Patience Jonathan denies link with drowned man

Patience JonathanThe First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has disowned one Christopher Awai that drowned at a swimming pool in a hotel in Abuja saying he was not related to her.

A man identified as Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin reportedly drowned in the Agura Hotel swimming during a party held by Ijaw students of the University of Abuja on June 7, 2014.

The media had widely reported that he was a nephew of the first lady.

But in a statement Wednesday, Special Assistant to the First lady on Media, Ayo Adewuyi, said the Mrs Jonathan had no link with the said Awai.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to media reports linking one Christopher Awai who allegedly drowned in the swimming pool of Agura Hotel, Abuja to the First Lady, Dame (Dr) Patience Faka Jonathan.

“This is to clearly state that the said Christopher Awai has no link whatsoever with the First Lady and as such, he is not a nephew of the First Lady.

“We also wish to state without any iota of equivocation that Madam Esther Ebiere Gbonkumor who was mentioned in the news reports as the immediate “younger sister” of the First Lady is not in any way related to Dame (Dr) Patience Faka Jonathan.

“Madam Gbonkumor was said to have petitioned the Inspector General of Police on behalf of the family demanding a full corona inquest into Awai’s death.

“It is an unfounded rumour which the First Lady knows nothing about and we will like the public and well-meaning Nigerians to note, for the purpose of accurate record and common good.”

Activist lawyer, Festus Keyamo, had in a June 24, 2014 petitioned asked the Inspector General of Police to order an inquiry into the death of a 31-year-old Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin drowned in Abuja on June 7.

He alleged that if the deceased had received help within five minutes of being submerged, he would have survived.

According to him: “We are solicitors to Madam Esther Ebiere Gbonkumor and the entire Awin family. They have briefed us that on 7th June, 2014, their son, Mr. Christopher Onoriode Akpomowei Awin, was invited to a picnic by the Ijaw Students’ Association of the University of Abuja as part of the celebration of their cultural week.

“That picnic held at the hotel in Abuja. We were informed that sometime at about 4:00 pm, the picnic came to an end and all the members of the association left for the University of Abuja Campus and their various residences in Gwagwalada, Abuja. However, Mr. Christopher Awin stayed behind for some swimming exercise.”

Keyamo further said that the deceased was found drowned in the swimming pool of the hotel at about 6:00 pm later that day and officers of the Garki Division of the Nigerian Police were called in. He said: “Post-mortem has been carried out by a certified consultant pathologist who confirmed that his death was as a result of drowning and further added that if the victim had received help within five minutes of being submerged, he would have survived.”