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Nigeria’s Ambassador to U.S., 85-year-old Nsofor, may have died of COVID-19 — Investigation

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Fresh facts have emerged about the possible cause of the death of Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, retired Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor, who was appointed in 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Persecondnews gathered from a source at the Maryland hospital in the US where he breathed his last on Thursday evening and his staff at the Embassy that the 85-year-old diplomat might have died of COVID-19 related complications.

“He was care-free about the pandemic to the extent that he did not  allow his officers to wear the mask in his presence or while coming to meet with him.

“We suspect that he may have died from coronavirus-related disease,’’ a source told Persecondnews.

According to him, Nsofor, who hailed from Oguta, Imo State, had been recalled by the Nigerian Government and was preparing to return home before he took ill and was hospitalized for about a week.

It was also learnt that the ambassador died in the same hospital where his predecessor, Prof. Ade Adefuye, also died.

The late ambassador’s appointment in 2017 had generated controversy from Nigerians and the National Assembly on the account of his old age, the oldest to be appointed by Nigeria.

The Senate had rejected his nomination as Sen. Monsurat ‎Sunmonu, Chairperson of the committee, said ‎Nsofor did not perform well at the screening.

Nsofor, a retired judge, could not recite the National Anthem at the screening.

In July 2020, Buhari renewed the appointments of 12 non-career ambassadors but did not renew Nsofor and George Oguntade’s, (Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK) appointments apparently because of his age.

Born on March 17, 1935, Nsofor became a judge in 1977 and he spent 28 years on the Bench and also taught Law at the Holborn College of Law in London‎.

Meanwhile, President Buhari had expressed heartfelt condolences over the octogenarian’s death.

In a telephone call to Jane, the widow of the retired justice in New York on Friday, the President described Ambassador Nsofor as “an outstanding judge of rare courage and truth who is not afraid to give justice to whom justice is due.”

Buhari said the country would miss people with such exemplary pedigree.

In the 2003 Presidential poll, the late Justice Nsofor had delivered a minority judgment as a member of the Election Appeal Panel in favour of Buhari, who was the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). His appointment as ambassador might have compensated him for the judgment.

Buhari directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with Justice Nsofor’s family on the burial arrangements and prayed to God to comfort his family and others as well as grant his soul eternal rest.

 

 

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