By Michael Effiong
After many months of family squabbles, back-biting and mutual distrust, the 17 year-old marriage of Nigeria’s immediate past High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and retired Supreme Court Justice, H.E. George Adesola Oguntade and wife, Chief (Mrs) Modupeola Wemimo Oguntade, has hit the rocks.
Credible sources revealed to The Boss that things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold for the celebrated couple as madam was sent packing from their Lekki, Lagos home on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Her exit that day occurred after a serious altercation which led to her stuffing her belonging and valuables into many suitcases, hurling them into a waiting pick-up van and driving out of the premises.
In deed, what has transpired in the Oguntade Household is akin to what usually plays out in the popular 90s sit-com, Fuji House of Commotion.
The Boss learnt that the marriage had faced challenges from the outset and chief among the problems was the stiff opposition mounted by Oguntade’s children whose names according to Wikipedia are: Abosede Snr., Abimbola, Folu (SAN), Deola, Daniel, Yetunde Abosede Jnr and Jide.
For some inexplicable reasons, the children made their opposition to their father’s choice for second wife very obvious. They were far from accommodating, and it was no surprise that Mrs. Oguntade too kept them at arm’s length. Then began the battle for Justice Oguntade’s heart and attention.
Unknown to the children, Justice Oguntade had known Mrs Oguntade, (who was previously married to Dr. Jimi Okunola Aina) for whom she bore all her three children: Jimi, Ayodele and Folusho from way back.
We gathered that the duo actually met in 1961 through her uncle, Alhaji Nurudeen Shitta-Bey, the 7th Seriki Musulumi of Lagos.
Modupe, who was a toddler then had come to see her uncle off to England at Apapa Wharf; Lagos, Oguntade was also there to celebrate with his friend.
Therefore, when Justice Oguntade and Modupe reunited, it was a case of deep respect, devotion and love. She was so respectful that she calls him “Baba” (father) due to the age difference between them.
The Boss gathered that at the Oguntade home, Mrs. Oguntade’s word was law, she held court without any resistance. She was so fully in charge that when the step children visit, they would be welcomed downstairs. They did not have the temerity to venture to the upper chambers of the house!
In no time, the duo became one of the most celebrated couples on the Lagos social scene on account of the status of Justice Oguntade as well as the powerful fashion statement that was always made by his wife, who had a good sense of style.
Over time, Mrs Oguntade seemed to have settled into her role and along the line too, she was able to win over one of her step daughters, a move that caused rancour between the children.
The Oguntade’s looked like your dream couple, always smiling and looking happy, but away from the prying eyes of the public, it was a ticking time bomb!
Despite the issues, multiple sources revealed to The Boss that Mrs Oguntade doted on the husband, and showered Tender, Loving Care on him all the time, and that was why, despite his children’s seeming angst, he stood firmly by her.
The Boss gathered that at the Oguntade home, Mrs. Oguntade’s word was law. She held court without any resistance. She was so fully in charge that when the step children visit, they would be welcomed downstairs. They did not have the temerity to venture to the upper chambers of the house!
In 2017, Justice Oguntade got the juicy appointment of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and was obviously joyous, but members of his family were reading the situation differently.
For his wife, moving to London was an opportunity to take complete charge of her man and flourish, away from her pesky step children.
The children on the other hand were in a state of panic; they felt this would further alienate them.
They allegedly began to spread words to family members and friends that they needed better access to their father because Mrs Oguntade had not been doing a good job of caring for him. They even said she was bullying the old man!
Meanwhile, his arrival in London was big news! His historic visit to meet Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace was well captured for posterity by Ovation International Magazine. It was a day of sheer grandeur.
About the occasion, the British Vogue of December 6, 2017 captioned it: “Queen Elizabeth turned a matchy matchy fashion moment with Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom”.
The High Commission’s Newsletter also had high praise for Mrs. Oguntade’s years in Abuja House.
It wrote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” -Mahatma Ghandi
“The resumption of His Excellency Justice G. A.Oguntade as the Nigeria High Commissioner to United Kingdom in 2017 was made more prominent all over the world when he visited the Queen with his wife, Her Excellency (Mrs.) Modupe Oguntade wearing the Nigeria National dress in colour sync with the Queen’s dress. That is the kind of aura H.E. Mr Modupe Oguntade carries with her.
In pursuit of her passion, H.E (Mrs.) Modupe Oguntade loves to bring smiles to the faces of children, and the Nigerian children in Diaspora were not left out.
She organised a Children’s Day funfair on May 27, 2018. Prior to this occasion, there had never been such of its kind in the history of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
She was determined to offer hope, light and fun to the children of Nigerians in the Diaspora living in United Kingdom, to see and feel the beauty of our diverse culture, languages, food and most especially, the need to continue to promote Nigeria through the children.
The event was graced by Nigerians in Diaspora and their children, staff of Nigeria High Commission, London and their children. It was held at the Baden Powell House SW7 5JS. Channels Television and BEN TV UK covered the beautiful event, hosted and personally sponsored by H.E Mrs Modupe Oguntade, and supported friends.
Surely, it was a day of unlimited fun for the children and their parents as they jumped on the bouncy castles, danced to music, learnt how to drum (African drums), face painting, African games, varieties of food and most especially, the Nigerian jollof! The children wished the day never came to an end as the memories of the event will linger.
Furthermore, each child had a souvenir (Book: Colour Me Nigerian authored by Bukky Alakija and Nathalie Sofola) to take home courtesy of H.E (Mrs) Modupe Oguntade.
As part of the commonwealth countries, Nigeria partakes in all Commonwealth events in the United Kingdom. The Commonwealth Fair is an annual fair organised by Commonwealth Countries League.
Each commonwealth country gets to have a stand to display their food, culture, arts and craft etc.
On resumption, H. E Justice G. A Oguntade as the Nigeria High Commissiner to the United Kingdom, his wife, H.E Mrs Modupe Oguntade, customarily represented Nigeria at the fair alongside other women who were wives of the diplomatic staff of the Nigeria High Commission in November 2018.
Thinking out of the box is one of the qualities of H.E Mrs Modupe Oguntade, she made sure the Nigerian stood out! By ensuring all the women at the Nigeria stand tie uniformed “Gele” (asoebi) . This caused a lot of stare at the fair and garnered a lot of visitors to the Nigeria stand.
In a bid to support the Commonwealth Countries League, Her Excellency Mrs Oguntade hosted a summer gala in July 2019 to raise funds and awareness for projects of the Commonwealth Countries League which included education of girls, women empowerment, health and wellbeing .
She invited many dignitaries from Nigeria, and Nigerians in the Diaspora. Guests from countries of the Commonwealth were also present to join her in raising funds.
Trust H.E Mrs Oguntade, her guests had lots of fun; they danced to good music in the garden at the residence of the Nigeria High Commissioner “Abuja House”. The weather was good, the sun smiled on everyone present, delicious Nigerian food was available as the day went by so fast.
Christmas in the United Kingdom cannot be compared to how we celebrate in Nigeria. In Nigeria, festive period are fun moments to visit friends and families, have a good party and rock the moment. H.E Mrs Modupe Oguntade made sure she personally hosted the children of the staff of Nigeria High Commission, London to a Christmas party each year since 2017.
The children get well wrapped Christmas gifts courtesy of H.E Mrs Modupe Oguntade. You can also call her “Santa Claus”. Adults were not left out of the merriment as they listened to the rendition of good music and good food.
From all indications she was having a superb time at the High Commission that was until some unsavoury stories began to hit the social media.
The stories gave a very contrary picture to the one painted above, they accused Mrs Oguntade of extortion, high-handedness and worse of all, infidelity! She was described as debauched and decadent.
Of course, she was very disturbed by these stories, her only feeling was that it was the handiwork of her enemies back home in Nigeria.
The stories still did not abate as preparations began for the March 10, 2020, 80th birthday celebration of her husband.
An 80th birthday ordinarily should be an occasion to celebrate, rejoice and unite as a family but this event seemed to have ignited the bile within the Oguntade family-and that was when the cookie crumbled.
As the Matron of the house, Mrs Oguntade was in charge of all arrangements, of course, the family felt shut out because they had virtually no major role to play, but were left with no choice than to fall in line just to ensure that the Patriarch was happy.
The event itself was filled with splendour, colour and glamour, and as expected was attended by Nigeria’s rich and famous.
Held at the Hilton, Park Lane, it was the height of elegance and exclusivity. The Oguntade family and their 350 special guests had a great time. All members of the family were in attendance.
The Holy Communion service was officiated by the Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Feran while music was provided by Evangelist Ebenezer Obey.
Held in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, some rumpus emanated from the high-calibre ceremony as the rumour mill was agog with the news that some guests had contracted the virus and that in fact two people died.
This was later debunked by Chief Olusegun Osoba and Ovation Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu, who both attended the birthday party.
It was later discovered that only one guest died days after attending the birthday and his death was due to other health complications that had nothing to do with COVID-19.
While the coronavirus story was making waves in the social media, bigger problems had engulfed the House of Oguntade.
First, the step daughter who was in the corner of Mrs Oguntade reportedly broke ranks with her over a phone conversation that she overheard.
That was not all, there was an incident of a missing suitcase. We gathered that the suitcase where all the gifts and cash presented to the celebrant was, disappeared from the Hilton.
A few phone calls later, it was discovered that one of Mrs Oguntade’s guests who had been given a ride on the private jet of Premier Lotto Chairman and Odole of Ife, Sir Kesington Adebutu had checked in the said luggage!
An enraged Justice Oguntade reportedly told Sir Kesington to kindly take the suitcase for safekeeping and later allegedly tongue-thrashed the wife.
Our sources revealed that the couple had such a bitter quarrel that week that they were not only on speaking terms but Justice Oguntade had gone ahead to give his wife the marching orders. This marked the beginning of the end as things seemed to snowball afterwards.
The news from London was cheering for the Oguntade children who had all along been only tolerating their step mother. Now joined by their sibling who had hitherto broken ranks, they decided, in their words, to rescue their father.
When Justice Oguntade and Modupe reunited, it was a case of deep respect, devotion and love. She was so respectful that she calls him “Baba” (father) due to the age difference between them.
They reportedly accused Mrs Oguntade of systematically drugging their father with psychotic drugs especially Trazodone, and manipulating him to favour her and her children. They also accused her of selling cars that had been presented to him as gifts without his knowledge as well as even starving him of food!
In London though, the situation had somehow become better and Justice Oguntade and wife had mended fences.
In fact, she had almost convinced her husband to stay put in London and not return to Nigeria again but he insisted that he had to return home, of course the children were also putting pressure. That was how they both flew on British Airways to Nigeria a week ago.
A mild drama ensued in the Oguntade Lekki home as the couple were flying into town.
Jimi Aina, eldest son of Mrs Oguntade had got wind that the step children were plotting to lock his mother out of her home and arranged security protection in form of some soldiers. The fully-armed men were dispatched to Lekki.
Not to be outdone, the children reached out to top persons in the security too, and they were able to get Police officers of their own to also stand guard.
The situation could have degenerated into a show of force and even worse if not for the intervention of Lagos Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu. He, it was, who was able to speak with Jimi, urged the soldiers to stand down and some form of normalcy eventually returned. Some police men were then stationed on the street near the residence to keep the peace.
That was not all, news also filtered through that the children were going to storm the airport to stop Mrs Oguntade from even entering her husband’s car but they were told that such an action will be embarrassing to their father, so they jettisoned the idea.
Our sources revealed that just to calm frayed nerves, it was a close of friend of Mrs Modupe Oguntade, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya and her husband, Aare of Lagos, Chief Rasak Okoya who arranged airport security and vehicles to ferry the Oguntade’s home. But the battle line had been drawn.
So it was no surprise that a few days after their arrival, Mrs Oguntade and her step daughter, Deola, who is married to Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN had an altercation.
Her exit that day occurred after a serious altercation which led to her stuffing her belongings and valuables into many suitcases, hurling them into a waiting pick-up van and driving out of the premises
We gathered that Mrs Oguntade was angry that the Oguntade children led by Mrs Deola Ayorinde had sent the cooks away without her knowledge. They were only brought back that day. The hot exchanges of the two women attracted Justice Oguntade.
The wife complained that the daughter had hitherto called her a thief who stole plates and a piano from London, and now had the temerity to order her cooks around.
“I am tired. This is too much. This is my house. The atmosphere is too toxic and I would not take it anymore”, Mrs Oguntade reportedly yelled. She also noted that the problem in the family had caused her to develop High Blood Pressure.
Her husband explained that he, in fact, sent the cooks away,because they looked more like bouncers than cooks but she would have none of it because according to her, for years, she had been in charge of her kitchen and domestic affairs, and it was impossible for him to suddenly change overnight.
It was a very heated encounter in the presence of Jide, Oguntade’s last son.
For some inexplicable reasons, the children made their opposition to their father’s choice for second wife very obvious. They were far from accommodating and it was no surprise that Mrs Oguntade too kept them at arm’s length. Then began the battle for Justice Oguntade’s heart and attention
In fact, Mrs. Oguntade accused the step daughter of being the brain behind the negative social media stories written about her earlier in the year and while also speaking, referred to Jide as her son.
But Mrs Ayorinde interjected. She countered that Jide was not, because Mrs Oguntade had never treated him as one. She reportedly said, “Don’t call him your son, all your three sons have at least one house each where is Jide’s own?” He also accused her and her sons of orchestrating Jide’s ouster from his job.
Also, Mrs Oguntade told her step daughter not to come to her house to give any orders, the step daughter fired back that she was in her father’s house and had her rights. While also accusing her step mother of raising her voice against the dad.
The back and forth went on for a few minutes and Justice Oguntade, who was there all along, was so embarrassed that he left the scene.
On the night of Wednesday, October 14, some prominent Nigerians including Chief Okoya were at the residence allegedly to appeal to Justice Oguntade.
We even heard that in the course of the discussion, Mrs Oguntade was accused of infidelity. She vehemently declared that she was innocent and wrongly accused. She reportedly swore by the Bible and Quran.
Another argument erupted on Thursday, leading to a shouting match between Justice Oguntade and wife. This one was so bad that the domestic staff had to call the children.
We were told that at this stage Justice Oguntade had called his wife’s family members including her mother, informing them that he had had enough from his wife.
When the Chiildren arrived they realised that their father had not been fed and also raised alarm at his shabby treatment by their step mother.
It was in the presence of the children that the respected Jurist said that he was no longer interested and that it was all over. He then ordered the wife out of their home!
We were told that Mrs Oguntade was adamant that she was not leaving, she said she was not going to step an inch out of the house, and almost engaged him in a fight, accusing him of taking the action because of his dalliances.
She reportedly told him that she was not going anywhere because she had nowhere to go.
The respected Justice reportedly replied that he had built three houses for her three sons in Lekki and also built a house for her mother, Mrs Alexandria Motolani Adufe Haastrup (whom we learnt she has a strained relationship with recently); that she was free to move to any of them.
When it was obvious that Justice Oguntade was serious about his order for her to leave, Mrs Oguntade aided by the domestic staff packed over 100 suitcases filled with clothes, watches and jewellery and left. She allegedly also cleared out his suits, belts and other personal effects!
For now, the children seem to have won the battle of taking control of Justice Oguntade’s life and properties.
With their new leverage, the children had taken immediate action. We heard that they have already taken possession of a land allegedly owned by Justice Oguntade that was being developed by Mrs Oguntade’s sons. And to ensure he was not lonely , they and some close family members now take turns to be by his side.
Though we do not know where Mrs Modupe Oguntade, (who does not have any child for the husband) is living at the moment, sources revealed that close family friends like Chief Rasak Akanni Okoya and Oba of Lagos have waded into the matter with a view of settling the brouhaha and bringing the erstwhile lovebirds back together again.
MEET THE HON. JUSTICE OGUNTADE
George Adesola Oguntade, CFR, CON was born on March 10, 1940. He is from Epe, Lagos, and served as justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from May 19, 2004 to May 10, 2010.
He started his early education in Epe before attending Holborn College of Law in 1964 and proceeded to the Nigeria Law School in 1965, and was called to the Bar on January 15, 1966. He was in private legal service for 14 years before being appointed a Judge of the Lagos High Court in 1980.
Between 1984 and 1986, he served as the Chairman of the Armed Robbery and Firearms Tribunal in Lagos State.
In September 1987, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. He served as Justice of the Court of Appeal Enugu, Enugu State from September 1987 – September 1993; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Ibadan, Oyo State from September 1993 – September 1995; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Jos, Plateau State – September 1995 – December 1998; Presiding Justice Court of Appeal, Lagos, Lagos State from January 1999 – December 2002 and Presiding Justice Court of Appeal, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory from January 2003 – May 2004.
Such were his sound judgments at the High Court that they were hardly over-turned by the Appellate Court. In the same vein, he worked very hard to clear back-logs of appeals at the four Appellate Courts over which he presided. Among the celebrated cases he presided over or co-handled were:
- Justice Anyebe Vs Benue [the Judge was sacked by the State Government, but the appeal court reinstated him after a reprimand.
- Amaechi Vs Omehia/PDP [Amaechi’s name was replaced by Omehia’s after the former was duly nominated. Omehia won the election, and the court ordered him to relinquish office to Amaechi as the authentic candidate and winner of the Rivers state Governorship elections.
Justice Oguntade’s tenure at the Supreme Court of Nigeria witnessed the delivery of many landmark judgments, which have impacted significantly on our legal system, particularly in the area of constitutional and administrative law. A fearless and courageous judge, thorough and resolute in his reasoning, Justice Oguntade would not hesitate to disagree with his colleagues when the need arise.
In his dissenting judgment of the appeal by the Presidential candidate of the ANPP, General Muhammadu Buhari [Rtd.] against the declared winner, President Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP, Hon. Justice Oguntade annulled the election and ordered a re-run.
Interestingly, the President was to admit later that the election was flawed. So sound were his dissenting/minority judgments that rather than alienate him from his colleagues; they have set the tone for younger legal practitioners to explore other angles to similar cases.
Indeed, his understanding of the law and the adjudicatory process as manifested in his judgments, are reference points to lawyers and law students alike. By his incisive and analytical pronouncements, he has contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria.
On the 19th of May 2004, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. His tenure on the Supreme Court Bench witnessed the delivery of several landmark Judgments [including several dissents] which substantially impacted on many areas of law, particularly in the realm of constitutional and administrative law. Many of his dissenting judgments have attained the status of “locus classicus” and remain the subject of discourse and analysis in law schools and legal circles.
Justice Oguntade retired from the Supreme Court Bench on the 10th day of March 2010 having attained the statutory retirement age of 70 years. In April 2010, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria decorated him with the national honours of “Commander of the Federal Republic” (CFR) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of law in Nigeria. Before then he had received the National honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger.
On September 16, 2015, George was appointed Chancellor of the Lagos State University Governing Council by Akinwunmi Ambode. George Oguntade assumed duty as High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Kingdom on 9th October, 2017.
They reportedly accused her of systematically drugging their father with psychotic drugs especially Trazodone, and manipulating him to favour her and her children. They also accused her of selling cars that had been presented to him as gifts without his knowledge.
Justice George Oguntade has over the years been invited to different fora to share his knowledge, experiences and perspectives on various aspects of law and jurisprudence.
Among his refreshing & illuminating presentations are:
- Barrier to Justice — The Nigerian Experience” [International Bar Association Conference, Chicago, USA];
- Fighting Corruption and Money Laundering in Banking” [International Symposium on Economic Crimes, Cambridge, England];
- Dissenting Judgments and Judicial Lawmaking” [Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies]; and
- Surely Justice is denied When Delayed” [Transcorp Hilton, Abuja]
Beyond the Judiciary, Justice Oguntade has also served society in many other roles.
He is Chairman, Customer Complaint Bureau, Nigerian Insurers Association and member, World Jurist Association.
He has been Chancellor of Anglican Diocese of Lagos since 1992 and the recipient of the First Anglican Communion National Award for Integrity & Excellence.
A TESTIMONIAL FOR MRS MODUPE OGUNTADE
By Dr. Boma Douglas MSc PhD CEng MEI Chartered Energy Engineer Chairman
Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK)
I wish to confirm that Mrs Modupe Oguntade the wife of the High Commissioner Justice George Oguntade have been of sterling character since her husband resumed office here in the United Kingdom.
My initial experience with Her Excellency was when the High Commissioner started a tour of the United Kingdom to meet Nigerians in the major Cities. As Chair of the Central Association of Nigerians (CANUK) the Umbrella Body of all Nigerian Associations in the UK, I was part of the entourage. Mrs Oguntade was always with the husband. She communicated well with everyone on the team of the entourage and members of the Nigerian Community on every trip. She always carried herself with the respect and dignity worthy of her status.
The tour became the strength and unifier of the Nigerian Community. Here in the UK the Nigerian Community are full of good ideas which meant that conveners would need the presence of the High Commissioner to endorse their projects.
Mrs Oguntade was always with her husband in such occasions. She greeted all who approached her with so much humility and acceptance that people have seen her as one simple Member of the Community. Mrs Oguntade supported several charities here in the United Kingdom one of which was for people with learning difficulties and their families and she did such in company of His Excellency. Mrs Modupe Oguntade is a pride to the Nigerian Community here in the United Kingdom by her wisdom when she gave advice using her religious doctrine. Her doors were open to all, she never discriminates, and she accepted every one with a smile and dignity. Never in the history of the past thirty years of the High Commission have we had such a visible and approachable wife of a High Commissioner.
I have stated this with serious conviction as a friend of the Mission for so many years. Mrs Oguntade is trustworthy, Respectful, fair and responsible and caring. My position as Chairman of CANUK indicates that I am the leader of millions of well-meaning Nigerians who feel exactly the same about Mrs Modupe Oguntade. I strongly recommend her for the highest of authorities who may wish to take her into confidence. For any further enquiries do not hesitate to contact me.