You are here: HomeNewsDiaspora2020 03 26Article 350560

Diasporian News of Thursday, 26 March 2020


High-profile Nigerians self-isolate after attending UK party, two guests reportedly die of COVID-19

Celebrant and some guests at the London party   | Image: Coucou Celebrant and some guests at the London party | Image: Coucou

Some notable Nigerians have gone into self-isolation after attending the 80th birthday party of Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, George Adetola Oguntade.

The lavish party was held on March 10 at the London Hilton on Park Lane, UK and according to reports, two yet-to-be-identified guests have reportedly died of coronavirus.

This has sent shock waves to the notable Nigerians at the high-profile event, forcing them to go into isolation.

Sahara Reporters confirmed some prominent Nigerians at the party, namely; billionaire Rasak Okoya and his wife Sade, a former governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, Kessington Adebutu (Baba Ijebu), Oba Saheed Elegushi, music icon – Ebenezer Obey, and Dele Momodu.

All these people attended the party after the UK detected its first coronavirus case on January 31; there has been 8,077 confirmed infections and 422 deaths.

Oguntade's party held approximately 40 days after the virus had taken hold across most parts of the UK.

It’s true two people who attended Justice Oguntade birthday party had died –Osoba

Responding to a question, he said, “Yes, I was at the party and it is true that two people had died but a lot of unnecessary alarm is being raised, although, I sympathise with the families of those who died.

It doesn’t follow they contracted COVID-19 at the party –Osoba

“It does not follow that they contracted the virus at the party, they probably might have been carrying it in their bodies and manifested soon after the party.

“But I was there and the party took place 15 days ago and if there is any virus in my body it should have manifested by now. I came back last Thursday almost a week today and as I landed I granted an interview to TVC at the airport, considering the action that the Lagos State Government has been taken, I announced that I will be going into self- isolation immediately.

“I have been in self-isolation since I returned from the UK and I have had no symptom, no cough, no fever nor itches in my throat and I have been keeping to the rules as given by the government of Lagos State that all of us who arrived from abroad should isolate ourselves for 14 days.

I can’t confirm my status –Dele Momodu

Also, Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu, who attended the birthday party, said he could not confirm his status as doctors refused to administer the test on him since he had shown no symptoms of the disease.

He tweeted, “I have been inundated with phone calls and a deluge of messages regarding an 80th birthday celebration that I attended in London recently.

“It now appears that at least one person who was believed to have had the COVID-19 attended the party and he has subsequently died as a result of complications arising from the disease and/or other underlying conditions.

“As soon as the news broke, I immediately made arrangements yesterday night to have myself tested for the virus although I have not exhibited any of the symptoms associated with the virus.

“I called a senior Lagos State official and was informed by the relevant authorities that since I had not shown any symptoms in 14 days after the London party,” no test was necessary.

Some others that attended the birthday party include, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and his wife; wife of a former Governor of Lagos State, Abimbola Fashola; and Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, wife of the immediate past Lagos governor.

A real estate guru, Olu Okeowo; Mrs. Sade Okoya, Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, and his wife; the All Progressives Congress chieftain, Mrs Kemi Nelson; Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola; a former Lagos Deputy Governor, Sarah Sosan; and Senator Lanre Tejuosho.

The wife of the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Aisha Bichi; Iyalode of Lagos, Bintu Tinubu and former Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and wife.

A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maj.Gen Ike Nwachukwu (retired), and wife; comedian Tee A, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs Hajo Sani; and socialite, Mrs. Nkiru Anumudu; were also at the party.

Okeowo, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “If we want to live to be 80, we should stop putting octogenarians in derision. I was at the occasion and I gladly played the organ to celebrate an old friend who has been there for me forever. I am alive and so are my wife and son. And today is day 14 (after the incident).”

I isolated myself –Bola Shagaya

On her part, Shagaya said, “When I came back (from the event), I isolated myself for some days to observe if I would show any symptoms. But after few days without any sign of fever or cough, I came out (of isolation).

Abiodun, wife test negative after London party

Meanwhile, Governor Abiodun and his wife, Bamidele, who attended the birthday party in London few weeks ago, have tested negative.

Abiodun’s wife, who spoke through her press officer, Kemi Oyeleye, said her husband and herself attended the party in London and had subjected themselves to coronavirus test after their arrival.

According to The Punch, Oyeleye, in the phone said she was directed to say that there was no cause for alarm.

Oyeleye said, “The party was 15 days ago but the period of manifestation of the virus is 14 days. When she returned, both she and her husband were tested and since then she has had no ailment.

“Even till now none of them has any symptom of the virus and the result of the test has come out negative. She said I should tell you this. And from my observation the way she was talking, she is hale and hearty.”

The Punch/Sahara Reprters