|Central Minister of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources|
|Preceded by||Okoi Arikpo|
|Central Minister of Communication and Aviation|
|Preceded by||Arthur Prest|
Oneh, Orlu Division
Mbadiwe was born to the family of Mbadiwe Odum from Arondizuogu then under then Orlu division of present-day Imo State. His uncle, Igwegbe Odum, was a warrant chief in the colonial era.
He started primary education at St Mary's Catholic School, Port Harcourt, and finished it at a government school in Aba. He then attended the Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar, Aggrey Memorial College, Arochukwu, Igbobi College, Lagos and the Baptist Academy, Lagos. At Baptist Academy, Samuel Akintola and E.E. Esau were staff members, while some of his schoolmates at Igbobi were Taslim Elias, Horatio Thomas and Justice F.O. Coker. After his secondary education, he dabbled into trading by establishing Mbadiwe Produce Association in 1937. He left Nigeria to study at Columbia University and New York University for a number of years. While in America, he helped to establish an African student's association, through which he gained the attention of the U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who received him and his organization in the White House.
After returning from the U.S., he started another business and established a research institute on African Arts. He soon entered the Nigerian political scene and joined the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons. In 1951, he was elected into the Eastern Region House of Assembly. He was re-elected in 1954, and made minister for Lands and National Resources shortly thereafter. In 1957, he was made the Minister for Commerce. However, his political success was to undergo a great challenge when in mid-1958, he and Kola Balogun attempted to remove Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as the leader of National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). Mbadiwe set up his own newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, as an organ of protest. He later re-joined the party and was appointed Minister for Trade and Communications and also served as a special adviser to the Prime Minister, advising on African affairs.
 Mbadiwe had six children namely Betty, Greg, Paul, Chris, George, and Francis. His brother, James Green Mbadiwe was a businessman conducting on his account in the Northern Regon, he owned the now defunct Green's Hotel on Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna built in 1939 and commissioned by Azikiwe. The property later became a shopping center, J. Green Mbadiwe died in 1980.
He built and inhabited the landmark residence, The Palace of The People, at Ndianiche Uno. It was commissioned by Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in 1965.
- The Cambridge history of Africa: From c. 1940 to c. 1975, Michael Crowder, p100, Cambridge University Press, 1985 ISBN 978-0-521-22409-3
- Kwame Nkrumah: the years abroad 1935-1947, p54, Marika Sherwood, 1996, University of Michigan ISBN 978-9988-7716-0-7
- Constitutional developments in Nigeria: an analytical study of Nigeria's constitution-making developments and the historical and political factors that affected constitutional change, Kalu Ezera, p243, California University Press, 1964
- Federalism and nation-building: the Nigerian experience, 1954-1964, Uma O. Eleazu, p183, Stockwell, 1977 ISBN 978-0-7223-0987-2
- The pan-African movement: a history of pan-Africanism in America, Europe and Africa, Imanuel Geiss, p511, Taylor & Francis, 1974 ISBN 978-0-8419-0161-2
- Foreign policy decision-making in Nigeria, Ufot Bassey Inamete, p21-22, Susquehanna University Press, 2001 ISBN 978-1-57591-048-2
- Seeing the world in black & white, p16, Linus T. Ogbuji, Africa World Press, 2007, ISBN 159221486X, 9781592214860
- Arogundade, Lanre (March 16, 1992). "Abandoned property palaver in Kaduna". National Concord.