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BREAKING: Nollywood actor, John Okafor ‘Mr Ibu’ is dead

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BREAKING: Nollywood actor, John Okafor 'Mr Ibu' is dead
• Mr Ibu

Nollywood actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu, is dead.

He was said to have died on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

In October 2023, the veteran actor was reported ill and required financial assistance.

But in November 2023, Okafor’s family confirmed that one of his legs had been amputated to keep him alive.

The amputation became necessary because of an infection of the arteries at the ankle that was not detected early enough, his former manager Emeka Chochoo had revealed.

Family sources have confirmed the passing of Mr Ibu to newsmen.

The actor reportedly passed away at Evercare Hospital in Lagos State after a protracted battle with illness.

He was diagnosed with diseased blood vessels.

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The 62-year old had battled health issues that led to the amputation of his two legs.

His family had solicited funds from Nigerians, saying the actor “had constant clotting of the blood in his leg [diseased blood vessels] and other health challenges posing a risk to his life, therefore the need for the amputation.”

Meanwhile, celebrities and colleagues of the Nollywood veteran have mourned Mr. Ibu in various social media posts.

Mercy Johnson Okojie wrote, ” It is well… Rest well sir…”

Ruth Kadiri wrote, “Sleep well Papa.”

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Grieving Junior Pope’s family appeals for privacy from public

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Junior Pope: AGN bans movies involving boat rides
Junior Pope

The family of late Nollywood star, John Paul Obumneme Odonwodo popularly known by his stage name, Junior Pope, has formally  reacted to the sudden demise of their son, saying the circumstances of his death was “wholly avoidable.”

Junior Pope died in a boat mishap on Wednesday, 10th April, 2024 while going to movie set.

A statement issued by Dr Divine Odonwodo on behalf of the family said the funeral arrangements will be announced soon, while the relevant authorities continue with their investigations into the unfortunate incident.

Dr. Odonwodo also appealed to the public to give the family privacy “as we grieve and mourn this irreparable loss.”

The three-paragraph statement reads:

“We regret to announce the sudden death of our son, brother, husband, friend and very well loved Nollywood movie star, John Paul Obumneme Odonwodo (Junior Pope). This wholly avoidable tragedy took place on the 10th of April, 2024 at Asaba Delta State.

“Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family. While the authorities investigate the circumstances leading to this unfortunate event, the family asks for privacy as we grieve and mourn this irreparable loss.

May his beautiful soul and the souls of all the victims of the boat accident rest in peace. Amen”

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Born on May 7, 1984, in Bamenda, Cameroon, Pope Obumneme Odonwodo, widely recognized as Junior Pope, is a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Luke Odonwodo, belong to the Ukehe tribe in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State South East Nigeria.  After spending his formative years in Cameroon, Junior Pope completed his primary and secondary education before later relocating to Nigeria.

SEE ALSO:  Military buries 17 personnel killed in Delta

Junior Pope’s upbringing in Cameroon provided him with a diverse cultural background and experiences that influenced his personal and professional life.

After completing his education in Cameroon, he made the transition to Nigeria, where he embarked on his journey in the entertainment industry. His multicultural upbringing serves as a significant aspect of his identity and has contributed to shaping his perspective as an actor and public figure.

After completing his college education, Junior Pope attended the University of Nigeria Nsukka in Enugu State, where he graduated with a degree in Accountancy.

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Junior Pope: Untold story of the boat mishap that killed 5

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Junior Pope: Untold story of the boat mishap that killed 5
Junior Pope
Veteran actor and SA to the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Military Relations, Mr Steve Eboh has provided graphic details on the boat mishap which claimed the lives of Nollywood actor Jnr. Pope and four others at Anam River, in Anambra State and how they have been able to bring the situation under control.
Eboh, who’s popularly known as Ajebo was part of the production Associates of the ill-fated movie, ‘Another Side of Life” being produced by Adanma Luke.

The tragic incident has sent shock-waves across the length and breadth of the Nigerian movie industry. And while different stories are still flying around in respect of the incident, Eboh, has decided to shed light on it.

This is just as the Marine Police of Anambra State Command said yesterday that they have recovered bodies of the the remaining three victims of the unfortunate boat accident. Two of the bodies were recovered on Thursday, while the last body was thrown ashore by the tide yesterday morning.

The state Commissioner of Police, CP Aderemi Adeoye, however, urged all water commuters to be safety conscious and avoid behaviour that may jeopardize their safety and that of others while on transit on water. He promised expedited investigation into the sad accident.

Narrating how the boat mishap happened, Eboh said: “I was part of the production Associates of the movie, ‘Another side of Life.’ On that day, I was supposed to be on that set. But somehow, I got to the location very early when the cast and crew were not yet there. I went back home, hoping that they would call me when they arrived. But the next thing I heard was what happened and the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Chief Emeka Rollas called me, and instructed me to move to Asaba to ascertain the situation. The incident didn’t happen in Asaba, rather it happened in Anambra State. But the take off point was Asaba.”

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Eboh, however, blamed actor TC Okafor for the misfortune. Okafor’s live session interview, narrating how the incident happened went viral on social media on Thursday.

According to Eboh’s account, while the victims were on board, Okafor kept standing and was pouring libation on the water, and at the same time ringing his bell. In the process, he blocked the view of the person steering the boat in such a way that he couldn’t see the incoming canoe, thereby leading to collision.

According to Eboh, “The producer of the film, Adanma Luke was supposed to be in the boat. But somehow, she forgot something and had to rush back to the hotel to pick it. That was how she missed the boat. But when the accident happened, we were asked to perform some rituals by the riverside before we recovered Jnr Pope’s body alongside the other victim. They were already dead when they were brought out of the water.

“I was at the riverside when they brought their bodies out of the water. At that point, I invited the police to take their corpses to the mortuary, but the supreme argument prevailed that we should take them to the hospital first for the doctors to confirm them dead. We went to the first hospital and they were confirmed dead. At the mortuary, the attendant insisted that we must obtain certain clearance before he would do anything.

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“However, when our people decided to perform some rituals in accordance with the tradition of Anam people before taking the bodies away, the man that presided over the rituals told our people that their spirits were back in them and that we should rush them to the hospital to revive them. That was when it started trending that Jnr Pope was alive and people were rejoicing.

SEE ALSO:  Military buries 17 personnel killed in Delta

“Unfortunately, the hospital still confirmed them dead. We decided to take them to the third hospital, and it was the same story. At that point, there was nothing we could do again than to deposit their corpses in the morgue. As of yesterday, we recovered two bodies and they were buried the same day by the riverside. Their families were there. The Anambra State Police marine recovered the last body yesterday morning.

Why they were not wearing life jackets

“Those who were wearing life jackets included the director of the movie, the cameraman and the production manager. If the star actors in that boat had wanted to wear life jackets, they would have been given the jackets. But in a situation where everybody wanted content, to make videos and do a lot of expeditions on the water, it’s unfortunate, but then there’s nothing we can do about it. First and foremost, are we to blame the producer for giving out the job or the carelessness of some of the drivers of the boat who couldn’t provide what they were supposed to do for their passengers? At the moment, everyone in Nollywood is worried, I am worried. That’s the situation.

Way forward

“The way forward is that the ones to be buried here have been buried and the other ones are still in the mortuary. The producer is doing everything possible to ensure that everybody is satisfied.

Producer is heartbroken

“Adanma Luke is not feeling fine. She’s been down since yesterday, she’s completely heartbroken. If not because of God, I wouldn’t be talking to you now because I was supposed to be in that boat”.

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Musawa mourns Jnr. Pope, Saratu Gidado

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The Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy Hannatu Musa Musawa has expressed deep shock at the death of Nollywood actor Pope Obumneme Odonwodo who drowned in River Anam in Anambra state on Wednesday, after shooting a movie at a location.

Barely 48 hours after the death of Kannywood actress Saratu Gidado was announced, the Nigerian movie actor popularly known as Junior Pope reportedly drowned on his way back from a movie location alongside some persons yet to be confirmed.

Minister Musawa, in a statement issued by her SA media and Publicity, Nneka Anibeze, described the recent spate of deaths in the entertainment industry as horrific and tragic.

“It’s a sad week for us in the creative and movie industry and a black Wednesday. Losing two lives in three days is not only horrifying but colossal. We have lost great young talents and entertainment providers while generating content for Nigerian movie lovers. We mourn and commiserate with their families. We stand by them at this tragic time and our thoughts are with all those who know them”. (Vanguard)

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Bobrisky will be held, protected in male cell ward — Prison service

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Bobrisky will be held, protected in male cell ward — Prison service
Bobrisky

The Nigerian Correctional Services, NCoS, has disclosed that popular cross-dresser Idris Okuneye, aka Bobrisky, will be kept in the male section of the prison facility throughout his six-month sentence.

On Friday, Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court sentenced Bobrisky to six months imprisonment for naira mutilation.

Bobrisky was charged before Justice Awogboro by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

He was sentenced to six months of imprisonment without the option of a fine for naira mutilation.

Before the sentence was pronounced, the judge asked Bobrisky about his sex.

“I am a man,” he quickly replied.

He was then remanded to serve his jail term at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre, with the judge ruling that the sentence would commence on March 24, 2024, the day of his arrest.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro stated that it was necessary to deter others from similar acts of abuse and mutilation of the naira.

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Bobrisky was convicted on April 5 after pleading guilty to a four-count charge of naira abuse brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The spokesperson of NCoS said: “Since he admitted to being a male in court, then we have to abide by what was submitted in court.”

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