Third runner up at the maiden edition of the West African Idol where Timi Dakolo emerged winner, Eric Arubayi, is dead.

The gospel artiste, believed to be in his early 30s, reportedly died on Saturday, February 11 at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital after a brief illness.

Eric is said to have fallen sick earlier in the week and was rushed to the hospital.

Report suggest that it may have been as a result of expired medication he took for malaria fever.

A close friend of the deceased who also served with him at House of the Rock church where Eric was a chorister, confirmed to us that he had not been suffering from any terminal illness that may have hastened his death.

‘We were together at a party last week Sunday and he didn’t show any signs of being ill. During the week he just had a mild bout of malaria which was not life-threatening, ‘ the source, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, said.

Furthermore, the source suggested – as their other friends do too – that the medication he used may have caused his death.

‘I cannot tell you more than this as I’ve not seen his wife and it is still very painful to talk about’.

However, he could not ascertain if the medication was bought at a pharmacy or was given to him at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital where he passed away yesterday February 11.

The scourge of fake/expired drugs has been an issue Nigeria has been dealing with for a long time. A 2015 NOI poll revealed that 18% of Nigerians have been victims of fake and expired medication.

Eric Arubayi is survived by his wife, a son, three siblings and his parents.

May his soul rest in perfect peace