The police in Imo State said on Monday they had yet to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of popular Nigerian actor, Sam Loco Efe.
Efe, 66, died in his hotel room in Owerri on Sunday after a post-production work on Unknown Prophet, a film he directed.
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, his Delta State counterpart, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, and popular comedian, Chief Chika Okpala (aka Zebrudaya), described Efe’s death as a great loss to the Nigerian movie industry.
The Imo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Linus Nwaiwu,told one of our correspondents that investigations had commenced following insinuations that the actor might have died in unusual circumstances.
Nwaiwu said, “We have yet to unravel what killed Sam Loco. We are still looking at the issues and events that may have led to his death. As soon as we find a lead, we will make our findings public.
“We only confirmed his death yesterday (Sunday). So it is still too early to say what killed him. We wouldn’t want to work on hearsay; that is why we are taking our time to unravel the cause of his death.”
In his condolence message to the Efe family, Oshiomhole, recalled the actor’s contributions to the growth of Nollywood, saying he would be sorely missed.
He said “I remember his role as Chief Ukabribri in the television series Hotel de Jordan in the seventies and his rise to stardom as the best actor for his role in Langbodo, Nigeria’s drama entry for FESTAC 77.
“We in Edo have lost a citizen of outstanding worth. He will be sorely missed as he was one of the state’s brightest gifts to the Nollywood industry.”
Uduaghan said it was unfortunate that Efe died at a time when “the entertainment industry worldwide still looked forward to more and better performance from him.”
He said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere ,that the actor would be greatly missed given that he was a bundle of talent and experience.
The governor condoled with the Efe family, saying, “we will not forget in a hurry Sam Loco’s ability to get our ribs cracking with laughter with his hilarious performances.”
Okpala, a prominent actor in New Masquerade television soap opera, said Nollywood had lost a veteran who was like a father to him.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria, “I was transfixed for about 10 minutes when I got the message.I am confused because I did not hear that he was sick, only to suddenly get a call that he is dead.
“The Nollywood industry has lost a veteran with many years of experience. He was like a father to me because I learnt much from him.”