Seinye Lulu-Briggs, widow of the late billionaire businessman, has hit back at Dumo, her stepson, over his comments on the autopsy conducted in Accra, Ghana, on Friday.
Benson Lulu-Briggs, a Kalabari high chief and chairman of Moni Pulo Limited, an oil exploration and production company, died on December 27, 2018 on a trip to Ghana.
There are conflicting accounts on how he died — one says he died on the chartered flight while another says he arrived Accra alive.
The autopsy report, expected to be released this week, concluded that he did not die a violent death but the younger Lulu-Briggs faulted the process in an interview with TheCable.
He said: “Curiously, one Dr. Lawrence Edusie of the Korle-Bu Hospital, an entirely different hospital and a pathologist who is unknown even to the police as far as the inquest/autopsy of High Chief O.B.Lulu-Briggs is concerned, gets involved and actually performs the autopsy, in the course of which he sends out and prevents the Nigeria police pathologist AIG Akhiwu and the Ghana police pathologist from even observing the autopsy when the autopsy is as a result of an inquest, a serious police investigation involving the Nigeria police, Ghana police and the Interpol. To make matters worse, despite repeated demands for tissue samples by my pathologist Dr Francis Faduyile, no samples were given to the parties for toxicology and histology tests.”
However, the widow has responded to Dumo in a statement sent to TheCable on Sunday.
She said: “I read with amusement, and no small measure of amazement at the audacity Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs, to twist facts in his account of the process of autopsy performed on my late husband, High Chief (Dr) O.B Lulu-Briggs last Friday at the military hospital in Accra, Ghana – as published by The Cable.
“In his false account, Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs, chairman of Platform Petroleum, painted a picture of a clandestine operation in which I developed superhuman capabilities to overrule Nigerian and Ghanaian police officers and ensure that the autopsy was carried out at a ‘strange hospital’ by ‘strange pathologists.’
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The autopsy was conducted under tight police protection the military hospital and the operation was done by Col. (Dr) Attoh, head of the department of Anatomy of the 37 Military Hosiptal and Dr Lawrence Edusie, specialist pathologist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
“For the record, what happened was that we all gathered Friday morning, July 19, 2019 at the Transitions funeral home, where the Ghana CID police team invited myself, Solate, Dumo and Senibo, as members of the family, to come and identify the body before its movement to the 37 Military Hospital for the autopsy.
“As we were getting in, the Nigerian police investigation team led by ACP Adaku Uche-Anya joined us in the viewing room to identify the body. Thereafter, the police vehicle led the hearse that carried the body and we left for 37 Military Hospital. The Ghanaian police team and the Nigerian counterparts escorted the hearse into the hospital premises, while the rest of us waited outside until myself and Senibo – the first son of my husband – were invited into the conference room where we met the pathologists and policemen.
“The main pathologist, who is with the military hospital – the highly regarded Col. (Dr) Attoh and Dr Edusie walked in, introduced themselves and asked every other person in the room to also introduce themselves. Then the military pathologist announced that myself and Senibo will go with them to identify the body before the start of the autopsy, which we did.
“He then asked for the pathologists that were present in the room to announce which party they were there for. Two pathologists, Professor Agyeman Akosa (Ghanaian) and Dr. Dayo Faduyile (Nigerian) identified themselves as representing the sons. Professor Adetola Daramola (Nigerian) and Dr. Emeka Nwafor (Nigerian) identified themselves as pathologists that would observe on my behalf.
“The military hospital pathologist subsequently conferred with the Ghana CID team leader and agreed that two police investigating officers each from Ghana and Nigeria would be present during the autopsy. All the parties so identified were taken in.
“After about three hours, they all came out smiling – indicating great satisfaction with the procedure. There were no issues. There were no complaints and we all remained in the premises until the body was prepared again to be returned to the mortuary.
“Dumo’s statement is therefore a lie because he was not even near the pathology conference room during the entire process. He ought to have asked his elder brother, Senibo, who was present, to brief him properly on what transpired. I am now used to his tactics of half-truths and outright lies in his ultimately futile bid to smear me and make me bend to his will.
“And as for the rest of his claims, like he said, the police investigation is ongoing and I know the truth will triumph over falsehood.”