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Pulse List 2016 15 most shocking deaths of the year

The year 2016 was not without its fair share of deaths of prominent Nigerians cutting across every sector of the society from politics to sports, music, movies and the literary world.

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Bukky Ajayi on set play

Bukky Ajayi on set

(Pulse Nigeria)

The year 2016 took its toll on Nigeria as prominent citizens lost their lives either through accidents, ill health or because of old age.

Every stratum of the society was affected as the deaths spread across every industry. Some top politicians, actors, musicians, sports administrators and literary icons died in the year.

Pulse List looks at the 15 most shocking deaths in the year 2016.

1. James Ocholi

Until his death in a ghastly accident that claimed the lives of his son and wife, James Ocholi, the Minister of State for Labour, was a prominent politician from Kogi State.

The former Minister died in an accident near Rijana, along the Kaduna-Abuja Road on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

He was very close to President Muhammadu Buhari and was a founding member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party formed by Buhari before the party merged with other parties to become the All Progressives Congress (APC).

James Ocholi play

Late James Ocholi

(news basket)


In 2011, he was the governorship aspirant in Kogi State on the platform of the defunct CPC as well as the Deputy National Legal Adviser of the APC between 2013 and 2014, before he was made a Minister in 2015.

ALSO READ: “Pulse List 2016: 8 things Nigerians want to see in 2017”

2. Ojo Maduekwe

Chief Ojo Maduekwe was a one-time Minister of Transportation and Foreign Affairs during the regime of former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

Born on May 6, 1945, Chief Maduekwe who became popular for advocating the use of bicycles as a means of transport, died after a brief illness on June 29, 2016.

He was appointed Foreign Minister July 26, 2007, by President Yar'Adua and was the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

3. Dr. Tunji Braithwaite

Dr. Tunji Braithwaite was another prominent Nigerian politician that died in the year 2016. The medical doctor who was also an author, was the founder of the Nigerian Advance Party (NAP) and had contested for the presidency on a few occasions but was never successful.

The renowned pro-democracy activist died on Monday, March 28, 2016, at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, at the age of 82 after a brief illness.

Dr Tunji Braithwaite play

Dr Tunji Braithwaite



4. Elechi Amadi

Many Nigerians remember Elechi Amadi as one of Nigeria’s most prolific writer who wrote best sellers like The Concubine, Isiburu, Sunset in Biafra, Peppersoup and The Road to Ibadan.

But what many do not know was that he was also a senior military officer who served in the Nigerian Army during the Nigerian Civil War, and retired with the rank of Captain.

Amadi who was born on May 12, 1934, in Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, attended Government College, Umuahia between 1948 and 1952, Survey School, Oyo State, 1953–54, and the University of Ibadan from 1955–59, where he obtained a degree in Physics and Mathematics.

He worked as a land surveyor at a time and later was a teacher at several schools, including the Nigerian Military School, Zaria.

Elechi Amadi play

Elechi Amadi

(Good Reads)


Amadi held various positions with the Rivers State Government including Permanent Secretary, 1973–1983, Commissioner of Education, 1987–1988 and Commissioner of Lands and Housing from 1989–1990.

He died at the age of 82 following a long battle with illness.

5. Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi

Alhaji Umaru Ali Shinkafi was another top politician who passed on in 2016. He was a brilliant lawyer who abandoned the profession for politics and did very well in the field.

Alhaji Shinkafi was born on January 19, 1937, and at one time, was an intelligence chief with the Federal Government before becoming the Federal Commissioner of Internal Affairs in 1975 and later became the head of the National Security Organization in 1979.

Alhaji Shinkafi who was a presidential aspirant during the third republic died in London from an undisclosed illness on July 6, 2016.

Umaru Ali Shinkafi play

Umaru Ali Shinkafi

(Premium Times)


6. Prince Adeniji-Adele

Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele who was popularly known as 'Prince of Hope', was a top politician who played big in the politics of Lagos State.

From the prominent Adeniji-Adele family of Lagos Island, he was a former chairman of Lagos Island Local Government Area and Commissioner of Sports in the state.

He had also tried at various time to be the governor of the state, always falling short at the last hurdle. Adeniji-Adele died in India at the age of 60 after a very brief illness.


7. Bukky Ajayi

Nollywood was not left out in the deaths that rocked the nation in the year 2016 as the veteran actress, Zainab Bukky Ajayi died on July 6, 2016, after an unsuccessful battle with heart-related issues.

Ajayi who was a beacon of light to many actresses who looked up to her made her big break into Nollywood with her role in the very popular sitcom, Village Headmaster in the 70s and later got a role in Amaka Igwe’s Checkmate.

Bukky Ajayi play

Bukky Ajayi

(Africa Magic)


Ajayi was born on February 2, 1934, and though started her working life as an announcer, presenter, and newscaster at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), she later moved to London where she studied drama at the Stanislavsky Institute of Drama.

8. Henrietta Kosoko

Actress Henrietta Kosoko, wife of veteran Nollywood actor, Jide Kosoko, gave up the ghost in June 2016, following a brief illness.

She was 53 years of age at the time she died at the R-Jolad Hospital in Gbagada, Lagos State. The Delta State born Kosoko was famous for her lead role in the Nollywood film, Omolade, which was produced by her husband.

Jide Kosoko play

Jide Kosoko and late wife, Henrietta.



9. Elder Maya.

Another veteran Nollywood actor, Martins Njubuigbo, also known as Elder Maya, died on September 30, 2016, after months of battling with a liver illness.

Before his death, a popular cleric based in Abuja, Joshua Iginla, had responded to calls to raise the sum of N1 million for an urgent surgery by providing the money but he died before he could get the needed medical attention.

Martins Njubuigbo play

Martins Njubuigbo


10. Stephen Okechukwu Keshi

On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, the sporting world was thrown into shock and agony as the death of former Super Eagles captain and coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, was announced.

The former Togo and Mali national football teams coach died in the early hours of the day in Benin City, Edo State, after a brief illness.

Relatives of the former international who lost his wife a year earlier confirmed that he did not show symptoms of illness at the time he gave up the ghost.

“He was not ill at all, never showed any signs of illness, but we suspect he never got over the death of his wife,” one of his close friends said.

Stephen Keshi play

Stephen Keshi



Keshi also known as the Big Boss, has the distinction of being the second African who won the Nations Cup both as a player and a coach when he led the Super Eagles to its third trophy in South Africa in 2013.

11. Amodu Shuaibu

Barely three days after Stephen Keshi’s demise, the sporting world was once more thrown into mourning following the death of the Nigerian Football Federation’s Technical Director, Amodu Shuaibu.

It was gathered that the four-time coach of the Super Eagles complained of chest pains on the night of June 10 and died in his sleep.

The late Amodu had always contributed his quota to the development of football in Nigeria as he was called several times to rescue the team in difficult situations.

Amodu Shuaibu play

Amodu Shuaibu

(Complete Sports)


Under his stewardship, Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but Amodu was sacked despite the team’s third-place finish at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

12. OJB Jezreel

The music world also had a taste of the deaths that ravaged the nation in 2016 as Babatunde Okungbowa aka OJB Jezreel, died in the early hours of Tuesday, June 14, at the Isolo General Hospital in Lagos State.

The death of Jezreel who had survived a kidney transplant surgery in 2013 in India, took many by surprise as he died just one month before his 50th birthday.

A family source claimed that his kidney failed completely shortly before his death and was kept on daily dialysis till he gave up the ghost.

OJB Jezreel is dead play

OJB Jezreel



13. Nomoreloss

Another promising musician, Muyiwa Osinuga, popularly known as Nomoreloss, also died in the year under review.

The multi-talented Nomoreloss who was 39 at the time of his death, was popular with hit songs like ‘Iyawo Asiko’ and ‘Ololufe’.

He passed away after a brief illness on March 21, 2016, was buried amidst tears and an outpouring of love at the Ikoyi Cemetery in Lagos on Friday, April 8, 2016.

Nomoreloss, it was gathered, had been down with an undisclosed ailment since January with the ailment taking him off the entertainment scene for a while, but not before he released a new album titled ‘Beautiful Things’ to announce his return to mainstream music in June 2015.

Nomoreloss play


(Daily Mail)


14. Dj Midas

Another shocking and painful death that happened in 2016 was that of veteran disc jockey, DJ Midas, a popular DJ with Rhythm FM based in Lagos.

DJ Midas whose real name was Michael Adefoyin, passed on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, after a brief period of illness at the age of 45.

DJ Midas joined Rhythm FM in 1998 as a pioneer and regular DJ host. He was regarded as one of Nigeria’s pioneer disc jockeys, who helped in developing the profession and raising its profile in an era when the craft was poorly recognized within the country.

DJ Midas play

DJ Midas

(Rhythm FM)


ALSO READ: “Pulse List: 7 People we got tired of in 2016”

15. Aisha Dankano

The Hausa movie industry popularly called Kannywood, also had its fair share of deaths as a top actress, Aisha Dankano died on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, in her house after a brief illness.


The Kano State born actress who starred in many Hausa movies including the popular Jarumai and Dan Tijara, was said to have slumped and died at about 2pm in her house in Gwammaja area of the state.

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