Posted by News Express | 18 July 2019 | 1,280 times
The police investigation into the death of late Nigerian statesman, High Chief (Dr.) Olu Benson Briggs, has moved to Accra, Ghana, with a CID team led by ACP Adaku Uche-Anya from Force Headquarters working in tandem with the Ghana Police CID, which issued an order for a post mortem on the late statesman.
The investigation followed a petition by a son of the deceased, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, to Inspector General of Police accusing his step mother and widow of the deceased, Dr (Mrs) Seinye Lulu-Briggs, of killing the late Lulu-Briggs.
High Chief (Dr) Olu Benson Briggs passed away December 27, 2018 in Accra, Ghana, at the age of 88; but, in the petition, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs, who was the Accord Party governorship candidate in Rivers State for the 2019 elections, alleged that the man was killed on the flight to Accra by his step mother. Mrs Lulu-Briggs described the allegation as ridiculous.
The autopsy was initially slated for last Friday, July 12, 2019 at Transitions Place, Accra – the funeral home where High Chief Lulu-Brigg’s mortal remains is being taken care of – a disagreement over procedure led to the postponement of the operation for a week.
Although the police order for the autopsy was duly served on the mortuary early in the morning of July 12, the order was vague in the instructions provided to the mortuary. As a result, the police secured and served a second court order on the funeral home, which was still not precise enough to enable the facility to release the body to the police.
Specifically, the orders did not capture the funeral home’s request to specify that High Chief Lulu-Briggs’s remains would be returned to its custody after the autopsy. This was necessary because one of the notices in the order indicated that the coroner would be releasing the body to the family for burial after the autopsy, an instruction the funeral home was unaware of, nor was their client and the High Chief’s next-of-kin, his wife Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye Lulu-Briggs, aware of the order.
Mrs. Lulu-Briggs and other members of the family had been summoned to Accra by the Uche-Anya-led team for the post-mortem and arrived last Wednesday.
A police source said she has cooperated with the investigation and has turned over all the information they have requested, including High Chief Lulu-Brigg’s medical records. “All parties, including the operators of the chartered flight, have furnished information to police confirming that all passengers alighted from the plane alive,” the source said.
The investigation is part of the crisis that has rocked the family since the death of Lulu-Briggs last December.
The family filed a suit at a Ghanaian High Court seeking to restrain the funeral home from releasing the High Chief’s body for autopsy until they get assurances that the order for autopsy includes the presence as observers pathologists/medical consultants representing the wife and the four other children, and instructs that the body will be returned to Transitions Place, the funeral home after the autopsy, and that the funeral would be responsible for transporting the High Chiefs mortal remains to and from the autopsy.
Mrs. Lulu-Briggs’ request to have a pathologist representing her and her four other children was granted by Ghana Police CID Director General MaameYaaTiwaa Addo-Danquah.
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs and two of his brothers, Senibo and Sofiri, have indefinitely postponed their father’s funeral, which had been scheduled by the family for April 6, 2019.
The King of Kalabari, Amanayabo King Professor T.J.T Princewill, Amachree XI, has waded into the gridlock by setting up a committee to look into the non-burial of the High Chief matter as a matter of urgency. Interestingly, the next sitting of the committee has had to be postponed as a result of the post mortem that was to be carried out in Accra.
Four sons of the deceased, Senibo, Dumo, Sofiri, and Tekena Lulu-Briggs were spotted mingling with the large contingent of police who swooped on Transitions Place last Friday at about 7:30 a.m. and left after 3:00 p.m. when the procedure was postponed.
“We do not want the High Chief’s body to be hijacked and disrespected, hence the desire to have him kept at Transitions Home until the burial arrangement has been concluded and he can be moved to Nigeria to his final resting place,” a family source said.
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