COVID-19: Shocking deaths of notable Nigerians in 2020

Some notable Nigerians Who Have Died From Coronavirus
Some notable Nigerians Who Have Died From Coronavirus
Some notable Nigerians Who Have Died From Coronavirus

By Taiwo Okanlawon

The spread of the COVID-19 continued to gain momentum even with vaccines, affecting millions around the world and showed no deference to well-known faces, celebrity, or social status.

More than 1.81 million people around the world so far have died due to complications from the global pandemic, as cases of the deadly disease have topped 82.8 million in total. 46.8 million have also recovered.

Nigeria recorded its first case of Coronavirus on February 27th, 2020, after an Italian national, was confirmed positive, making it the third case in Africa after it was reported in Egypt and Algeria respectively. As of May 13, every African country had recorded an infection, the last being Lesotho.

There are now more than 2.73 million confirmed cases of coronavirus across the continent, while recovery cases are 2.28 million with the number of deaths in Africa standing at 64,809.

In Nigeria, as of December 29, the confirmed cases are 86,576, recovered cases are 73,322 while 1,278 people have died due to complications from the coronavirus.

About 24 days after Nigeria’s index case of coronavirus, former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu, became the first casualty of the global pandemic. Since his death on March 23rd, 774 people have so far died.

Asides health workers and ordinary Nigerians, here are the names and faces of prominent casualties who have died from the deadly virus.

1. Suleiman Achimugu (Former PPMC MD)

Suleiman Achimugu: first to die of coronavirus infection in Nigeria

A former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu, died on March 23 after showing symptoms of the virus following his return to the country from the United Kingdom.

The 67-year-old who was said to have had underlying medical issues and had been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Upon his return from the UK where he had gone to treat cancer, he was said to have gone into self-isolation as the COVID-19 symptoms persisted.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) announced Monday, the first Nigerian to die of the virus. But it did not unveil the identity.

2. Abba Kyari

Abba Kyari

On April 17, President Muhammadu Buhari’s powerful Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, died of COVID-19 at 67.

He was the second victim but the most popular COVID-19 fatality in West Africa at the time.

The Presidency confirmed his death in a statement.

Kyari’s underlying medical conditions was believed to have complicated his battle with the disease. And thus caused his death.

He showed the symptoms of the disease after he returned from a trip to Germany last month.

His positive testing almost shut down the business of government.

Both the Federal Executive Council and National Council of State Meetings were postponed indefinitely.

3. Abiola Ajimobi

Ajimobi: dies of COVID-19

Former Oyo state governor Abiola Ajimobi succumbed to COVID-19 and underlying symptoms. He was 70.

The two-term governor and former senator died after spending close to three weeks in a coma at First Cardiology Consultants Hospital in Ikoyi, hooked on the ventilator, with hopes that he would come to.

A week to his death, news went viral that he was dead but his family debunked the news.

His death on June 25, 2020, coincided with the resolution of the leadership crisis in his party by the National Executive Committee meeting of the party.

President Buhari chaired the virtual meeting in Abuja.

Ajimobi became a deputy chairman of the APC in March and was expected to steer the party after the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as chairman.

But he was incapacitated by illness.

4. Wahab Adegbenro

Dr Wahaab Adegbenro, Ondo State Commissioner for Health

The Ondo State commissioner of health, Wahab Adegbenro, died from COVID-19 complications on July 2 at the state’s infectious disease hospital.

Another source said the Commissioner had been on self-medication after contacting the virus being a medical doctor.”

He died two days after handing the positive test result of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to him.

Akeredolu, in a video, described him as “a dependable ally with fatherly mayhem. It is my fervent believe that he would be remembered for his official endeavour.”

5. Senator Bayo Osinowo

Bayo Osinowo

Bayo Osinowo, Senator representing Lagos East at the 9th Nigerian National Assembly died of complications from COVID-19 on June 15th, 2020 in Lagos.

He was 64 years old.

Before becoming Senator in 2019, he was a four-time Lagos House of Assembly member.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said he was saddened by the death of the Lagos senator, but assured that the government will find a lasting solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

6. Dan Foster

Dan Foster succumbs to COVID-19

Popular radio host Dan Foster also succumbed to COVID-19 complications on the 17th of June. His death sent shockwaves down social media.

Frank Edoho of the popular ‘Want to be a Millionaire’ show wrote: “I just got off the phone, my friend Oscar confirmed that Dan Foster has passed on.

“This is a very very dark year.

“How can I overcome this unending melancholy. Rest in Peace, dear Friend”.

Foster – the Nigerian-American popularly known as The Big Dawg and Top Dawg came to Nigeria from the U.S. in 2000 to work for Cool FM. He became an instant hit.

Foster’s mother died when he was ten and was thus brought up with his three siblings in Washington, D.C. by their father.

He was also partly raised in Baltimore by his grandmother.

In the U.S. he worked for numerous radio stations.

Among them were Cathy Hughes Radio One, Mix 106.5 and Virgin Island-based WTBN.

He worked at Classic FM until his death.

He is survived by his wife Lovina Okpara and three children.

7. Nasir Ajanah (Chief Judge of Kogi State)

Chief Judge of Kogi, Justice Nasir Ajanah

The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Nasir Ajanah died at age 64 on 28th June, 2020.

A member of the late Judge’s family who confirmed his death, said he died at the COVID-19 isolation centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja.

He died a week after the death of Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga, the president of the Kogi customary court of appeal was reported.

Ajanah’s death was confirmed by the Information Officer of the state Judiciary, Mr Saeed Saqueeb.

8. Aminu Adisa Logun

Kwara Chief of Staff, Adisa Logun

The Chief of Staff to Kwara State government, Alh Adisa Logun died from COVID-19 complications on July 7th, 2020.

The late Chief of Staff in his late 70s was said to have been rushed to the hospital on Monday evening after complaining about serious health complications before he eventually died.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief of Staff died a few hours after the test of his COVID-19 result returned positive

Governor of Kwara State and the entire cabinet were devastated upon the announcement of his death.

The Kwara State Government declared a 7-day mourning in honour of the late Logun.

9. Tunde Braimoh (Lagos lawmaker)

Hon. Tunde Braimoh

Tunde Braimoh, the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, died on 7th of July 2020, from COVID-19 related complications.

The former chairman of Kosofe Local Government died early Friday, two months to his 60th birthday on 30 September.

Taiwo Fadipe, the chief press secretary to Kosofe Local Government said Braimoh died after two days of illness.

Hakeem Sokunle, Chairman, House Committee on Health, told NAN that the late Braimoh might have died of COVID-19 and it was possible he had contracted it from late Sen. Bayo Osinowo with whom he was a close confidant.

Braimoh, a lawyer was the Bamofin of Ketuland. He was popularly called ‘Big Daddy’.

The deceased, until his sudden death, was the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy who made copious contributions to state developmental policy debate on the floor of the house.

10. Ex-Ondo NMA chairman, Michael Adeyeri

Michael Adeyeri

The former chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Ondo State, Dr. Michael Adeyeri, died of COVID-19 on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

His death came a week after the death of the state Health Commissioner, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, who also died of complications from COVID-19.

However, it was gathered that Adeyeri passed away in his private hospital at Alagbaka area of Akure, the state capital.

It was also learned that Adeyeri was earlier taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo after he developed symptoms of the virus.

11. Ex-Edo Assembly speaker Zakawanu Garuba

Zakawanu Garuba: dies in Abuja

A former speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Zakawanu Garuba, died of COVID-19 complications in Abuja on the 18th of July, 2020.

Close friends said he died at an isolation centre. He was 54 years old.

He was elected into the Edo State House of Assembly in 2003, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

While in the House, he served as chairman of the House committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters.

He was made Speaker in 2007.

But three years after, he was impeached, alongside his deputy by 16 members of the House.

His tenure as Speaker saw the transformation of the Assembly into a vibrant and progressive chamber.

12. Senator Buruji Kashamu

Buruji Kashamu

Former Senator, Buruji Kashamu died of Coronavirus in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Saturday, August 8, 2020. He was 62 years old.

Kashamu, who represented Ogun East Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly has been sick for quite sometime after he was struck by the deadly Coronavirus.

He was said to have died at the First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos.

Another former Senator, Ben Murray-Bruce broke the news of Kashamu’s death on his Twitter.

He wrote: “I have just lost my good friend of forever to COVID-19. Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable.

”He died today at First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.”

Kashamu, born on 19 May, 1958 served as a Senator representing Ogun East in the 8th National Assembly.

He was a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Ogun State.

13. Babatunde Oke Onigbongbo Council

Babatunde Oke : dies of COVID-19 complications

Council chairman for Onigbongbo in Lagos, Mr Babatunde Oke, died on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, from complications arising from COVID-19.

He was 57 years old.

According to a post on his Facebook page, Oke died at St. Nicholas Hospital on Lagos Island, where he was moved, when his illness became critical.

He was initially receiving treatment at the Gbagada isolation centre.

Oke was spending his second term as the council chairman.

He was the second council boss to die of COVID-19.

In June, Augustine Adeoye Arogundade, chairman of Agbado/Oke-Odo LCDA also succumbed to COVID-19.

14. Top Lagos politician Lanre Razak a.k.a KLM

Chief Lanre Razak

Chief Lanre Razak, a top leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state and member of the Governor’s Advisory Council died on Saturday, August 15, 2020.

He was 73 years old.

Chief Bayo Osiyemi who posted on Facebook, Razak’s obituary on Saturday said Razak died of COVID-19.

Razak had his political base in Epe where he earned the title of Balogun of Epeland. He was also honoured with the title of Fiwagbade of Lagos.

In 1999, he joined the All Nigeria Peoples Party, where he contested the governorship election against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He later crossed over to the Peoples Democratic Party.

But in 2011, he joined the Action Congress of Nigeria and played a prominent role in the progressive camp.

15. Sam Nda-Isaiah publisher of Leadership newspaper

Sam Nda-Isaiah, Leadership Newspaper Publisher

Publisher of the Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah died on Saturday, December 12, 2020. He was aged 58.

He died on Friday after a brief illness, according to multiple sources, who attributed the cause of death to COVID-19.

The pharmacist turned newspaperman attended a meeting of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria in Lagos early this week.

After studying pharmacy, he worked at the Kano Specialist Hospital before moving to General Hospital, Minna.

His journalism interest began when he became a columnist with The Daily Trust.

He was also a committee member in the Kano State Government panel to revive The Triumph, a Kano government-owned newspaper.

In 2003, he headed Mohammadu Buhari’s presidential campaign publicity.

In 2011, he founded the Leadership Newspaper Group.

16. Nigerian rapper, Biglo

Biglo: Before and during his kidney ailment

Veteran Nigerian rapper, Lotanna Udezue, popularly known as ‘Biglo’, is dead.

The news of his death filtered into social media by mid-afternoon on Sunday after his contemporaries, Jazzman Olofin and Ruggedman, paid tributes to one of their own on Instagram.

On December 11, he announced on his official Facebook page that he had tested positive for coronavirus and asked his fans to pray for him.

he rapper was down with Kidney failure and was undergoing dialysis at a nursing home in California, US.

The late rapper went public with the illness in 2018 and regularly updated his Facebook followers on the progress of his treatment.

On December 11, he announced on his official Facebook page that he had tested positive for coronavirus and asked his fans to pray for him.

Sadly, he died after battling COVID-19 complications in California, USA, on Saturday night.


His cousin, Zuby Udezue, who opened a GoFundMe account on his behalf said the ailment was diagnosed in July 2018.

He also added that Biglo has been undergoing dialysis three times weekly since January.

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