Questions: Bennett Umunna, left, who is the father of Labour’s business
spokesman, right, was killed in a mysterious car crash which friends fear was a
father of a Labour frontbencher who is tipped as a future party leader died in
a mysterious car crash that friends fear was a political assassination.
in Nigeria shortly after standing for state governor.
Mr Umunna – a wealthy London
businessman who was a director of Crystal Palace football club – was tipped to
win the post, his supporters claim he lost the vote after refusing to pay
bribes during the campaign……Hmmmm continue reading.
Palace at the time, has spoken for the first time about his belief that the car
crash 20 years ago was no accident.
someone, because he did things on the night of his death that he never did in
Nigeria,’ he said. ‘He was travelling at night and, secondly, he got into a car
with a driver who was not his regular. We always thought he was killed by
someone who may have seen him as a threat.’
75, who lives in Purley, South London, also claimed that Mr Umunna had withdrawn a large sum of money from his bank account
shortly before his death. Although Chuka
Umunna, 33, has spoken of his father’s death in the past, he has remained
vague about the details.
‘There was a lot of speculation in Nigeria. He was a well-known figure. I
don’t really want to go into it, but things in Nigeria don’t operate like
here. ‘It’s not like you’re going to get an official post mortem or a proper
who became a successful businessman after arriving in Britain as a penniless
immigrant in the Sixties, died after his car apparently crashed into a truck
carrying logs on April 1, 1992.
Shared grief: Chuka Umunna with his sister Chinwe and mother Patricia
Weeks earlier, Mr Umunna, 51, had stood to become governor of Anambra, about 270
miles south of the Nigerian capital Abuja. He regularly travelled back to
the country as the head of a thriving import-export firm doing business
between Europe and West Africa. Mr
Noades’s wife Novello, 54, also
a close friend of the Umunna family,
said: ‘From all the facts I heard at the time, I think Bennett was assassinated.
the country. From what I heard, his car crashed into a vehicle that was
carrying logs. That’s how he died. I don’t know whether the driver died
out about Ben’s death. We moved to our new house, and then I received a call
from Ron. ‘He told me Ben had died in Nigeria. I remember
crying all day in the bathroom. I was devastated.’
death was registered on the British Consular and High Commission deaths abroad
database. A British death certificate states he was living in the city of Enugu
in the neighbouring Enugu state, and died on the Onitsha-Owerri highway in
of death, but says a local death certificate was presented as ‘evidence of
death’. In Nigeria, the accident was widely covered in the media and it is
believed some minutes of silence were observed in Enugu.
Rising star: Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna
said the death of his
father is a private matter
who is said to have been a tribal chief known as Ben Osi Umunna, was a well-known and popular businessman in
the country, as well as the chairman of a Nigerian football club.
described by a contributor as ‘the business mogul who came back from
England and changed the face of Enugu in the late Eighties and also became
the chairman of Rangers International.
became an instant hit. He helped [charitable cases, including] a group of
widows, who were on his payroll until he died in a ghastly motor accident
about ’90 or ’91.’
travelled to England by boat in the mid-Sixties, arriving at Liverpool, to
improve his prospects and made his way to London after a stranger gave him
money for the train fare.
jobs, including cleaning cars, before building up his business. He became a director
of Crystal Palace in the late Eighties after investing £50,000 in the club.
children – Chuka and his sister Chinwe, 31, who is also known as Chi Chi.
very tragic circumstances.
his father’s death are a private matter and not something he comments on,
painful and upsetting as they are to Chuka
and his family.
Copied from Alashock’s Blog.