The death of Godswill Obioma, Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO), is generating controversy, especially on the social media, following the eemergence of two conflicting narratives about the circumstances of his death.
Announcing Obioma’s death in the early hours of Tuesday, multiple media reports had stated that gunmen stormed his Minna residence on his return from Abuja and strangled him to death.
The story was traced to his wife who was quoted as saying: “The assassins came in and killed him and left without taking anything.”
The ‘assassination’ narrative found a soft ground and triggered insecurity fears among Nigerians as it came barely a day after Ahmed Gulak, a prominent politician of northern extraction, was killed by gunmen in Owerri, Imo State.
However, Abdul Mustapha, NECO’s Director of Human Resources, refuted the claim based on a message sent to the management by Obioma’s son, revealing that his father died on Monday after a brief illness.
The message, as contained in a Leadership report, reads thus:
“Dear Sir, this is to formally inform you that my father, Prof. Godswill Obioma, the Registrar/Chief Executive of NECO passed to eternal glory yesterday 31/5/2021 after a brief illness.
“We request that you kindly notify the Board, Management and the entire staff of the Council of this development.
“We shall keep you duly informed. Prince Godswill Obioma the 2nd, for the family.”
He was said to have been at odds with some of the “senior folks in the Federal Ministry of Education”.
Chuks Akunna, a journalist, said that in a conversation with Obioma at about 7am May 24 about the ongoing Senate probe of N6.5bn contracts, he admitted that his predecessors were uncomfortable but that he would not speak for now.
The 67-year-old native of Abia State was appointed head of NECO on May 14, 2020.
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