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July 10, 2024

Just in: Late former Senate President, Joseph Wayas’s body arrives Nigeria

Just in: Late former Senate President, Joseph Wayas’s body arrives Nigeria

… Almost 3 years after death

By Joseph Erunke, Abuja

Exactly two years and nine months after his passing the remains of Late Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas, has arrived Nigeria for onward burial.

Recall that Wayas, who held sway as Nigeria’s Senate President between October 1,1979 and December 31,1983, died in a London hospital on November 30,2021, at the age of 80.

The ex-Senate President’s wife died 12 days after. While his wife had since been buried, the revered politician’s remains had remained in a morgue in London,a development that had sparked controversies.

Some persons who had concluded that the late octogenarian’s body had since been secretly interred in London, were surprised to see the remains back 33 months after.

His body was received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,at 4:30am,Wednesday morning,by his family, friends and some prominent sons and daughters of Cross River North Senatorial District, among who were Senator Jarigbe Agom,Hon. Peter Akpanke , Johnny Agom, SAN, and Dr Dom Cklaimz Enamhe.

At the time of filing this report, the body which was driven straight from the airport to the National Hospital, Abuja, had been deposited at the hospital’s mogue.

Speaking variously to newsmen, after the body was received, Senator Jarigbe Agom, representing Cross River North and Hon Peter Akpanke, representing Obudu, Bekwara Obanlikwu Federal Constituency, at the National Assembly, expressed happiness that the body had finally been brought home.

Also, his late wife’s family, though grieving, expressed relief at the development and appreciated all those who had facilitated the return of his remains.

Recall that when the politician and his wife died, the then governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade’s government immediately set up a committee headed by former Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi, to oversee the burial activities.

To facilitate the committee’s work, Ayade was said to have approved and immediately released N200 million to the committee with a promise to release another tranche of N50 million.

 It was gathered that the committee released N100 million to a sub-committee vested with the task of repatriating the remains of Wayas and his wife and headed by the former Director General, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Dave Ashang to liaise with the family to achieve the purpose.

However, all these efforts were fruitless, thus compelling some sons and daughters of Cross River North Senatorial district to set up a volunteer group under the aegis of “Who is Who in Northern Cross River” to take up the task of ensuring not only the return of his remains but also according it a befitting burial.

Wednesday’s arrival of the body was the handwork of the volunteer group which had coordinated donations from concerned indigenes of the zone.