BY HARVEY MAGNUS & SUNDAY SAMUEL ADEOLA
Who killed 41 year old Emmanuel Peter Udokang, a long-standing staff of Calabar Kitchen located at Allen Avenue, Ikeja area of Lagos?
This is the question bugging the minds of many, even as distraught family members and relations have been agonising since his sudden and controversial death September 10.
Emmanuel, popularly called Master, and who hailed from Ikot-Ukana, Obot-Akara, Akwa-Ibom State, is said to have been instrumental to the development of the Calabar Kitchen brand across locations in the state, but the manner of his death allegedly within the premises has left a lot of questions unanswered.
His wife, Rosemary, has been full of lamentations, still yet unable to grasp what has befallen her and her three children.
She told our correspondents that her agony began when that very day, an unidentified individual put a call through to her, saying she should quickly rush down to her husband’s office as all was not well with him.
Breathless, the mother of three left all and rushed down to the Allen Avenue office of Calabar Kitchen, but she was stopped at the reception.
“Them no let me see my husband, they talk say he dey for meeting, and no fit see me”.
She said she hearkened to their words, not knowing that the worse had already happened.
Later at 6pm, she got a call from the proprietress of Calabar Kitchen, Mrs Patricia Isidok Akpan to meet them at the General Hospital, Ikeja. That was when she became alarmed. She felt her world collapsing, as niece to the husband accompanied her to the General Hospital where her worst fears were confirmed.
Not only was the husband dead, his face was already black with a mark on his stomach and forehead. Neighbours said the woman collapsed at the hospital and began foaming in the mouth.
Three days later, on the 13th, Mrs Isidok Akpan, her brother, Uduak Ekpenyong, and a man who simply identified himself as Pastor, Oke-ira, Ogba home of the deceased, bringing along two phones belonging to him.
The Eagle gathered that it was Mr Ekpenyong instead who spoke, saying what had happened had happened, and that the Calabar Kitchen and the proprietress owed the family no further explanation.
A close relation who was present when the team came said they brought out condoms, a packed product with the name, “Samsu Super oil”, and another one “sex men” (see photos) indirectly implying that the death may have been sex-related.
“But they also said that “Master” slumped in a room where he went to have his bath that particular day.
“They said neither he nor the proprietress was around when the incident happened, but they had to rush down when they heard it”.
Instead, it was three workers (names not mentioned) that took the deceased to St Louis Hospital Ikeja, but he was rejected there and later transferred to Ikeja General Hospital where he was confirmed dead.
There were unconfirmed reports that the late Udokang had attended to a female visitor whose identity is yet to be ascertained, and that this was after he had had had his breakfast earlier that morning.
A staff of Calabar Kitchen who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said that it was the first time he saw Master going upstairs.
“Master never go to upstairs before since I’ve been working here.
“The next thing wey we take hear na shout of ‘Master! Master !!’ before dey call me say make I come”.
The source added that he was told by the other workers that they found master’s body next to the unidentified lady on the floor and carried him out to a car, however; he was confirmed dead at General Hospital Ikeja Lagos.
“Him belle don strong as at that time wey carry ham go hospital”, he added.
Up till now, there are no clear indications who the so-called was, and Mrs Rosemary, weeping told our reporters that that was not her only shock:
-the death for whatever reason, was withheld from her, even when she rushed down to the office earlier.
-The mark on her husband’s corpse was not there before
-Mrs Patricia Isidok Akpan made arrangement with the deceased’s half brother, Ebong Peter Udokang, embalmed the body and conveyed the corpse to Akwa Ibom State that same day without informing her and the children in Lagos.
-that Mrs Isidok withheld her husband’s ATM cards, phones, bags and some other properties, and that even when the phone was eventually released, there were no messages in both text and whatSapp on the phone, and that the call logs were empty.
-And that her husband allegedly died at 2pm on 10 September but that she was only allowed to see his corpse by 8pm already embalmed.
These and more made our correspondents put a call through to Mrs Patricia Isidok Akpan, in an attempt to get the company’s side of the story, but our team who went to her office met with hostility.
She had mobilised threatening faces at her reception, one of whom claimed that he was a policeman, when our team arrived.
After a long screening of the identify of the journalists, he insisted on knowing who their sources were and refused to respond meaningfully to questions. It was when the atmosphere had become charged, that The Eagle team left.
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