The widow of late Rivers State-born business mogul, High Chief OB Lulu-Briggs, Seinye has accused sons of the deceased of using their father’s remains as a bargaining chip.
Recall that the late Lulu-Briggs, a philanthropist and founder of Monu Polo Oil Prospecting Company died on December 27, 2018, in Accra, Ghana and 10 months after his demise his remains are yet to be brought back home for burial.
Seinye who made the disclosure in a statement signed by her spokesperson, Oraye St. Franklyn and issued to journalists on Monday, detailed how her step-son, Dumo and his brothers are refusing to bury their father, a man who served humanity selflessly, by using his body as a negotiating tool.
A statement by the spokesperson of Seinye, Oraye St. Franklyn, revealed that all her client wants is for the peaceful burial of her late husband. The statement also revealed the brick walls from other parties closely related to the late chief.
Lulu-Briggs’ son not sincere about whole process ― Seinye
“I don’t know if we have gone to the point of taking over anything. You can understand where some people have been fixated. The issue here is how to bury our father and we have not made claims to anything. Nobody has made any claims to anything. Nobody is arguing over any property. We have not said that we want to take A or B. The issue of property is not in our thoughts for now.
~ Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs as published by Sotonye Ijuye-Dagogo, Spokesman for Dumo Lulu-Briggs on his Facebook page with the alias Ijuye Telescopic on October 24 at 1:13 PM.
On arrival in Accra, Ghana on board a chartered flight operated by the world-renowned Vista Jet, on that fateful day, Tuesday, 27th December 2018, High Chief Dr O. B. Lulu-Briggs, according to the accounts of those on board said: “time” to his nurse.
They understood that to mean a request for the “time” of arrival and told him what the time was. His wife, Dr Mrs Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs, about the same time, sent messages to her sisters, family and friends informing them of their safe arrival in Accra and thanking God for journey mercies.
It is something most of us are accustomed to. With hindsight, perhaps, that ‘time’ was High Chief Lulu-Briggs’ way of saying, it was time for him to return to his maker. Who knows?
After all the passengers had disembarked from the flight, and the High Chief had been brought down, his nurse communicated to his wife that she was not comfortable with his pulse reading. His nurse immediately called for an ambulance that took them to the airport clinic. Treatment began in the ambulance and continued at the clinic. However, Opuda, a fulfilled man, aged 88, who was known to have suffered from several ailments, was eventually declared dead at the Airport Clinic.
DUMO’S ACTIONS AFTER HIS FATHER’S DEATH
Unbeknownst to his wife, Seinye, that Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the second son of High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs, moments after his father’s passing had been notified of it. She called him, Dumo multiple times and he did not take her calls. She then handed her phone over to Dateim, his younger brother, to keep calling him in order to inform him of their father’s passing.
In the meantime, believing that his father had died at his home, in the company of others, he quickly rushed to his father’s residence in Port Harcourt, the majestic Sombreiro House.
Upon arrival at the gate of Sombreiro House, he was faced with the rude reality that his father had not passed on at his home but in faraway Ghana. At that point, he could not but respond to his stepmother’s calls.
Dumo arrived Accra, Ghana the following evening. So also did his elder brother, Senibo. Along with their stepmother, Seinye, they went to see the remains of their father on the 29th of December, 2019 and began to make arrangements for the casket that would transport his remains back to Nigeria for burial in due course. Dumo thereafter informed respected Nigerian leaders and Chiefs of Oruwari House of Abonnema, of his father’s passing.
Arrangements were thereafter begun for his father’s burial, including payments for cultural activities like boat regatta on a compound-by-compound basis. The agreement of the Chiefs was that there was no need to bring High Chief’s body from Ghana to a morgue in Nigeria; that his remains should stay in Ghana to be flown in for burial.
POSTPONEMENT OF THE FUNERAL
The first date agreed for High Chief’s funeral was 26th of January 2019. All of his children and thereafter the chiefs gave their consent. But in a rather bizarre volte-face, his eldest son, Senibo, claimed at a family meeting in Sombreiro House, that he could not remember any such agreement. This was in spite of the fact that in all the meetings prior, minutes were taken in addition to audio-visual recordings of all that transpired.
The 6th of April 2019 was subsequently given by Dumo and agreed to by all for the funeral with a series of activities to begin from the 30th of March 2019. But on the 24th of March 2019, just six days to the commencement of the burial activities came yet another rude shock.
It was the announcement of the postponement of the burial by Dumo on account of his participation in the Rivers State gubernatorial election. The announcement cancelling the funeral didn’t communicate a new date but said dignitaries would be informed of it in due course. To this day, the public has not been informed of a new date for the interment of High Chief’s earthly remains six months after Dumo’s unsuccessful election and 10 months after High Chief passed on.
All pleas by Mrs O. B. Lulu-Briggs, High Chief’s wife that the electoral activities will not affect the burial, which indeed was the case, fell on deaf ears.
Dumo who posted the notice of postponement on his Facebook page made radio and television announcements and also wrote letters to respected dignitaries is now denying knowledge of such an agreed date let alone cancelling it.
Disturbed by the long and endless wait, as said by Dumo’s spokesman, one Ijuye Dagogo, although one believes it was unnecessary for him to reveal the clergyman’s name, Mrs O. B. Lulu-Briggs, approached the said pastor, to prevail on him to allow his father’s remains to be interred.
DUMO’S PLOT TO INDICT HIS STEPMOTHER FOR HIS FATHER’S DEATH
Subsequently, Dumo carried out his threat by sending a false petition to the Nigerian Police Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Abuja, accusing her of murdering their father amongst other offences.
Dissatisfied with the methodology of the Nigeria Police, he approached the courts in Ghana for an autopsy to be conducted on his father. The autopsy was carried out on 19th July 2019 and according to preliminary reports, his father died of cardiac arrest. Dumo’s Pathologists, Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, the current President of the Nigerian Medical Association, who was flown to Ghana for the exercise, and renowned Ghanaian pathologist Professor Agyeman Akosa observed the autopsy procedure and have not disputed its preliminary reports to this very day. Members of the Nigeria Police Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Abuja, investigating Dumo’s fake allegations were also present in Accra, Ghana for the post-mortem.
Not done, in September, Dumo moved the same court via an ex-parte application to order an inquest into his father’s death, including a second autopsy, without recourse to the initial autopsy report, which is still being awaited. That order has been challenged by Mrs O.B. Lulu-Briggs on account of its faulty procedure and the manifest bias by the said Magistrate. The case is now before a Ghanaian High Court.
THE INTRIGUES ON HIGH CHIEF LULU-BRIGG’S LAST FLIGHT
Those speaking for Dumo claiming that Vista Jets made a landing request to the Ghanaian authorities for the delivery of a cargo are making completely false claims and it speaks volumes of how despicable a self-acclaimed ‘biological’ son, ‘chief mourner’ can be to achieve his motive, which is to bring his stepmother to the bargaining table.
Furthermore, the claim that High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs and his party which included Mrs O. B. Lulu-Briggs, Dateim, one of his sons, his pastor other family members, friends and staff waited for ‘over 5 hours’ at the tarmac in Port Harcourt is also false.
It is noteworthy that High Chief O.B. Lulu-Briggs had barely two months earlier, on September 2018, embarked on an 18-hour flight to Singapore with the same jet. If we were to agree, for the sake of argument, that the plane waited for 5 hours before embarking on the one-hour flight to Ghana, that would be about 6 hours and nothing comparable to the duration of his previous long-distance flights with the same jet.
Despite the wait, therefore, none of the 12 passengers on-board, or the High Chief himself, was in any danger. Besides, Dumo in one of his numerous publications quoting one Mr Ilaye Philemon, a security detail on board, said High Chief ate during the flight. That account is accurate and all passengers on board corroborate it.
So, why then is there a fuss about where he died after his wife has said he died on arrival in Ghana and as Dumo is aware in the presence of his younger brother and at least 12 other people? Why then are there these misleading allusions by Dumo about his father dying in Port Harcourt and his remains being smuggled to Accra, Ghana?
Since Dumo himself has said and continues to say that when he saw his father the previous day in Abonnema, he looked strong, does it not mean that High Chief was not at risk of flying? Or are we to question God for determining the time and place He chose for the High Chief’s passing? Can an 88-year-old man not be expected to pass on peacefully to glory?
WHAT MRS. O.B. LULU-BRIGGS WANTS
Dumo and his brothers and their acolytes are refusing to bury their father, a man who served humanity selflessly, by using his body as a negotiating tool. If the legacy of their father matters as much as they claim, they would immediately stop the embarrassing show of shame and bury him with the dignity that the great elder statesman deserves. His wife, Mrs O.B. Lulu-Briggs is eager to ensure that the remains of her beloved husband are laid to rest as soon as possible. The High Chief’s elder sons- Senibo, Dumo and Sofiri should end this unwholesome and public spectacle they have activated.