Tony John, Port Harcourt
Immediate family and kinsmen of the late philanthropist, O. B. Lulu-Briggs, in Kalabari Kingdom, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, have demanded an unconditional release of the remains of the oil mogul.
They also appealed to the deceased’s wife, Sienye Lulu-Briggs, to release his corpse to the Oruwari-Briggs House, alleging that she knew whereabouts of the corpse.
Lulu-Briggs’ immediate family and kinsmen, as well as women and youths, told newsmen yesterday, that since the astute politician died on December 27, 2018, they had not seen the corpse or where it was kept.
Chief mourner and a recognised chief of the Oruwari-Briggs House, Dumu Lulu-Briggs, who spoke in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said since the death of his father in Accra, Ghana, he could not ascertain where the corpse was kept.
He said, though there were legal issues concerning the remains, his step-mother should, for the sake of Kalabari tradition, release his father’s body to the family, so that he could be given a befitting buried.
He thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for the efforts he has made to resolve the differences in the Lulu-Briggs’ family.
Dumo apologised on behalf of the Oruwari-Briggs House, to the governor for the insult he received from his step-mother, while trying to intervene in the matter.
The chief mourner informed that, on December 27, traditional rulers in Oruwari-Briggs House would travel to Accra to retrieve and convey home the remains of the philanthropist for burial latest January 25, 2020.
“We don’t have the mortal remains of my late father. Efforts to get the death certificate has been very abortive. We don’t have the mortal remains. She has taken possession of the mortal remains.
“By Kalabari custom, the Amanyabo has asked that the remains should be brought home for burial. By December 27, it would be a year my father died.
“By December 27, the Oruwari House will go to Accra, Ghana, to bring the mortal remains. We are looking at January 25, 2020, for his burial. A man of his status should be given a befitting burial.
“I want to appeals to to my step-mother, if she is sincere, to release the corpse. We can’t plan the burial when we don’t have the mortal remains. She has to play her role as a wife and not to take possession of the corpse.
“I want to thank Governor Wike, for his intervention on the matter. He had spent hours and days intervening in this matter. The family also apologise to the governor for the insults he received from my step-mother.
“The state government has offered to give my late father a state burial. We will liaise with the government to ensure everything works out accordingly,” Dumo said.