The police investigation into the death of late Ijaw businessman, High Chief Olu Benson Briggs has moved to Accra, Ghana.
A police team, led by Adaku Uche-Anya, an Assistant Commissioner of Police from Force Headquarters’ CIID team, is working with the Ghana Police CID on the post mortem on the national statesman.
The investigation followed a petition by a son of the deceased, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs to the Inspector General of Police accusing his step mother and widow of the deceased, Dr Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs of killing the late Lulu-Briggs.
DrLulu-Briggs passed on December 27, 2018 in Accra, Ghana at the age of 88.
In the petition, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs, who is the Accord Party governorship candidate in Rivers State for the 2019 elections, alleged that the deceased was killed on the flight to Accra by his stepmother. Mrs Lulu-Briggs has described the allegation as ridiculous.
Although the autopsy was initially slated for Friday, July 12, 2019 at Transitions Place, Accra – the funeral home where High Chief Lulu-Brigg’s mortal remains is being taken care of – a disagreement over the procedure led to the postponement of the operation for a week.
Although the police order for the autopsy was duly served on the mortuary early in the morning of July 12, the order was vague in the instructions provided to the mortuary. As a result, the police secured and served a second court order on the funeral home, which was still not precise enough to enable the facility to release the body to the police.
Specifically, the orders did not capture the funeral home’s request to specify that High Chief Lulu-Briggs’s remains would be returned to its custody after the autopsy. This was necessary because one of the notices in the order indicated that the coroner would be releasing the body to the family for burial after the autopsy, an instruction the funeral home was unaware of. They claimed also that the High Chief’s next-of-kin, his wife Dr.(Mrs.) Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs aware of the order.
Mrs. O.B. Lulu-Briggs and other members of the family had been summoned to Accra, Ghana by the Uche-Anya-led team for the post-mortem and arrived Accra last Wednesday.
A police source said she has cooperated with the investigation and has turned over all the information they have requested, including High Chief Lulu-Brigg’s medical records.
The investigation is part of the crisis that has rocked the family since the death of Lulu-Briggs last December.
The family filed a suit at a Ghanaian High Court seeking to restrain the funeral home from releasing the High Chief’s body for autopsy until they get assurances that the order for autopsy includes the presence as observers pathologists/medical consultants representing the wife and the four other children. They also want assurances that the body will be returned to Transitions Place, the funeral home after the autopsy, and that the funeral would be responsible for transporting the High Chiefs mortal remains to and from the autopsy.
It was gathered that Mrs. O.B. Lulu-Briggs’ request to have a pathologist representing her and her four other children was granted by Ghana Police CID Director General. MaameYaaTiwaa Addo-Danquah.
There has been a feud between the deceased’s sons – Chief Dumo, Senibo and Sofiri and the deceased’s wife which has prevented the burial since his death.
Amanayabo of Kalabari, Professor T.J.T Princewill, Amachree XI has waded into the matter by setting up a committee to look into the non-burial of the deceased businessman as a matter of urgency. Interestingly, the next sitting of the committee was postponed as a result of the post mortem that was to be carried out in Accra.
A family member noted: “’We do not want the High Chief’s body to be hijacked and disrespected, hence the desire to have him kept at Transitions Home until the burial arrangement has been concluded and he can be moved to Nigeria to his final resting place.