When George Oni set out to Nanet Hotel club, Abuja, to ‘celebrate’ the return of a friend to Nigeria from the United States, little did he know that he would not come back to his family alive.
George, a showbiz promoter and proprietor of Entertainment Circle, had gone to the nightclub in company with friends on Good Friday, but he allegedly slumped and hit his head on the floor. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the National Hospital, Abuja, where he was later rushed to.
A doctor was said to have attributed his death to cerebral hemorrhage occasioned by a cracked skull. Blood was said to have leaked into his brain leading to death.
George had planned to travel to Ghana for a musical show this week, but the tragic turn of events ended that plan.
However, George’s family believed there was more to the sudden death of their son than they were told. His elder brother, Mr. Osimeme Oni, said he was not convinced by the explanations tendered by the Nanet Hotel workers and other witnesses on the circumstances that surrounded the tragedy.
Osimeme said he was sleeping when he got a call at 4.03am last Saturday from a friend to the deceased, Fred Bright, asking him to come to the National Hospital immediately.
He said, “I went with a neighbour to the hospital and met my brother’s corpse, I was dumb founded. The doctor informed us that he was brought in dead and an examination revealed a crack in the left side of his head.
“He suggested a post-mortem examination which would soon be conducted.
“Bright told me that on getting to the club, he went to the bar to order for drinks, while George joined those dancing. He said he was about taking the drinks when someone tapped him on the shoulder and said that his friend (George) had slumped.”
Osimeme alleged that the matter was not reported to the police until penultimate Monday, but according to him, when policemen from Central Police Station, Federal Secretariat, visited the club, the hotel workers denied the incident.
The workers, he said, later acknowledged that the incident happened and the club bouncer, manager and George’s friends were later invited for questioning by the police.
Asked if George had any medical issues before his death, Osimeme said he was not aware of any, but described the deceased as a vibrant young man who left banking for show business.
The Manager of the hotel, Mr. Patrick Onyiloke, however said none of his workers denied that the incident happened, adding that the hotel had made a formal report to the police about it.
He explained that George came into the hotel around 4am with his friends after they had probably made a tour of other joints where they had probably taken alcohol.
Onyiloke said,“ I was not in the club when the incident happened but what my workers told me was that George came with his friends around 4am and he immediately started dancing with a lady when he slumped and hit his head on the floor.
“I believe he must have been to other clubs and was probably under the influence of alcohol when he came to the club. His friend, Bright, tried to lift him up but he could not, so the club bouncer assisted in lifting him and they quickly rushed him into the hospital.”
The manager said he did not lodge a report with the police immediately because nobody knew George would die, adding that the incident was subsequently reported on Easter Monday.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, said the case was under investigation, adding that the Commissioner of Police had directed that the matter be transferred to the Special Criminal Investigation Department.
“We are awaiting for the autopsy report to know the direct cause of death”, he said.
by Adelani Adepegba, Abuja