Chief Dr Simon Nsobundu Okeke (Ochendo) is one Nigerian with outstanding achievements and uncommon integrity.
He is a true example of the adage that says a good name is better than riches.
All through his life he has shown that integrity and hard work pay. Born on January 7, 1936 in Amichi, a town in Nnewi South LGA of Anambra State.
After his first School Leaving Certificate in 1950 at Amichi, he schooled at the prestigious Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha from 1951-1955 and thereafter at St Mark’s Teachers Training College Awka (1956-1957).
This was followed by a short teaching career before proceeding with Federal Scholarship to the University of London in 1961, leading to his becoming one of the early Nigerian graduates in Estate Management and Land Economy.
His audacity to venture into studying Estate Management was very uncommon because at that time there were very few Nigerians who had been able to study the course up to university level.
Chief Okeke is:
A seasoned Chartered Estate Surveyor and Valuer.
Pioneer and Foundation Member and Fellow of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers.
Fellow of Royal Institutions of Chartered Surveyors of Great Britain, Member of Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE).
Indigenous pioneer and founder of the Multinational Firm of Knight Frank & Rutley (Nigeria) – a leader in the Estate Management Profession.
A leader in Private Sector High Rise Property Developments. A visiting University Lecturer in Estate Management in two leading Universities in the country.
A Philanthropist, Respected Community Leader and Inter State Multiple Traditional Title Holder.
Member of several professional bodies and social Organisations including Life Membership of Island club of Lagos, Political activist of note. Leader in Community and Private Sector Development.
An awardee of honorary doctorate degrees of leading Universities at home and abroad, including Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law LLD (Honoris Causa) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
Chief Okeke has also been well recognized in his profession as:
Member, International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI).
He is equally a recipient of 14 MERIT, GOLD, and PLATINUM Awards including ECOWAS and US State Department of Justice Awards (DOJ).
From 28th November, 2001 to 27th November, 2006, he was Executive Chairman of Police Service Commission, the Commission being the employer of the entire Nigeria Police having the power to Appoint, Promote, Dismiss, and Exercise Disciplinary Control over All Persons in the Nigeria Police except the Inspector- General of Police. In this capacity he displayed high level of integrity and brought sanity and credible innovation in the Police management. This earned him so much respect by the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria- President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, and to show this in practical terms, President Obasanjo moved key officials of his government to Amichi to celebrate Chief Simon Okeke’s 70th birthday in 2006.
Currently Chief Okeke is:
a. Principal Partner: – Simon Okeke & Associates, a distinctive professional firm of seasoned, highly experienced and disciplined firm of Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
b. Founding member of Anambra State Council of Elders- A body advising Anambra State Government on critical issues of the State.
c. Founding and current Chairman of Anambra State Public Officers (Serving or Retired) and Elders Forum (ASPOF)
d. Member of Ime Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo – the Apex Social Cultural Organisation of Igbos at home (Nigeria) and in Diaspora
On 14th February 2008, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua, GCFR, conferred on him National Honour Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) and on
On 29th September 2014, His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, conferred on him National Honours award of Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR).
Holder of 13 Traditional Titles, the first being Ochendo Amichi on 2nd October 1980.
Chief Simon Okeke is also a prolific writer and author of 3 books which are: “My Root”, “Just as i am” and the latest being “Policing the Nigeria Police” alongside many other incisive publications on current political issues.
Chief Okeke is married with nine children, three males and six females, all in various leading professions, corporate bodies and institutions of higher learning nationally and internationally.
Indeed, our country is blessed to have such a man of uncommon achievements and integrity. Generations yet unborn will have need to study the life and times of this great man to draw inspiration for personal and national transformation.