Keniebi Okoko go in peace: My story
My attention has been drawn to an April 30, 2019 publication of ‘The Guardian’, credited to Eriye Onagoruwa and titled: “Keniebi Okoko Go In Peace.”
On 14 of April 2020 at about 10:25 pm I got a call from Government House, Yenagoa stating that I should try and verify the veracity of the story and pictures circulating on social media that our friend and brother Keniebi Okoko has died and risen up again since I am a prominent Bayelsan who stay in Lagos.
In solidarity, I quickly dashed out of my house to Keniebi house where I met his absence. I was however directed by his security guard to a hospital. Upon arrival, I met a multitude of personalities there; including his wife, who I met at the gate entrance trying to leave. I tried to console her before she left. After that, I went inside to meet Keniebi’s lifeless body with few others crying.
We requested to see the doctor who performed the surgery so we could ask him some questions and when it was not satisfactory we called in the police who took him in. The police asked his sister to go with them to the station to make an entry while we volunteered to take the body to the mortuary. Shortly before we did, some persons had taken KO’s dead pictures and sent to few persons that could get us a mortuary where we could take the body to. Otherwise, we could have roamed the streets of Lagos with his corpse.
Nobody among us knew a definite mortuary that we could take his body to; considering the fact that many hardly know such places until things like that catch up with them. We also asked his immediate staff to take pictures and video recording of events as inventories of what we met there, in case those who carried out the failed surgery would like to change the story. While all this was being done, we took his corpse to the mortuary on behalf of the family. The corpse was deposited at the mortuary and we departed at about 6:00am. While stories of Keniebi death and resurrection was flying up and down on social media and people were calling us while we were in the mortuary that Keniebi was alive despite the fact that we had the corpses right in front of us, it was difficult for us to comprehend. What shocked me was a police invitation on the April 18, 2020 and when I inquired I was told by the police that the doctor was released and they wanted to hear from family and friends who were there. I also called Eriye Onagoruwa, the writer, who also confirmed what was said.
Only for me to get to the police station and they demanded that I open my phone, which I did. My WhatsApp was checked and only a recirculated dead picture of Keniebi was found in my chat for Wednesday 1:33pm; before which the internet had already gone agog with the event of the previous day. The Police did their investigation found me innocent and I was allowed to go free without any charge because the pictures were not found in my photo log of pictures taken but only in my WhatsApp chat which is normal for today social media trend. However, I woke up today to find ‘The Guardian’ article, poorly written by Eriye Onagoruwa, of my involvement in Keniebi’s dead pictures’ circulation. Although I understand that she is grieving at the moment and could go all out to say whatever to appease her conscience, the questions that I would like her to answer are as follows:
i. Did the police find the pictures in my photo log?
ii. Why is she not asking questions of how her brother was found dead in the custody of an unqualified doctor, who is not permitted to carry out surgical operations?
iii. Who introduced her brother, who everyone knows as a top personality with taste for class, to an unequipped hospital?
iv. Why did she not mention what happened to the doctor who was supposed to have performed a successful surgery that led to his death?
v. Who were the people that escorted him there to perform such a botched surgical job?
Having jumped such critical questions, one should have a rethink on whether some persons who are supposed to be mourning are taking delight in Keniebi’s death by writing a piece of fiction for media showmanship.
I remain my humble self
Donkemezuo is chairman, Bayelsa Young Business Council.