It was the late actor and martial artists, Bruce Lee, that said: Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength. The quote can best describe the action of billionaire businessman, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs. Since December 27, 2018 when their oil mogul father, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs died, Dumo, on behalf of his other siblings, has demanded inquest to ascertain the circumstance surrounded his death. This has pitted Dumo against his Step-mom and widow of the Kalabari High Chief, Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs. She had kicked against every move by Dumo to carry out an autopsy on their father to ascertain what actually led to his death. Seinye was said to have even filed a suit to stop the order of the Kaneshie District Magistrates’ Court in Ghana for an inquest into the death of her husband months after. Amidst all the intrigues and schisms that trailed the nearly a-year family squabble, Dumo has exercised patience, and evidently, he is laughing last and laughs best.
We gathered that contrary to the speculations that the entire family reached consensus on the funeral rites of their patriarch, Seinye, the widow, refused every peaceful moves until the matter went for hearing at the Superior Court of Judicature in the High Court of Justice in Accra, Ghana. In the Consolidated Suit Number: GJ/1601/2019, the Court entered judgement in favour of Dumo while it also ordered that the mortal remains of the late OB Lulu-Briggs should be released to Dumo for onward movement to Nigeria for the burial and funeral rites.
The super wealthy businessman and philanthropist died last December aboard a flight to Accra, Ghana. He was aged 88. The deceased’s extended family —Oruwari Briggs family of Abonema— has expressed sadness and embarrassment that their prominent son and patriarch’s remains have not been interred nearly a year after his demise. “We are much more sad and embarrassed that his (Lulu-Briggs) mortal body is lying outside Nigeria in another country (Ghana). The custody of our paramount ruler has not been handed over to his adult able bodied children, the chiefs and elders of the Oruwari (Briggs) House,” the family stated. “More than anything else, this has led to the mutilation of the body of our paramount ruler because of the uncertain circumstance as to the true story of how and when he actually died which has become unknown to us because of the variety of statements.” But Seinye, it was learnt, probably realizing the futility in fighting everyone over the funeral rites, has however capitulated and tendered apologies to her husband’s family and elders.
In a recent letter addressed to the Chiefs of Briggs Compound, Seinye had pleaded for understanding and apologized to the family over her past actions. “What I prayed is that God Almighty may grant you grace to exhibit His counsel in your deliberations and decisions as it affects me and all my children. I pray also and ask for your forgiveness for any offense or perceived offense my words may have caused in your hearts during this period…” she wrote.
With a year passed and perhaps, reasoning finally prevailing, Dumo and his step-mom, alongside some select family members are in Accra, Ghana to conclude arrangement on how to bring the remains of the deceased billionaire to Nigeria.
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, was said to have played a significant role in bringing peace into the late Kalabari high Chief’s family. He has asked the gladiators to sheathe their swords and offered the state government’s readiness to foot the bill of the entire funeral rites of the billionaire founder of Moni Pulo Limited. A January 25, 2020 tentative date for the interment has now been agreed by all the gladiators thus hopefully bringing to closure the controversy surrounding the burial of the large-hearted oil tycoon.