Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, widow of the founder of Moni Pulo Limited, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, on Tuesday alleged that her stepson, Dumo, desperately procured a ruling claiming a Ghanaian magistrate ruled that her late husband died in Nigeria and not Ghana.
The widow who made the remarks in a statement signed and released to journalists by her spokesperson, Oraye St. Franklyn, said the entire ruling of the said Coroner appears to be the mirrored wordings of Dumo’s sworn applicant affidavit and the same narrative singularly rehashed by him in the media
The statement reads:
“1. The attention of Dr. Mrs. O. B. Lulu-Briggs has been drawn to a statement released by her stepson Dumo Lulu-Briggs, embattled Chairman of Platform Petroleum Limited, claiming that a Ghanaian Magistrate, Mrs. Eleanor K. Barnes-Botchway, acting as the Coroner had ruled that her late husband, High Chief Dr. O. B. Lulu-Briggs died in Nigeria and not in Ghana. From findings at the Kaneshie District Court 2, no inquest was conducted by the Coroner on the said day 20th of March 2020.
“2. However, the said court acknowledged that it made a ruling on an Inquest. The conflict in delivering an exhaustive ruling in a matter the Coroner claimed no jurisdiction on opens up a Pandora box of legal complexities that will be exhaustively pursued in courts. On the strength of the above, Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs hereby states the following: 1. The said ruling was possibly procured by her desperate and embattled stepson Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the second son of her late husband, High Chief O. B. LuluBriggs, from a seemingly compromised Ghanaian Magistrate and Coroner. 2. Mrs Lulu-Briggs is curious as to why the said ruling by the Coroner relied only on the statement by one Ilaye Philemon, her former bodyguard whom she has since discovered was once the Chief bouncer at Illusions Night Club, one of the many defunct businesses owned by Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
“3. The Widow is amazed that in spite of being in the company of more than 40 persons who accompanied her husband and her, along with other passengers to the airport on the 27th of December 2018, when they departed Nigeria for their annual vacation in Accra, Ghana, only the statement of Ilaye Philemon was relied on to conclude on issues as fundamental as the cause, place and time of death of her husband over and above an autopsy conducted by the Ghanaian Military and statements by other witnesses.
“4. Mrs. Lulu-Briggs queries why the Coroner picked and chose only some parts of the said statement by Ilaye Philemon, which she went on to twist to serve her mercantile purpose, and ignored the said parts that clearly stated that the High Chief ate on the said flight to Accra.
“5. Ilaye Philemon as part of his statement to the Nigerian Police, which Dumo published in the media, said “…but as we were on Air, I only noticed where the nurse wanted to check on him, she went to the front and came back again, but she fed him in the flight…”
“6. The Coroner mischievously ignored the above part of Ilaye’s statement but went on to twist it to arrive at the odious conclusion that the High Chief died in Nigeria, even when Ilaye did not say so.
“7. The widow is further amazed that none of the statements by the other eight passengers on board the flight to Accra including one of his sons Datienm LuluBriggs and his Pastor Apostle Zilly Aggrey or even that of the Pilot of the world-renowned Private Jet Charter company VistaJet that conveyed them to Accra were considered before arriving at the contrived ruling. Neither were the statements considered of the Airport Paramedics who arrived in an ambulance and administered oxygen to the High Chief. They were the first responders to him at the Kotoka Airport in Accra. The Doctor who received him at the Airport hospital documented his time and place of death and issued his death certificate was also not cross-examined.
“8. Scandalously, the entire ruling of the Coroner appears to be the mirrored wordings of Dumo’s sworn applicant affidavit and the same narrative singularly rehashed by him in the media since the day he threatened her before Pastor David Ibiyeomie for refusing to agree to set aside her husband’s Last Will. She maintains that his Settlement Proposal, which seeks to set aside her husband’s UK-notarised Will and passed on to her by Dumo through the Rivers State Attorney General as directed by His Excellency, The Governor, confirms this fact.
“9. She affirms that she is not taken aback by the ruling, which differs from the outcome of the investigation by Interpol and the Ghanaian and Nigerian Police. She recalls that she had always publicly spoken of the plot by her reprobate stepson Dumo Lulu-Briggs to criminalise her on the false pretext of killing her husband as part of his larger plot to illegally obtain her husband’s estate and set aside his Last Will and Testament. “
10. She views the said ruling by the Coroner as bizarre based on the fact that its Registry says no inquest was done in that court. This is the same court that issued Dumo Lulu-Briggs three consecutive Court orders on the same issue, at different times and on the same day 12th July 2019. That action was in the desperate bid by Dumo to have a private and compromised autopsy done on the late High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs without the involvement of his stepmother.
“11. She recalls, further, that but for her appeal to the High Court of Ghana which ordered both her inclusion and the right procedure for the autopsy, Dumo relying on that order of 12 July 2019 from the Magistrate would have compromised his father’s autopsy.
“12. The same Court after the successful conclusion of the autopsy as was ordered by it in July 2019 and without waiting to receive the autopsy report, went on to grant Dumo a personal inquest order based on his ex parte application in September 2019. That action was clearly against the provisions of the Coroner’s Act. It was however supported by her comments in open court that she had reasons to believe that the High Chief didn’t die a natural death.
“13. It is on record that in arriving at the inquest ruling, the Coroner neither called any expert witness nor any of the pathologists who conducted the autopsy. Not a single individual was cross-examined. Only the singular statement by Ilaye Philemon was relied on amongst at least eight other statements to arrive at the conclusion that the High Chief died at 4:50 pm in Nigeria. It truly beats one’s imagination as to how such a conclusion would have been arrived at. The reference to unnamed and unknown doctors as well as other unidentifiable statements from unnamed persons on the flight simply beggars belief.
“14. Dr. Mrs. Lulu-Briggs has no difficulty in reaching the conclusion that rather than an inquest ruling; the Coroner may have been strongly influenced by Dumo’s script in her judgment. There is truly no evidence that she conducted an inquest and as such could not have delivered a conclusive ruling on it. For instance, her opinion that the autopsy was inconclusive could only have been reached upon the cross-examination of an expert witness. She did none of that.
“15. In truth, she declined to conclude on the inquest because the conclusion was easy to reach if expert witnesses were examined. The High Chief died of natural causes according to his conclusive autopsy report. Also, if the Coroner had done an inquest it would have come to light that Dumo had illegally removed the body of the High Chief from the Transitions Mortuary. As such, her reference to the release of the body by the Police and Mortuary to Dumo Lulu-Briggs, besides confirming his illegal custody of the body also raises issues that the ruling may have been predetermined, prepared and kept to be read when it was considered right irrespective of its bias.
“16. Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs assures well-meaning friends, associates and extended family members that there is no cause for alarm, as she would continue to have recourse to the law in her quest for justice. To this end, she has directed her Lawyers to appeal the ruling possibly delivered with the intention to aid Dumo’s mischief.
“17. Dr. Mrs Seinye Lulu calls on her stepson, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, who illegally obtained her husband’s body and is keeping it at an unknown location for more than four weeks now, away from the rest of the family, to endeavour to accord her beloved husband the rest and dignity that he deserves except there’s to be another announcement of the postponement of a never intended interment.”