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Kalabari Traditional Council Wade into Lulu Briggs Family Feud

The Amanayabo of Kalabari, King (Professor) J.T. Princewill Amachree, has waded into the internal crisis within the family of the late High Chief OB Lulu-Briggs by setting up a committee to find out why the High Chief has not been buried, about six months after his death.

The committee, which has met a few times, is yet to make any pronouncements on the matter – partly because of the intransigence of some of the family members.

A source who attended its sitting on Tuesday, June 18, at the Kings court in Buguma stated that one of the sons of the deceased, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, spoke passionately and adamantly that Kalabari culture bars women from being involved in their husband’s burial arrangements and insisted that the King’s committee should proclaim, according to Kalabari culture, that a wife should be totally excluded from her husband’s funeral arrangements and should hand over and hands-off all the husband’s assets as soon as he dies.

The meeting was adjourned and would continue in the coming days according to our sources.
This is even as the Nigeria Police continues its investigation into a petition that the late Lulu-Briggs was murdered, allegedly by his wife. The murder allegation is another twist in an intense internal battle over the control of the businesses has been left behind by the late Ijaw billionaire.

Although efforts to get the police to speak on the investigation was unsuccessful, it was gathered that the petition was part of the weapons being deployed by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, Chairman of Platform Petroleum, one of the deceased sons against his father’s wife, Seinye Lulu-Briggs. High-Chief Lulu-Briggs passed away on December 27, 2018 in Accra, Ghana, at the age of 88.

His death was initially announced by Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs on his Facebook page on January 1, 2019 and he used the same platform to announce the postponement of the burial of the late Lulu-Briggs on March 24, 2019.

But the allegation of murder, contained in a petition made to Force CID Abuja, led to the police invasion of Moni Pulo Limited on June 3, 2019. On that day, a large contingent of police from Force CID Abuja, led by ACP Adaku Uche-Anya stormed the company’s corporate head office in Port Harcourt without a proper court order and broke doors in an attempt to interrogate staff and gain access to company documents. They left after about 8 hours.

Family members said attempts to secure a copy of the petition, which could shed more light on the matters arising and possibly lead to better response by the accused persons, have not yet yielded any results. The police were back in Port Harcourt on June 17 to continue their investigations on the allegations of murder, conspiracy and fraud.

Meanwhile sources close to the family confirm that Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs had earlier demanded that his step mother should allow him to take over her businesses including Moni Pulo Limited, Rachael Hotel, O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation and the High Chief’s palatial home in Port Harcourt, otherwise he would not allow the burial of his father to proceed.

Attempts to reach Dr. Seinye O.B. Lulu-Briggs for comment received a ‘no comment’ response. Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs did not respond to our calls.

Before the police petition, Chief Dumo-Lulu Briggs had, in April, secured an ex parte order from the High Court in Omoku, Rivers State, stopping the reading of his father’s will. In keeping with his wishes, High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs’ lawyers had filed his last Will and Testament at the Probate Registry in Port Harcourt and contacted all relevant parties to be present at its reading. However, this was postponed pending the determination of the suit filed by Dumo on the matter.

It is ironic that Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs has also filed another Will he claims he received from his father in 2003 at a time when he and his brothers were pursuing legal cases against their father in a bid to take over Moni Pulo from him.

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