‘I Blame Myself For Shooting In Asaba’ — Adanma Luke Laments Death Of Junior Pope, Other Crew Members

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
7 Min Read

Nollywood actress Adanma Luke, who produced the movie “The Other Side of Life” starring Junior Pope before his tragic death, has finally spoken out about the incident.

Junior Pope and four other crew members lost their lives when their boat capsized on the River Niger while returning from a movie location.

In videos posted on her Instagram page, Luke revealed that she was supposed to be on the boat with them, but her Director of Production asked her to bring the memory card used for filming instead.

She expressed regret for not being there and mentioned that it was her first time working with Junior Pope. Luke also blamed herself for choosing to shoot the movie in Asaba, Delta State.

Recounting what happened, she said, “On the 10th of April, we lost five of our members who were on their way to a location by boat and had an accident.

“I’ve been so traumatized. I’ve been so cold. this whole thing, it still feels like a dream to me.

“I’ve not been able to make any statements since, because we’ve been trying to recover the bodies. I’ve been providing fuel money to those looking for bodies, provided caskets, ambulance to make sure the bodies were conveyed to their villages and families.

I’ve not been quiet; I’ve been doing things just so these people can rest. It’s so sad that this happened on my set.

“I blame myself that I would have been in Lagos, doing my thing in Lagos. I blame myself for coming down to Asaba.”

Luke said she was meant to be on the ill-fated boat.

She explained “I was supposed to be on that boat; my production manager was calling me to bring the memory card so they could start filming, and I told him to come and collect it.

“He said, ‘Mama, you know this place is far; please just bring it for us.’

“I said, ‘Okay, why haven’t you people crossed?’ He said they were waiting for Junior Pope to arrive.

“On the 9th, they went there on their own, Junior Pope came on his own. He came alone.

“So, on this 10th, while I was getting ready to go drop the card with them, I was accompanied by my brother’s children, two kids that were supposed to go with me. We were supposed to be on that boat together.

“Getting there, I saw Emeka, my D.O.P. He was just sitting. I was surprised because I didn’t see others. I asked Emeka, “What is it?” And people surrounded him; Emeka was quiet.

Worried by Emeka’s mood, she continued, “I said,  ‘Emeka, talk to me. What is the problem? Why haven’t you people gone? Where is Ogolo? Where is everybody? Has JP come?’ He was quiet.

“I started shouting, ‘What is happening? Somebody talk to me.’ Emeka now said, ‘JP don go, Abigail don go, Friday don go, Precious don go.’

“I still didn’t understand what he meant by that. ‘What do you mean, don go, don go where?’ He said, ‘dem dey inside water.’

“I said, let me go and look for them. They started holding me that I should not go. I said, ‘Let me be there. Let me be sure the divers are looking for them.’ They said there were over 50 divers in the water looking for them.”

Luke said her director informed her he had no idea what had transpired.

“My director was saying that he didn’t know what happened. He was on a life jacket. Emeka, the D.O.P. was on a life jacket. There was still one life jacket available, I don’t know who had it.

“But my PM said that day they saw life jackets there and took them. He even told the late Friday to send one to Junior Pope, but Junior Pope said it was dirty, so he didn’t take it.

“These people with the life jackets survived. They also told me that when they were in the water trying to survive, Junior Pope was also there, asking if everybody was okay. They even threw a gallon to him to hold himself, which he was holding, but all of a sudden, they didn’t see him again.

“It was when they came out that they noticed that he was no longer there because they said divers came and rescued some of them while other divers were still there trying to rescue others,” she added.

Luke expressed her anguish over the loss of her crew colleagues, whom she considered family.

She added, “I still can’t believe this. These crew members were my family. They’ve been working with me. If I’m working in Lagos, they’ll come from Asaba to come and work with me.

“All through last year, we stayed together in Lagos. We were filming and working together.

“This is my first time working with JP. He’s my friend. The wife is my friend too.

“I talked to the wife sometime, and that was when she said, ‘Why aren’t you giving my husband work?’ JP said, ‘Ada, you be my friend, why you no dey give me work?’

“I told JP that you know na action film you dey shoot, I hardly do action. He said no o. He dey do love story o, he dey do other things.”

The Actors Guild of Nigeria has banned actors from working on any films produced by Adanma Luke until further notice.

Share This Article
By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.