The Fleet Commander, Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos State, Rear Admiral Daniel Ikoli, has allegedly shot himself dead in his residence in the Apapa area.
It was learnt that a service pistol, expended and live ammunition, were recovered at the scene by police detectives who visited the residence.
He lived with his house boy. His wife stays in Abuja, while his children are schooling abroad.
It was learnt that the commander, a member of the presidential committee investigating the $15bn arms deal, left his office on Tuesday around 1pm, on the grounds that he was ill.
Around 5am on Wednesday, the house boy reportedly heard a gunshot from his room. On getting to the spot, he found him dead and raised the alarm.
A source close to Okoli disclosed to Punch that he had been managing depression and an ailment for some time, adding that it was not impossible that he committed suicide.
The source, however, did not disclose the nature of the ailment.
He said, “He was Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT, and was later appointed into the presidential committee that probed the arms deal. He was very lively and intelligent.
“But for some time now, he had been battling an illness and had lost weight. He had also become reserved lately, which was unlike him. He usually complained about the high dollar rate and unavailability of foreign exchange because he had children studying abroad.
“He left the office on Tuesday afternoon after complaining that he was not feeling fine. I was shocked this morning when I learnt he shot himself.”
Another source stated that bullets hit Okoli on the chest and he bled to death, adding that three expended bullets were found in his apartment.
He said, “The house boy said he heard a gunshot and was alarmed. He later went into Okoli’s room and found him in a pool of blood. His wife is in Abuja and his children school abroad. His aides usually leave after taking him home from office.
“Three bullets were seen in the room. No one can really tell what happened. He was a nice and intelligent officer. He was the one who spearheaded the renovations of BEECROFT when he was the commander.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said investigation had commenced, adding that the deceased had been deposited in a mortuary for autopsy.
He said, “We are investigating the incident to get a clearer picture. Either murder or suicide, we sympathise with the Nigerian Navy as we carry out investigations into the incident.”