James Ocholi, minister of state for labour and employment, has died in a road accident which occurred near Rijana along the Kaduna-Abuja road after the rear tyres of his car burst.
He and his son died instantly in the crash, while his wife went into coma and later died at Doka hospital, Kaduna.
The tragic incident, which happened on Sunday afternoon in Kaduna state, was initially confirmed by Hadi Sirika, the minister of state for aviation, via Twitter.
Also, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed the incident, saying Ocholi’s remains had been deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital, Abuja.
Bisi Kazeem, spokesperson of the agency, confirmed to NAN that the corpse was taken to the hospital along with two others.
Kazeem explained that the deceased lost their lives in a crash that occurred at Kilometre 57, along Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday.
“The minister and two other occupants died eventually, while four people were injured,” he said, although he declined to give details of the other victims.
Francis Udoma, Kaduna state sector commander of FRSC, gave a clearer picture of the tragedy and its cause.
“The rear tyre burst and the vehicle summersaulted several times into the bush,” Udoma said. “The minister and his son died on the spot; the wife died in the government hospital in Doka, Kaduna.”
He added that the late minister’s driver, chief detail, orderly and personal assistant also sustained injuries.
He said he did not know where the minister was coming from, as all he knew was that “the minister was heading towards Abuja when the accident happened”.
Ocholi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), hailed from Kogi state. He was an active politician.
In 2011, he contested the governorship election on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
His bid to repeat the same feat under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, suffered a setback as the late Abubakar Audu clinched the ticket of the ruling party.
He graduated from the University of Jos and was admitted to the bar in 1986.