I was not born in Nigeria. I was born in Accra, Ghana. My mother is from Ogbomosho. Her dad was the former Soun of Ogbomoso. So I am a Princess from both my paternal and maternal sides.
In those days, a lot of people from Ogbomosho used to sojourn to Ghana for business. My mother had two of us for my father, my immediate brother was called Phillip Adetokunbo Madojutimi. He was working in First Bank Nigeria until his death three years ago.
He was the General Manager in Charge of South South. He read Economics at the University of Lagos and also went to the Lagos Business School.
I attended Ahmadiyya Grammar School, Eleyele, Ibadan. My seniors in school were Mrs Yinka Ladoja, former First Lady of Oyo State and former Commissioner for Finance Oyo State, Layi Ladoja.
From there, I went to Universal Tutorial College. I was in the first set of that college owned by Dr Rahman Adedoyin. Thereafter, I attended Oyo State College of Arts & Science (OSCAS) for my A-levels. Then I went to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where I studied Sociology.
One of my classmates that we are still friends till today is Dr. Folake Majekodunmi. She is in the Federal Ministry of Health.
After school, I came to Lagos and worked first with an Uncle, Chief Joshua Ogunleye. He is a Legislator now but then, he was Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress and later, President, Dock Workers Union.
With his help, I later crossed to the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Dapo Sarumi was my immediate boss. I was doing very well at NPA. I was in charge of demurrage.
Before meeting Deji Omotade at all, I had begun to acquire properties. My first land was bought for N100,000 in those days. It was facilitated by Alhaja Mosun Masha, the mother in-law of King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal. She is still alive and you can contact her to corroborate my story.
How did I buy the land? Alhaja Masha used to sell lace, I used to go to her place to deposit N2000 every weekend to purchase the latest lace which are today sold for N450, 000 a piece. I used to buy from her and give to a tailor right there in the market, and wear it the next day at social events especially to venues were Kollington and Barrister were playing. I was driving a Nissan Bluebird then.
Alhaja did not know I was buying the clothes for myself. When she knew, one day she called me and said my daughter, how many houses have you built? I said I have not built any, she said someone’s husband here is selling land, instead of coming every week to buy lace, deposit your N2000 each week for a piece of that land.
The friend that we used to go out the time for those events is Adeola Ayeni, daughter of the late Orangun Of Oke Ila. Her sister is Odunayo, who later married late Oba Okunade Sijuwade. Odun was living in Ibadan then.
I took the woman’s advice and began to contribute till it was about N50,000. You know we were young and restless. I decided to run away from Alhaja and found another lace seller to deal with. I wanted to get back to wearing the best lace materials.
I don’t know how Alhaja found out, she came to the new shop and told me “My daughter, you are my customer, don’t turn me into an enemy because of my advice, if you do not want the land, fine, but come back to my shop for your lace”. This was 1986/87. It is off Allen Avenue. I eventually completed the payment.
When I met Deji Omotade, I was living off Medical Road on Adepele Street. The street is named after the mother of the owners of Sofisticat (The Ogunlesi brothers). I want to begin to mention names so that anyone can come out and say I am lying.
Niyi Adewunmi and Mayor Akinpelu used to come to my flat in those days whenever they visited the area to eat pounded at a popular restaurant (Iya Ijesa Oniyan). I had two cars then, a gold Mercedes Benz 230, which was for weekend cruise and a Volkswagen Passat that I used for work.
Niyi Adewunmi can testify that at that time, I did not know anyone called Deji Omotade.
According to Deji, he was Special Assistant to Secretary to the Government, Aliyu Mohammed (Retd), during the government of General Babangida (Retd).
When Babangida was leaving in 1992, they moved him to NITEL as Director of Finance & Investment, he was not there for up to six months before Abacha came and sacked him. He had no job.
How did I meet him? He had imported fruit juice from London through his younger brother who was living in the UK.
He said he had secured customers but by the time the products arrived he had no money to clear the consignment for months and it entered demurrage. He was then directed to me.
He confessed to me that he had to fast and pray before approaching me. He came to me and explained his predicament.
He revealed that he used all the money he got from NITEL to set up a finance house, a savings and loans company.
According to him, he put a Mr Olowole, who is the elder brother of the lady called Grace, who has been sponsoring all manner of stories against me, as Managing Director. He explained that the company was ran aground and all he had was what he used to import the juice.
I said Ok, I made sure he made the statutory payments but gave some concessions that were permissible. He brought in seven containers. The mobile phone we were using then was analogue, my number was 090809629, a NITEL line. So we exchanged numbers.
I was living in 6-Unit block of flats. The house was owned by the mother of one Engr. Kasali who retired from NEPA. The house was opposite the one owned by the mother of Sofisticat.
About three weeks after I had assisted him, it was a Sunday, I heard a knock on the door and my house help said it was a Mr Omotade. I could not remember the name but asked that the person be allowed in.
When he came, he said he had come to plead that I take back my driver, Rasheed, whom I had earlier sacked. I accepted his plea and took back Rasheed. For two years that I had met him, we were not dating, in fact, I was calling him Uncle.
He had no wife at home and had no house at that time. He was squatting with a friend, TJ, that one is still alive. They are both from Ekiti. That was the situation when we began to date.
So, when Baba Obasanjo was arrested and he was imprisoned, if you remember, his late wife, Stella was the one whom he used to send around to deliver letter to this or that world leader.
On her return, when she would want to deliver the reply to him, Stella used to call me because I had access to General Diya. General Diya was a close friend of my uncle, Chief Adejare, who is late now.
I used to help Stella contact Diya because Diya was the one who used to arrange a plane to ferry us. We used to fly to Abuja on Kabo and then Diya would arrange a plane that will take us to where Obasanjo was.
Deji had accompanied us on about three occasions to see Baba. Obasanjo fell in love with him because he could write a lot. They used to give Baba very short time to receive visitors and since he had a lot to say, Deji was good at jotting everything down quickly and he will then fine-tune later at home with late Stella before she would travel as usual again.
When Obasanjo became President, Deji’s case was one of the first things he treated. Obasanjo was sworn in on May 29, 1999 by July 1999, he had received Deji’s file and instructed that he be reinstated. The seven years that he was removed, he instructed that he be paid. But the Head of Service then was Mr. Abu Obe from Benue State, he was wondering why the President wanted a person that was sacked reinstated and also paid lost wages.
The President responded that the man was not accused of stealing or any wrong doing, that in his opinion, it was a case of wrongful dismissal and that moreover, he was seconded to NITEL from the Federal Civil Service and should have been returned there.
Deji eventually resumed as a Director in year 2000. It was not until 2004 that he became a Permanent Secretary and on October 22, 2005 he died in the plane crash. I am giving you this time line so you can know who Deji really was. Deji Omotade before he died had no single property in Lagos, not even a BQ. So, I am challenging anyone with a contrary view in Nigeria to provide evidence. As a Director in the Civil Service, he was living in a Government property,csame with when he became Permanent Secretary
How come you are just coming out now after 15 years?
I kept quiet all these years because of my children. I was told that the children were young and it may not be good for them psychologically. But today, they are now grown and they have given me the go ahead to say everything and anything that is the truth about their father.
There was a story just last weekend that really got me upset and I decided that this rubbish must stop, I just said enough was enough.
Tell us about your marriage?
Olaseni Ayodeji Omotade read Economics at the University of Ibadan, his roommate for four years was the present Alake of Egbaland, Oba Gbadebo, Dr. Femi Majekodunmi was also in UI about the same time. He was admitted in 1966 and graduated in 1970.
According to him, in 1969, he met his first wife and they got married in 1974. She is called Henrietta Mojisola Olatundun. They have three girls. Their first child was born in 1975, the next in 1976 and the last in 1977
The lady was a Nurse and was the only child of her parents. This Grace that is the focus of these stories is older than Deji by seven years. Her classmates at St. Anne’s include High Chief (Mrs) Winifred Awosika of Chrisland, she was 80 in February. If my husband was alive, he would have been 73 this year. Every member of the Omotade family, know that this woman, Grace Olowole is older. The first wife was born in 1950. I have investigated all these things.
When I Confort Folashade met Deji Omotade he had no wife at home, and this Grace was never married to him up to when Deji died. She must have been his concubine. Grace and Deji were both working at the Ministry of Finance, he was her boss.
It was Deji that helped her move from the Ministry of Finance to NAPIMS, a subsidiary of NNPC through Mr Funso Kupolukun who was his classmate at the University of Ibadan. Deji’s eldest brother, Baba Folabi Omotade is still alive, his wife is the elder sister of Kupolukun and that was how Grace was helped.
She retired as Asst. Manager, how much was her salary?. Let me even tell you, Deji and Grace had quarrelled because of another Custom Officer who became pregnant for him, she is called Olupitan. He told me that he went to inform Grace about the woman, that the pregnancy was seven months and he did not want her to find out outside.
From then, till as I am speaking to you, the lady never delivered that baby. This was 1989 to early 90s. Grace, I am told, was angry that the lady was like her cousin, they are from Ipele in Owo, Ondo State.
I was not aware of all these issues before I married Deji. I was already his wife, when Dr Olumide; Olumide Street, near ExxonMobil Headquarters in Victoria is named after him, was the one who told me that I had made a mistake with Deji. He said that Deji was his friend but he had some family problems. That I had to be careful. He told me that the woman Deji chased away from his home was a very strong woman.
Any way, it was just when we were about to get married formally that Deji divorced his wife and I saw the divorce certificate and I still have a copy. I was already pregnant at this time too.
For the avoidance of doubt, Deji and I got married traditionally and we married legally. In fact, Obasanjo was there and I will give you the picture of our ceremony. I will challenge this Grace or any woman to present her own marriage certificate and pictures of their wedding ceremony.
Therefore, I want to state categorically, that until his death, I was the only woman that Deji was living with as his lawful wife. Up till today, the compensation that Bellview was to pay victims has not been collected. The Bellview lawyer told us then that only the wife living with the man and or the wife with children under 18 years can be beneficiary, I am the only one that qualifies.
Earlier you told us about your first property, where you able to acquire others?
Yes. I want to tell you that I do not build houses, I only buy houses including this one that we are in located inside Banana Island, Ikoyi. People don’t me, I have a factory and other businesses. Talking of houses, one of such houses was the one in Omole.
Tell us about that
The discussion that led to the transaction of the Omole property began at the siting room of Deji’s younger sister, Mrs Olawunmi Adedapo. They are from the same parents. Mrs Adedapo was having her 40th birthday then I believe and we had gone to the event. Deji and me. Until that day, I had never been to Omole Phase 1.
I was telling him, this Estate is so nice, I just used to pass here to Berger without noticing that it was this good. So when we got inside, I then told Olawunmi and husband that they should look for a land or building for us to also purchase. We were living in Ikoyi. He was working at Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministry. The Ikoyi place was our guest house in Lagos.
One day, Mr Adewale Adedapo, Olawunmi’s husband called Deji, it was a Saturday morning, we were at the home of Ambassador Adeniji, former Foreign Affairs Ministerin Abuja. He said that he had found a property and that the owner, Robinson Omorere who lives in America was in town and it will be nice to rush down to see him.
So we flew to Lagos same day. The agent who was in charge of the house was Demola Oluwayemi, he is a Pastor in Redeemed Church. It was my brother in-law Mr. Wale Adedapo and my late husband, Mr. Deji Omotade and the agent and the owner of the house, Mr. Robins Omorere that were negotiating. I did not participate in the discussion until they had finished and then, he told us that they had concluded on payment terms and my husband will begin part payment at the end of the month.The house was under construction. It was a large plot.
At the end of the month, I noticed that my husband was very worried, I now asked him what the problem was, he said the money he was expecting had not come and that he was looking for N30million for the part payment.
I told him, I would raise the N30 million and pay but on one condition and he said what was it? I said the the house papers will bear my name and I then added that when he repays me, I will effect a change of ownership. He said Ok and instructed that I should take the draft myself to Lagos.
I then instructed the Manager of my bank, Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB) branch at Kashim Ibrahim Way, Wuse to prepare a N30million draft and he brought it to our house that evening. The following morning I flew to Lagos.
It was a weekend. When I got there, they had called Mr Robinson Omorere, and their lawyer, Mr Jerry, he is still in Lagos, a Calabar man. So I gave them the draft, and they asked what name should be written on the receipt, I said, my name of course.
They did not immediately write the receipt, and soon after, Olawunmi left us and then their house help came to inform me that my husband was on the landline that I should pick the phone at their bar area.
Unknown to me, Olawunmi had picked the call upstairs and was listening to our conversation.
My husband said, Biodun, I heard you have told them to write you name on the receipt for the house, I said yes, that was exactly what we discussed before I left Abuja. I told him if they were not ready to write my name, there was no problem, they should just hand back my draft. He said why can’t they just write Mr & Mrs Omotade, I said no way, how many Mrs. Omotade do I know existed?, As if I knew that we will facing this kind of problem from someone who wants to reap where she did not sow. I rejected the suggestion and stood my ground.
At the end of our discussion, he now said, give the phone to Olawunmi, that was when I heard her say “Brother, I am here”, and it occurred to me that she had been listening in all along. She is still alive and can testify to all I have said. My husband then told her, please tell them to write her name. They eventually wrote the receipt and gave to me and because I trusted her so much, I handed the receipt to Mrs Adedapo. That was the day, they gave me the yellow C of O.
The husband who used to work at FCMB was not at home. But when he came back, I said to him, uncle Wale, if I am not able to collect my money from your brother in-law, it is this your house I will collect. I will bring police, chase you away and take it over. I then told him what happened. He then turned to his wife and asked why she was against them writing my name on the receipt. We left it at that.
The next payment was in two month’s time. My husband was still alive. He still did not have money, I sourced for another N30 million and paid. When we signed the Deed of Assignment, my husband was alive and signed as witness. The name on the document of that property up till today is Biodun Folashade Modojutimi Omotade (Mrs).
A lot of this people don’t even know me, they think I am one of those widows they can intimidate. No way. If you go to Alausa, you can conduct a search of any property. Even if it has changed hands 1000 time, you will see the first to the 1000th buyer’s track record on the documents.
Like I said there are three buildings on the property. 5a, 5B and 5c. I had paid N60million before the death of my husband. They were handing over each key as they finished.
Mama High Chief (Mrs.) Awosika is still alive, when I wanted to pay the second N30million, she loaned me N10 million, it was a cheque. She is older than me but my friend. Even my husband phoned to thank her for the gesture.
Mama Awosika told Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN when we started having issues in court about the property that it belonged to me that in fact she loaned me N10million.
When my husband died, I was traumatised. It was a plane crash. I was pregnant, I was not even thinking of any properties, I was thinking about my young children.
I also learnt months after that my husband was owing a bank. We did not own any joint accounts so I did not know anything about his financial situation.
Wema Bank wrote to me just a few months after his death to demand for repayment of his loan. They wrote to me because I was his legal wife, why did they not write to Grace? To the glory of God and for the sake of my children, I was able to pay Wema Bank after so many notices, it was tough but I had to do it.
You will not believe it, when I was struggling to pay his debt, I had not event finished the payment for that Omole property. I got the shocker of my life, when someone called me one day that I should buy Punch Newspapers that I have been sued to court.
You got a letter to pay his loan?
Yes, I got letters, they were disturbing me.
Why did you pay, why did you not fight it?
Well, Jide Bello who was the Bank Manager was someone known to me, I used to see him in our house but never knew what they were discussing. He was very close to my husband. When I got the first letter, I called him and he confirmed that indeed my husband took a loan. So I had no choice but to protect his name by paying off the loan.
Ok back to the story, you saw a court summons in Punch?
I was wondering what it was about because the house we were living belonged to the government. Deji was Permanent Secretary. So I did not quite understand what it was all about.
When I read it, I saw my name and saw how they listed hundreds of accounts and all that. I can tell you that my husband did not have up to N1million in his bank accounts. He was my friend. His salary was N230,000 and he had four children schooling abroad, how was he going to cope, he was always under pressure, so where will he get money to buy a house in Lagos?
I had never had cause to deal with any lawyer before in my life until this matter up. So I went to Afe Babalola. He was the one who took up the case and for some reason, the case was having setbacks.
I did not know what was the cause for this because I thought it was a straight forward matter, until I came to realise that Justice Oguntade, was behind the problems I was having in court.
Which Justice Oguntade
The same one. The one that was in the Supreme Court that was in London as Nigeria Ambassador.
What exactly did he do?
I do not know how he knew Grace, and was using his influence to frustrate me. He was helping Grace.
His wife, a very wonderful lady, Mrs Dupe Oguntade is aware and I confronted him. It was this case that drew me close to her. It has been 15 years since my husband left, I have paid more than N140million on legal fees because I don’t want to be cheated, I want to ensure that I get justice because I have all my records and all the documents.
Imagine spending N140million to defend your own property, it has been really painful. You see when I get a lawyer, Justice Oguntade will find a way to penetrate them.
case was before one Justice Dawodu Williams, I was living in Abuja and the case was in Lagos, so I had to shuttle to Lagos and I was nursing a baby.
one of the occasions that I came to court, Justice Dawodu Williams told me that since Tope Adebayo left Afe Babalola Chambers, no one has been appearing on my behalf in the case, I was aghast. I had paid the chambers fully.
That was how Rosemary Osula, Rosula a friend, whom I explained what happened then introduced me to Professor Abiodun Adesanya. He then took over the case and first charged me N20 million and I paid. I did not know that Prof Adesanya and Justice Oguntade were best of friends.
Suddenly, Prof. Adesanya was not going to court too, it was Justice Williams that raised an alarm when I was in Court again. He said that the Professor was coming by himself when he took over the matter but he has not been seen him for a while.
I then called Professor Adesanya to refund my money since he was no longer appearing in court as agreed. It was long after that I got to know of his friendship with Justice Oguntade. I was told that it was Oguntade that told him not to appear so that the case would favour Grace. You can imagine.
I then went to that Tope Adebayo who had just set up his own Chambers after leaving Afe Babalola. It was at one of our briefing sessions that he mistakenly said Madam, I will advise that we slow down a bit on that matter, I know asked what he meant, he was stuttering. I said slowed down for what. I am not going to slow down at all.
It was two years ago that God revealed all to me that it was Justice Oguntade that was the one pulling the strings to frustrate my effort.
How did it happen? The lawyer for Grace is Oguntade’s son in-law, Bolaji Ayorinde SAN. I never knew, I used to see him in court but never connected the dots.
He was telling someone that since he had be on that case since 2006, he had not been paid any money, he was doing it on the instruction of his father in-law, Justice Oguntade.
Eventually, I went to see Oguntade and we discussed. He still did not come clean on his involvement. I was enraged and sent him a nasty text. He said he would sue me, I said he should go ahead that God will sue him too.
I am a very bold woman and I hate being trampled upon. A friend then said I should see Mrs Dupe Oguntade, she was in Nigeria then, so I went to her and told her the whole story.
She later called her husband and Baba told her that I was rude to him and then he sent her the text that I had sent. Mrs Oguntade said I should not have sent that kind of text, I told her that she should put herself in my shoes and look at the frustration that I had gone through all these years.
And that I could not imagine that Baba will be taking sides with Grace and putting pressure on lawyers not to appear and all that, I wanted him to disclose what his interest was. That is the story of the Omole House.
What is the current status of the property?
There was a judgement. The judge who was in charge of the case, gave judgement without hearing a single word from me. He said we should go and share the property. Of course, we have gone on appeal. Bolaji Ayorinde and Grace his client till to date have not tendered a single document to prove the property belongs to Deji. Olawunmi and Wale were present when I made all the payments. This is all cheap blackmail, I will not succumb to it. That property is not the only one I have but I will not be cheated out of my sweat.
I can see that you are so emotional
So sorry that I had to become emotional, I have bottled up this frustration for 15 years, I have had it up to my neck. I cannot hold back any more. I am ready to go all the way to the Supreme Court with Grace. Like I said, God is on the throne.
This Grace, was she married to your husband?
I don’t know her status. If she claims that Deji married let her bring proof because it will mean Deji committed bigamy. He married his first wife at the Ikoyi Registry and later divorced her and married me. She is not Omotade to the best of my knowledge. They have a child together but they never married or lived together. Let her present pictures or certificate. She is Grace Olowole.
Apart from this Omole Property, do you have any issues with your late husband’s family?
I know Deji has a house with ten flats in Sango Ota, I have not been there one day to collect one kobo. He has another house in Kado Estate in Abuja. Grace is the one collecting the rent in the Abuja house and he has a house in his home town.
You don’t know the state of these properties?
It is not my business. I am not interested in what he had when I have mine. The Kado Estate house is the one I know that Deji was the one collecting the rent till he died and I have proof before this Grace took over.
She claimed that he bought it in her name, whether it true or false, I do not know. It is left for Deji’s people to go and challenge her. I am only interested in the property that I bought with my hard-earned money. I have spent more on legal fees than I would have made from selling the property.
What would you think this kind of fight would have done to your children if you had fought openly years ago?
People advised me coming out to say your husband had no money, you paid for this or that would look as if one was rubbishing their father and could hurt them particularly because they are girls.
But now my children are older, they know the truth and have seen things with their own eyes. They knew how we suffered. They all school abroad. They too are not happy and that is why when this last one happened, they gave me the go ahead to speak.
They were saying that they would not like to be walking around and hear people whispering: “look at the children whose mother sold their father’s property”. I am acting for their sake.
What is your relationship with the other members of the Omotade family?
I have no problem whatsoever with the Omotade family. They were so happy that I have even remarried. Deji’s eldest brother, Baba Omotade, he is about 90 now. His first born, Gbenga Omotade sent me a congratulatory message.
Deji’s sister, Sister Folusho, she also retired as a Civil Servant, she sent me a message. She wrote “Tell the CP that he cannot take my wife without my approval…We are happy for you, congratulations”
How has this last 15 years been for you?
Apart from this court issue and the embarrassment, I think God has been good to me. Everything has been Ok.I have witnessed what they call favour of God. Being a widow, everywhere I have been, people have had sympathy for me and treated me well.
I must add that when you have problems, not everyone who comes is genuine. I was once duped while still in mourning but after that, I became stronger.
All I did was to face my business and take care of my children. I was busy with my work, and when I am free, I attend parties. I have had no challenges.
How have the children adjusted?
They adjusted well. My first daughter was in form two when it happened. Today, she is a Lawyer. The one that was in my stomach is in final year in Secondary school. It was not easy but with God, I have coped well. They have all been in school and I have been living alone for the past ten years.
So that is why you decided to try marriage again?
Yes, I needed someone that I can be chatting with. I am very close to my children. We discuss any and everything. I needed a companion.
Now, let’s talk about your new marriage, how has it been?
It has been nice, I feel very young again. The things that I have forgotten for 15 years, I am going back to them. For example, I have been my own boss, sleeping and waking up when I like, I cook when and what I like but that is not so any more. I was the Commander in-chief of my house but now I have a boss.
So how are you adjusting to this new set up?
I am adjusting well. It is a gradual process. It has not been easy at all. What has helped us is that he is someone I had known since 1993. It is a reconnection.
What qualities did you see that made you decide to spend the rest of your life with CP Odomosu?
He is the kind of man that I like. I don’t like soft men. I like man with a lion heart. He is assertive and hardworking. But when you move close to him, you will discover that he is very soft.
What of your children?
They are also handling it well. I opened up to them and got their blessing before we even started dating. For a long time I had no boyfriend, and people around me knew this including my children. After that experience of the man who duped me, I did not trust men again.
When he came, I was a bit relaxed but cautious too. When I knew him then, he was working with my first cousin, AIG Bolata. Bolata was ACP then but he was DSP.
So when he began to make his move, I called my cousin to find out his opinion. He told me my husband had not changed but the only quarrel he can have with anyone is if he is told not to do his work. I also spoke to two of my friends who were closer to him. They also said he is a good man and we are now here.
So what do you desire from this union?
Happiness and joy and like I said companionship. Someone that will pamper you. Someone that will call and ask; have you eaten? What did you eat? How is your business? Also, I want to add that we relate very well on the intellectual level too.
He is a teacher, a lawyer and a policemen. He is also a writer. At times we relate like Teacher and student. But in all, I am just taking each day as it comes and enjoying every bit of this experience.