Usually, when great men pass on at a very ripe age in Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State, there is wild jubilation, and family gather to plan a befitting burial for the departed soul.
But this does not seem to be so in the case of the billionaire oil magnate, High Chief Benson Lulu Briggs, a renowned politician and legendary philanthropist.
Indeed, if you think the confusion trailing the burial plans of the billionaire businessman, who was the Chairman of Moni Pulo Limited, one of Nigeria’s front-running oil exploration companies, will be over soon, you are dead wrong.
Since his demise in December, 2018 in Ghana, there has been serious in-fighting, hatred, endless accusations and counter-accusations among family members over the burial arrangements.
Society Watch gathered there is no peace in sight, as one of the children of the deceased, Dumo Lulu-Briggs and his stepmother, Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs, have not reconciled.
It was also learnt that the disagreement had taken a dramatic turn, a situation that has further sharply divided the Oruwari family.
According to a source, the disagreement developed shortly after Dumo visited the Transition Home in Accra, Ghana, where his father’s corpse was deposited.
Dumo was said to have accused his stepmother of killing and dumping the remains of his father in Ghana.
Obviously miffed, penultimate week, he reportedly travelled to Accra with some top Nigerian pathologists to carry out an autopsy on his late dad. But Dumo and the medical personnel were said to have been denied access to the morgue by the authorities, who demanded proper documents from the Ghanaian government.
The matter, it was learnt, has become a legal issue. As proof that both have suddenly become sworn enemies, Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs was allegedly arrested and harassed by policemen at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, upon her return from the United Kingdom, following a petition written by Dumo Lulu-Briggs.
The source said though her passport was seized, she was left off the hook, after she made frantic calls to some powerful people across the country.
One of the contentious issues tearing the family apart, according to the source, borders on the assets, which the children are said to be demanding from the woman on the grounds that she was in charge of their father’s business when he died.