FACT-CHECK: Did Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Father Die on March 15, 2021?

VERDICT: Misleading


On March 15, 2021, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a claim published by multiple online sources including the Punch and ABN claiming that Professor Chukwuka Okonjo, the father of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had just died.

Also, the reports indicate that a statement issued by Dr Ngozi on behalf of the family said her father, the immediate past Obi of Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State died on March 15, 2021.

It also added the Professor Okonjo died at the age of 91 in Lagos as soon as he returned from a trip to the United States of America and Ghana.


Checks by the CDD show that the claim that Professor Chukwuka Okonjo recently passed on March 15, 2021, is misleading.

The former Obi of Ogwashi Ukwu in Delta State passed on September 13, 2019, at the age of 91 in Lagos.

An investigation by CDD also reveals that a press statement released by the late Professor’s family through Dr Okonjo-Iwela’s media adviser, Paul C. Nwabiukwu on September 13, 2019,  had confirmed that he died two years ago and not 2021.

A screenshot of the report by ABN

A further check showed that at the time of  Professor Okonjo`s demise Dr Ngozi had not been appointed the director-general of the WTO.


CDD can confirm that the reports that Professor Chukwuka Okonjo, the father of the WTO DG passed on March 15, 2021, is misleading.

Contrary to reports. Professor Okonjo died on September 13, 2019, and not in March 2021.

The CDD urges members of the public to read beyond headlines before sharing any news report, especially on social media.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa