James Ibechi

MJ Resort’s swi mming pool of deaths in Makurdi

By James Ibechi

On Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, Christian families worldwide celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the family of Mr. Ochola Gowon, a Makurdi resident, however, the story was different. The day was instead a black Easter Sunday as tragedy struck and threw the family into grief and sorrow.

Mr. Ochola’s 17-year-old son who had gone to MJ Resort had reportedly drowned in the hotel’s swimming pool.

The hotel is located adjacent International Market, on George Akume Way, Makurdi, the capital of Benue State.

The teenager identified as ThankGod Ochola allegedly died on jumping into the pool despite immediate efforts made by an attendant to rescue him, on sensing that he was drowning, according to a source.

It was gathered that the body of the deceased was “hurriedly” deposited at a mortuary in Makurdi before the attention of the parents was drawn to the incident.

Mr. Ochola confirmed the ugly incident to jamesibechi.com in his residence at Naka Road, Makurdi on Thursday.

He, however, alleged a foul play.

According to him, he was surprised how those who called from the hotel managed to obtain his phone number from his late son’s passworded Android phone to call to inform him of the incident.

Godwin Ochola, father of ThankGod(the deceased)

“They even used my son’s telephone to call me. When I saw the incoming call, I answered by calling him by his name: ‘ThankGod’, thinking he was the one calling me in person because they told me that he had an accident, not knowing that he was already dead. And that was how they got to know his name as ThankGod,” the father said.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mrs Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident and said having satisfied with information surrounding the incident of the drowning of the boy the police had okayed the body to be deposited at the mortuary.

The hotel manager could not be reached for comment on the incident when jamesibechi.com visited the locale, as the hotel’s receptionist on duty refused to access journalists with the manager.

It was gathered that younger people had been dying in similar circumstances at the same hotel without qualm.

Mrs Anene confirmed one of such cases last year, but which sparked off protests by students demanding a crackdown hard or closure of the hotel.

The police said the force was ready to act on any request for inquest but ThankGod’s parents asked for the corpse for burial and the force had obliged.

Independent investigation is, however, gathered to be ongoing into the hotel cases of deaths in its swimming pool and to the government authority.

More to come…

Categories: James Ibechi

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