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Boat accident: Family recovers body of missing groom

The remains of 35-year-old Isaac Akere has finally been recovered, two days after the body of his fiancée was taken out of the Oworonsoki river along with seven others who drowned in the ill-fated Bell Marine Services commercial boat.

This brings the death toll to nine.

Our correspondent had reported on Thursday how the boat, which was conveying about 21 passengers from Ebute Ero, Lagos Island to Majidun, Ikorodu on Wednesday evening, had capsized midway after its hull hit a rock.

It was learnt that the accident, which happened around 6pm on Wednesday, was also caused by overloading and speeding.

Rescue officials who responded to a distress call, were however able to save 12 of the victims while eight were reportedly brought out dead.

It was reported that among the dead were two pregnant women, a couple whose wedding had been slated for this week Saturday and a 13-year-old girl.

However, it was learnt that it was only the body of the would-be-bride, identified as Foluke Yeye, that was seen at the Ikorodu mortuary where police took the corpses, while that of her fiancé, Akere, could not be located.

Both of them reportedly parked their car at the Majidun jetty in the morning before taking the boat to Ebute Ero, for work, and were returning in the evening when tragedy struck.

Anxious relatives of the late Akere had launched a search for him on Thursday after they found his white Toyota Corolla, parked at the Majidun jetty.

His uncle, Bolaji Akere, said his body was discovered by the fishermen the family deployed to the area of the incident.

He said, “It’s our effort, not government’s effort. We engaged all those fishermen to do the search yesterday and it was this Saturday morning, around 1am, they discovered the body around Oworonsoki.

“This is really sad news for the family because he has aged father and mother and he was the breadwinner of the family; it is a matter of life and death for them right now. He and his wife were to marry on Saturday.”

The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, South West Zone, Ibrahim Farinolye, while condoning with the family said the owners of the boat have been asked to give the remains of the late Akere to the family for burial.

“We have asked Bell Marine to hand over the body to them instead of giving it to the hospital and then complicating the process of the burial. It is the right of the family to have access to the body of their relative. This is part of humanitarian services, and it is also to cushion the effect of the trauma they have suffered while searching for him,” he said.

The General Manager of Bell Marine Services, Ben Kalejaiye, could not be reached for comment as he did not pick his calls or reply a text message sent to his phone as of 10.45am.

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