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Nigerians Celebrate President Tinubu at 72

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By Eric Elezuo

On Friday, March 29, 2024, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, clocked 72 years. But the president chose to skip this year’s celebration in recognition of the hardship in the land. However, loyalists of the president  thought otherwise, and went to town with elaborate publicity of the president’s birthday with some buying up front pages of most national dailies.

Consequently, Nigerians of various creed have trooped out to offer congratulatory messages to honour Mr President as he celebrates 72 years of existence.

For a start, the Council of 108 former Senators from his All Progressives Congress (APC) paid him glowing tribute, reiterating his indomitable “warrior” spirit in confronting Nigeria’s challenges head-on.

In a statement signed by the Convener and Protem Chairman of the APC Non-Serving Senators Council, Senator Basheer Lado, the former lawmakers hailed Tinubu as the “Jagaban warrior” who has fearlessly led the nation’s economic fight.

The statement read: “As the Jagaban warrior, you have fearlessly led our country on the economic war, chatting a path towards prosperity and growth.

“Under your leadership, Nigeria’s stance on the global stage is undergoing a profound strengthening.

“As fellow members of the APC Non-Serving Senators Council, we stand united in our commitment to support you in your endeavors. Together we will continue to work tirelessly to advance the interests of our party and the Nigerian people.”

 

The Cross Rivers State Governor, Bassey Otu, also took time out to celebrate Tinubu, describing him as a brave leader who is on a mission to change the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria.

Otu, in a press release signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, felicitated with Tinubu on his 72nd birthday, saying he is a rare gift to the nation.

“I want to wish you, Mr. President, a special birthday as you clock 72 years today. You’re one of the most extraordinary and inspirational leaders of our time. Indeed, you are a rare gift to our country, Nigeria…

“In less than a month as president, you demonstrated uncommon bravery, exemplary and fearless leadership, remarkable vision and Solomonic wisdom, even as you continue to lead with elegance and grace…

“Despite the huge responsibility on your shoulders, daunting horizon to conquer, huge expectations to fulfil, and milestones to achieve for the country, you have kept your eyes on the ball, while staying focused and steadfast in steering the ship of the country with such nimble mind.

“On behalf of the government and the good people of Cross River State, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to you, your Excellency on your birthday.”

 

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, was not left out in the avalanche of congratulatory messages to congratulate Tinubu on his 72nd birthday. He described him as a transformational leader.

Mr Akpabio, in a message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, further described Tinubu as a developmental democrat and bridge builder.

“As a transformational leader, His Excellency President Bola Tinubu leads from the front.

“This is exemplified in his developmental strides as governor of Lagos State and since coming on stream as the commander-in-chief and president of Nigeria.

“As a developmental democrat, he has over the decades demonstrated uncommon commitment in nurturing and instituting a firm foundation for democracy in Nigeria.

“As a bridge builder, he has remained the greatest mobiliser of men and women in contemporary Nigeria and the politician with the most robust political machinery.

“Mr President, as you mark 72 years today, I, on behalf of my family, the good people of my Senatorial district, Akwa Ibom, and, of course, the National Assembly, wish you good health and many more prosperous years ahead.

“Your Excellency, may God give you the strength and wisdom to re-engineer and reposition Nigeria for today and posterity.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) also described President Tinubu as a true patriot, statesman and visionary leader who has made significant contributions to the enthronement of democracy and nation-building

Felix Morka, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, said this in a statement in Abuja.

“On this day, we celebrate a true patriot, statesman, veteran democrat and visionary leader.

“We proudly salute a pre-eminent party man, an exemplary progressive, a tireless builder and founding architect of our great party.

“The APC family stands united with President Tinubu as he continues his illustrious service to our dear country,” the statement revealed.

The Leader of the Senate, Opeyemi Bamidele, has also felicitated President Tinubu on his 72nd birthday, describing him as a timeless doyen.

This was contained in a statement titled “Ode to People’s President,” personally signed by the Senator.

“Today, I celebrate a timeless doyen of democracy and an astute mentor of many leaders, President Bola Tinubu.

“By global standards, Asiwaju is truly a man of the people and the visionary of our times, who devoted his life to pursuing the greatest goods for the greatest number of people.

“Born on March 29, 1952, Asiwaju’s foray into politics in 1991 was never a mistake, though it came with a huge sacrifice that cost dearly.

“As a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I celebrate how Asiwaju firmly stood with the people rather than dining with the military oligarchy that annulled the outcome of the June 12, 1993, presidential election ostensibly won by Chief M.K.O Abiola (now of blessed memory).

“At 72, as the President of Nigeria, Asiwaju has brought rare conviction and passion to the business of public governance, courageously daring the forces of regression and tirelessly pursuing the interests of over 227 million regardless of their faith, ideology and race.

“The task is truly daunting, but the victory is undoubted. Only within ten months of Asiwaju’s ascendancy to the presidency, we have started witnessing the dawning of economic restoration and the ray of political renaissance under his watch.

“As I nostalgically reflect on the journey so far, I remember his labour and toiling for our fatherland, even when most misunderstood. I remember his undying passion to lead the path to a greater nation, even when the future looks so bleak and always unsure.

“That is the reality in our fatherland today. Asiwaju is at the forefront of that reality. And we are all witnesses to this history, even from its making to its maturation,” he said.

The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, also celebrated President Tinubu as he marks his 72nd birthday.

Abiodun described Tinubu as a democrat and visionary leader passionately committed to the emergence of Nigeria as an economic powerhouse.

He noted that since he assumed office, Tinubu has demonstrated astuteness, resilience, and a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of the people.

Abiodun said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the occasion of his 72nd birthday. This milestone is not only a celebration of a remarkable life well-lived but also an opportunity to acknowledge the president’s exceptional contributions to the growth and development of our great nation, Nigeria.

“President Tinubu has undeniably proven himself as a formidable politician, a visionary leader, and a champion of democracy. His unwavering commitment to the principles of democracy and good governance has left an indelible mark on our nation’s political landscape.”

The Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, in a message posted on X, said, “Today, I extend my heartfelt felicitations to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic, on this remarkable occasion of his 72nd birthday. Your political journey from the Senate to the Governorship of Lagos State, and now to the Presidency, represents your unwavering commitment to our nation.

“The resilience and commitment you have demonstrated through your political leadership offer invaluable lessons for us all. I have confidence that with your leadership, we will surmount the socio-political and economic challenges we face. Now more than ever, it is imperative to unite and support your vision for a prosperous Nigeria.

“I call upon every Nigerian to join hands in solidarity and offer the cooperation and support necessary for the implementation of policies that will lead us to a brighter future.

“Rest assured, Mr. President, you have the full support of the Abia State Government. Together, we will work tirelessly to ensure the economic hurdles before us are overcome.

“On behalf of my family, the government, and the esteemed people of Abia State, I extend to you our warmest wishes for a splendid birthday celebration filled with joy and happiness and many more years of invaluable service to our beloved country”, he wrote.

Other notable figures that felicitated with the president on his 72nd birthday included the governors of Ondo, Lucky Aiyetidawa; Kogi Usman Ododo; Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ekiti, Oyebanji and Osun, Ademola Adeleke.

Others are members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos APC and political leaders, former Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, APC Edo governorship candidate, Okpebholo, Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Abbass and Deputy, Barau, former Ekiti governor, Kayode among g a host of others.

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Threat to Life, Property: Aderinokun’s Wife Cries Out to Sanwo-Olu

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By Eric Elezuo

Mrs. Olufunlola Aderinokun, widow of late former Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Bank, Tayo Aderinokun, has raised alarm over illegal, dangerous construction and encroachment into her property, Rehoboth Place, situated along Banana Island Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, by the Shell Staff Cooperative Investment and Thrift Society Limited, alerting Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu through an S.O.S letter to intervene, call the offenders to order, and save her building, its occupants and the general public from more present and unforeseen harm.

Speaking exclusively to The Boss, Mrs. Aderinokun lamented the recalcitrant stance of the Shell Staff Cooperative Investment and Thrift Society Limited, whose building shares a common perimeter fence with Rehoboth Place, and how they have continued their illegal construction, which has consistently defaced Rehoboth Place, in spite of cautions and deterring efforts employed by the government and the residents of Rehoboth Place.

“You need to visit the site to see how these people have defaced an already sitting building, causing structural damages as well as keeping residents of Rehoboth Place on their toes for fear of more structure collapse and/or imminent danger to lives,” she said.

Recalling that Rehoboth Place was built since 2016 according to all laid down construction rules and specifications, she further stated that on many occasions, the scaffolds and other heavy duty equipment including spanners and huge iron bars, used by the Shell Staff Coop builders, have collapsed and dropped into Rehoboth Place building, causing untold structural defacing and fear of possible fatal bodily harm to the residents. This, according to her, is because the Shell Staff Coop building is less than two metres away from the common fence, while the recommended spacing is from six meters.

Recounting to The Boss the genesis of her ordeal with the building developers and the Lagos State government with the General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whom she believes is showing unbelievable favour to Shell Staff Coop at the expense of injuries to lives and properties at Rehoboth Place, Mrs Aderinokun, a 67 years old retired widow, who claims that she can neither sleep well in her own bedroom nor park her car in her own compound because of the noise, danger, debris and mutilation from the Shell Staff Coop construction, narrated that the whole illegality, as she termed it, is dated back to 2020, when the Shell Staff Coop building construction started the piling work.

“As at then, I was not in the country, and because of the COVID-19 issue, many things were played down. However, when I returned to the country in August 2021, after one and half years away from Nigeria, I discovered that they had damaged my property, Rehoboth Place, extensively. My own letting agent didn’t tell me, but was rather negotiating with the offenders on how to repair the damages. Naturally, I was furious and demanded both a halt on the project and thorough compensation for the extensive damage. Note that by then, at Rehoboth Place, a bungalow, the bore hole, the perimeter fence, and other structures were already completely compromised beyond repair.

“However, in 2023, I mobilised structural engineers and the company that built Rehoboth Place originally, Cappa and D’Alberto Ltd, to begin repairs of all the damages that Shell Staff Coop caused. The Engineers wrote off the compromised bungalow and common fence, and insisted that they must be brought down completely before repairs could commence.

“However, while they were carrying out repair and reconstruction works, materials from the Shell Staff Coop construction continued to drop inside the compound from very high levels, making it impossible for safe and healthy work to continue at Rehoboth Place. Debris of cement, water, polystyrene particles and bars, tools and other dangerous materials were constantly dropping into Rehoboth Place from high levels, and so the workmen had to abandon the job, and ran for dear life. It wasn’t safe. It was not healthy. Cappa & D’Alberto Ltd wrote to demobilise from the site of Rehoboth Place in July 2023, and cannot return to the site till date because of the danger from Shell Staff Coop construction, while Lagos State looks away!

“As at today, I can’t park my car in my own compound. The huge terrace at Rehoboth Place, next to the building of Shell Staff Coop and the swimming pool at Rehoboth Place, have not been usable since May 2023, till date. While I was getting ready to sue Shell Staff Coop for the damages caused to the building, the scaffolding of Shell Staff Coop fell on the 5th floor of Rehoboth Place on 19th July 2023. This could amount to a criminal offence under the laws of Lagos State as it constitutes danger to human life and public safety,” she said.

Mrs Aderinokun’s complaints to the Lagos State Building Control Agency, under Mr Gbolahan Oki, led to an inspection and subsequent sealing of the site to stop further construction in July 2023.

“Mr Oki stated to me over the phone on 1st November 2023 that the Shell Staff Coop will pay for the damages, and that, ‘even if it’s the governor that is the one building there, they (Lagos State) will do the right thing’. I’m surprised that Mr. Oki is the one who’s no longer responding to the matter today. And on January 15, 2024, the Lagos State government allowed Shell Staff Coop to return to site, and resume construction, alarmingly without addressing any of the reasons for sealing up the Shell Staff Coop building for almost 6 months! The knocks from the close construction of Shell Staff Coop woke me up from my bed on 15th January 2024 and have continued until now, 7 days a week,” she noted.

As a follow up, Aderinokun recalled that on January 20, 2024, writing in her capacity as the Director of her company, Quadro Investment Limited, owner of the property, Rehoboth Place, she again appealed to the Lagos State Building Control Agency via the General Manager, and re-detailed the hazards that the construction of the Shell Staff Coop portend, and continues to unleash, and appealed that the government should put a stop to the building or at most curtail the dangers inherent. She wondered why the construction was allowed to resume six months after sealing up, with nothing to show that due diligence has been done.

The letter, which was titled “Re: Construction of Multiple Storey Building Against Building Regulations Along Banana Island Road, Etisalat LGA, Ikoyi, Lagos, Which Shares a Common Perimeter Fence with Our Property, Rehoboth Place”, reminded the Agency that the ongoing construction of the Shell Staff Coop, was sealed up by Lagos State officials on July 25 2023, when they visited and they discovered certain unpalatable infractions including absence of airspace and protection against damage to the adjoining premises of Rehoboth Place and others, among many other inanities.

In their capacity as a regulatory agency, the LSBCA had, in July 2023, assessed the scene and discovered as follows:

1. That the safety nets were not properly installed,

2. Blockade of public drainage facilities as a result of the construction work,

3. Damage of adjoining property due to effects of construction,

4. Inadequate airspace of right side of the structure.

Therefore, the Agency came up with certain recommendations, which were pasted on the fence of the construction site of Shell Building Cooperative. The recommendation was a point-blank order to stop the construction of the building as a result of the following reasons: 1. The development was unauthorized 2. The development did not conform to the planning permit issued by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority. 3. There’s no authorization to commence construction by LSBCA as required by law, and 4. The structure erected is contrary to Building Control Standards.

The Agency concluded its recommendation with sealing up authorization that the building should stop henceforth with the service of the Order.

“That was on 25 July 2023, but the construction resumed on 15 January 2024 with no evidence of the noted hazards controlled, and events at the site have continued to put Rehoboth Place and its occupants in harm’s way, The 10 inches spanner fell onto the ground floor of Rehoboth Place on 29th January 2024, from a height of about 7 or more floors of the building of the Shell Staff Coop! If the spanner had fallen on the head of anyone at Rehoboth Place, the fatality that could have happened can only be imagined” Aderinokun lamented.

The letter is presented in details below:

22 January 2024.

The General Manager,
Lagos State Building Control Agency,
Muiz Banire Street,
Off Oba Akinjobi Way,
GRA, Ikeja.

Dear Sir,

RE: CONSTRUCTION OF MULTIPLE STOREY BUILDING AGAINST BUILDING REGULATIONS ALONG BANANA ISLAND ROAD, ETI-OSA L.G.A. IKOYI, LAGOS; WHICH SHARES A COMMON PERIMETER FENCE WITH OUR PROPERTY REHOBOTH PLACE.

The above-described development, which is an ongoing construction and adjacent to our property, Rehoboth Place (at Plots 16-17, along Banana Island Road, Ikoyi, Lagos) was sealed up by your agency on 25th July 2023 for a number of infractions, amongst which were the absence of protection and airspace against damage to the adjoining premises of Rehoboth Place and others. Please find attached here, copies of the contravention notice and stop work order pasted by your Agency on the construction site.

On 16th January 2024, work recommenced at the construction and it appears that the property has been unsealed. This is despite the continued absence of protection on the construction works and airspace to Rehoboth Place. As a result, both our property (Rehoboth Place) and its occupants have been placed back at risk of suffering substantial damage, serious injury and/or death due to debris and other things falling into Rehoboth Place from the construction site. Please find attached here, photos of some of the items that have fallen into Rehoboth Place from the adjoining construction site before the sealing up of the site by your Agency.

Further, the building remains less than the stipulated distance from its boundary with Rehoboth Place, which is a clear, and continuing breach of building regulations.

In the circumstances, we are left to speculate as to the reasons why the construction site has been permitted to continue, even as the specific contraventions, for which it was ordered to stop work, continue un-remediated, almost 6 months later. It would appear that the attitude that has resulted in a number of building tragedies in Lagos State continues to prevail within your Agency.

We hereby notify you that we will not fold our arms and do nothing, while our property is exposed to further trespass and the possibility of serious injury and/or loss of life to its occupants. Should any injury and/or death be suffered by anyone at all, please be in no doubt that a report will be made to law enforcement agencies and the contents of this letter and those of our other appeals to Lagos State on this matter, will be brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities.

In the circumstances, we are constrained to issue this notice demanding that you enforce the building regulations on the above-stated construction works, failing which we shall have no option, other than to institute legal proceedings to compel you to fulfil your statutory obligations.

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Olufunlola K. Aderinokun.
Director.

With no commensurate response from the LSBCA, and the sensing the criminal intent, Aderinokun petitioned the Commissioner of Police, CP Fayoade, and copied the AIG zone 2, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and the Commissioner for Environment, to use his good office to stop the construction before injuries or even death are recorded.

The letter is produced below:

20 February 2024.

The Commissioner of Police,
Lagos State Police Headquarters,
Muiz Banire Street,
GRA, Ikeja,
Lagos State.

Dear Sir,

RE: PETITION ON THE BUILDING CONSTRUCTION THAT IS AGAINST PUBLIC SAFETY, CONTRARY TO SECTION 123 OF THE CRIMINAL LAW OF LAGOS STATE, 2015, CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE AT THE PROPERTY THAT ADJOINS REHOBOTH PLACE (A RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT) SITUATE ALONG BANANA ISLAND ROAD, IKOYL, LAGOS.

We are the owner of Rehoboth Place, situate at Plots 16-17, Banana Island Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The construction works adjoining Rehoboth Place belongs to, The Shell Staff Cooperative Investment and Thrift Society Limited, whose office address is at Freeman House, 21/22 Marina, Lagos State.

Please refer to the above subject matter and the self-explanatory letter, which is attached here, dated 22 January 2024, written by us to the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA).

In addition to the contents and attachments to our said letter written to the LSBCA, please find attached here, photos of 3 (three) more injurious items, which fell into Rehoboth Place from the adjoining compound at various times.

The big blue piece of iron (contained in the attachment to the letter to the LSBCA), which weighs about 8 kilograms, fell from the adjoining compound into Rehoboth Place, sometime in July 2023, while the 10 inches spanner, fell from the adjoining compound into Rehoboth Place at about 10.45am on 29th January 2024. The iron rod that is about 60 inches long, weighs two & a half kilograms.

All the items fell onto the ground floor of Rehoboth Place from heights of 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th floors of the adjoining construction works, which are obviously being constructed, too close to Rehoboth Place and other neighbouring properties, in contravention of the building laws, regulations and permits of Lagos State.

We hereby, humbly appeal to your office, to take all necessary action to investigate the ongoing danger to human life and public safety, that is being posed by the owners and occupiers of the property adjoining Rehoboth Place.

Furthermore, we appeal to you, to use your good offices to ensure that the said dangerous construction works, which are being carried out in the adjoining compound to Rehoboth Place are stopped immediately before any further crime in committed, particularly before the occurrence of any loss of life or serious injury to anyone,

We trust in your kind and urgent attention to this matter.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
DIRECTOR.

Cc:
1. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice,
Lagos State Ministry of Justice,
The secretariat, Block 2,
Alausa, Ikeja.

2 The Assistant Inspector-General of Police,
The Nigeria Police Force, Zone 2,
Command Headquarters,
King George V Road, Onikan,
Lagos State.

3. The Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources,
Ministry of Environment and Water Resources,
The Lagos State secretariat,
Alausa, Ikeja.

With no response from the General Manager, Mr Gbolahan Oki, the Rehoboth Place owner, having established a criminal intent with the Police, resorted to writing the governor one more time, whom she had been privileged to discuss the matter with via phone and in person on several occasions. It is on record that Aderinokun had earlier on August 8, 2023 and November 28, 2023 written to the governor on the same issue. But like the manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency, neither the governor nor his office responded.

“They practically called my bluff, without a care of what their silence and inaction on these matters is causing to me personally, to other members of the public and/or may cause in the future,” Aderinokun said.

Below is the full letter addressed to the governor:

29th February 2023.

Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu,
Executive Governor,
Lagos State of Nigeria,
Governor’s Office,
Alausa,
Lagos State.

Dear Mr. Governor,

PLEASE, SAVE OUR SOULS.

RE: IN RESPECT OF THE ONGOING CONSTRUCTION OF MULTIPLE STOREY BUILDING AGAINST BUILDING REGULATIONS ALONG BANANA ISLAND ROAD, ETI-OSA L.G.A. IKOYI, LAGOS; POSING A DANGER TO THE ADJOINING PROPERTY-REHOBOTH PLACE AND HAS CAUSED STRUCTURAL DAMAGES & COLLAPSE OF STRUCTURES AT REHOBOTH PLACE.

I am the managing director of Quadro Investment Limited, the registered owner of Rehoboth Place, which is situated at Plots 16-17, along Banana Island Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, built and completed in the year 2016.
The owner of the ongoing construction which shares a common fence with Rehoboth Place, is Shell Staff Co-operative Investment & Thrift Society Limited (hereinafter called, “Shell Staff Cooperative”) with office address at Freeman House, 21/22 Marina, Lagos.
I am hereby writing an S.O.S., Save Our Souls to Mr. Governor for the reasons set out below.

1. People are continuously exposed to danger of serious injury and/or death at Rehoboth Place because the Lagos State authorities have allowed the construction work by Shell Staff Cooperative to continue, despite the danger it poses to the neighbourhood, its continuous pollution to the environment and the fact that it does not meet the building laws and regulations of Lagos State.

2. In respect of this subject matter, Quadro Investment Limited has written to:
2.1 you, Mr. Governor, by its letters dated 08 August 2023 and 28th November 2023;

2.2 the Lagos State Building Control Agency by its letter dated 22 January 2024;

2.3 the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, by its letter dated 20 February 2024. This letter was copied to, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Nigeria Police Force and the Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources, Lagos State.
Copies of the letters stated in 2.2 and 2.3 above are attached here.

3. In addition to the above, I have made several personal appeals to you, imploring you to grant me an audience to meet with you, to explain the situation to you after my letters and for you to look into this matter and direct Lagos State authorities to ensure that its own Building Regulations and Laws are adhered to in the construction by Shell Staff Cooperative. Unfortunately, all my efforts appear to have been ignored.

4. The on-going construction by Shell Staff Cooperative, which is on its 9th floor and still going up, stands less than 2 meters to its common fence with Rehoboth Place and has caused extensive damage, including collapse of structures at Rehoboth Place. It is posing a danger to life and health in the neighbourhood and at Rehoboth Place. While Lagos State has allowed the construction by Shell Staff Cooperative to continue, the owners of Rehoboth Place cannot use their own property, for fear of danger to life!!

5. Injurious and life-threatening items like big iron bars, weighing 8kg, other iron rods weighing 3kg and 1kg, a 10 inches long spanner, huge polypyrene bars have fallen from heights of 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th floors of the ongoing construction by Shell Staff Cooperative into the ground floor of Rehoboth Place at various times in 2023, and on 29th January 2024. Also, rains of construction water, cement, dust and particles of polypyrene and nylon continuously shower and fly into the airspace, terraces, swimming pool, onto motor vehicles, other valuable properties and indoor living areas at Rehoboth Place. Please find attached hereto, photos to back this up.

6. The scaffolding being used for the construction by Shell Staff Cooperative fell onto the 5th floor of Rehoboth Place on 19th July 2023, which led to a Contravention Notice and a Stop Work Order being pasted on the construction site of Shell Staff Cooperative on 25 July 2023. Please find photos attached here. From then on, the site remained closed for work, for about 6 months, until 15th January 2024, when work suddenly resumed at the constructions of Shell Staff Cooperative, without addressing a single one of the reasons for the sealing up of the premises as stated in the Contravention Notice, including the non-application of safety net on the construction site. Please find attached here, shown in the videos recorded in the flash drive and photos of the dangling scaffolding on Rehoboth Place.

7. Since 15th January 2024, construction by Shell Staff Cooperative have continued, 7 days a week, including outside regulated working hours in a residential area, during night time hours, without any regard for neighbours. They start as early as 7am, waking me up from my sleep with consistent provocative sounds of hammer/iron knocking on iron, 7 days a week, week after week, without any break. Also, on 26th of January 2024, I was woken up from my sleep at 12.00 midnight because of the noise of the truck, working past midnight at the constructions of Shell Staff Cooperative. Please find the proof of this shown in the videos recorded in the flash drive attached here.

8. The non-stop early morning knocking noise (7 days a week) from construction by Shell Staff Cooperative have had untold impact on my brain, psychology and well-being. Part of the reasons that certain distances are prescribed and legislated between buildings, is to avoid noise from one building into another. Since 15th January 2024 to date, it has been like living on a construction site at Rehoboth Place, every day, non-stop, and not a single day of break. Sir, please permit me to add here, that by God’s grace, I am a 67 (sixty-seven) years old widow, resident and indigene of Lagos State.

9. I cannot walk around my compound, I cannot park my car in my own home at Rehoboth Place and we are not able to use our terraces, because of the showers of cement, dirt, dust and polystyrene particles raining from the constructions of Shell Staff Cooperative, onto our cars, other valuables and terraces at Rehoboth Place. Also, we have not been able to use the swimming pool at Rehoboth Place since April 2023 up to the date of this appeal. Please find attached here, the photo of the unhealthy materials from the construction by Shell Staff Cooperative inside the pool and on our terraces at Rehoboth Place, even inside our flower pots on the 5th floor!!!

10. Yet, Lagos State is looking away from this blatant disregard of its building regulations and laws, pollution of the environment, to favour the constructions of Shell Staff Cooperative at the expense of the users of Rehoboth Place.

11. Meanwhile, Lagos State recently banned the use of styrofoams and single use plastics in the State. Sir, it is my humble opinion that Lagos State needs to go further and ban the use of polystyrene in construction sites. The construction workers of Shell Staff Cooperative have been seen cutting into smaller bars, at high levels of 6th, 7th, 8th floors, huge polystyrene bars, without any protection, thereby spraying unhealthy particles of polystyrene, with high health hazards to the neighbourhood and onto Rehoboth Place.

12. Also shown in the videos recorded in the flash drive attached to this letter, is the video of Mr. Gbolahan Oki, the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency when he visited Rehoboth Place on 2nd November 2023. Unfortunately, Mr. Oki has not matched his words with actions and instead, has allowed the constructions of Shell Staff Cooperative to continue, despite the potential of the occurrence of a catastrophe.

13. Sir, my life and the lives of others are being put to danger by the construction of Shell Staff Cooperative, particularly because of its closeness to Rehoboth Place.

14. Sir, I’m not willing to wait until people are seriously injured and/or someone dies, before I cry out to the public. There is a potential of criminal offence being committed by the closeness of the constructions of Shell Staff Cooperative to Rehoboth Place. The photos and videos that I have attached here and the sealing up of the construction by Shell Staff Cooperative for about 6 months by Lagos State, speak volumes and I am sincerely not exaggerating.

15. Again, I hereby personally implore Mr. Governor, to use your good office to ensure that another unfortunate catastrophe related to building collapse, serious human injury and/or death does not happen in Lagos State, in this matter.

Sir, I am trusting in your speedy good judgement in this matter. Thank you, Sir.

Yours faithfully,
Mrs. Olufunlola K. Aderinokun (née Agusto).

It will be noted that building collapse has remained a recurring decimal in Lagos State. One can recall that a massive Ikoyi building, located not too far from Rehoboth Place, collapsed in 2022, and claimed lives of prominent Nigerians with many other budding professionals.

“All we are doing is to prevent a disaster lurking in the corner, and for me to have a safe and peaceful possession of my property,” Aderinokun concluded.

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Tony Elumelu Dazzles at 61, Unleashes More Wealth Creators

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By Eric Elezuo
It wasn’t a coincidence that leading empowerment vessel for African entrepreneurs, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), chose March 22, 2024 to announce 1,200 African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries as beneficiaries of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme. The new beneficiaries became the 10th cohort of the 10-year-long TEF Entrepreneurship Programme of the entrepreneurial legend, Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu, who turned 61 on the same day.

To date, the Foundation has disbursed US$100,000,000 directly into the hands of young African entrepreneurs, who have, in turn, created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs, contributing significantly to Africa’s economic growth and development. The Foundation has also provided capacity building support, advisory services, and market linkages to over 1.5 million Africans through its digital entrepreneurship-support platform, TEFConnect.

In addition to unleashing more entrepreneurial giants and weath creators into the competitive global market, the enigma celebrated another year of positive impact on the surface of the earth. He is also the influential name associated with the great United Bank for Africa and Heirs Holdings Limited. Here is a man who will never cease to create firsts. That is what he was created to do, and has never disappointed. As such, his accolades resonate not just in the Africa sub-regions, but across the globe.
Vintage Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, is a Nigerian national honours holder, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). It is worth noting that Tony has successfully held various editions of his annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurial Forum with not less than 54 African countries participating each time. The 2024 edition was no exception as 1200 beneficiaries emerged. He has not ceased to inform the young ones that the future of Africa is in their hands, and always go a step further to walk the talk
Adding another glorious feather to his retinue of feathers, Elumelu and his team of dedicated achievers, also operate new group insurance companies, namely Heirs Insurance and Heirs Life.
For a man, whose only concern is affecting humanity, it is not surprising that encomiums trail every of his step. In faraway Belgium on November 15, 2020, the man many referred to as chairman of chairmen was conferred with Belgium’s oldest and most important national honour titled: “The honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold.”
The award is said to be in recognition of his commitment to the eradication of poverty and the economic empowerment of young Africans. That’s vintage Tony, and it is no wonder he has been able to coin a new lexicon in the dictionary of entrepreneurial intelligence; Africapitalism!

“…the Kingdom of Belgium conferred on me with the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, the country’s oldest and most important National Honour.

“I am humbled by this recognition of the work @TonyElumeluFDN in catalysing entrepreneurs across Africa and will continue to drive the economic empowerment of our brilliant young #Africanentrepreneurs to propel development in Africa,” the distinguished entrepreneur had reported.

In commemoration of of his diamond jubilee event, a symposium was held in his honour at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre in UBA House.

The symposium tagged ’60 for 60’ was attended by 60 young beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, friends and colleagues. He has never left the young people behind in his scheme of things.

 

Born Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu on March 22, 1963, in Jos, Nigeria, the economist by training, visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist, acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005, his corporate reputation as an African business leader was sealed when he led the largest merger in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa to acquire United Bank for Africa (UBA). In five years, he transformed it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with over seven million customers in nineteen African countries.
In 2011, New African magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa, and a year later (2012), he was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People” by Forbes Magazine.
Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation dedicated to the promotion of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship, and to enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector across Africa.
His stated objective at the formation of Tony Elumelu Foundation was to “prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development.” The Foundation is charged with the mission of driving Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. As a premier pan-African-focused not-for-profit institution, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of entrepreneurship and excellence in business leadership across the continent, with initiatives like The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
In a bid to expand his conglomerate as well as his business horizon, in 2011, through Heirs Holdings, he acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.
His enterprise is not limited to self financed enterprises as he serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He also sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.
Elumelu additionally chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.
One will not be wrong to address him as a philosopher as well as he is the originator of the term Africapitalism. According to him, Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Elumelu sees Africans taking charge of the value-adding sectors and ensuring that those value-added processes happen in Africa, not through nationalisation or government policies, but because there is a generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, the tools and the opportunity to shape the destiny of the continent. He insists that Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth.
Having studied under Professor Porter at Harvard Business School, Elumelu subscribes to Michael Porter’s concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV). Professor Porter is the Founding Patron of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. In the same vein, CSV refers to the idea that “companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together.” It asserts that “businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues (society) face(s).”
In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted Tony Elumelu the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), a national honour, and in 2006, he was voted African Business Leader of The Year by the Africa Investor magazine and was also recognised as  African Banker of the Year in 2008 by the African Banker magazine. In 2009, the Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua honoured him with a place on the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.
In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise. Apart from being recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine as well as being featured in the New African Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Africans in Business”. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the Benue State University and an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In 2013, Elumelu received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards. He was also named African Business Icon at the 2013 African Business Awards.
In addition, ESI-Africa, frequently described as “Africa’s power journal”, named Elumelu in its 2015 ‘ESI Most Influential Figures in African Power’ list, in January 2015.
Elumelu is not just a financial wizard; he also writes as well as provides incredible inspiration to writers. Some works that involves him include: How to Excel at Work – Proven strategies for achieving superior work performance by Bili A. Odum – a book inspired by Elumelu’s work ethics.
Elumelu has contributed to the Nigeria Leadership Initiative White Papers, writing on Leveraging private sector approaches in transforming government delivery.
The Power of Vision: Insights on Tony Elumelu is a testimonial compiled on the occasion of his retirement as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at the United Bank for Africa. It contains messages from Aliko Dangote, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Michael Porter, former World Bank managing director and Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President of Sierra Leone; Ernest Bai Koroma, former United States Comptroller of the Currency, Eugene Ludwig and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He has written about his philosophy and the economic development of Africa for several publications around the world including The Economist, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
The TOE Way: A handbook that offers insights into Elumelu’s philosophies, business practices, values and secrets of success, written by the man himself.
Tony Elumelu is happily married to Awele Vivian Elumelu, who he married in 1993, and they are blessed with five wonderful girls; Nneka, Ugo, Ogor, Oge and Onyinye.
It will not be worthwhile to end this article without stating the humble philanthropist’s one of most important quotes:
“Everything I have today is because of Africa, I was born here, went to school here, I work here and I’m achieving some level of financial comfort here.”
Sir, for your steadfastness in business and transformation of lives as well as unleashing the Midas touch on anything you are involved in, you deserve once again to be celebrated.
Congratulations sir and happy 61st birthday!

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Boss Picks

Goodnight Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo

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By Eric Elezuo

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the remains of former Chairman of Nigeria Exchange Group, were committed to mother earth in his hometown, Ijebu-Ife in Ogun State amid wailing by friends, colleagues, associates and members of the immediate and extended families.

Till date, words are not yet enough to describe the emotional trauma caused by the tragic death of Mr Ogunbanjo since that fateful evening on February 9, 2024 in faraway California, United States of America. He was traveling in an helicopter in company of his friend, Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son, who also lost their lives.

Delivering his sermon at the funeral service, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Church of Nativity, Right Reverend, who officiated the funeral, Ifedola Senasu Gabriel Okupevi, said the Holy Bible makes it clear that there was time for everything on the earth.

The clergy, reading from the book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 verses 1 and 2, noted that the passages made everyone know that death was imminent.

He said, “This time we are mourning, sad, and weeping because our dear brother Abimbola is no more; we believe that we will meet again at the resurrection in paradise. His time is up and that is why he is gone. He is no more concerned about the economic woes of this world and travelling up and down.”

Admonishing the congregation, the clergy urged everybody to emulate Ogunbanjo’s virtues in using his resources to help others.

According to him, “Watching a documentary about him yesterday (Thursday), late Ogunbanjo used his resources to touch lives leaving a legacy for others to emulate.

“He has done his bit, let everyone use your influence to do good; it’s the legacy left behind by Ogunbanjo. Look at Nigeria, palliatives are not going round. Let us try to help those around us we can help.”

For the family he left behind, the clergy drew their attention to the Book of I Thessalonians Chapter 4 verse 13, which states that, “they must see him asleep and not dead.”

The late Ogunbanjo’s daughter, Ladun, who struggled with emotions and tears to take the Bible reading from Psalm Chapter 128 verse one to eight, described her late father as someone who would be sorely missed.

In his vote of thanks, his son, Timi Ogunbanjo, thanked the Lagos and Ogun state governments and various groups for their immense support.

The funeral service attracted the late Ogunbanjo’s friends, associates from across the country, which included the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the THISDAY and ARISE Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena; Senator Gbenga Daniels, Former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke,  Segun Awolowo and members of Igbobi Old Boys Association.

THE MAN BAMOFIN ABIMBOLA OLUROTIMI OGUNBANJO, OFR

Born 11th July 1962, he was the youngest child born to Chief Christopher and chief Mrs. Hilda Ogunbanjo both of blessed memory. Young Abimbola attended Corona School, Apapa, Lagos; Claremont School, UK and the University of Lagos Staff School for his elementary education between 1967 and 1973. Abimbola was admitted into Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos in 1974 where he started his secondary school education. He completed his studies, acquiring his GCE “O’Levels at Millfield School, England in 1977. In 1980, he was accepted at the American College of Switzerland, where he graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree in Business Administration.

Abimbola commenced his professional career in banking as a Credit Analyst with Chase Merchant Bank, Nigeria where he served meritoriously under the pupilage of late Mr. Tayo Aderinokun, the Co-founder and former managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. After this, Abimbola qualified as a Solicitor after attending the University of Buckingham School of Law in 1987, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. He joined the prestigious and renowned Law Firm of Chris Ogunbanjo & Co. where he grew through the ranks to close out as the Firm’s Managing Partner. He had vast knowledge of and experience in commercial law, especially of the Capital and Financial Markets, and Corporate Mergers and acquisitions. Abimbola Ogunbanjo attended the New York Institute of Finance, where he obtained a Certificate in International Capital Markets. He has garnered considerable Corporate Finance transactional experience working with public and private institutions, this included rendering advice to a host of multinational corporations.

Abimbola acted as Counsel to ConocoPhillips in the $1.5bn landmark transaction where it sold ts oil assets to Oando Exploration Resources. In addition, he acted for the Nigerian National etroleum Corporation in the establishment of the $5bn Brass LNG project.

In September 2017, Abimbola was elected the 19th President of the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange having served on the Council for the prior 5 years; and chairing the Demutualization Advisory Committee and the Governance and Renumeration Committee respectively. It is to Abimbola’s credit that it was under his tenure and diligent supervision as President of the Exchange that the members of the Exchange voted unanimously in favour of its demutualization, after over 15 years of trying. After a name change, he was elected as the inaugural Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group in 2020; he retired from the Board after his statutory tenure expired in September 2022.

He was a governing council member and the Legal Adviser of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping where he provided pro bono legal advice. Abimbola was recently the Vice- Chairman of the Commercial Law and Taxation Committee of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as Country Legal Adviser and Director of ConocoPhillips and AIICO Insurance Plc – a subsidiary of the Insurance giant AIG, the US Insurance behemoth.

Abimbola was a member of several professional advocacy bodies including the Institute of Petroleum (U.K.), the International Bar Association and the International Trademark Association. As a result of his deep understanding of the corporate landscape, he sat on the Boards and Chairs several blue-chip companies including Beta Glass Plc, V&O Communications Ltd. and Investment Securities Ltd. He was recently invited to chair the Board of the largest quarry company in Nigeria. Abimbola’s enduring relationships with leading C-Suite executives in Nigeria and throughout the African continent made him a highly sought-after adviser and international negotiator.

On 11th October 2022, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR conferred the National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), on Abimbola Ogunbanjo for his sterling contributions to the development of the Capital Markets, Corporate Law and in recognition of his outstanding virtues and in appreciation of his services to Nigeria. Abimbola was decorated with the traditional title of “Bamofin of Erunwon” part of the Ijebu Kingdom.Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo was a Member of the Metropolitan Club, Lagos; the Oriental Club (U.K.) and the Lagos Motor Boat Club – where he had the honour of serving as its Commodore. He was a Director of The Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation, a Not- for- Profit Organization established by his father and distinguished Igbobian, Olotu Chief (Dr.) Christopher Oladipo Ogunbanjo OFR, CON. The Chris Ogunbanjo Foundation was set up to promote the achievement of a stable society by analyzing the causes of conflicts and resolution of the same. He was happily married to Titi Ogunbanjo (nee Kuku), and blessed with two children; Ladun and Timi.

PERSONALITIES PAY TRIBUTES TO LATE OGUNBANJO 

So far, a torrent of tributes has poured in and continues to pour in from prominent Nigerians before, during and after the funeral service of the fiscal policy expert, who died in the helicopter.

The Governor of Ogun State, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, who was among the special dignitaries that graced the event, described the late Ogunbanjo as a dependable and loyal associate who led a life of impact.

The governor, while speaking at the funeral service held at the Church of Nativity, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, urged the deceased’s family to hold on to God.

According to him, only God knows why He called him home at this period.

“Our God is a God of different seasons and only him knows why he allowed this sudden and painful event to happen. This is a painful event to us, but it’s for us to know we are travelers on earth.

“Bimbo was intentional about the things he did, he was a good, loyal, dependable associate and consistent friend to me. He was a mentor and had an infectious deep smile on his face as he lived a life of impact.

“If tears could bring back the dead, Bimbo will be here today; if God calls you home today what will be said of you?” he asked.

OUR HEARTS ARE SHATTERED – 

Abimbola
How did we get here!!!!!
My heart is shattered!!!!!
Didn’t even know you were out of the country.
Bimbo it’s all sooo surreal
No one will call me Lapsy like you use to !!!!
My heart is bleeding.
How do I eulogise you when your story is still being written ? You are meant to be here,you had so many plans.
Egbon you were only at the beginning ki lo se Le?????
How can life be so cruel? It just didn’t seem like it was your time yet.
I have so many questions but who will answer them?
Craigo you were a good man, a fineeeeee gentleman, a solid achiever, a kind hearted soul.(can’t believe I’m writing in the past tense)
There are so many wonderful things I can say about you.
You were smart, hard-working, responsible, funny and determined.
You were the glue in the family and would always scold me not to hold grudges. You hated strife,
and continually advocated peace and unity. You were full of divine wisdom.
On the day the news broke Timi was completely crushed and kept saying “it’s not fair”…..I must say
I feel the same way.. Father in Heaven you could have averted this …..I just submit to God’s will.
Who are we to question God.
Bimbo you were a special breed. One of a kind! I’ll miss seeing you turned out in your dapper outfits. You loved your pink shirts , pink trousers that I use to tease you about.
You were the fashionista per excellence!!
I will miss our banters, your smiles and jokes. Never a dull moment with you.
“Chairman of the chop life gang” I use to call you. You were accustomed to the finer things of life. “Igbadu”master My dear Egbon, you were an unusual mix. Never used your Pedigree as a source of influence.
You cut across different classes, ages and cultures. If we took you to Buckingham place you would fit in like a glove, just as you would if you were taken to the interiors of our rural villages. No airs or graces, you were humble, down-to-earth, no fuss and no pretences.
Why, why, why, did you have to go , I keep asking myself …. especially at a time when things were really looking up for you, you had so many plans … that was just about to start unfolding.
My daddy Ladun hmmmmm ko yemi o!!!
This was not the plan!!!! I keep praying it’s a bad dream and I’ll wake up.
You were not just a brother you were a friend.
In your short sojourn in this earthly world you amassed incredible and laudable achievements. I guess it’s not how long but how well.. you came, you saw and conquered. You ran a good race.
You left indelible marks in the sands of time.
I am so proud of you my dear brother.
Your friendship and absence will be greatly missed.
Titi is completely broken and shattered, Ladun and Timi inconsolable !!! I pray the Almighty God will console, keep and nurture your beautiful wife and lovely children till the end.
They will fulfil their destinies in the name of Jesus.
I am comforted that you are in a better place resting in the bosom of our dear Father.
ABIMBOLA, Craigo, baba legba, meron, daddy Ladun … you live on in our hearts and minds. We will miss you and family reunions will never quite be the same without you.
Goodnight Bims
Love you deep
Lape Adebayo

A MAN OF IMMEASURABLE JOY AND PEACE

There can be no better tribute from me to Otunba, Bamofin, than to commend his memory to parts unknown, and to those who do not know, and eulogize him in his native tongue as “Aburo bi egbon” – Amoye, Ojogbon, Omoluabi, Olola,Eniayo, Eni’re, Ayanfe Oluwa, Akanda eda… Each name carrying the weight of its true meaning to the well tutored as he. A man of immeasurable joy and peace, appeared as a star, lived with a heart of innocence, and departed with a bang so loud, we could hear here from 7,777 miles away, the sound of the rushing wind of God’s Holy Spirit carrying him away, as Elijah, laid on the wings of angels of God, singing welcome to the pilgrim of that night. From the depths of love to the height of peace, Otunba lived a life of contentment, with the caution of a legend, and quiet of a grand master, who boasts not in his achievements but credits all his laurels to the grace of God, He served. The Almighty, All Knowing, with His Son, Most Wise, endowed Bamofin with counsel and wisdom from the womb. So, as Proverbs 8:12– 21 says, prudence dwelt with him, and knowledge and discretion came from him; enduring riches and honor were with him; his fruit was better than gold; he traversed the way of righteousness; and in the midst of his path of justice, he caused many to inherit wealth.

Such was the time of Otunba: quietly redefining the law firm that established corporate law practice in Nigeria; giving back to worthy causes at home and at abroad; and like his famous father, becoming himself a corporate guru; and by dint of his hardwork and excellence, rising to the enviable position of being the Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc. Here we must sing his praise for the many monuments he left behind – chief of which will be the role he played in the transformation of our capital market – leaving, as it is said, an indelible mark on the country’s financial landscape. No wonder he was preferred as an officer of the federal republic, and a distinguished awardee of his alma mater: Igbobi College, Yaba. Abimbola did not, as the scriptures say, grow weary while doing good, nor did he lose heart in seasons of disappointment – so the Lord filled his treasury with pleasure, and now by the same measure, he is now God’s treasure.
Konyin Ajayi

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED FOR GOOD

Uncle Bims!!! This is so unbelievable, I have never been impacted by death like this, I can’t imagine the family without you in it.
So many ifs, so many why’s? All I know is that this one is hard to write. I remember my last joke with you about the picture you sent to me in January….

You will always be remembered for good…I made requests for referrals from you. It was never a hard thing for you to do. I got the emails immediately, My niece keji Odeyemi would like…. Good men never die….you came, you saw, you impacted.
Rest in perfect peace, Uncle Bims!!!!
Keji Odeyemi

YOU HAVE TOUCHED COUNTLESS LIVES 

I can never deny the pain that I carry, but I would like us to remember him as a blessing and a lesson.

Abimbola my dearest brother, How do I write this tribute to you. How words fail me Bims, This is such a tragic loss, How do I say RIPP to you my brother, am still in shock, you left us too soon!

May you be safe in heaven now. Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the world seems depopulated. There’s no buddy like you. I wish R.I.P. meant Return If Possible. I miss you, my brother. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you., I miss you so much, Bims. Losing you, is so bad. I will remember you always for your great charm and wit-I look up to the sky and talk to you. What wouldn’t I give to hear your voice again. I miss your voice. I miss your laugh, and I miss everything about you. Kai Bimbo, ELEYI DUN MI O!!! You will always be in my heart and on my mind. I promise to always look out for Titi, Ladun and Rotimi. Without you, it’s almost like the whole world has changed. You are in my thoughts daily and always in my heart, my brother.

You were a special person.! I miss you terribly! You are alive through my prayers and wishes, so rest peacefully, my brother. You have touched countless lives and lived through your good deeds.
SUN RE O, EGBON MI ATATA,
SUN RE BAMOFIN
ABIMBOLA OLUROTIMI
OGUNBANJO….
Love & Miss You
Omoba Adeolayimika Benson

YOU WERE THROUGH AND THROUGH A FAMILY MAN 

My dear Uncle B, thank you for all that you were. I will miss you, dearly. I will cherish all our moments of gisting and gisting. Thank you for being that uncle I could always count on. I thank you for the home you built. You were through and through a family man. Always there for everyone and at every occasion. I will hold dear all our fun memories. Thank you for living a good life and finishing strong. Good night, Uncle Bimbola.
Bunmi Idowu

MAY GOD GRANT YOU ETERNAL REST

How could I have known that our conversation on that fateful day in December would be the last……
Words fail me!
Uncle Abimbola, you were larger than life. A devoted family man, loving brother-in-law, an exemplary achiever we were all proud to call our own.
You live forever in our hearts, unforgettable, irreplaceable!
May God grant you eternal rest in His bosom.
Sleep well brother!
Sola Kuku

SLEEP WELL

Dear Bimbostic, as you would always call me Enostic. You would be deeply missed . Sleep well in the bosom of the Lord.
Eno Udoh

YOUR LIGHT WILL NEVER DIM

In loving memory of egbon Abimbola (Abi) Ogunbanjo, a beacon of wisdom and leadership. I first crossed paths with him during his tenure as Commodore of the Lagos Motor Club, where he exuded grace and passion for community. However, it was during his time as President of the Council at the Nigerian Stock Exchange that I truly came to know him.

During his visit to Chicago with senior management and the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to study the operations of the CBOE and CME, I had the honor of hosting a reception for leading business figures keen on learning about the Nigerian capital market. Abi’s instrumental role ensured great attendance and participation, laying a solid foundation for my transition into the financial services industry in the States after working in Nigeria.

Despite his demanding schedule, Abi always made time for his aburos. I cherish the memories of our dinners in London, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Lagos, where amidst his busy schedule, he shared wisdom, laughter, and camaraderie. These moments were a testament to Abi’s character, showcasing his genuine care and commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders.

Abi’s impact on my professional journey was profound. He not only provided guidance but also opened doors to new opportunities. One such pivotal moment was when he introduced me to the Nigerian American Business Forum held in Tampa. Through his introduction, I forged invaluable connections.

Although he was extremely accomplished, Abi remained remarkably humble. His humility was a testament to his character, serving as a guiding light for all who knew him. Though he may have left this world too soon, his spirit of leadership, humility, and generosity will forever resonate in our hearts.

Rest in perfect peace sir. Your light will never dim
Ayodeji Ayodele

REST IN PERFECT PEACE

Uncle B aka AO, Words fail me. I miss you and I love you so much.
Forever in my heart.
Rest in perfect peace.
Love always,
Your darling niece Funke “A Funkysho”
Funke Shonekan

THANK YOU FOR BEING AN INCREDIBLY GREAT BOSS

It’s still very difficult to grasp that you are gone my Group Chairman… Otunba. This is an awfully hard pill to swallow. I worked closely with you as the Group Chairman at the Nigeria Exchange (NGX). You would always reach out to me to task me with something. Each time I was elated to take on this task to ensure you were pleased. I remember deliberately not wanting to tell you or Sis Titi that I had interviewed for the job and had been offered the job. I wanted it to be a surprise to everyone.

I recall my onboarding as the Head of Government Relations at NGX when I had just joined the exchange. I had a virtual meeting with you and my CEO of NGX limited. You cracked me up so hard when the meeting commenced. Thankfully I could mute my mic and cackle. You started by saying “Good morning Chalya. I’ve heard so much about you…” I called Sis Titi soon after the meeting saying “uncle Bimbo denied me today.” She explained and we had a laugh.

Thank you for being an incredibly great boss and an awesome egbon. I pray that the Good Lord continues to comfort and strengthen Sis Titi, Ladun and Timi. And indeed the entire family.
Farewell Otunba.
Highest regards always,
Chalya Shagaya
Director General
NIAMS

YOUR SPIRIT WILL CONTINUE TO BRIGHTEN OUR LIVES 

Uncle Bimbola, your fun-loving spirit brought light to every gathering. You had a remarkable ability to infuse every moment with joy, whether it was through your playful behaviour or your willingness to lend a listening ear.

You were always ready to offer a helping hand or a word of encouragement to those in need. Your legacy of love and laughter will forever echo in our hearts, a reminder to cherish each moment and spread kindness wherever we go.

I’m glad for the opportunity I had to interact with you. I keep having flashbacks of all the times we spoke while I was managing your account with the bank I was working then.
Farewell, dear uncle, your spirit will continue to brighten our lives in ways both big and small.
Rest in peace, your memory will live on in our hearts forever.
Oladunni Arije

A BRIDGE BUILDER ACROSS CLASS AND DIVISION 

Salam. With total submission to the Will of Almighty God, the Gentle giant departs . Abimbola Ogunbanjo . I am really struggling to say anymore . In between the imagination of the event that took you away or coming to terms with the reality of it . Events like this remind us that we are more than the flesh, and the spirituality of man is real . You were special in every sense of the human definition . Relationships of every kind meant a lot to you and handled them admirably.

You were regularly in touch with people in various ways, consciously and cautiously. Ever so proud and protective of the great name you inherited and the determination to build on it. You carried yourself with dignity at all times and remained a pillar in the Ogunbanjo family as a whole and asserted yourself therein as a reference point throughout. A bridge builder you were across class and division. You made current affairs and the trend of the Nigerian economy/ political challenges your concern. You bring them up for scrutiny, almost on a daily basis. Now. What can we offer beyond our prayers , consolation, or possible support. Only God can heal the wounds of your exit, particularly on your dear loving wife, children, brothers, and sisters and extended family all the way to Eruwon and far beyond. May the kindness and mercy of Almighty God never depart from all you have left behind May Almighty Allah bless you with Aljanah firdaus eternally. Ameen
bijaikun fayakun.

Adesegun Muhammed Muru’f Ajibola

If Bimbo’s friends were asked to describe him, there would undoubtedly be a convergence of adjectives that speak to his sincerity, reliability, consistency and generosity of spirit. His ever readiness to dispense frank and wise counsel was an additional hallmark and his hearty laugh was endearing. He will be greatly missed. May Bimbo’s soul rest in perfect peace and may God comfort and encourage Titi, their children, their entire family and the many lives he touched. Amen.

Victor Olusegun Adeniji

There are special people in our lives who never leave us, even after they are gone. Bimbo rest where the Lord has prepared for you. You are in a better place in Paradise, to rise in glory. May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Mrs Irene Ladebo

Great Bimbo, forever the affable character. Bimbo was a few years ahead of me at Millfield School. He told me that our attending the same school made us brothers for life. I am sure that most of us will attest to the fact that Bimbo was big on his old-boy networks. He never failed to invite me to anything he was doing, or an old boy network function. My lasting memory of Bimbo was him puffing on a very big cigar during his marriage ceremony to his beautiful wife, Titi. That was the only time I traveled to Ijebu Ode. At the Met Club we sat on the same table, whilst at the Boat Club we served in the same committee. He always had a word of wisdom on issues. Typical Bimbo for you, larger than life. He will surely be missed. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

Hewett Benson

Dear Bimbo,

The news of your passing has left a void in so many hearts—a space that can never be filled. You were more than a friend; a confidante to so many people. You touched so many lives.

Your absence leaves a silence—a quiet ache that reminds us of the precious gift of friendship. But even as we mourn and we prepare to say Goodbye, It is not the end. It simply means till we meet again.

We celebrate the impact you had on so many lives. The warmth of your smile, your wisdom and your gentle calm nature. The world may have lost an incredible soul, but heaven has gained an Angel.
We pray that you Wife, Children and Family take comfort from all the testaments to your qualities, the life you led and the number of lives you touched along your journey on earth.

We, your friends, will continue to honor your legacy by spreading kindness, laughter, and love.

With heartfelt sincere condolences,

Ade & Sumbo Odunsi

In life one often meets and walks the path with Titans who though themselves may not have been on a journey to disrupt end up doing just that. Craig was to me one of such persons. His professional life saw him rise through the capital market of Nigeria to become the President of the Nigeria Stock Exchange and later earn the right to be the Chairman of what is now the NGX. What a feat!

I had the pleasure of serving under him on the Committee of the Lagos Motor Boat Club where he served as Commodore. There I witnessed the dexterity with which he handled controversial issues which often plague private clubs that have members with huge and unforgiving egos. Craig was always at his best marshalling principles of fair hearing and differing opinions but maintaining a stern and decisive leadership.
I had the privilege and now treasure having had what could be described as a last supper with him, when on the 6th of February just before he travelled he had requested I join him at the Metropolitan Club to have lunch with a Deji Adeogun-Phillips in support of his application for membership. I had initially turned down the invite as I had a previous engagement to travel but once that was postponed, I hurriedly joined him and Deji. Speaking in fluent Yoruba as he often did he warned that things must be done speedily, as he would go away soon. He was his ‘natural Craig self’, as we spoke at lunch with him throwing jabs of Yoruba proverbs and words which I would then ask him the meaning in English.

Service to community, friends and family is one of the greatest achievements in life and Craig achieved and surpassed all of these with perfect dedication. For that I say his journey was purposeful.

I am certain Heaven’s Angels shall receive him with all the glory and song that befits such a lovely soul… and as a fellow Seaman, I pray, “May the waves of the seas lie smooth before you, may a gentle breeze forever fill your sails, may sunshine warm your face; and kindness warm your soul’’.

Afolabi Balogun

I was about to board my flight from Doha to Lagos when I heard the devastating news. It was the most anxious and gruelling flight I ever embarked on.

My dearest Egbon, Ever since meeting you approximately age 7 in London when you came to visit my brother Femi at 50 Bryanston square, in your dark brown leather trousers, flowing silk shirt and gold medallion, you always remained a constant in my life.

To now refer to you in the past tense is ever so calamitous. I ask myself, with your demise where shall I now seek structured, measured, pragmatic analytical advice? You were habitually solution driven, always carefully and diligently seeking the answer to the problem at hand.

I will miss your spirit of optimism and that infectious positive energy that you were able to so effortlessly transmit to your fellow man.

I will miss our constant banter , your jovial presence , your laughter and your persistent attempts to cheat in order for your team to emerge victorious at our annual family games nights.

I had always envisaged that you would grow old with a cane at hand, serving out wisdom to those in need , beginning your sentence with your trademark “hmmmmmm….Shomo” but alas heaven beckoned and called upon your counsel.

My dearest Egbon I will miss you ever so much, the pain is real and too much to bear.
Till we meet again . Rest in perfect peace.
One love always

Abi Kuku

My dearest Egbon, Bimbo.

It still remains a complete shock that you’re gone! I never could have phantom that with all the banter we had seated together during the Ògbéni Ọja Installation Festivities held Feb 3rd 2024, that it would be the last seeing or talking to you. Since you passed, I have had time to severally revisit our posts, messages and discussions we shared together which were of poignant interest. Those sessions are no more!

You were a complete Gentleman, a loving Kinsman and a kind brother to me. You stood by me during my maternal Grandmother’s funeral in 2007, likewise my Mother in 2022. Your Dad’s birthday never passed without a note from you to me seeking I please witness the day with you at Papa’s Ikoyi home. You were indeed a good Man!!!

Though you’ve left us, our memories of you and legacies you left behind will linger on and never be forgotten. May the Lord grant you eternal rest and guide, protect all the loved ones you left behind.
Sun re o. Egbon mi to sure.

‘Folu Aderibigbe

Bimbo dear, it is hard to believe that you are gone, in the twinkle of an eye. The world is devoid without your infectious smile and wicked sense of humor. No more Tutsie roll my nickname from you. I am forever grateful for knowing you.

I pray that Titi, Ladun, and Timi will continue to abide in our Lords graces.
Bye to my dear friend and brother
Tutu

 

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