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Anambra Police to probe criminal liability in Junior Pope, others’ death following drowning

Anambra Police to probe criminal liability in Junior Pope, others’ death following drowning


The police in Anambra State, South-east Nigeria, have begun an investigation to unravel any criminal liability in the cause of death of Nollywood actor, John Paul Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope.

The police spokesperson in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.


Mr Ikenga, a superintendent of police, said the commissioner of police in the state, Aderemi Adeoye, ordered the investigation.

There was excitement on Wednesday night following reports that the 39-year-old was resuscitated after being initially reported dead.

But the joy was short-lived after the actor was later confirmed dead, hours after.


Reacting, Mr Ikenga said the police in Anambra State would determine in their investigation if anybody played a role in the boat accident.

The police spokesperson said their preliminary inquiry into the incident had given them “an insight” into the cause of the boat accident but did not give details.

“Exhaustive investigation has been ordered by the Commissioner of Police with a view to determining criminal liability of any person, if any, in the mishap,” he said.

There were speculations from Mr Odonwodo’s fans shortly after his death became public that some of his jealous Nollywood colleagues might have played a role in his death.


Some supporters of the deceased actor, for instance, claimed that some Nollywood colleagues took him to a mortuary after his body was discovered, instead of first seeking medical attention for him.

Mr Ikenga said when the police were notified of the boat accident, some marine police operatives were deployed to the area and consequently rescued six actors and one actress from the water.

“Two others who were unconscious were also pulled out with the aid of fishermen and conveyed to the Delta State Command Marine Police Jetty where other members of the crew who travelled in the first boat were waiting and handed over to the president of the Actors Guild for conveyance to the hospital while the rescue team went back in search of three others who are still missing as of the time of this release,” he said.


The police spokesperson said although the accident happened within their jurisdiction in Anambra, the release of the bodies of the accident victims for burial is to be handled by the police in Delta State

The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Mr Adeoye, has commiserated with families and friends of actors who lost their lives in the boat accident, Mr Okoye said.

The police commissioner prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims.

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