In a statement, the Director of Navy Information, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, said the report in the media was misleading.
“The Naval Headquarters has made concerted efforts to authenticate the story with the admiral’s family in the U.S. and it was found out that the admiral is alive,” the statement said.
It noted that the report appeared on the front page of a national newspaper, adding: “This shows that the reporter who filed the story did not cross-check his facts with the family before going to the press. The publication has, therefore, caused the Akhigbe family and Nigerians in general unnecessary embarrassment.”
The statement advised journalists to authenticate their stories with relevant authorities, especially the death of prominent citizens, in the spirit of objective journalism.
Also, a family friend who claimed to be a Manager at 5 Star Logistics Terminal, Lagos and a close associate of the Akhigbes told SHIPS& PORTS DAILY that while the former CGS is being treated abroad for an undisclosed ailment, he is still very much alive.
“I was with him two weeks ago and I was with the children yesterday and I can assure you that no such thing happened. I am very close to the family and I know they are unhappy with the report,” the 5 Star Logistics Manager who would not disclose his name told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on phone yesterday.
When contacted, Director General of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele said: “I doubt the authenticity of the report. I am still trying to reach his wife in the U.S. and I will get back to you as soon as I get in touch with her but I really doubt the report.”
A national newspaper reported yesterday that Akhigbe, whose position in the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), headed by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, made him the military vice-president in the junta that superintended the return to democracy in 1999, died of cancer at the weekend in England at the age of 68.
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