Former Nigerian vice-president Alex Ekwueme has passed on at the age of 85 in a London hospital after a brief illness.

His death was announced in a statement by his brother and the traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme.

The statement read: “Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON.

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“The sad event occurred at the London Clinic at 10:00 pm on Sunday 19th November 2017.”

He was flown to London last week after slumping in his Enugu residence.

He was the first elected vice-president of Nigeria, serving under then president Shehu Shagari.