The death of Nollywood’s acclaimed actor, producer, director, and film executive, Saint Obi shook the movie industry and Nollywood fans alike.
The circumstances surround it, that lead up to his untimely death made the shock even more resounding.
Saint was known to be one of Nollywood industry’s great, starring in over 60 movies including State of Emergency, Candle Light, Sakobi, Goodbye Tomorrow, Heart of Gold, Take Me to Mama (his first produced movie) and many more.
Long before his fame, Saint was born Obinna Nwafor to Mazi Melford and Lolo Millicent Nwafor on November 16, 1965 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He was a native of Okpa, a small town in Mbaitolo Local Government Area of Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria but grew up in Jos, Plateau state.
An only son in a family of nine children with eight sisters, he had attended primary and secondary school, before majoring in Theatre Arts at the University of Jos.
In 1996, he got his major big break through a Peugeot television commercial then landed a role in the television series, Candlelight before venturing into Nollywood movies – playing lead roles most of the time.
It was at the peak of his career in December 2006 he married his sweetheart, Lynda Amobi, a chief enterprise business officer at MTN Nigeria.
This was his second marriage, as his first to the daughter of a Lagos pastor ended in divorce years back.
The 57 year old suddenly varnished from Nollywood and the public eye around 2011 with many believing he had quit Nollywood to embark on a different. It was also around the same time in December 2011, Lynda was promoted from the General manager of Network Planning to Chief Technology Officer at MTN.
He was back in the spotlight in 2014, when he famously acquired a 2014 G65 AMG Mercedes Benz reportedly worth about N48 million at the time of purchase, and the following year when he ventured into music releasing three songs that did not make it very far.
In October 2021,10 years after his last movie, he was in the news again, this time as a result of the his pending divorce from Lynda and the domestic violence situations he’d found himself.
The divorce was filed in 2019 on the basis of an alleged attempt on the actor’s life, which was reportedly set-up by his wife and her brothers, Michael Amobi and Chukwumobi Amobi, according to a suit filed by Saint at the High Court of Ogun State.
It coincides with actor Zik Zulu Okafor’s account of some events in Saint Obi’s life. He recalled seeing saint with a deep cut from knife wound on his left eye after his wife’s brothers had jumped over the fence of their house to attack him.
They were captured by hidden closed-circuit television, CCTV, installed for surveillance and security, he revealed. He reported them at the police station and subsequently acquired a gun to defend himself.
Quoting what Saint told him in confidence, Okafor wrote: “I do not know why my wife’s siblings see me as a gold digger. They confront me, harass and fight me in my matrimony. And my wife did nothing to stop them. I work hard, I earn my money. I have never depended on my wife “
Michael Amobi turns out to be the CEO of Subhype Nigeria Limited.
Included in his court case was also an allegation that she had ‘imprisoned’ their three children with the help of men of the Police Force and he could not have access.
Saint said in response to his filing, “It was to make the journey difficult for me. But I will not bend neither will I break. I will fight with my last blood to take custody of my children.
They love me and they know it will be hard for me to live without them. The divorce is not an issue. My marriage has long been over”.
During this court proceeding, Lynda was no where to be found, resulting in Justice Omotayo O. Majekodunmi issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of Lynda for evading the court processes.
Zone 2 Command of the Nigeria Police Force launched a manhunt for the top official of MTN Nigeria Lynda Amobi following court order.
And it was the last he was heard of until he fell ill and ultimately died.
Popular Nollywood movie producer blamed Saint’s sudden demise on his crashed marriage, adding that he couldn’t survive the shock living apart with his family.
He said: “two weeks before his demise, my phone rang and it was Saint Obi on the other end. I asked him where he had been; that everybody had been looking for him. That was when he told me that he had been down and was admitted to a hospital. He added that he had done multiple surgeries and his condition wasn’t improving.
His elder sister then made arrangements to move him to Jos, where he could be given proper treatment. That was the last time we spoke, as I promised to reach out to him again. But I never did, as the next thing I heard was that Obi is no more,” Ejiro narrated.
“Obi told me a couple of times that his marriage was crumbling and it was eating him up. He was a family man, somebody that loved to stay with his kids and build a happy home.
“But when his marriage crumbled, it really affected him and he never recovered from the shock till death.” When a man is not together with his family, he will be depressed. No man wants to go into that kind of situation and be happy. So, that contributed to his death,”.