Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi, is dead. Born November 26, 1960, he was 55. He died in a road accident along the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday afternoon. Mr. Ocholi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Kogi state, and his son died on the spot of the accident.
Those familiar with the incident said his wife, who slipped into coma after the accident, died hours later. His driver remained in critical condition at Doka clinic, several kilometres from Kaduna, as at the time of this report. A witness, whose car was behind the minister’s when the accident occurred said the minister’s car had a burst tyre before somersaulting several times.
Contacted, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said he was away in Lagos and was trying to confirm the incident. But a spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the presidency had been briefed of the tragedy. “We are trying to issue a statement on the matter,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said.
Mr. Ocholi became Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2007, and Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the Abuja chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association. In 2011, he was governorship aspirant in Kogi State on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change.
Between 2013 and 2014, he was deputy national legal adviser of the All Progressive Congress. Last year, he sought the APC gubernatorial ticket at the party’s primary election, losing to the late Abubakar Audu. He was appointed minister in 2015. Mr. Ocholi attended Ochaja Secondary School, and the University of Jos. He graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 1986 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar the same year.