Abimbola Akosile and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin
82-year-old Mrs. Grace Onaiwu Omogui, mother of former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mrs. Ifueko Okauru, died yesterday in a Lagos hospital, following multiple gunshots wounds she sustained from an armed robbery attack in Benin City, Edo State.
A statement released by her family, said
the armed robbery attack took place in Edo State capital, on her way from the Sapele Road branch of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
However, the exact date of the robbery attack was not disclosed in the family’s statement issued by her eldest son, Nowamagbe. Efforts by THISDAY to confirm the actual date of the attack from the family were unsuccessful.
Extolling her virtues, the statement by the family noted that, “Even in the face of unprovoked attack, she did what she does best: rightly questioned the indefensible actions of the armed robbers as she felt it was wrong.”
According to the family statement, the late Madam Omoigui, born on December 28, 1933, had an illustrious professional career, first as an educationist and former Vice Principal of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Benin City, before she later became a lawyer, and eventually retired as a magistrate in the Lagos State Judiciary. She also represented the Federal Ministry of Education on the Nigerian delegation to India in 1988.
The statement reads: “Mama G, as she loved to be called, fought a gallant fight to live but the Lord decided that her time on this earth was done. She leaves behind a legacy of love to one’s neighbour regardless of cost and personal sacrifice. Even in the face of unprovoked attack, she did what she does best: rightly questioned the indefensible actions of the armed robbers as she felt it was wrong.
“Mum lived a transparent life through and through. She was the pillar behind the family and would do anything to preserve its good name and defend integrity. She positively touched many lives at home and at work and we believe her legacy of sacrifice, loyalty, hard work, fairness, love, integrity, the importance of family and God’s love will live on through everybody she touched.”
The statement said she was survived by her husband of 58 years, Surveyor Daniel Aiyanyo Omoigui, her children – Dr. Nowamagbe and Moira Omoigui; Dr. Sota and Helen Omoigui; Ifueko M Omoigui and Asishana Okauru; Eghosa and Eunice Omoigui; and Nosakhare Omoigui; and grandchildren, Ikponmwosa Omoigui, Ighiwiyisi Omoigui, Ayrton Omoigui, Iyegbekosa Omoigui, Izevbokun Omoigui, Grace Omoigui, Isiuwa Omoigui, Iyare Omoigui, Noe Ter Avest Omoigui, Iriagbonse Omoigui, Anni-Arie Omoigui, and Nete Okauru.
“We are heartbroken by this untimely loss but comforted by the understanding that this is the Lord’s way and our mum is resting peacefully in His bosom,” the statement added.
Mrs. Omogui was born in Akure, Ondo State on December 28, 1933 and got married on August 2, 1958 to Mr. Daniel Aiyanyo Omoigui, a retired Surveyor General of the Federation. Before her demise, she was a Director in the firm of ReStraL Ltd.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Edo state Command, Haliru Gwandu, said he was unaware of robbery attack on the mother of the FIRS boss in Benin City.
Gwandu was responding to THISDAY enquiries on when the robbery attack happened. Speaking with THISDAY on phone last night, Gwandu said the only related report of armed robbery attack was the one on which he briefed the media on Friday, which involved the arrest of two armed robbery suspects who were reportedly shot dead in the afternoon by operatives of Edo State Police Command, and a member of the same gang, who was also arrested.
On Friday, Gwandu had told the media that a four-man robbery gang had trailed their victim who wanted to buy a car from Ughelli in Delta State to a new generation bank located around Technical College Road Junction, Benin City, where he had gone to withdraw money.
The robbers who reportedly came in a grey-coloured Toyota Corolla car bearing an Abuja registration number, were said to have gone into the bank with their victim unknown to him and as he attempted to come out of the bank after withdrawing the money, shot him on the lap after robbing him of a sum of N500,000.
The robbers, in a bid to scare away people, shot sporadically into the air, while attempting to escape but luck ran out on them, as they were chased by men of Operation Thunder Storm, a security outfit of the State Police Command that engages in regular patrols of Benin City and its environs.
It was gathered that two of the armed robbers were shot dead during the encounter in the Evbomore area of Ugbowo, off Ugbowo-Lagos Road, while another member of the gang was said to have been arrested by the police with the stolen money recovered.
Meanwhile, the victim of the attack was said to have been rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for medical attention.