By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—CONTROVERSY has begun to trail the demise of the chairman of a faction of the All Progressives Congress, APC, loyal to Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Barr. Ernest Odu, who died last Saturday at a hotel in Enugu during a meeting with party chieftains.
Odu, a lawyer who hailed from Ezza North, was until his death, the chairman of the Onu/Elechi faction in Ezza North Local Government area of Ebonyi State.
A family source who pleaded anonymity said the true cause of Odu’s death could not be ascertained until the result of the autopsy is released.
He however alleged that the young man might have been poisoned.
He also alleged the mystery surrounding the death of the chairman might not be unconnected to his alleged opposition to the emergence of a governorship aspirant from his local government as the APC governorship candidate ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The source alleged that the deceased was invited to the meeting by a person who introduced himself as an aide of a prominent Ebonyi politician. The meeting lasted for hours.He said trouble started when he was asked to say vote of thanks and he collapsed and was later confirmed dead at the hospital in Enugu.
According to Monday Iduma, a close friend and client of the deceased, “Ernest might have been poisoned for his perceived stance on the emergence of an Abakaliki man as APC governorship candidate in his own faction.
He said: “But the recent incident at their recently concluded meeting at Barcelona Hotel, Enugu on Saturday, 18th August, 2018 that led to the death of my friend has served as a wind that blew open the anus of the hen. As reliably gathered, the late Odu died in the open glare of some APC chieftains.
“Odu who was hale and hearty before attending the meeting and was also seen in the meeting venue beaming with happiness all of a sudden gave up the ghost after delivering a vote of thanks at the meeting.”
Reacting to the development, the state APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chika Nwoba, who described the death of Odu as unfortunate stated that it was wrong for anybody to link the demise of the APC chieftain to the activities of the party or any member
“Ebonyi APC sympathises with the family of the deceased. He was one of the best chairmen of the party in the state. God knows why he took him. Ebonyi State APC didn’t host any meeting in Enugu. We are yet to be furnished with the circumstances that led to his death. The management of the hotel he died should be able to tell us what happened and an autopsy should be conducted.”