The family of Rachel Oniga, the late Nollywood actress, has dismissed claims that she died of COVID-19 complications.

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The movie star breathed her last at 64 on Friday night. Rumours had swirled thereafter that her death was linked to the novel disease.

But in a statement signed by Toyin Odusote, the deceased’s sister, the family said the movie star died from a heart-related ailment.

“With a heavy heart and total submission to God, we write to announce the passing unto glory of our beloved sister, mother and grandmother; Chief. Rachel Tabun Oniga,” the statement read.

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“She died in a Lagos hospital at the age of 64, on Friday, 30th of July 2021, at about 10pm.

“Contrary to diverse reports informing that she died from COVID-19 complications, we write to inform the general public that she died from a heart related issue; an ailment she battled with for a short period before her demise.

“We accept her sudden transition as God’s design and we see it as a function of a race of life well finished. Painful as it may be, we accept it in good faith and total submission to her maker.”

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The family also called on the public to respect their privacy while mourning the deceased, adding that the burial arrangement would be announced in due course.

“We therefore desire to be allowed to mourn her death privately for now, as we do this with deep sense of respect for her soul and the glorious life she lived,” it added.

“Burial arrangements will be announced in due cause. We appreciate the calls, messages and condolences expressed by everyone and we pray for a sweet repose of her beautiful soul.

“Please accept this release as the only authentic one on behalf of the family until we come up with another.”

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