NO fewer than four lives were, on Friday, lost to the ostentatious funeral rites of late Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, father of on-the-run former militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a Tompolo.
The deceased, it was gathered, died in a boat mishap while on their way to Kurutie in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State for the funeral.
The victims were said to have hardly taken off from the Miller Waterside, Warri, on their way to the venue when the speedboat they boarded allegedly capsized.
A source from a Gbaramatu community, while corroborating the incident to journalists, said: “We were already at the funeral celebrating Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo when we got news of the accident.
“Initially, we were told only two persons had died. Further details later revealed that about four persons, three females including one Faith (surname withheld) from Ogulagha, another female from Kurutie and a man apparently from the Northern part of the country, lost their lives in the mishap.
The Hausa man, I gathered, was actually not an invited dignitary, but someone who was conveying some wares to trade at the funeral ground.”
It will be recalled that the funeral rites for late Chief Ekpemupolo began on Friday with the internment holding Sunday.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Delta State Police Command, Celestina Kalu, a Superintendent of Police, could not be reached for a reaction on the incident.