About Us

Back in the years up to the 80s, Anatomy as a subject was managed and thought by mainly expatriates and very few Nigerians who completely depended on them for everything and as such suffered a lot of limitations in growth. At a time, the only anatomical association around us was the Anatomical Society of West Africa (ASWA).

When ASWA conference was held in ......... in 19..., a good number of Nigerians attended and the need to form an association of anatomists was appreciated hence the formation of the Anatomical Society of Nigeria (ASN). This society lived one year and held her first annual scientific conference and general meeting in 1992, at University of Ibadan. After that, no other conference was held by this body until 2004 when Prof TB Ekanem was able to muster courage to get the 2nd Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting hosted by the University of Calabar. Therefore one can say without fear of equivocation that within that period, anatomists in Nigeria lived in their cocoons with little or no cross breeding of ideas. This led to a situation where only few persons teach the subject and scarcely get involved in research and publications in core areas of the subject.

Up to the 90s, Anatomy as a subject as important as it was in Medical Science remained an uninteresting area because most people in the area were not as progressing as their counterparts in other basic medical science areas such as Physiology and Biochemistry.
Prof Francis Akpuaka because of his passion and understanding of Anatomy as the bedrock of medical science saw the need to revolutionalise the subject which he hinged on the need to evolve a functional Association of Anatomists as well as a viable journal of anatomy as a way of injecting life into the profession and invoke the enthusiasm towards publication of scientific works/researches in the area. To start with a national body met some difficulties because there seemed to be personality clashes here and there in the existing body which led to the stagnation of Anatomical Society of Nigeria who after her 1st Scientific Conference/AGM in 1992 never met again until the time in question 2004.

He therefore decided to recruit Anatomists from around the south east of Nigeria to explore the possibility of initiating a regional anatomical association. With Dr CIP Anibeze (now Prof) as the Chairman Local organising Committee, this idea materialised into reality and on November 27, 2001, the maiden Scientific Conference/AGM of Anatomical Society of Eastern Nigeria (ASEN) was convened at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu with the theme Anatomy Education in Nigeria. That meeting was attended by both Human anatomists, Veterinary anatomists, Physiologists, Biochemists, Surgeons and other personnel from various areas of medical and biological sciences. Surprisingly, the scope of attendance went beyond the south east as attendance was recorded from other parts of the country.

The Scientific Conference and AGM became objective 1 achieved – to bring anatomists under one umbrella for crossbreeding of ideas. To achieve the second objective of invoke research activities and enthusiasm towards publications, the AGM decided to institute a journal which will be our medium of publication of research activities of members and other researchers. This decision led to the pronouncement of the birth of the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Anatomy. It was also in the AGM that the Pioneer executives of ASEN emerged as follows:

Prof FC Akpuaka – President
Dr AOC Akpa (now Prof) – Vice President
Dr EN Obikili (now Prof) – Secretary General
Dr AI Ugochukwu (now Prof) – Asst Secretary General
Dr AL Asomugha – Treasurer
Dr CIP Anibeze (now Prof) – Editor in Chief JECA
Prof DN Ezeasor – Chairman Editorial Board

These noble men served ASEN as the first Executive Council for a two year term from November 2001 to November 2003. In November 2003, at the University of Port Harcourt, the 1st term in office of the 1st Executive Council ended. Members appraised their performances and expressed huge satisfaction with their commitment and unanimously voted that they continue for a 2nd term with exception to the Assistant Secretary General. To fill the vacancy so declared, Dr HB Fawehinmi (now Prof) was unanimously elected to join the Executive Council as Assistant Secretary General.

Every year, the Society continued to grow in strength and prestige. In 2004, at Owerri, Imo State University, the fourth Annual Scientific Conference of the Society was brought to an international status with the guest lecturer coming from a far away Europe in the person of Dr Ian Johnson from the University of London.

In November 2005, at the Coal City of Enugu, following the expiration of the 2nd tenure of the 1st Executive Council, an election was held and the following emerged as the 2nd ASEN Exco:

Prof BC Didia – President.
Dr EN Obikili (now Prof) – Vice President
Dr HB Fawehinmi (now Prof) – Secretary General
Dr TC Chukwuanukwu – Asst Secretary General
Dr VA Fischer – Treasurer
Dr CIP Anibeze (now Prof) – Editor in Chief JECA
Prof AOC Akpa – Ex Officio
Prof FC Akpuaka – Chairman Editorial Board
Council Members: Dr BT Etuknwa, Dr GE Anyanwu, and Prof TB Ekanem

Every year was remarkable in the life of the Society. In November 2006, at Nnewi, Anambra State, the Society yet was blessed with yet another scholar from Europe as guest lecturer. At the AGM, ASEN Council having received and considered appeals from members on the need to change the name of the Association to reflect the huge membership and participation from geopolitical zones other than the east alone, presented same to the 6th AGM and it was unanimously resolved that the name be changed to read ‘Anatomical Society of South-south and South-eastern Nigeria’ abbreviated as ASSEN.

Another remarkable event occurred in ASSEN in 2008. At Amassoma, Bayelsa State, during the 8th AGM of ASSEN, the President of Anatomical Society of Nigeria (ASN) Professor PS Igbigbi came with an appeal to merge ASSEN and ASN. However, members saw that there was no need for the merger; rather, other regions should be encouraged to form regional association(s) of anatomists to enhance a robust participation of anatomists in research and cross breeding of ideas which is the main goal for which the association was formed. ASSEN however unanimously resolved to change the November meetings to a time around the earlier part of the year so as to create an ample gap between September date of ASN and the conventional November date for ASSEN conferences as a way of encouraging members to attend both conferences. Meanwhile it was decided that March will henceforth be the month for ASSEN conferences and AGM with effect from the 2010 Scientific Conference and AGM. This decision was an outright divine blessing. Why divine blessing? Members in taking that decision accepted to make the huge sacrifice of attending the 2009 meeting in November, and 2010 in March despite the financial burden that may be associated with attending two scientific conferences in so short a period. However, the November 2009 meeting was not to be because there was a protracted industrial action by Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU. This made it difficult for the University of Uyo to host the 9th Scientific Conference and AGM in November 2009. Ipso facto, the next AGM was automatically scheduled for March 2010 and it was successfully hosted by University of Uyo and widely attended by members from across the country.

It was during the AGM of 2010 at the University of Uyo that the tenure of Professor Didia led Executive Council completed their 2nd tenure in office and the election which was hitherto conducted returned the third Executive Council led by Professor Emmanuel Nebeuwa Obikili as President. Members of the 3rd Executive Council of include:

Prof EN Obikili – President
Prof HB Fawehinmi – Vice President
Dr OO Udemezue (now Prof) – Secretary General
Dr VA Fischer – Asst Secretary General
Dr AE Ligha – Treasurer
Prof BC Didia – Ex Officio
Prof CIP Anibeze – Editor in Chief JECA
Prof FC Akpuaka – Chairman Editorial Board
Council Members: Dr BT Etuknwa, Dr GE Anyanwu, and Dr (Mrs) AI Udoaka
ASSEN continued to grow in vigour and number. And JECA, the Society’s journal continued t make waves all over the globe.

The editorial crew under the leadership of Prof Chike Anibeze maintained an edge difficult to reach by contemporary journals. Their reach extended even beyond the shores of Africa – attracting authors, subscribers and editors of repute from all over the world thereby increasing the visibility of the journal.

Their performance attracted the attention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) who selected it as one of the few journals they were interested to sponsor.

However there was a limitation which the journal would suffer if and that was in the name of the Society ASSEN). To TETFUND, they needed journals that have everything National in outlook. But the name ASSEN portrayed a Society that admits membership from two (2) out of the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country which in any case was an aberration. It was an aberration because at the time in question, membership of SECAN spanned across the whole federation and even beyond. Moreover like earlier stated, JECA attracts authorship and subscription from all over the globe. The Executive Council of SECAN was put on her toes to solve the prevailing challenges. While x-raying the situation thoroughly, their eyes were opened to the following facts:

Membership is all inclusive with members from all regions of Nigeria and beyond Subscription to the journal was also widespread – beyond Africa The real geographical coverage disagrees with the name ASSEN Therefore the need for a change of name that will reflect the prevailing realities arose. From the several name options suggested, Council settled for the most appropriate name – Society of Experimental and Clinical Anatomists of Nigeria abbreviated SECAN. As if that name was the original name, it corresponded with the name of the journal. Council therefore presented this name to the Annual General Meeting of March 2011 for approval.

To the members at the AGM, this was like Adamic ‘bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh’. The AGM adopted that name with a standing ovation. Then the ASEN that was baptised ASSEN became confirmed as SECAN.

To also keep in tune with the prevailing realities, there was need to review the constitution and the following members were elected to undertake that task especially as the constitution was overdue for review:

Prof HB Fawehinmi – Chairman
Prof OO Udemezue – Member/Secretary
Dr EA Esom –Member

The committee immediately swung into action and came up with a draft which was presented to the AGM at Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri in 2012 and finally approved by the AGM at University of Ilorin in 2013.

As soon as the name SECAN was adopted, the society reflected the national spread that it has always had in practice from inception. Therefore the hitch of geographical limitation in the name which was to hinder TETFUND sponsorship of JECA was removed and JECA joined the league of journals that earned TETFUND sponsorship.

In 2014, the tenure of the 3rd Executive Council led by Prof EN Obikili ended and the AGM at the Main Hall of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus elected a new Executive Council – the 4th Executive Council as follows:

Prof HB Fawehinmi – President
Dr OO Udemezue (now Prof) – Vice President
Dr EA Esom – Secretary General
Mr SC Okoseimiema – Asst Secretary General
Dr EI Odokuma – Treasurer
Dr SA Musa – Publicity Secretary
Prof EN Obikili – Ex Officio
Prof CIP Anibeze – Chairman, Editorial Board
Prof FC Akpuaka – Chairman Board of Trustees
Dr (Mrs) AI Udoaka was elected into Council to join Dr BT Etuknwa and Dr GE
Anyanwu who served in the last Executive as Council Members.
Prior to the constitution of the 4th Executive Council, the Board of Trustees was constituted for the purposes of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The members of Board of Trustees as constituted include:
Prof. F. C. Akpuaka Chairman
Prof. B. C. Didia Member
Prof. E. N. Obikili Member
Prof. C. I. P. Anibeze Member
Prof. H.B. Fawehinmi Member
Dr. A. L. Asomugha Member
Prof. P. S. Igbigbi Member
Prof. A. O. C. Akpa Member
Dr. Bassey Etuknwa Member
Dr. O. O. Udemezue Member
Dr. A. A. Osinubi Member
Prof. I. C. Nwaogu Member
Dr. (Mrs). A. I. Udoaka Member
Dr. E. I. Odokuma Member/ Treasurer
Dr. E. A. Esom Member/Secretary

The Executive Council newly constituted set out to get SECAN registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. They produced a Seal for the Society and concluded the assignment of registration number(s) to all registered members of SECAN and uploading same to the SECAN website whose domain name changed from to secan.org.ng

The Executive Council also ensured the printing of bound copies of SECAN constitution for the first time and made it available to all registered members.

SECAN registered so many progresses and feats which speak for themselves than written especially in the professional/career development aspect of members and non member anatomists and other biomedical scientists in Nigeria and beyond.