Exactly five weeks after her painful passage on Thursday, June 4, Ngozi Janice Okonkwo, the highly cerebral Chief Legal Officer of Oando Plc, will be laid to rest, this week Friday, July 17 at her hometown, Nibo, Anambra State.
It was gathered that a Virtual Service of Song was held in her honour last Friday which was strictly a private affair with only immediate family members and very few close friends and associates in compliance with the current guidelines occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.Before she lost the battle to cancer at 45, Ngozi was said to have recovered and resumed at her duty post.
However, she suffered a relapse during the COVID-19 lockdown and could not travel out to see her doctors.
A source said, “The best available health facilities in Nigeria couldn’t help her. So, she lost the battle.”
In his tribute, oil tycoon and the Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando Plc, Adewale Tinubu, described the deceased as a wonderful soul who was ready for every goal-oriented endeavour.
Tinubu said, “Oando has lost a true leader– kind, passionate, driven, focused and diligent. She was an exemplary professional and an astute lawyer who commanded respect from all who knew her… She was knowledgeable, efficient, competent and diligent. She was what we all hope for in a team member. She was an embodiment of empathy, loyalty, support and trust. She was someone you wanted by your side when winning was the goal. She was focused, audacious.”
Before joining Oando, Ngozi had worked as a junior counsel with F.O. Akinrele & Co., and also with KPMG Professional Services (previously known as Arthur Andersen) as a manager in the Tax, Regulatory and People Services Unit and head of Indirect Tax Services.
She obtained LLB (Hons) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1997 and BL from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1999.
She was a member of the Nigerian Bar Association; an honorary fellow of the Association of Fellows and Legal Scholars of the Centre for International Legal Studies, Austria; an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria.
Ngozi was survived by her husband, Chukwunenye Okonkwo, and their four children.