By Vincent Kalu
A Lagos businessman in his late 60s, James Oriri, was said to have allegedly committed suicide on Friday, in his office, at 393, Old Ojo Road, Satellite Town, Lagos.
Saturday Sun gathered that a large crowd besieged the four-story office complex, once the incident became public knowledge, to catch a glimpse of the man.
Oriri, it was learnt was the Managing Director of Awore Consult, a firm that claims to be an expert in educational consultancy, for people seeking admission to universities, Secondary Schools in Ghana, and to Coventry universities in the UK.
Oriri, an Isoko, from Delta State, has seven children, 6 boys and 1 girl.
According to his neighbours, one of the sons, lives in USA, while two others live in Germany and Ghana, respectively. All of them, the neighbours, continued, are all graduates.
A family member who craved anonymity, could not fathom why James would have to take his own life.
Hear him: “why should James do this kind of thing to bring shame to the family? Was he the only one owing, everybody owes; who is not owing in the first place? To owe is no more shameful”.
He further told SATURDAY SUN that the deceased was owing some people some undisclosed amount of money, which he added, was less than N2m.
“His brothers had called the people he owed and pleaded with them to give them, till say by the end of the month, to settle the debts and the people agreed. James was aware of this arrangement?
“What is today’s date? November 11, which means in less than three weeks, the debt would be fully paid, and he would be free. But he decided to take his life in a most shameful way.
“ This was not the first time he was owing. He had owed more than N4m before, and it was fully settled. What is N1.5 million or an amount a little higher than that?” the family member, asked rhetorically?
He was however quick to add that that late Oriri was also having some health challenges. But he refused to provide any further details as to the nature of the ailment.
A neighbour, who also does business within the same complex, and who also asked not to be named, described late Oriri, as an easy- going person, who was at peace with everyone.
He however suggested that Oriri, may be facing some challenges in his marriage, as until his death, he had been sleeping in the office in the past three years and buying food from “Mama put”.
The source further pointed out that it appears the children, also took side with their mother, thus abandoning their father.
Lending credence to the fact that late Oriri, indeed had challenges with his marriage, some neighbours who know his wife said, “she just came here and didn’t do as if anything happened and she has gone back to her business at Alaba Rago”.
SATURDAY SUN’s finding also revealed that Oriri ’s Secretary, a female, kept one pair of the office key in her possession, while Oriri held the other.
And after close of work on Thursday, the Secretary left for her home, while her boss stayed behind, as usual.
When the Secretary resumed work yesterday morning and opened the office, and saw the lifeless body of her boss dangling from the hook of a ceiling fan, she yelled, and attracted their neighbours.
Once the neighbours showed up, contacts were made to members of his family, who came and later called the police from Satellite Town Division, Agboju.
When our reporter visited the scene of the incident, the body was still dangling from the hook of the ceiling fan, 12.30pm, Friday.
It was further gathered that he may have used an electric cable, which was carefully knotted and tied to an iron ceiling fan hook, to hang himself.
He looked neatly dressed with a blue long sleeves stripped shirt on black trousers and a pair of black sandals, to match.
There were tiny drops of sweat covering his face, at the time SATURDAY SUN visited.
But when eventually the lifeless body was about to be brought down, only family members and the Police, were allowed in.
A source said that a little ritual or incantation was done before he was brought down, because according to him, late Oriri committed a sacrilege, a thing every African culture abhors.
One of his children, a young man in his late 20s and the last but one, accompanied the corpse to the Police Station.