National President of the Actor Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Rollas has confirmed the death of actor John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu.

In a post on Instagram, Mr Rollas revealed that the actor, who had been unwell for months, died of cardiac arrest. 

The actor was unable to survive and passed away on Saturday, March 2. He was 62.

“Sad day for Actors Guild of Nigeria. Kate Henshaw lost her mother earlier today and Mr Ibu suffered cardiac arrest according to his manager of 24 years, Mr Don Single Nwuzor. I announce with a deep sense of grief that Mr Ibu didn’t make it. May his soul rest in peace,” Mr Rollas’ post read.

In October 2023, family of the actor revealed that he had been battling some health issues and had undergone multiple surgeries.

He had earlier made a passionate appeal and announced a fundraiser to offset his medical bills at a Lagos hospital.

Mr Ibu had said he had been hospitalised for two weeks because of a “strange and dangerous illness”.

The actor later celebrated his birthday, hopeful of a speedy recovery.

However, on 6 November 2023, Mr Ibu’s leg was amputated, barely a month after he solicited prayers and financial assistance from his fans.

Announcing the leg amputation on the actor’s Instagram page, his family said the amputation was to increase his chances of recovery.

They said the development was complex but necessary.

On 17 December 2023, the family of the 62-year-old actor further revealed the reason behind his inability to be flown abroad for additional treatment.

The family explained in a statement that doctors deemed him ‘Not Fit To Fly,’ rendering it challenging to arrange his departure for advanced medical treatment due to the airlines’ refusal to transport him.

According to the family, the cause of the illness was not diabetes but a persistent clotting of blood in Mr Ibu’s leg, stemming from diseased blood vessels, along with other health challenges that posed a significant risk to his life.

Mr Ibu was discharged in January and was seen with Nollywood actor, Ken Erics who visited him.

The Enugu-born actor, prior to his death, featured in more than 200 Nollywood movies.

They include Mr Ibu (2004), Mr Ibu and His Son, Coffin Producers, Husband Suppliers, International Players, Mr Ibu in London (2004), Police Recruit (2003), 9 Wives (2005), Ibu in Prison (2006) and Keziah (2007).