By Emeka Nwokocha
Renowned Warri based foremost human rights activist, vibrant lawyer and resourceful politician, Barr. Casely Omon-Irabor, on Friday, August 28 marked his 60th birthday with a harvest of encomiums.
It was indeed a proud moment for the man of honour as he started off his birthday celebration at Godatin hotel, Enerhen, Delta State.
Dignitaries from all walks of life turned up in their numbers to celebrate the legal icon. The Chairman of the occasion, Barr. Peter Mrakpor, Atorney General of Delta State, who was ably represented by Barr. J. Otite, poured encomiums on the legal guru for his outstanding and courageous interventions in numerous cases of violation of the rights of Nigerians and ensuring that the rights of all citizens are respected.
While applauding the celebrant as a rare gem, propelled by a single-minded determination to defend the rights of poor Nigerians, the dignitaries commended his boundless energy and fearless disposition with which he tenaciously pursues and crusades his beliefs, principles and ideals to ensuring untrammeled rule of law, social justice and fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens.
In his speech, Barr. Omon-Irabor thanked God for making him the great man he is. He said, “I thank God today that l am celebrating my life with friends and personalities of noble character and Intellectual prowess.
Draped in nostalgia, He continued, “I remember that matriculation day in 1990; that memorable day l entered the university of Nigeria to study law; l was humbled when I got to the gate and saw the university’s conspicuous motto: ‘to restore the dignity of man’ draped the magnificent entry gate.
It was a memorable day that influenced my life till this day. I thank God for giving me an opportunity to be who I am today in the face of daring challenges.”
Continuing, Barr. Omon-Irabor held the audience spell bound with a narration of his experience in the murky waters of Nigeria politics.
He expressed disgust at the heavily skewed and lack lustre political system that priotizes primordial sentiments with little or no regard for merit. He lampooned the electoral process, stressing that he vied for the Edo State House of Assembly and the Senate but was unsuccessful due to the monetised electoral system that has become a norm in Nigeria while competency, accountability and integrity are relegated to the doldrums.
The eloquent celebrant eulogised his wife’s sterling qualities, describing her as a woman of dignity and high moral rectitude. His words, “my wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Comfort Omon-Irabor is a celebrated personality, very calm, dignified and sacrosanct. She is always behind me and gives me the comfort and support that culminated in the success I have recorded over the years.
Recalling his days of tribulations, Barr. Omon-Irabor said the fervent prayers and support from his wife put the troubles at bay. He proudly and happily said, “I have been married to my beautiful wife for 33 successfully years and still waxing strong.”
Barrister Casely Omon-Irabor was born on the 28 day of August, 1960 in Ebudin, Edo State. He started his formal educational journey at St. Christopher Primary school, Ebudin and proceeded to the famous St. Benedict Boys High School, Igueben, Edo State. He had 10 years post-secondary school work experience and then proceeded to the University of Nigeria, in 1990 where he studied law and obtained a Bachelor of law (LL.B) degree. Subsequently, he was called to the Nigerian Bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. His unparalleled quest for a honed career in law inspired him to proceed to the University College London for more degrees. Not done with learning, Barrister Omon-Irabor undertook further academic journey at reputable universities in Europe and studied International human rights law. In a nutshell, Omon-Irabor traversed four universities across the globe in the course of his education.
He returned to Nigeria and had a brief stint as a lecturer at the faculty of law, Delta State University, Oleh campus. He voluntarily quit the job and started private legal practice laced with professional distinction spanning over 23 years. Barrister Omon-Irabor’s political career has recorded resounding milestones over the years.
Present at the occasion were Dr. (Mrs.) Comfort Omon-Irabor; Mr. Andrew Duku, President of University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Warri Chapter; Mrs. Amaka Chukwuma, Vice President, University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Warri Chapter; Dr. Emmanuel Paddy Iyamu, representative of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, APC flag bearer in the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election; Revrend Fr. Emmanuel Izenofor; Mr. Ferdinand Okoro, Secretary, University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Warri; and representatives of lawyers called to Bar in 1998 to mention a few.