Saturday, March 12

Nigerian Movie Maker Found Dead in His US Home

Nigerian Movie Maker Found Dead in His US Home

Actor Kenneth Okonkwo and Philemon Ihediwa

A Nigerian movie producer based in the United States of America has been reported dead after he was found lifeless in his apartment lying close to the bathroom.

Police are still investigating  to eliminate evidence of foul play in the death of Nigerian movie maker, Philemon Ihediwa who was found death in his house in Smithfield, North Carolina, US.

Ten years ago, Philemon Ihediwa wrote, starred, directed and produced his first movie in the United States. He was one of few Nigerians in the Diaspora that ventured into Hollywood. His movie, CONGO BOY IN THE CITY, featured Nollywood movie stars like Kanayo. O. Kanayo and Madam Gee.

Ihed, as he was widely known in the US, was chased by the agonies and trauma of child support harassment, allegedly fuelled by his ex- wife’s several court cases against him, in concert with the North Carolina Child support enforcement.

Monday evening, Ihed, during a telephone conversation with his female friend, Louise Gorsham, who lived “across town”, hinted that he was not feeling well and would retire to bed early. Ms. Gorsham pleaded with him to call her when he woke up at sunrise. He agreed and they both wished each other goodnight.

Narrating Gorsham said, “The next day, I called several times throughout the day but he did not respond to my call. I sent text messages. No response. I waited till Wednesday to repeat calls and text messages. I did not hear from him. I was also at work. By Saturday afternoon, after I closed from work, I pleaded with a coworker to drive me to Ihed’s apartment in Smithfield, a thirty minutes ride from Raleigh. I was mad at him. I thought he was ignoring my calls on purpose, might be he had found another lady. But when I got to his apartment, I noticed his car was in his parking space. I began to smell stench coming from his door. I knew something wasn’t right.

“Immediately, I called the Smithfield Police department and requested a welfare check on my friend. The police arrived few minutes later, broke into his apartment and found him dead on the floor, bloated and oozing. My friend died lonely from a broken heart and years of pains from being denied relationships with his children. He loved those kids. Ihed told me many times that his wife had, through the years, barred his children from visiting him. She set them up against their dad while she was busy collecting heavy child support. That man was a very great man. All he wanted was to be a good father to his children. But his ex wife was in the way. Now he is gone.”

Smithfield medical examiner’s office determined that the causes of death were seizure and possible heart attack. It was recorded that “his body was bloated and near decomposition when he was found in his bathroom. The heat in the apartment accelerated decomposition process.” The medical Examiner also concluded that Ihed might have died five days earlier.

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