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Wazobia FM official dies by suicide days after losing job

Hillary Okechukwu spent more than 10 years as a sales executive with the Lagos-based broadcaster.

• November 22, 2020
Hillary Okechukwu, former sales executive at Wazobia FM, Lagos.

A Wazobia FM official has died of apparent suicide two days after losing his job, colleagues told Peoples Gazette on Sunday. 

Hillary Okechukwu was a sales executive with the Lagos-based broadcaster until November 18 when he was asked to resign after being accused of misappropriating company funds. 

Mr. Okechukwu, whom colleagues said had been with Wazobia FM for at least 10 years, suffered cardiac arrest from drug overdose on Friday, colleagues said. 

The station’s management held an urgent meeting on Saturday night to discuss the matter, but officials largely used the meeting to clear themselves of any wrongdoing in the circumstances that led to Mr. Okechukwu’s exit and his eventual death, sources told the Gazette under anonymity to prevent official reprimand or worse. 

A management official at Wazobia FM did not immediately return a request seeking comments. 

Colleagues said Mr. Okechuwuku did not appear to suffer from any mental health crises before the incident. 

Suicide prevention centres are rare in the country, which could have contributed to Mr. Okechukwu’s inability to get help before it was too late.  

Some colleagues told the Gazette that the development had left them demoralised, hoping it would nudge the station’s management to start prioritising personnel welfare. 

Mr. Okechukwu was survived by his wife and two children. 

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