From Tony John, Port Harcourt

More revelations have emerged concerning the Port Harcourt personality, Emmanuella Adaolisa, whose death occurred on January 31, 2023. 

His real name was given as Emmanuel Oliseh Ogaebulam from Anambra State.

Emmanuel (right), wearing a wristwatch, with a fellow mass servant (left) and another parishioner (middle) before he became Emmanuella

Until his death, Emmanuella was seen by everyone as a woman. He lived and dressed as a young lady until his untimely death, when it was discovered that he was a man who only pretended to be a woman.

Emmanuella was a known choir member at  St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Rumuolumeni, in Obio/Akpor Local Government area of Rivers State.  

He was even about to get married as a lady to a man when he met her death. He had an accident and died in the process which revealed his real identity.

Reports said that he felt from a tricycle popularly called Keke NAPEP. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was rejected. He was then taken to the Military Hospital by Aba Road, Port Harcourt, but he died on the way to the hospital. The corpse was deposited in the hospital morgue.

But, to the astonishment of mortuary attendants, it was soon discovered that the body that was deposited few minutes ago, which was in a female attire, was actually a man dressed in a lady’s dress but wearing four boxers. 

Before the tragic death of Emmanuella, ‘she’ was an active chorister at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Rumuolumeni, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.

At this church, the deceased was seen as a female. Even at death, many of the church members, who were not privileged to see her nakedness at the Military Hospital, Port Harcourt, where the corpse was deposited, are finding it difficult believing the development. 

It was gathered that before joining St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Rumuolumeni, in October, 2022, Emmanuella Adaolisa was a dedicated member and chorister at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Iloabuchi, Diobu, Port Harcourt. There, he was not seen as a female. He was known as Emmanuel, but popularly called Emma. 

One Madam Gladys, a Sacred Heart parishioner, told the reporter that Emma was actively involved in the church activities, especially in the choir. 

Gladys said: “But suddenly, Emma was no longer coming to church. Nobody was seeing him again. The church members were worried because he had a good voice.  He was in Suprano. He could sing very, very well. So, the parishioners liked him. That was why when he stopped coming to church, we noticed it easily and we were worried. Nobody was seeing him, even on the streets. 

“Honestly, this news we are hearing about him is strange. It is difficult to believe; though, he was a handsome young man.  Nobody in Sacred Heart Catholic Church knew him as Emmanuella. If not that we saw his picture on social media, nobody could believe he is the one.”

She asked: “But, why must he hide his identity? To become a woman, for what reason? Something must be wrong somewhere. It’s not ordinarily.”

From Emmanuel to Emmanuella

However, Saturday Sun gathered more information from some parishioners when the reporter visited the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Tuesday, February 7, during one of their weekly programmes of the church.

It was gathered that the deceased, who graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Port Harcourt, suddenly metamorphosed into a female, changing his name from Emmanuel to Emmanuella, with nothing on him that could make anyone suspect that he was male. He was said to, at all times, coat his face with heavy make-up.

His demise occurred on the day the church ended its 21 days prayer and fasting programme, with five days Holy Ghost impartation. 

According to the few parishioners, who craved to remain anonymous, the parish priest, on the last day of the programme, which was January 31, this year, prayed fervently that God should expose any member that would bring shame to the church. They said many of the church members were surprised at the way she angrily left the church when the priest was still on the pulpit.

One of them said: “Otherwise, why must be that it was the same day our parish priest prayed that God should expose those bringing shame to the church that she had accident and died?

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“We heard that it was only her that fell off the Keke. Other passengers did not fall. Now, look at it this way; they said the Keke driver was trying to dodge a little child that suddenly rushed to the road. 

“The Keke driver hit a median. It was not with any vehicle or another Keke. Why is it that it was only she that fell off the Keke? Is it not mysterious?”

Another member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, who simply gave his name as Johnson, said the deceased had been disguising as a woman for several years. 

Johnson wondered: “Do you know how many years this person has been disguising as a woman? I don’t know whether to say he was the choirmaster or she was the choir mistress. Before she died, she used to sing very well. She was a dedicated member of the church choir

“She did wickedness to her family because she deceived people and brought shame to her family and stigma to the church of God. She was taking Holy Communion regularly, but had this evil in her mind. 

“It was shocking that the person we thought was a woman, was a man. It is unbelievable. If not that the mortuary attendants called the church members that brought her to the hospital back, out of shock, I am sure nobody would have believed the story.”

According to the source, many suitors, including some church members, had approached her for marriage. But she rejected their proposals. 

He said: “She has had plenty suitors, but she turned them down. But at last, someone engaged her. We gathered that traditional rites have been done. The would-be-husband had been pushing for everything about marriage to commence. But she had been the one delaying it.  

“In fact, since this incident, several stories have been emerging. We have heard plenty stories about her. If she had been disguising, what about the boys who had been coming closer to her? Wonders shall never end!”

However, it was gathered that St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is not happy with the discovery and would not want to associate with the stigmatization. 

It was alleged that the church wants the deceased’s family to take responsibility for Emmanuella’s burial.

Meanwhile, the Keke driver has been in Iwofe Police Station since the incident. 

Saturday Sun spoke to his lawyer, Mr. Evidence Agwor, in Port Harcourt. He disclosed that the family of the deceased was in touch with his client for compensation. 

He said Emmanuella’s family members want to use the compensation to convey the corpse to Onitsha in Anambra State. The lawyer added that the deceased’s family members have not made any pronouncement of what (money) they want.

He further disclosed that his client is trying to see what he could raise as compensation, stressing that, if at the end the two families could not arrive at any meaningful agreement, the matter would be treated publicly. 

Meanwhile, the Keke driver has denied responsibility for the death of Emmanuella. The suspect spoke through another lawyer, Nyeche Amah. 

Mr Amah said: “I feel very disappointed with the information making the rounds that my client (Mr Peter Okon) hit the transgender person. The name of the man is actually Emmanuel Oliseh Ogaebulam from Anambra State.

“What actually happened is that the deceased was a passenger to the Keke driver. While the Keke driver was driving, there was a little girl with wheelbarrow trying to cross the road.

“In an attempt to dodge the little girl, he had to swerve. Then the deceased fell out of the vehicle into the drainage. He was not the only passenger, but he was the only person who sustained injuries and later died. 

“The Keke driver displayed highest level of maturity by reporting himself to the Rumulomeni Police Station at Iwofe when the incident occurred around Akar junction, Iwofe on the night of January 31, 2023.

“The Keke driver is not actually detained, but kept in protective custody so that the driver does not get hurt by persons sympathetic to the deceased, who may not have known what transpired.”