The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr. James Ocholi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), his son and wife, on Sunday perished in a ghastly motor accident along Kaduna – Abuja express way.
Ocholi and his son were said to have died on the spot when one of the rear tyres burst and the vehicle in which he was traveling somersaulted several times into the bush.
The wife who sustained fatal injuries was said to have died at the Doka Government Hospital, Kaduna, where she and other aides who sustained injuries were admitted.
Kaduna State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Francis Udoma, told THISDAY in a telephone interview that the accident occurred 57 kilometres away from Kaduna.
According him, “The rear tyre had a burst and the vehicle somersaulted. The minister and his son died on the spot, the wife died in the government hospital in Doka, Kaduna.
“The driver, the chief detail, the orderly and the P.A (Personal Assistant ) were injured” Udoma said. It could not however be established where the minister was coming from, but he was heading to Abuja.
Meanwhile the Kaduna state government has expressed deep shock over the incident. The government in a statement by spokesman to governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan said the incident was devastating.
“The state government extends its heartfelt condolences to President Mohammadu Buhari and the Ocholi family. “Our condolences goes to members of the Federal Executive Council and the entire nation, the minister died at a critical time when his contributions in the ongoing national rebirth and realization of the change mantra are needed.
President Buhari Mourns Labor Minister Ocholi
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and sadness at the death of Barrister James Ocholi (SAN), who together with his wife and son were killed in a car crash in Abuja today, March 6, 2016. President Buhari described the Minister of State for Labour’s death as untimely, regretting that Nigeria has lost a key component of the CHANGE agenda.
“Barrister Ocholi was an accomplished and patriotic Nigerian, who was keen to accept the call to service at a time his country needed him,” President Buhari said, adding that in the few months he had been in office, the late minister of state had already begun to distinguish himself through his commitment and dedication to his portfolio.
The late Ocholi has had a long record of political association with President Buhari.
President Buhari also consoled with the government and people of Kogi State, whom he described as having lost a distinguished and irreplaceable son. He prayed that God would comfort them and grant them the grace to bear the loss.
“The entire country mourns the loss of this great man, who has sadly left us when we need him most,” he said.
President Buhari has also sent the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engineer David Babachir to formally convey the news to members of the deceased family as well as parishioners in his place of worship.