Posted by News Express | 8 December 2019 | 2,383 times
At 88, Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, a billionaire businessman and founder of Moni Pulo Limited, could be said to have really lived up to an advanced age.
Even as he lay supine on a sofa in his palatial mansion in Abonema on December 26, 2018, everyone around him still prayed God to grant him speedy recovery.
In fact, even as he had lost his tongue, his children who were keeping watch over him still wished he could survive the debilitating ailment, so he could enjoy more the fruits of his labour.
But that was not to be. Barely 24 hours after, his children who were still reveling in the yuletide mood and were looking forward to the dawn of a new year, 2019, had received the shattering the news of the sudden death of their octogenarian father in a very strange circumstance from the most unexpected quarter, so to say.
The grim news, which was allegedly disrespectfully conveyed by his wife, Seinye, from Accra in Ghana, had provoked a barrage of questions about the circumstances leading to the death of Lulu-Briggs, who was an oil and gas mogul.
To the family, Seinye, whom they described as a harbinger of bad news, has a lot of questions to answer.
It would have been a different story if the family was probably watching this scenario play out in a Nollywood movie. But the tragic drama was never from the imagination of any creative Nollywood screan writer.
Consequently, the family members staunchly refused to allow their voices to be lost in the din of alleged claims by Seinye on the cause of the death of her husband.
Family sources, who spoke exclusively to Society Watch, urged the law enforcement agencies to do their best to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of their patriarch, adding that his wife must be called to account.
According to them, Seinye has been economical with the truth about the death of Lulu-Briggs. One of her sins, according the family, is that she failed to inform any of the children about her trip to Ghana in company with the obviously ailing billionaire.
“Seinye has a case to answer on why she embarked on the journey without informing any of the children even though we were together on 26th of December in the Abonema residence.
“We were together on the night on the Boxing Day. Our father was lying on a sofa and was unable to talk to any of us. Though Dumo, who was then campaigning for his gubernatorial election found his way to his father’s house that day, they exchanged no word. He appeared so tired.
“So, we were all surprised when the woman later called from Accra on the night of December 27, claiming that our father had gone to rest.’’
The sources further wondered why the charteard flight in which their ailing Lulu-Briggs flew in was delayed for over five hours at the Port-Harcourt Airport before flying to Ghana.
It was further alleged that a popular cleric, Rev. Zilly Aggrey of Royal House of Grace Church, was on board the flight on that fateful day. But Aggrey, another source said, initially feigned ignorance until he was confronted with their findings.
Speaking with Society Watch, the source said: “The popular pastor was on the journey with the woman to Accra.
“But the pastor, who is supposed to be friends with Dumo failed to confide in him, even when he had the opportunity to do so on four different occasions. But when Dumo confronted him with the flight manifest, he owned up, claiming that he was called on the morning of December 27, by Seinye who begged her to follow her to Accra.
“He said he obliged her because she is her spiritual father.”
Seinye, it was further alleged, also failed to inform the family that a doctor at an Accra clinic, identified as Kilean, confirmed that Lulu-Briggs had died before the plane landed at the airport.
“Shortly after his death was announced, she started acting in isolation, a situation that defiles the Abonema tradition,” the source added.
The family is further riled by the fact that Seinye had allegedly unilaterally fixed January 24, for the burial without consulting any of the deceased’s kinsmen and the children.
Said the source, “She wanted to bury our late father in a hurry without carrying us along.
“Even the April, 2019 date that was announced was without our knowledge. We were supposed to hold a meeting, but she sent a message to the elders of our community that April had been fixed for the burial without first informing his children.”
Seinye allegedly kicked against every move by one of his children, Dumo, to carry out an autopsy on the deceased, as she filed a suit to stop the order of the Kaneshie District Magistrates’ Court in Ghana for an inquest into the death of her husband11 months after.
The Magistrate, E. K Barnes–Botchway, reportedly held that she had cause to believe that the deceased did not die naturally.
But in her suit before the Ghana High Court, Seinye argued that the Magistrate lacked the jurisdiction to order the inquest, saying her late husband’s death happened outside the Accra metropolitan district where the court sits.
Undeterred by her resolve to engage in a legal battle, the family insisted on the release of the body of the late businessman, so that a proper autopsy can be conducted.
“All this is necessary for us to give him a befitting burial.
“Even if it takes years, we must get to the root of his death,” said a family source. (THISDAY)
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