A prominent business mogul in the Niger Delta and founder of Moni Pulo Limited, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs will finally be laid to rest on March 13, Chiefs of Oruwari-Briggs House of Abonnema kingdom in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State have said.
They unveiled the plan to bury the business mogul at the weekend two years after he passed away at the age of 88 and following protracted controversies that followed his passage.
The burial of the philanthropist have suffered several setbacks following disagreement between the wife of the deceased, Mrs Seinye O. B Lulu-Briggs and his children which degenerated into court cases.
Addressing journalists Friday night, the acting Head of Oruwari-Briggs House of Abonnema, High Chief A. B. Ajumogobia, noted the cause of set back on the burial date.
Ajumogobia, a retired Navy Captain, said: “The major reason we could not plan the burial ceremony was because of more than 15 months we could not take custody of the mortal remains of High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs because of the series of court cases that denied the family from taking custody of the body.
“The controversies that surrounded the demise of our Paramount Head were widely reported in the mass media.
“Even when on December 23, 2019, a High Court in Ghana ruled that the body be released to the family led by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the matter was appealed up to the Supreme Court before the body was finally brought back to Nigeria on March 16, 2020 into the waiting arms of the prevailing Covid-19 restrictions.
“Activities towards the burial date begin on March 8 with drama and tributes at the University of Port Harcourt, Choba.
“It is our pleasure at this point to break the news that the late High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, the Iniikeiroari V of Kalabari Kingdom and Paramount Head of Oruwari Briggs House of Abonnema will be committed to mother Earth on Saturday, March 13.”
The chiefs also appreciated Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike for approving a state burial for the late patriarch.
Meanwhile, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, son of the deceased has also lauded Wike for his untiring efforts to broker peace within the Lulu-Briggs family during the past two years of his demise.
Dumo expressed gladness that at last his father “will be buried after years of disagreement. I am indeed very excited that at long last my father will be laid to rest.
“On March 13 by the grace of God Nigeria and indeed the world will be here in Abonnema. That is the pleasure of the mind, friends and associates will travel from near and far to come and pay their last respect.
“He was a man of very good worthy beginnings. He is a household name because of how he impacted people’s lives. He built a home for the elderly, hostels for students, medical laboratories for learning, medical bills, enhancements etc. I am very happy that such a great man relates to me.
“I am particularly happy that all the chiefs of Oruwari-Briggs House have always shown their love for him. He was committed to the growth and development of Nigeria, Rivers State, Kalabari and Abonnema.”