Ejiro Emokinovo, lead vocalist of music group, Veentage Band, has died in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
She passed away after a surgery on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Emokinovo had undergone the surgery shortly after registering an impressive performance during the lavish 90th birthday bash of Alhaja Lateefat Olufunke Gbajabiamila, mother of Nigeria’s Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
The late vocalist and the rest of Veentage Band are among over 300 guests flown to Dubai by Gbajabiamila on public funds for the extravagant ceremony.
Recall that shortly after an exclusive story by SaharaReporters on March 2, 2020 revealing how Gbajabiamila had earmarked at least N500m for the elaborate ceremony, media aides to the Speaker swiftly debunked the report, claiming that only few family members were billed to attend the event.
However, with Emokinovo’s demise on Thursday and disclosure that Veentage Band performed at the birthday bash, it is now clear that dozens of persons, who found their ways to the ceremony had their entire expenses covered by Gbajabiamila.
According to a source, who witnessed the event, mobile telephone network was jammed at the venue of the ceremony to prevent guests from revealing identities of influential persons, who graced the occasion.
In the exclusive story of March 2, SaharaReporters had exposed how the fanfare and lavish celebration to mark the woman’s 90th birthday was expected to run from March 2 until March 10 in the glittering Arabian city.
Among guests expected to grace the occasion were some of Nigeria’s high and mighty including politicians living fat on public funds.
Reservations for guests was made at the Conrad Hilton Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, where the least room goes for $122 (N43,920) per night.
If calculated by 300 guests, the cost for hotel accommodation alone per night amounted to $36,600 (N13,176,000).
Calculated for the eight nights that guests will be housed at the hotel, the total comes to $292,800 (N105,408,000).
Findings by SaharaReporters revealed that the average price for round-trip flights from Nigeria to Dubai is currently $637 (N229,320).
When this is calculated for 300 guests, the total expenditure for airfare falls to N68,796,000.
A member of the planning team for the lavish celebration hinted SaharaReporters that some guests were booked for special and luxurious accommodation and that top personalities not slotted into private jets were booked for special seats on commercial airlines to Dubai.
Meanwhile, despite the denial of the Gbajabiamila camp over the squandering of public funds in this manner, tributes have continued to pour in for the late Veentage Band lead vocalist, Emokinovo.
Taking to his Instagram page to mourn the late singer, Desmond, her husband, said Thursday – the day she died – was the worst of his entire existence.
He said, “Dear Lord, You always answer any time we call. Why You chose not to answer yesterday remains a mystery.”
Leading entertainers and other prominent Nigerians are among persons, who have paid tribute to Emokinovo in various social media posts.
SaharaReporters gathered that efforts are currently ongoing to repatriate the musician’s body to Nigeria for burial.