Startling revelations have come to light concerning the tragic events surrounding the abduction of veteran actress Cynthia Okereke and actor Clemson Cornel Nonyelu, popularly known as ‘Agbogidi,’ by unknown gunmen while they were filming in Enugu last year. The heart-wrenching incident led to Cynthia’s untimely death last month, almost a year after the traumatic experience. However, the distressing ordeal is far from over for the family as they struggle to gather funds for Cynthia’s burial.
In a recent telephone conversation with the late actress’s husband, Mr. Okechukwu Okereke, he shared the difficulties he is facing while trying to organize a proper burial for his wife. He revealed that he is solely responsible for planning the burial rites, with some assistance from his son. Although he did not specify a specific date, he indicated that Cynthia’s remains might be laid to rest in the second week of October in their hometown. The husband expressed his dire need for financial assistance to give his wife the dignified send-off she deserves.
Mr. Okereke confirmed that Cynthia’s death was a result of the shock and trauma she endured during her kidnapping experience last year. He recounted that after her release, she suffered from ongoing health issues and had been in and out of hospitals before her unfortunate passing.
Agbogidi, the actor who was abducted alongside Cynthia, corroborated the husband’s account. He shared that during their captivity, Cynthia had pleaded with the kidnappers to provide her with medication for her high blood pressure (HBP), which they reluctantly agreed to.
Mr. Okereke explained, “After the kidnapping issue, the trauma came in. She developed a leg problem because they tied her legs. When she was released from the kidnappers’ den, she had severe pain.” He further detailed the multiple medical treatments Cynthia underwent, including surgeries, and her subsequent deterioration in health, leading to her passing.
Mr. Okereke reached out to Cynthia’s friends, colleagues, and fans, appealing for their support to ensure a fitting funeral for the late actress.
Amidst these revelations, questions have arisen concerning the ransom paid for Cynthia’s release. Mr. Okereke disclosed that they borrowed N3.5 million to secure her release and shared that the funds collected by the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) were not disbursed to the affected families. A source from Agbogidi’s family confirmed this allegation, asserting that neither family has received the funds from AGN.
In response to these claims, an AGN source from the Enugu State chapter denied the allegations, insisting that the money was indeed handed over to Mr. Okereke. The source challenged Mr. Okereke’s denial, emphasizing that the funds were transferred to him in their office.
Cynthia Okereke, born in 1960, made her acting debut in 1998, gaining recognition through her roles in films like “King Jaja of Opobo” and “Osofia in London.” She played pivotal roles in various movies and left an indelible mark on the Nigerian film industry. Her untimely death and the troubling aftermath highlight the complexities and challenges that continue to surround her tragic abduction experience.