Innocent Chukwuma, a civil society leader and renowned human rights activist, is dead.

Chukwuma, West Africa director of Ford Foundation, died on Saturday in Lagos.


He died at the age of 55.


He was said to have been diagonised with acute Myeloid Leukaemia — aggressive cancer of the blood.

He was to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday for a fellowship at University of Oxford.


He only discovered just last week that he had leukaemia and it turned out to be an aggressive one.


The UK trip was delayed to enable him celebrate Easter with his family.


Chukwuma joined Ford Foundation as its West Africa representative in 2013.


He was responsible for overseeing grant making in the region, supporting efforts to ensure that all people have equal access to economic and social opportunities.


He is a globally recognised advocate for human rights and good governance.


Chukwuma was also the founder of Centre for Law Enforcement Education, popularly known as CLEEN Foundation.

CLEEN was the first African nongovernmental organisation to receive the MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.


Chukwuma was also the director, international lobby program, Civil Liberties Organization