Late Professor Celestine O. E. Onwuliri


Last Role & Interests:
Just before he died, Professor C.O.E Onwuliri was a visiting professor at the National Universities Commision, Abuja where he was Chairman Standing Commitee on Private Universities (SCOPU). He was the current National President (Major General and Supreme Subordinate President) of the Knights of St. John International, Nigeria.

Previous Roles/Appointments:

Prof. Celestine Onwuliri  had over 32 yrs of teaching, research, administrative and community service experience in over 6 universities in Nigeria and many others abroad. He was twice Head, Dept of Zoology, 3 times Dean, Faculty of natural sciences, Sub-Dean, School of Post gradraduate studies, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Acting  Vice-Chancellor, all at the University of Jos (1988-2006), Director Academic Planning, Imo State
University Owerri (1992-1994), and Immediate past Vice-Chancellor  2006-2011. As Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Celestine Onwuliri transformed the institution by completing over fifty infrastructural projects which included the erection of structures for faculties, departments, the tarring of roads to aid accessibility and the development of a staff quarters for the lecturers of the University.

Key Accomplishments

Professor Celestine Onwuliri was an accomplished leader in helminthic parasitological research, Prof Celestine Onwuliri  had made outstanding contributions on the ecology and epidemiology of parasitic helminthes responsible for many debilitating communicable diseases of significant public health and socio economic importance such as Dracunculiasis
(Guinea worm disease), Onchocerciasis (River blindness), Filariasis, schistomiasis and other intestinal helminthosis. Through this endeavor he had successfully supervised 25 doctor of philosophy (PhD) candidates and more than 160 candidates at MSc. and Bsc. levels for the advancement of science and technology education in Nigeria and overseas many of whom today are distinguished professors, administrators, politicians, businessmen and women.

Professor C.O.E Onwuliri had published over 200 well researched articles in peer reviewed journals and delivered several invited papers nationally and internationally. He had served the larger society in various capacities such as National President Nigerian Society of Parasitology (now Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria) 1993-1997, Honorable commissioner for Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Imo state 1997-99; Honorable commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources 1998, Member Board of Governors University of Jos, Demonstration Secondary school (1983-97), Member University Press (1993-2001, Chairman Board of Directors University of Jos Bookstore,  Chairman board of director NYSC Imo state 1997-99, Chairman Imo Broadcasting Cooperation 1997-1999, Chairman Imo Sports Council 1997-99. During his tenure as Commissioner in the Youth & Sports Ministry, he hosted the 11th National Sports Festival, tagged, “Imo 98” the most successful National Sports event (1998-99), Member of Council University of Jos 1996-2006, was first Vice President, Supreme Subordinate Commandery Nigeria, KSJ international 2003-09, Member Committee of Assessors, Nigeria National Merit Award 2002-08, Member Federal Government  official delegation 2005 Christian pilgrimage to the holy land (appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo, member of council  Federal University of Technology Owerri (2006-2011).

He had received several fellowships, honors and awards including; Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences (FAS), Fellow Nigerian Society for Parasitology (FNSP- now Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria), Fellow Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (FBSN), Fellow Civilian Institute of Democratic Administration (FCIDA), Fellow, Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (FNSBMB), Fellow the Association  of Aquatic Sciences (FAAS), Honorary Fellow Nigerian Institute of Biomedical Engineering (HonFNIBE), Fellow, Society for Environmental Health (FSEH), Fellow African Scientific Institute (ASIF), Fellow Solar Energy Society of Nigeria (FSESN). Distinguished Academic Leadership Award (DALA) by COFICON. He had served as consultant to several national and international  agencies including World Health Organization, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Carter Center/Global 2000, Federal Ministry of Health, African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC).

He was an Alumni of High Achievement (ALOHA) of the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, a coveted award which is given to members of the University for outstanding achievements and contributions to the society. He enjoyed reading, writing, analytical discussions, table tennis, soccer and boxing.


Edward Oparaoji PharmD.

Doctor or Pharmacy (PharmD); University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Current Role & Interests:

Professor Edward Oparaoji currently holds a leadership role  as a field based medical scientist at a US based major multinational Pharmaceutical Company. He oversees and facilitates relationships with scientific experts, clinical research, scientific publications, medical education and other medical affairs support initiatives, essential to bringing lifesaving medicines to patients. He is committed to bridging unmet needs in healthcare, education, good governance and overall quality and dignity of life.

Previous Roles/Appointments:

Prior to his current roles, Dr. Oparaoji held various high profile positions with increasing responsibilities in diverse organizations and settings. These included Professor of Critical Care Therapeutics, and Coordinator of the  Doctor of Pharmacy Programs Curriculum – both at Howard University’s College of Pharmacy, Washington DC; Director, Global Medical Affairs, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Pennsylvania; Director, Cardiovascular Field Medical Affairs, Sanofi-Aventis, New Jersey; National Director,  Medical Sciences, Publicis, Pennsylvania; Senior Vice President, Medical Scientific Affairs, Cline, Davis & Mann, New York; Neuroscience Consultant, Roche Pharmaceuticals, California; President, Horizon Medical Solutions, Oregon, and others. He founded, produced, directed, and hosted a popular radio program on AM WRC 980 in the Washington DC area, titled, “Ask the Pharmacy Doctor.”

Key Accomplishments

Professor Oparaoji is the Founder of ECUDOMEF – a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life of the underprivileged Nigerian, especially the youths, widows and orphans, through facilitation of access to affordable purposeful education and quality healthcare services. This organization has among other initiatives awarded over 300 scholarships, sponsored many free medical and educational outreach as well as  poverty alleviating programs. Dr. Oparaoji also currently serves as interim Chairman, Diaspora Nigerians Network (DNN); member Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA); Chairman and Senior Advisor, Nigerian-American Leadership Council (NALC)- a very influential  Nigerian think-tank in Washington DC, USA; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Amuzi Development Fund (ADF); Chairman, Eastern Mandate Union (EMU)-Abroad, to mention a few.

Professor Oparaoji obtained his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Prior to emigrating to the US, he worked in Nigeria as a pharmacist, at the General Hospital, Port Harcourt; Military Hospital, Rukuba, Jos; and Imarsel Chemical Company, Calabar. He has published several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, supervised 15 doctoral theses and presented at several major scientific meetings. A few of his widely cited original, published clinical research works, include “Aminoglycoside volume of distribution in postoperative patients with septic shock”; “Appropriateness of a 4 mg/kg gentamicin or tobramycin loading dose in post-operative septic shock patients”; “Aminoglycoside pharmacokinetics in African-Americans with normal renal function”; and “Cost Benefit Analysis of Monitoring Serum Vancomycin Concentrations in a Teaching Hospital”.

These works have contributed significantly in revolutionizing antibiotics dosing in critically ill patients and other special patients populations.

Chief Oparaoji, is a passionate pro-democracy and human rights advocate, who played a pivotal role in ushering in Nigeria’s current democracy. As the leader of the  Nigerian Democratic Awareness Committee (NDAC), Eastern Mandate Union (EMU)-Abroad and a Chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), in the US, he alongside other patriots, doggedly fought and dismantled Nigeria’s military dictatorships and subsequently facilitated enthronement  of Nigeria’s current democratic dispensation. During these times, he represented the pro-democracy movement at key conferences, such as, Council on Foreign Relations, NY; Norwegian Council on Africa, held in Oslo; Center for Strategic and International Studies, DC; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, DC; Amnesty International, DC; US Department of State; and the United States White House. He led the task force for developing the “Farewell to Poverty” plan – the strategic governing document for then President-Elect M.K.O. Abiola’s aborted administration. Professor Oparaoji was declared enemy of state by the Sani Abacha dictatorship thus preventing him from being at his Father’s burial.

Dr. Oparaoji is a recipient of numerous coveted awards for excellence, for his professional, community service and civil society contributions. These include: Who’s Who among Students in American Universities& Colleges; Honored Faculty and Excellence in Research Awards from Howard University; Horizon Star Award from Sanofi Pharmaceuticals; One-Shire Award from Shire Pharmaceuticals. He was recognized among Top 50 Nigerians in the US and Canada, and appointed Nigeria’s delegate to the 66th, 67th and 68th UN General Assembly (UNGA), in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Other awards include “Outstanding Leadership and Community Services Award” from Aladinma Mbaise, University of Nigeria Alumni Association and Nwannedinamba Association, all in Washington DC.

Professor Edward Oparaoji hails from the Oparaoji royal family of Amuzi Autonomous Community in Ahiara, Ahiazu-Mbaise, Imo State Nigeria. An Ezeji, he is also a recipient of several traditional titles, such as Onwazuruoha Mbaise, Ugwumba Mbaise and Kpakpando Ndiigbo, and a philanthropist. Chief, Prince Oparaoji, is the first of four children of Their Royal Highnesses, Late Eze Cletus and Ugoeze Dorothy Oparaoji.

Professor Ignatius Oparaji Onyeocha

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); University of Paris XI/Institut Pasteur Paris France.

Current Role & Interests:
Prof. Onyeocha is a renowned Genetic Engineer, an academic of professorial cadre at the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Nigeria. Committed to poverty alleviation in the African continent, he is a Member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He is involved with several NGOs for youth engagement, community health and development through education. He is a keen advocate of good governance and of involvement by the civil society. He is currently the coordinator of the Establishment Committee of Pristine University. Well travelled around the world, he speaks fluent English, French and Igbo languages and has good working knowledge of Yoruba, Hausa, Spanish and German.

Previous Roles/Appointments:
Prof. Onyeocha was an Academic at the great Cambridge University, UK where he established the Transgenic Laboratory, and at the Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden Uk where he was part of the European Union Projects of Technological Priority (PTP).

Key Accomplishments
Following the award of Best Research Project Student award at the University of Ife (1980), now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Nigeria, Dr. Onyeocha went on to the Institut Pasteur Paris where he worked on the characterization and development of Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough) acellular vaccine and the characterization of the 90 MegaDalton plasmid of Azospirillum brasilense. Dr Onyeocha was a Special Adviser on Science & Technology to the Scientific Attache of the Nigerian High Commission, London UK. A foundation member of the Governing Board of a London Catholic School, he is a Eucharistic Minister of the Catholic Church.
He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and on various issues of public interest. He has attended conferences in all continents of the world.