Onyearugbulem: Shock, Disbelief Greet Death
FROM CHARLES OGUGBUAJA (OWERRI) AND SAXONE AKHAINE
RELATIONS of former governor of Ondo and Edo States, Navy
Captain Anthony Onyearugbulam (rtd), at his country home were
in mournful mood yesterday following the sudden demise of the
retired naval officer. Many of them were still in a state of
shock and disbelief yesterday when The Guardian went to his
Many members of the family members in Avuvu, Ikeduru local
government area of Imo State shed tears over the loss of their
Onyearugbulam, according to some sources, slumped and died
in his hotel room in Kaduna while preparing to attend a pre-
convention meeting of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
But another account indicated that he was complaining of leg
pains and was rushed to a private hospital where he died. His
body has since been deposited at the morgue of the 44 Army
Reference Hospital in Kaduna.
Many callers, mainly villagers and kinsmen of the deceased,
came as early as 8 a.m. to confirm the news of Onyearugbulam's
His twin bother was not in the house when The Guardian
called. But a source informed that a team from Avuvu led by a
family member has been dispatched to Kaduna to ascertain the
authenticity of the unfortunate incident. Yesterday, the
authorities in Kaduna were expecting the brother to arrive and
identify the body.
The state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Gazali Lawal, was not
available for comment at the Police Command when The Guardian
went there yesterday. But police sources confirmed that the
death is being investigated whether there was foul play. It
was gathered that two persons are being held for questioning
in relation to the matter.
Late Onyearugbulam had early last month in Owerri declared
his interest in becoming the next civilian governor of Imo
Onyearugbulem, 47, was born on July 9, 1955 to the family
of Mr. I. U. Onyearugbulem in Owalla Avuvu in Ikeduru.
He had his secondary education at St. Columbia's Secondary
School, Amaimo between 1970-1972 and finished at Enyiogugu
High School, Mbaise from 1972-1974. He was commissioned on
July 1, 1978.
Onyearugbulem was promoted Navy Captain in July 1998 and
was posted to Edo State on August 7, 1998 as the military
administrator. He also served as Military Administrator of
He was retired in 1999 along with others who held political
appointments shortly after the advent of civilian rule.