nigerian Bar Examination and the Dr.Taslim Olawale Elias Prize.

• Won a Rhodes scholarship to pursue his doctorate degree in Law at the University of
Warwick, Coventry, England frorn 1 977 – 1981,when he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy (Phd) degree in Law.

• Won a University of Nigeria, Nsukka Foundation Scholarship (1972-1975)

• Was the Orator of the 1975 Graduands of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

• Appointed Lecturer in Law, Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna (NYSC 1976 – 1977) and taught Company Law, Commercial Law and General Principles of Law

• Was appointed Lecturer II, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (1981); Lecturer 1 (1983) and Senior Lecturer(1986- 1990)

• Was appointed Professor of Law, Lagos State University of Lagos (1990)

• Was Sub-Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (1989- 1990)

• Was Professor and Head of Department of Business Law (1990- 1996) and Dean, Faculty of Law (1996-1999), Lagos State University

• Was Visíting Fellow (Law of Public Companies) the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern lreland (1986-1987)

• Was Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar on Transnational Law and Legal institutions, Salzburg, Austria (1992)

• Has practiced law with emphasis on legal drafting and litigation since 1976

• Won elections twice (1999 – 2003) and (2003- .2007) as a; distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

• Was for 10 years (1982 – 1992), the National Treasurer of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT)

• Was an Executive Council Member of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (1993-1995)

Political Career:

• Chairman and Vice Chairman of various committees and ad-hoc committees in the Senate (1999- 2007) Is the Chancellor, Esan Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

• Has been conferred with numerous awards of honour in recognition of his dedication to duty, diligence and overall contributions to the peace, growth and sustainable development of Edo State, Nigeria and humanity.

• Elected Executive Governor of Edo State on April 14, 2007
• Installed Visitor of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma on Saturday, May 10, 2008

• Conferred with Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.), Honoris Causa, AAU, Ekpoma

On May 29, 2007, PDP produced Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor as the governor of Edo state. He served as the Civilian Governor of the state from May 29, 2007 to November 11, 2008 after the court nullified his election. He was elected as governor on April on the PDP platform. On March 2008, the Edo State Governorship Election Tribunal declared that Osubor’s election was invalid, and asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw his certificate and decleared Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of the Action Congress (AC) Party the winner. On November 11, 2008, a Federal Appeal Court sitting in Benin City upheld the ruling of the state’s election petitions tribunal, declaring Oshiomhole to be the governor of Edo state.

Married to Lady Ussieh and are both blessed with six (6) children.

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