Home News Lagos Airport Hotel: The many questions over the drowning and death of John Nwafor
News - January 18, 2024

Lagos Airport Hotel: The many questions over the drowning and death of John Nwafor

Solicitors to Mr. Cornelius Nwafor (hereinafter refers to as “their clients”), have forwarded strong worded petition dated January 12, 2024 to the Honourable Commissioner, for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Gbenga Onyerinde detailing him of the death by drowning of their client’s son, a- 21-year-old John Nwafor, in Lagos Airport Hotel Limited on No. 111, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja Lagos State.

According the petition made available to our Correspodent and duly signed by Barrister Osundu C. Onwmere Esq and stamped as received by the office of the Hon. Commissioner and dated January 16, 2024 the Solicitors to Cornelius Nwafor father of the late John Nwafor posited  that they were instructed to present this petition against the Lagos Airport Hotel for obvious acts of criminal breach of the extant Lagos State Safety Commission (Swimming Pools) Regulations and causing the death by drowning of our client’s son, a 21-year-old John Nwafor, in the Hotel’s public swimming pool on Monday,  January 1, 2024, including the alleged criminal concealment and disposal of the corpse of John Nwafor by the Management of the Hotel.

The Solicitors pointed out that Lagos Airport Hotel Ltd advertises its swimming pool to members of the public as: “one of the very few Olympic Sized Pools in Lagos State & Nigeria.

 “Lagos Airport Hotel OLYMPIC swimming pool size ranges from 4 feet deep – 25 feet deep. The swimming pool is open from 9am to 6/7pm everyday”. The Hotel further says that “The Swimming pool is located between Oranmiyan Hall and Independence Block. It is serviced by a bar and barbecue. Attendants are on duty during pool hours (0900 – 1800 hours daily), but the bar opens until 2230 hours. Swimming is free for residents, but children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by adults. The Lagos Airport Hotel swimming pool is the most standard in Lagos.

It would be recalled that it happened that John Nwafor and three of his friends went to the Lagos Airport Hotel on Monday, January 1, 2024 to bath, swim and enjoy the swimming pool facilities as advertised by the Hotel. The Hotel issued swimming pool tickets to the three youngsters at N2,000.00 each, which entitled each of them to use the swimming pool while expecting the Hotel to provide them with all requirements for safety throughout the day.

As it turned out, the Lagos Airport Hotel failed in its obligations to provide standard safety measures at the swimming pool and John Nwafor drowned in it. The three friends of John Nwafor had raised alarm when they observed he was drowning but there was no lifeguard on duty observing the pool at the time.

The three friends ran helter-skelter to call security men in the Hotel premises who were unable to enter the pool. Later on, a so-called lifeguard appeared, entered the pool and came out lying deliberately that there was nobody in the pool.

However, upon the insistence of John Nwafor’s friends that the deceased was in the pool, the Hotel Management effected the arrest of the three youngsters, namely, Jamiu (male), Sunday(male) and Rodia (female) and handed them over to the Police from Wema Board Police Station where they were incarcerated till Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

And as it turned out, the Hotel Management went into the pool in the night and evacuated the corpse of John Nwafor and deposited it at the morgue of the Military Hospital Yaba, where it was tagged as an unknown corpse fit for mass burial.  Our client was called to the Wema Board Police Station on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 to hear from his son’s friends what had happened the previous day leading to the illegal arrest and detention.

It was then that the Police went to invite some officials of the Hotel who admitted to the death by drowning of John Nwafor and disclosed that his corpse had been taken to the morgue in Yaba.

“We understood that the Police and relatives of the deceased watched the Hotel’s CCTV footage of the swimming pool for Monday, January 1, 2024 and saw the moment the deceased entered the pool without resurfacing, etc. The corpse has been recovered and properly preserved in the mortuary,” the Solicitors added.

“We have noticed an apparent lack of concern by the Hotel Management for the lamentable death of John Nwafor and we strongly believe that the Hotel has not deemed it necessary to make a report of this calamity to your office as required by your regulations. Indeed, the Hotel Management appears to be saying that the death of John Nwafor is of no consequence to their operations in any event.

It is instructive to report that photocopies of swimming pool tickets issued to the deceased and his friends by Lagos Airport Hotel Limited were also included in the petition to the Hon. Commissioner and Chief Coroner respectively.

 The Solicitors Prayed thusConsequently, we are obliged to request your good office to do the following:

1.            Conduct a thorough investigation into this particular incident with a view to establishing the various provisions of the Lagos State Safety Commission (Swimming Pools) Regulations, 2021 that the Lagos Airport Hotel Ltd breached and the application of appropriate sanctions.

2.            Seal up the operations of the Lagos Airport Hotel’s purported “Olympic Sized swimming Pools … the most standard in Lagos”, pending the outcome of your investigations.

3.            Investigate the likelihood of other corpses that the Hotel Management may have disposed of in similar circumstances.

4.            Liaise with other organs of the Lagos State Government to conduct a coroner’s inquest into the death of John Nwafor in the interest of public health and public safety.

5.            Assist our client to obtain appropriate financial compensation from the Lagos Airport Hotel Limited.

6.            The Solicitor of Mr. Nwafor have also forwarded same petition to the  Chief Coroner, High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja and the acknowledgement stamp from his office date Wednesday, January 17 was also shown to our Correspondent. The Solicitors appealed to the authorities and looked forward earnestly to their prompt action by using their good offices to ensure that justice would be done.

Do you have a compelling story to tell? Contact us via our email: espinewsng@gmail.com or call/WhatsApp on 08032519246.

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