Remains of Former Senate President Joseph Wayas Return to Nigeria After Nearly Three Years

Remains of Former Senate President Joseph Wayas Return to Nigeria After Nearly Three Years

The remains of former Senate President Dr. Joseph Wayas have finally returned to Nigeria, two years and nine months after his passing. Wayas, who served as Nigeria’s Senate President from October 1, 1979, to December 31, 1983, died in a London hospital on November 30, 2021, at the age of 80.

Wayas’ body arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, received by his family, friends, and notable figures from Cross River North Senatorial District, including Senator Jarigbe Agom, Hon. Peter Akpanke, Johnny Agom, SAN, and Dr. Dom Cklaimz Enamhe. His remains were then transported to the National Hospital in Abuja for temporary storage.

Controversy surrounded the delay in repatriating Wayas’ remains, with some believing he had been secretly buried in London. The return of his body, 33 months after his death, put these rumors to rest.

Senator Jarigbe Agom and Hon. Peter Akpanke expressed relief and satisfaction at the return of Wayas’ body, stating the importance of bringing him back home for a proper burial. The family of Wayas’ late wife, who died 12 days after him and has since been buried, also expressed gratitude for the efforts to repatriate his remains.

Following Wayas’ death, the then Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, formed a committee led by former Minister of Justice Kanu Agabi to manage the burial arrangements. Ayade’s administration allocated N200 million, with an additional N50 million promised, to facilitate these plans. A sub-committee, headed by former NDLEA Director General Dave Ashang, was tasked with repatriating the bodies of Wayas and his wife. Despite these efforts, initial attempts to bring Wayas’ remains home were unsuccessful.

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