Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe, the once political strong man from Oguta Imo State is dead.
Nzeribe was Senator that represented the Orlu Senatorial zone of the old Imo State.
A reliable source indicates that Chief Nzeribe died in a foreign hospital this Sunday morning.
The name of the hospital or the country was not mentioned as the source said the family would later issue a statement to announce his demise.
Nzeribe who was so familiar with the UK lived and had his chains of businesses in London where it was reported that he was one of the very few blacks who had enough financial clout to live at the Grosvenor exclusive upper class area of London.
Nzeribe had been bed-ridden for years owing to some cerebrospinal ailment that incapacitated him.
Nzeribe it was that in the 1982/1983 elections shook the foundation of the electoral system with an amazing monetization.
In those days, Nzeribe was reputed as one of the richest Africans and came campaigning for senate with his private chopper.
He was a member of the NPP, Zik’s party on which he was elected to the Senate.
Nzeribe returned at the Fourth Republic and again to the Senate on the PDP platform until he was suspended by the Senate led by the president, Anyim Pius Anyim.
After his suspension in October 2002 on allegations of N22 million fraud, Nzeribe never regained his political swagger.
In 2012/2013, Chief Nzeribe who loved to be called in his traditional title of Ogbuagu Oguta was already down with partial stroke and always home.
During those days we paid him visits regularly in his Apo Legislative Quarters home, he was really upbeat in his voice discussing Nigeria’s welfare passionately, but wouldn’t move unaided by his family members
Senator Nzeribe would always be remembered for his colourful politics, money and controversy.
It was a group he formed, the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) that sought and got a court order to stop the declaration of the June 1993 presidential election results presumed to have been won by another moneybag like him, Chief MKO Abiola.
That was even before the military president, Ibrahim Babangida stopped the electoral commission chairman, Prof Humphrey Nwosu from going ahead with the full results announcement.