The electrocution of a 49-year-old pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Festac, Emeka Okafor, and a man who attempted to rescue
him, Chinedu Onyeka, has not only thrown the residents of Sammy Suites
Close, 41 Road, Festac Town, Lagos State, into mourning, tongues have
been waging in the neighbourhood as to who was responsible for their
An eyewitness told PUNCH METRO’s correspondent that after it rained heavily on Monday night, Sammy Suites Close became flooded as usual due to lack of drainage channels in the area.
He said the flood, which was about three feet deep made the residents to stay indoors, while many motorists abandoned their vehicles.
The eyewitness said, “The rain was so heavy that it left Sammy Suites Close heavily flooded on Monday. As soon as the rain began at about 8pm, the
Power Holding Company of Nigeria switched off the light. Thereafter, a
hotel, Sammy Star Suites, put on its generator, which provided security
light for the residents and the place.
“As soon as the generator came on, the areas became hazardous and started shocking because the feeder cables had become dysfunctional. So, when the pastor
came back from where he went, he saw that the entire close had been
submerged in flood. He decided to park his car outside the close as
others did. When he got into the flood, he held on to the cable pillars
to enable him to wade through the flood and he was electrocuted. He
started screaming for help, but people were unable to offer help because
of fear that they might be shocked too.”
He said that as people converged on different spots outside the close discussing the gory tale, Chinedu, who just returned home volunteered to rescue the
PUNCH METRO gathered that as soon as Chinedu, who had earlier been warned by neighbours not to embark on the rescue mission, stepped into the flood, he, too, was thrown off balance and got
He said the area became deserted until when the Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Mr. Ayodele Adewale, in company with some divers and PHCN officials, came around 11pm.
It was gathered that the rescue team later brought out the lifeless bodies of Chinedu and Okafor and subsequently transferred their remains to the
morgue of Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo.
Okafor‘s younger brother, Kenneth, said, “Unknown to him (Okafor) as he was wading through the flood that he got himself trapped in-between electricity
feeder pillars which had become dysfunctional and was shocking. The
shock flung him forcefully into the flood and buried him there until
help came later, by that time he had died.”
Chinedu’s mother, Theresa, said with the death of Chinedu, life has lost meaning to her as the deceased was her source of strength since she lost her
husband some years back.
She fingered Sammy Star Suites as the killer of his son, saying that if the hotel had not put on its generator when the rain was falling, her son would not have been
She urged the government to investigate the matter, saying that the existence of the hotel had been a source of concern to the residents.
But the hotel’s Proprietor, Mr. Samuel Umeh, however, disagreed with Chinedu‘s family that it was the security light he supplied to the close that was responsible for the
death of the duo, arguing that the light had been installed for more
than five years without such incident.
He said the generator was only switched on when the officials of the LG and divers came for rescue operation so as to provide light for the operation.
He said that he was not aware if the electricity he provided for the street was dysfunctional since nobody had told him about it, stressing
that he should not be blamed for the incident.
Efforts to speak with the LG chairman were unsuccessful as his phone was not going through.
Commenting on the development, spokesman of the State Police Command, Mr. Frank Mba, said the scene was immediately visited by policemen from FESTAC Police Division.
He said that the corpses had also been taken to a public mortuary for an autopsy and that the case was under investigation.
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