President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday expressed shock over the deaths of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), his wife and first son.
Ocholi, who was traveling on a private visit to Kaduna in company of his wife and first son, died when his driver slammed on the brakes of his Lexus SUV car while at top speed along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway.
Ocholi and his son were said to have died on the spot when one of the rear tyre of the Lexus SUV he was travelling in burst, causing the vehicle to summersault several times after the security escort car had run into them. His wife, however, gave up the ghost upon reaching the hospital.
In his reaction, Buhari who described Ocholi’s death as untimely, said that Ocholi had already begun to distinguish himself through his commitment and dedication to his portfolio within the few months he had been in office.
A statement by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu read, “Mr. Ocholi was an accomplished and patriotic Nigerian, who was keen to accept the call to service at a time his country needed him.
“The entire country mourns the loss of this great man, who has sadly left us when we need him most,” he said.
Also, the Kaduna State government, in a statement issued by the spokesman to the governor, Mr. Samuel Aruwan expressed deep shock over the incident.
The statement read, “The state government extends its heartfelt condolences to President Mohammadu Buhari and the Ocholi family.
“Our condolences go 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 realisation of the change mantra were needed.
“May the almighty God grant their souls eternal rest,” the statement said.”
In his reaction, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Augustine Alegeh, SAN, said: “It is a sad and shocking news. It is unbelievable. James was a devout Christian, a consummate bar man whose knowledge of law stood tall.
“He was modest, unassuming but very clear-headed and efficient in the discharge of his duties. He contributed immensely to the development of the bar. This is a very sad and painful loss to the entire bar. We pray for the safe recovery of his wife and others involved in the accident”