Saturday, 17 December 2016


Miss Gloria Okon

Miss Glory Okon, a Nigeria, with international passport No .339266, whose last residential address was No.17 Cole Street, Lawanson, Lagos, was one of the passengers intending to board flight WT.840 (Lagos –Rome Via Kano ), from the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. Her ticket read Lagos – Kano – Rome - London – Dusseldorf – London – Lagos on April 21, 1985. In the course of undergoing the normal customs formalities, Glory Okon  was invited into the Customs Screening Room at the Aminu Kano International Airport, where she was bodily searched by O.C &E II, Miss  Hajara Musa, who was on duty on the night in question.

In the screening room, Miss Hajara Musa , recovered 60 pounds sterling, U.S $301 and 10,000 Italian Lira, 3 polythene packs of a substances suspected to be dangerous drugs from her “private part”. The substances weighed 56.7gm and was later analyzed and found to be cocaine. Hajara at that point invited her colleague on duty O.C & E II – Mrs. Philomena Nnene Uwaezuoke to witness the item recovered from the brassiere and vagina of Miss Glory Okon.

After the body search, Hajara in the presence of Philomena, reported the results of her search to S.C. II. Mr. Fatai Omolaja  Labode, who was in – charge of screening on the night of April 21/22 1985, at the Aminu Kano International Airport. Miss Hajara Musa, also handed over to Mr. Labode the items recovered during the body search on Miss Glory Okon. Later that night the customs recorded two statements under caution of Miss Glory Okon at the airport. In the early hours of the morning of April 22, 1985, Miss Glory Okon was transferred from the Airport to the Customs and Excise Legal seat at the Customs Barracks at Katsina Road, Kano. There she was issued with a notice to the effect that the items recovered from her during her body search, had been seized by the Federal Military Government. She was then arrested and put in the cell at the Customs Barracks at Katsina Road, Kano, apparently pending the compilation of her case files for her to be transferred to the Police. Later that day she made a third statement to the customs and only agreed to eat a little quantity of food and drank some water.

Mallam  Aminu Kano Memorial Hospital, 
now  Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, 
where Gloria Okon was admitted and attended to.

In the early morning of April 23, 1985, Miss Glory Okon complained of not feeling well although she did not particularly mention the nature of her ailment. However, the Customs authorities, made necessary arrangements and took her to the Nassarawa Hospital. There she was attended to by one Dr. Nwokolo, who later wrote 4 prescriptions. Two of these were available and collected from the Hospitals dispensary while the Customs made efforts to procure the remaining 2 outside. They only succeeded in procuring one. They were unable to procure  Ismelin Injection prescribed. However, Glory Okon refused to take the available drugs; she also refused to eat throughout that day.

On the morning of the April 24, 1985, Miss Glory Okon was returned to Nassarawa Hospital, on the instructions of Dr. Nwokolo from the previous day. However, on learning that the Ismelin Injection had not been administered on the patient (Miss Glory Okon), the doctor did not attend to her. She was returned to the Customs cell while the Customs made another effort to obtain the prescribed injection without success.

Glory Okon was transferred later that day at about 5:10p.m. To the Airport Police where she was detained. Up to the time of her transfer she refused to eat anything.

On Thursday, April 25, 1985, the Airport Police, Kano, began preliminary investigations into Miss Glory Okon’s case but she refused to talk. She also refused to eat. The Airport Police later that day, at about 4:10p.m., transferred Glory Okon to the State C.I.D, Kano, for further investigation. At the state C.I.D Glory Okon ate only a little quantity of food (Eba and Egusi Soup) and drank a little quantity of water that day. Part of the substances recovered from her were sent to the Forensic Laboratory, Oshodi, for analysis. She still did not answer any of the questions asked.

On Friday, April 26, 1985, Glory Okon still refused to answers question put to her at the state C.I.D. and throughout that day, she only ate some bananas and drank a little quantity of tea.

On Saturday, April 27, 1985, because Glory Okon still refused to eat and was looking emaciated, she was taken to the Murtala Hospital, Kano, by the police at about 1:00p.m. There she was put on drip. At about 8:30p.m. of the same day, Glory Okon was moved from Murtala Mohammed Hospital (due to lack of bed for admission) to the Aminu Kano Memorial Hospital, Kano, where she was attended to and admitted .

On Sunday, April 28, 1985, at about 6:20a.m., Miss Glory Okon was pronounced dead at Mallam Aminu Kano Memorial Hospital, by the hospital authority. The police conveyed her body to the Murtala Mohammed Memorial Hospital, Kano, where a post mortem examination was performed.

The cause of her death was attributed to two factors: infection by virus and poisoning by chlorinated hydrocarbon. It was also noted by the expert who conducted the post mortem that the toxicological samples of the chlorinated hydrocarbon in Gloria Okon's brain, liver and kidney were not sufficient enough to have killed her. In conclusion, she was said to have died probably due to the infection - virusal with interstitial Pneumonia and inflammatory changes in the heart and liver (Reactive myocorditis and hepatitis)  her death was not attributed to anybody and suicide was not ruled out.

Dr Wahab Alabi Akintanwa of the Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, in cross examination by Eze Emelogu who was Counsel of 6 Custom Officers detained after Gloria' Okon's death noted that "What is not certain is how this chemical (Chlorinated Hydrocarbon) entered Gloria Okon's body" he pointed out that Gloria Okon knowing that her offence demanded capital punishment must have taken away her own life, to prevent prosecution.
In her confessional statement, Gloria Okon allegedly claimed she was a courier for some 'highly placed Nigerians'. She mentioned the name 'Bassey'. Unfortunately the 'Bassey' she mentioned don't have a surname and Bassey is a common name for people from Cross River and Akwa Ibom State, so there is no way to track down Bassey. In the National Concord Newspaper of April 30, 1985, the paper wrote that Gloria started mentioning names of people in high places, but this was not the truth.
Mallam Aminu Kano Airport where Gloria Okon was arrested

Some of the media reports had it then that Gloria Okon’s corpse was not shown to the members of her family. The question is? who came out as a relative of Gloria? Nobody came forward to see her while in detention, while she was in the hospital and after she died.

After the death of Dele Giwa, speculations made the rounds in many places that Giwa had interviewed Gloria Okon on the street of London and he was going to publish the story and that was why he was killed. There is no substantiated fact whatsoever to back this up, because Gloria Okon died on April 28, 1985

It was speculated that the wife of the then Chief of Army staff (Maryam Babangida) was the boss of Gloria Okon and that she sneaked Gloria out of the country so that she will not blow the lid off their involvement in cocaine business. There is no fact to prove this either. As the unsubstantiated allegation went on Gloria Okon case resurfaced.

In another  development CLIMAX magazine of December 5 1990 carried a Bold headline: "Gloria Okon" Speaks from hiding - below is the telephone conversation of the purported Gloria Okon and Climax editor:

Climax wrote: 'We bring you an encounter with the “ghost” caller:

Receiver [a staff of climax]: Hello, good morning. This is climax magazine.
Caller: Is this climax?
Receiver: Yes, this is climax. Can I help you?
Caller: Please, may I know who I’m speaking with?
Receiver: I am a staff here. Who are you and whom do you want to speak with?
Caller: Don’t worry about me. Can I speak to the editor?
Receiver: I’m sorry; she is not on seat now. What’s the matter?
Caller: Em… em…, what of his deputy?
Receiver: He is not around, but seeing off a visitor. Can’t you talk with any other editor?
Caller:  Alright, who is available?
Receiver: This is the feature editor on the line. Who am I speaking with please?
Caller: You said you are who?
Obi Jnr: I’m Bencharles Obi, Jnr., the features editor.
Caller: Yea, yea, Mr. Obi…
Obi Jnr.: May I know you please.
Caller: Me? I’m Gloria Okon.
Obi Jnr.: [overwhelmed]: you are who?
Caller: Gloria Okon, the one that they told you is dead.
Obi Jnr.: [stammering with shock]: you… you… how? Why?
Caller: [laughs]: okay, if you don’t want us to talk, I will hang the phone.
Obi Jnr.: No, no, wait, let me get my jotter, I’ll be with you.

Incidentally, Mr. Olu Onasegun, our Business and Administration. Manager was climbing the stairs to the newsroom and Bencharles Obi Jnr. told him of the strange caller. Mr. Onasegun was left mouth agape, as he found the situation incredible. However, he picked up the receiver to confirm.

Olu: Hello, this is Olu Onasegun. I have just been told about your call by the features editor.
Caller: Oh, I wanted your editor on the line, but I was told she wasn’t on the seat.
Olu: Please who did you say you are?
Caller: [in a harsh tone]: oh, your colleague did not believe me? Well, I’m Gloria Okon.
Olu: Gloria Okon? Which Gloria Okon?
Caller: The one you were told is dead.
Olu: This is incredible. Where are you calling from?
Caller: Don’t bother, it is not important.
Olu:  You said you are who…?
Caller: [angry]: you people are not serious.

(It was obvious she would drop the receiver, so Olu apologized.)

Olu: I’m sorry; I don’t intend to annoy you. It is just that I’m shocked.

It was at this point that Ehi Braimah, the deputy editor who saw his visitors off, came in and was attracted by the scene created in the reception. Mr. Braimah took over the receiver from Olu.

Ehi: Hello, this is Ehi Braimah, the deputy editor. I learnt you wanted to talk with the editor.
Caller: Yes.
Ehi: As her deputy, can we talk? You said you are…
Caller: Gloria Okon.
Ehi: who?
Caller: Gloria Okon?
Ehi: Which Gloria Okon?
Caller: The cocaine pushing.
Ehi: So a dead person can talk? Are you not an impostor? You mean you did not die, after all?
Caller: if I died, I would not be talking to you now.
Ehi: Where are you calling from?
Caller: Forget it. It is not important.
Ehi: You want us to talk, isn’t it?
Caller: Yes want us to talk.
Ehi: Alright, what do you want to tell us?
Caller: if you like, believe this claim; if you like don’t, it is not my business. I can no longer keep quiet or continue the kind of life I’m living. I want to come back home. I have waited for so long and my patience is running out. Since that time in 1985, when they said I died, my life has never been the same because I know they told a lie. My conscience has been pricking me and that is why I decided to tell the truth. I wanted the phone [she names some newspapers and magazines] but I was afraid they might not publish it. That is why I am phoning Climax, which they told me is a courageous magazine. My friends even buy copies for me when they visit me. I am phoning to tell you people that I am not dead. I am still well and alive...”

At this point, Mr. Braimah cuts in.

Ehi: where are you? Tell us, where you’re speaking from?
Caller: I can’t tell you! No! I can’t!
Ehi: are you in Nigeria?
Caller: [laugh]: You are very tricky, I can’t tell you.
Ehi: Alright, let’s talk about your involvement in cocaine business and how you escaped from the cell.
Caller: I don’t want to go into all that now. I want to stop so far.
Ehi: It is very relevant in this case of your decision to tell the truth.
Caller: No, no…
Ehi: But…

The caller dropped. The writer concluded thus: "Expectedly, none of the editors believed the callers claim despite the hair-raising disclosures..."

Dr James Raphael at 17 Cole street, the last residential address of Gloria Okon


1. Gloria Okon once lived at No 17 Lisabi street Yaba for five months from June - November 1982.

2. Gloria Okon once lived at No 17 Lisabi street Yaba for five months from June - November 1982.

3. From the second day of her arrest and custody, she had taken ill and had commenced on what turned out to be a hunger strike which she persisted until her death on April 28 (one week).

4. After her arrest, no body visited her in detention and in the hospital while she was sick, for the seven days she stayed before her death, no visitors were allowed to see her.

5. The punishment for the offence which she was arrested for was death, so she might have decided to take her own life rather than face the ordeal of trial and final execution.  (section 3. (20 (k) of the Special Tribunal (Miscellaneous Offences) decree, i.e. decree No 20 of 1984 and section 1 of the Exchange Control (Anti-Sabotage) decree. i. e. Decree No 7 of 1984.)

6.  Members of the Commission of Enquiry set up to investigate the cause of her death: Hon Justice C. N. O. Ubbaonu (Chairman), Mr. J. I . Obianwu (secretary), Wing Commander P. G. Asemota (member) and  Professor Tunde Oloko (Member) on August 14, 1985 in the company of Mrs Benedicta Folorunsho - the nursing Sister at Mallam Aminu Kano Memorial hospital, Kano identified the corpse of Gloria Okon with the aid of her photograph as attached on her international passport.

7. Resident address: Gloria Okon international passport read: 17 Cole street, Lawanson, Surulere. During my visit to 17 Cole street on December 11, 2016, I was told that Gloria Okon was a squatter, she was staying with her Aunty, popularly known by all as Mama Diana or and Mama Otonbog in a one room apartment.

8. Contrary to speculations that the body was hurriedly buried after she died, Gloria Okon's body stayed in the mortuary from April 28 1985 till the end of the findings of the Commission of enquiry set up to investigate her death. It was the commission that demanded as a matter of urgency that her corpse be buried by the Kano Municipal Council to avoid its putrification and to decongest the mortuary, and that was by the end of August 1985 (four months after her death)

9. Gloria Okon's death lead to the arrest and detention of 6 customs officers, who were later released when the Commission found them not guilty to her death, rather that she must have taken away her life by herself.

10, A total of 72 exhibits where provided and studied by the Commission and a total of 34 witnesses testified in the investigations.

11. As at the time of her arrest, Gloria Okon had only N16.14k in her savings account and N24.00 in her business account. This means she was a drug peddler and not a drug baron as the press reported.

12. There is no link whatsoever that Gloria Okon knew or was working for the then wife of the Army Chief of Staff.

13. If Gloria Okon died on April 28, 1985 which is obvious then how come she was linked to Giwa death?

14. The National Concord Newspaper of March 18, 1988. The Inspector General of police, Alhaji Muhammed Gambo appealed to the nation that anyone with information that Gloria Okon was alive should come forward and present, and up till 2016, none have come forth with evidence and that the police will reopen the case.

15. If no one has prove, fact, evidence that Gloria Okon is alive, then Nigerians should let her soul rest in peace.

In conclusion of my research work, 31 years after Gloria Okon was declared dead, new facts reveals that she is really dead, may her soul rest in peace.

National Concord April 26, 1985
Sunday Concord April 28, 1985
National Concord April 30, 1985
New Nigerian April 30, 1985
Daily Times April 30, 1985
Nigerian Tribune June 8, 1985
Sunday Concord June 16, 1985
Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the death of miss Gloria Okon 1988
Climax magazine December 5, 1990


  1. Kudos Dr Ralph .. Intriguing & investigative journalism indeed .. Welldone again !

  2. This is awesome. Sir splendid research

  3. Investigative journalism at it peak... This is superb. Well done sir

  4. This wonderful and mind blowing,thanks Dr.Ralph

  5. But my worries here is this,how come noon of her family members saw her corps or were she was buried,there is more to it because her dead picture was never shown by the security operatives,lets just conclude that she is dead,hope you feel me?

    1. You just wrote the bitter truth. There's more to this story

  6. I don't believe this article of Gloria being dead. Even if she's dead, it must have been recently due to old age related sickness. Gloria is alive and chilling abroad with a change of name and identity.

  7. Great work done here sir. God bless you.

  8. I believe the caller may be the supposed Gloria Okon. Maybe.

  9. This report is a pure fabrication. In 1985 you folks didn't say nothing, didn't show her dead body. A whole head of state and his wife was accused right from the time of all the dilemmas that surrounded her story, and yet none of you, not even the custom nor the so called doctors you talk about came out to prove that she was dead. Why now? why didn't the hospital locate her family and hand over her dead body to them? So what you folks I trying to tell us is that Dele Giwa of blessed memory who had claimed that he personally interviewed her in London was a liar? I believed Dele Giwa but don't trust this report at all. You are telling us that Glory had only 16 million naira in her bank account at a time she died, my question to you is this, in 1985 did you have up to one million naira in your bank account? How many rich Nigerians do you think that have up to one million naira in their various banks accounts? That tells me that you don't know what you are talking about because sixteen million naira in 1985 was a hell huge amount of money. Let me tell you what commodities cost in Nigeria around 1985, a brand new Volkswagen cost less than #700:00, brand new 504 cost less than #5,000:00, a nice one Storey building cost less than #20,000:00, a bottle of gulder cost #1.00, so for Gloria Okon to have #16m in 1985 in her bank account according to your report proved that she was a very wealthy young woman. So get your facts straight.

    1. This is what I read Mr anonymous

      "11. As at the time of her arrest, Gloria Okon had only N16.14k in her savings account and N24.00 in her business account. This means she was a drug peddler and not a drug baron as the press reported"

      So where did you read millions from?

      Anyway the truth stands that Gloria didn't die in the 80s. IBB and Maryam knows what they did

  10. I believe Dele Giwa's evidence that was about to get published in the then Nigerian dailies, but the big question still remains, Who killed Dele Giwa and why?