Nigeria’s Olympic Boxer, Jeremiah Okorodudu is Dead .…Hospital Seizes Corpse over N600,000 Debt
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Nigeria’s Olympic Boxer, Jeremiah Okorodudu on Wednesday at about 1900 hours died at a Lagos Hospital while awaiting amputation surgery and the hospital authorities have vowed not to release his corpse until outstanding N600,000:00 debt is cleared.
The family of Okorodudu is distressed and his now widow, Adenike Okorodudu is terribly devastated at .the development as only N900,000:00 was paid as at Wednesday morning.
I gathered that his home State, Delta State and even Edo State where he grew up, did not react to pleas for support because of administrative bottle necks as they were waiting for letters to be written before support could be offered. It was only former Deputy Senate President, Senator Omo-Agege who lost election as Delta Gubernatorial Candidate, who sent in N100,000:00 on Tuesday night to shore up the money to N600,000:00 which was deposited to the Hospital account Wednesday morning.
One of the coordinators of SAVE JERRY FUNDS, Segun Olanrewaju told me that the Hospital Management blatantly refused any plea for clemency and therefore refused the release of the corpse of Okorodudu.
According to Olanrewaju most of Okorodudu’s colleagues abroad were only pleading for patience before sending in anything.
It was learnt that the surgery to amputate his leg would have been carried out by noon of Thursday if the funds were available. A Medical Doctor who pleaded to be anonymous said Jerry would have survived if the initial schedule to amputate his leg were carried out last Saturday.
Okorodudu aged 64 (born 24th May 1959) has been down at Dan’s Hospital, 46 Thomas Laniyan, Irawo Busstop, Ikorodu in Lagos Nigeria for two years now with partial stroke and diabetics that brought foot ulcer awaiting amputation.
Jerry as called in boxing circles was a Bronze Medalist at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia from 30th September to 9th October and was controversially edged out at the quarterfinals of the 1984 Olympic Games at Vigil Hills on split decision of 3-2 by North Korean Sun Sho Shp which the Nigerian camp vehemently protested.
That 1984 Olympics was where Nigerian Boxer, Peter Konyegwachie won Silver in the Featherweight category and the Nigerian 4 x 400 Relay Men won Bronze.
Jerry was a Gold Medalist at the National Sports Festival, Oluyole ’79 which was my first professional outing with the Radio Organizations of Nigeria where I was the youngest Commentator under the leadership of both legendary Commentator, Ishola Folorunsho and Earnest Okonkwo and I was Stringer to Walter Batowei who led the Boxing coverage crew.
Jerry had 83 Amateur fights and 40 Professional boxing bouts but BOXING RECORD a publication on world pugilists’ states that Jerry had 21 international Pro bouts with 135 rounds and fought between 1986 and 1992.
Two memorable bouts will refresh boxing enthusiasts in Nigeria which was with Joe Lasisi. The first one at the National Stadium on 28th July 1985 Jerry had to retire with a broken right arm in the 2nd round. I was there and reported it for the Nation’s Model Station Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation OGBC. In the second bout between both boxers weighing 172 Ibs each on 16th December 1988 also at the National Stadium, Lagos Okorodudu claimed he was thumbed by Joe Lasisi but the score card read 68-65; 67-66 and 66-67 in favor of Lasisi.
Jerry told the media he was inspired to go into boxing from secondary school at Benin City in Nigeria through the brilliance of the man “that flies like a Butterfly and stings like a Bee”, Muhammed Ali who he never met.
You may still reach his wife, Adenike on +2348084200018 or send your token to his bank account: Jeremiah Okorodudu, Account Number 0011203501 Eco Bank at least for his corpse to be released to the family.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.
By Eniola Olatunji