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21 Jan 2019

"Death Must Occur" Jimoh Ibrahim, Finally Breaks Silence On His Mom's Demise In Lagos Fire

Business mogul and legal practitioner, Jimoh Ibrahim, on Sunday gave an insight into the death of his mother, Theresa Jimoh, describing her as “a mother we will always love to have at all times.”

According to him, the death is “a big loss” because she was “somebody you won’t like to part with.”

Ibrahim, who spoke with PUNCH Metro from the United Kingdom, said “death must occur; something must cause death.”

He stated, “I’m not in Nigeria; I’m at the Cambridge University and not yet home. As a PhD student, I need to get the permission of the university to travel. All I can say is that mama will be given a befitting burial; she is right now in the mortuary.

“When the family announces the date for the burial, we will make it known. Her family will have to handle that because in our culture, I am to do nothing. The family takes charge and decides. At this time, I don’t do anything. I will have to wait for family instructions. So, her immediate elder brother is the one in charge.

“But we thank God that we were able to recover her remains from the fire. Her body is right now in the mortuary, but she will be given a befitting burial. She was a great mother; she did her best and was well taken care of too. My mother was once kidnapped.

“She was a lovely mother; one we will always remember and the mother we will always love to have at all times. Her words are left behind; we will take care of the training she imparted in us and what she did to us when she was alive. The death of my mother is a big loss; she was somebody you wouldn’t like to part with.

“But death must occur; something must cause death. You cannot control that; some people die while asleep or in a plane crash. Something must cause death; it doesn’t just happen. Something must cause it. The greatest thing is that we are happy that she left a good legacy.

“She usually had her prayers as a Catholic. What I was told was that she was having her prayers. She had an altar where she prayed and she lit a candle at that altar. I think that on this occasion, the candle must have ignited the window blind. She had aides; she has her own house where she stayed with a house boy, house girl and security guard.

“By the time rescue came, the fire had already had a serious impact. My mother was 78 years old; she couldn’t survive much stress because of the impact of carbon monoxide on her. We’ve taken everything like that; but the good thing is that we were able to recover her remains. What if there was fire and we couldn’t see her? That would have been more painful.”

Ibrahim’s brother, Dipo, however, said their mother died as a result of family mismanagement.

Dipo, who released a brief statement on the incident on Sunday, denied that the deceased was killed by a candle fire.

The statement read, “Dipo Jimoh (last born and the closest son to the late mother, Mrs Theresa Jimoh), who recently graduated from the Columbia University, and the MD/CEO of Barama Energy Resources, has denounced the root cause of his mother’s death as candle fire. He also denied that her remains were deposited in a morgue by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.

“Dipo has promised to face any heavy weight individual or group, which plans to misinterpret or confuse the populace about the root cause of his mother’s death. My mother died as a result of family complications and mismanagement.”

When our correspondent called him for further explanation, he said he would not make any further comments for now.

When PUNCH Metro sought Ibrahim’s reaction to his brother’s statement, he simply said, “Please don’t involve me in that. My mother has just died; I am bereaved. I have no comment.”

The septuagenarian was in her house at the Victoria Garden City Estate when she was burnt to death by fire that engulfed her apartment in the early hours of Saturday.

An official of the state fire service had said preliminary information revealed that she was praying when she probably dozed off and that a candle she lit started the fire.

Her remains were reportedly deposited in a morgue after the intervention of firefighters from the Lagos State Fire Service.

In 2011, the deceased was kidnapped in Igbotako, Ondo State, and was released in Sapele, Delta State, after the family reportedly paid huge sums of money as ransom.

She was then relocated to the VGC in Lagos after she was released by her abductors.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, in a tweet, claimed that the fire was caused by power surge.

“Please let’s all endeavour to check all power units in our individual homes regularly,” the agency added.

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