Obinna Uzoh: Keeping a Date with History

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With his recent announcement by the courts as the senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District, the success he has recorded as a businessman cannot but stand Sir Obinna Uzoh as a man capable of making a success out of his political career, writes Adedayo Adejobi Adedayo Adejobi

Obinna Uzoh. That is a name that seemed to have a date with history. However, while the foundation for that history was laid when Uzoh decided to throw his hat into the political ring, the history itself did not manifest until Justice Bello Kawu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, declined the request to set aside the earlier order which nullified the election of businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah, as the senator representing the Anambra South Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

The battle has been intense and many never expected Uzoh to achieve victory. But the battle started when Uzoh picked the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. However, during the February 23, 2019, general elections, Ubah was declared the winner of the election. Ubah had run on the ticket of the Young People’s Party, YPP.

Ubah, however, has had a short-lived tenure as a Senator. Uzoh had approached the courts and on April 11, 2019, the court had sacked Ubah for allegedly submitting a forged National Examination Council certificate to contest the February 23, 2019, senatorial election. The judge had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ubah. He directed that a fresh one be issued to Dr. Obinna Uzoh who came second in the election.

The suit, marked CV/3044/2018, was filed before the court by a registered voter in Anambra State, Anani Chuka. In his bid to vacate the initial order, Ubah had subsequently filed an application before the court praying for an order setting aside the judgment on the grounds that it occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice against him.

The billionaire businessman and owner of Capital Oil had told the court that he was not served with the court processes or the hearing notice throughout the proceedings leading to the judgment. Justice Kawu had on December 4, 2019, granted an order of stay of execution restraining the Senate President from swearing in Uzoh, pending the hearing and determination of Ubah’s application. The judge also ordered all parties to the suit including the INEC to maintain the status quo in the meantime.

But when he was to give his final judgment, the judge dismissed the application for lacking in merit. He also dismissed a motion another claimant to the PDP senatorial ticket, Chief Chris Uba, filed to be joined as an interested party in the substantive suit. And as a result of that Uzoh became a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The man, Obinna Uzoh, is a man of means and someone who has used the blessing God has bestowed on him to bless his immediate family, those who come across him but above, to serve God.
To demonstrate his commitment to the service of his Creator, Uzoh and his wife, Henrietta, had, in 2016, donated a magnificent chapel called Chapel of Adoration to the All Saints Catholic Parish in Ihiala, Anambra State. To make it real family stuff, his children had also donated a well-designed Crucifix to the church.

Speaking then, Uzoh said he felt a personal satisfaction that the project was completed and handed over to the church.
“In everything,” Uzoh said, “We must learn to be thankful to God for the power to make wealth and the spirit of sharing comes from Him. My entire family felt a sense of fulfillment on the success of the project. There is no greater joy for me as a human being than supporting a noble cause within my God-given ability and limitation.”

Uzoh had earlier, through his Foundation, designed built and furnished the All Saints Catholic Church dedicated on February 12, 2012. He had also built a hostel for the Catholic Church at Amansea, Awka, the capital of Anambra State, valued at N400 million.
Uzoh was born into the family of late Chief and Chief (Mrs.) Obi Uzoh of Umunnamehi, Ihiala in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State on March 17, 1963.

In his own words, Uzoh said he is a humble teacher, lawyer, a seasoned administrator, astute entrepreneur and a philanthropist.
“My elaborate exposure to these areas of human endeavour has helped nurture my private business enterprises from very humble beginnings to large concerns. Indeed, the said business which started as a mustard seed commenced in 1987 and has today grown into the conglomerate, Gocuz Group Limited with six subsidiaries: Gocuz Engineering, Gocuz Oil Services, Gocuz Construction, Gocuz Chambers, Gocuz Finance and Securities and Gocuz Farms Ltd. Today, I am the Chairman/CEO of all subsidiaries in Gocuz Group; Principal Partner, Gocuz Chambers; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Caritas University, Enugu and founder of Obinna Uzoh Foundation,” he explained.

Uzoh is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Member, Institute of Directors of Nigeria, IOD, Member, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Member, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, Member, Nigerian-German Council, Member, Asian-Chamber of Commerce, Member, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Member, Ikoyi Club, Member, Lagos Island Club, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Administrators and Fellow, Institute of Cost Management.

Uzoh places so much emphasis on education and he says because of this, he has embarked on awarding scholarships to many students in primary and secondary schools, colleges of education, polytechnics and universities across the country. He has also awarded special scholarships to indigenes of Anambra State in medicine, law, accountancy, and engineering and so on. He also built and donated a three-storey building for the Law Faculty of Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State. He also built, donated and renovated schools across the country, constructed and equipped several computer and science laboratories in secondary and tertiary institutions in Anambra State and distribution of textbooks and instructional materials to schools across Anambra State.
He is also involved in the establishment of small scale enterprises for indigenes of Anambra State and involved in road construction/rehabilitation of rural roads in the state.

For someone who has paid his dues in the business environment and who has also achieved success in his chosen fields, it is gratifying that he has now shifted focus to public service where he can help make policies and laws that will benefit the common man. And not that alone, use his good offices to help his constituents. It remains to be seen if the system will allow Uzoh to replicate what he has done in the business environment in the political arena.

But if there is any man equipped to achieve success no matter the odds, it is Sir Obinna Uzoh, the new Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.