With Gratitude to God for a life well spent, the Board, Management and Staff of the Civil
Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) Nigeria announce the
passing away to eternal glory of Our Distinguished Executive Director, a daughter, sister,
mother, friend and great mentor, Mrs. Oby Nwankwo (Chief Magistrate rtd) on December 9,
2017 in Maryland, U S A.
Oby Nwankwo was a lawyer of over 30 years post call experience in litigation, judicial duties
and development work. She obtained her LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) with Honours from
University of Nigeria in 1979 and subsequently obtained her LL.M (Master of Laws) Degree
at University of Nigeria in 1992.
She served as a Chief Magistrate in the Anambra State Judiciary for 23 years. Since her
voluntary retirement from the judiciary in 2004, she was in the forefront of the campaign for
respect for women’s rights, gender equality and good governance. She was a gender expert/
advocate, a human rights activist, an election monitor, a community mobiliser, an
independent development consultant and a trainer/Facilitator.
Oby was the founder and Executive Director of the Civil Resource Development and
Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), an NGO with offices in Abuja, Enugu, Anambra and
Ebonyi states. Oby led CIRDDOC to work extensively in the following states of Nigeria:
Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Bayelsa, Kano,
Kaduna, Borno, Plateau, Lagos and Abuja; and has trained Community Information Officers,
Civic Educators and paralegals who provide human rights, civic education and legal services
in most of these states.
She represented Africa on the screening Committee of the Coalition for the International
Criminal Court (ICC); she was also a member of the ICC Gender Justice Team and Advisory
Board member of Global Fund for Women among other agencies.
She served as Chairperson of the Civil Society Coordinating Committee on Election Reform
(CSCC), an umbrella organization for all civil society organizations engaging the
constitutional and electoral reform processes in Nigeria.
She was the pioneer Coordinator of National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA), a
network of Civil Society Organization committed to the adoption of affirmative action as an
effective strategy for increasing the number of women in governance. She was a member of
the Monitoring and Evaluation Network of Nigeria (MENN) and the Nigerian Bar
Association. Oby Nwankwo presented numerous speeches at National and International fora
and published several papers. She had extensive experience in gender based violence, gender
analysis, gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation.
On the platform of CIRDDOC, she represented Africa in the Steering Committee of the
Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICC), a member of the ICC Gender Justice
Team and Advisory Board member of Global Fund for Women among others. She led the
team that prepared the Women’s memorandum to the Uwais Committee on Electoral Reform
and the Senate Committee on Constitutional Reform.
Oby led in the campaign for the domestication of CEDAW and the AU Protocol on the Rights
of Women in Africa by the National and State Assemblies and the passage of the Child’s
Rights Law in the States. She was a member of the National Committee of the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) Stakeholders’ Forum.
Oby Nwankwo was elected as a member of the UN CEDAW Expert Committee for a 4-year
term in January 2013 and was re-elected for another 4 year term in 2016.
Oby’s resume is extensive and she was an expert in women’s rights and attended many
courses in law, gender, human rights, women’s rights. She received numerous awards;
however, her biggest accomplishment was raising her seven beautiful and accomplished
children after losing her husband, Engr Victor Nwankwo, in 2002. Oby may have left the
physical world today, but her selfless life of service to humanity not only remains etched in
our memories, but also keeps us striving to do more and more for our great organization in
order to keep her vision alive – through service.
May God, in His Bounty, keep her in His lasting residence, where neither toil nor sense of
weariness shall touch her – Amen.