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Exclusion of Lulu-Briggs widow from burial causes row

Forbes Magazine named him among Africa's 40 Richest in 2012, with a networth of $500 million.

The family of late Chief OB Lulu-Briggs widow, Sienye Lulu-Briggs, and some notable Kalabari chiefs have raised concern over the exclusion of the billionaire business mogul’s wife from the planned burial of the octogenarian.

Dumo Lulu-Briggs, second son of the deceased, has fixed March 13 for the burial of the Rivers-born philanthropist who died two years ago in Ghana.

A prominent Kalabari elder statesman and renowned business mogul, Ferdinand Alabraba, in a three-page letter called on Dumo to work toward a peaceful and successful burial in which all stakeholders would fully participate.

“It is alleged that as a result of the anger over your father’s will, you decided to exclude your dad’s widow and daughter from the burial plans, thus denying them the right to perform their customary roles to honour him in death,” Alabraba wrote.

“That time-honoured Kalabari culture cannot be ignored and must be respected, otherwise the burial of our most respected High Chief will be incomplete.”

“Recall that not too long ago, you were nominated as the leader of Young Briggs House and, only recently, installed on your personal Chieftaincy stood, thus making you leader of the Young Briggs and head of the Chief O. B. Lulu Briggs family. You are therefore uniquely placed to unite the Chief O B Lulu Briggs family, bringing everybody on board in the burial plans so that as a united family, you can give your dad the befitting burial you have promised the world which he truly deserves.

“Unfortunately, the O B Lulu Briggs’ family still remains divided and as we move closer to the burial date people have started talking, insinuating things and blaming you for the lingering state of affairs, and rightly too because everybody knows and sees you as the face of the Lulu Briggs family. My son, please know that your dad can only be buried once and if you allow anger to rule your emotions in working out the burial plans, you will be susceptible to serious mistakes which will remain a source of regret for the rest of your life,” the statement added.

Similarly, the family of Sienye Lulu-Briggs in a press statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by Chief Alaiyi Tom West and Chief Obrasua Ernest Francis Briggs respectively expressed worry that their daughter was excluded in the planned burial of the octogenarian.

They expressed worry that the widow had not received any formal message regarding funeral arrangements from the elder sons or any other members of his family.

They called on the family of the deceased to do the “right and proper thing” with regards to his widow and his in-laws as to fully integrate them in all the funeral arrangements.

The deceased was founder and chairman of Moni Pulo Limited, an oil exploration and production company.

Forbes Magazine named him among Africa’s 40 Richest in 2012, with a networth of $500 million.

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