This one is a must-keep.
The father, the son, a wife…and a marriage on the rocks
By Nnamdi Inyama
IT may take a while, probably as long as the marriage lasted, to determine which attracted more attention, the solemnisation or the disintegration.
Whichever it turns out to be, none of those who were immediately or remotely connected with Mojisola Onabanjo’s wedding to Olugbenga Obasanjo on April 29, 2000, could ever have imagined it would end the way it now seems doomed to.
Everybody had then thought what a beautiful couple Gbenga and Mojisola made, the son of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the daughter of a renowned businessman, Chief Alex Onabanjo.
Gbenga, once described as one of Nigeria’s most eligible bachelors, was at last, hooked by the beautiful damsel, Mojisola, a union many thought of as the proverbial marriage “made in-heaven”.
At least, none of the “movers and shakers” of the Nigerian society that crowded the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, Government Reserved Area (G.R.A.), Ikeja, Lagos that Saturday, literally stepping over each other to ensure their presence was noticed and acknowledged, could have thought the marriage was made anywhere, but in Heaven.
It has turned out it was otherwise as each side is now giving the other hell in a bitter divorce battle.
Indeed, the marriage may even have been made in the deeper recesses of hell, going by the scandal thrown up by the union in its death throes.
Before it blew open recently, with the publication of Gbenga’s fresh affidavit, only those with the privilege of being close to the petitioner and his estranged wife knew that the union was rocking violently.
Many of them may have hoped that wise counsel would prevail and the couple would find it in themselves to bury the hatchet and save the marriage, even if for the sake of the children.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was still President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when the disintegration of his son’s marriage started
In her cross-petition filed in the same court, Mojisola accuses her husband of acts of physical violence against her person, as well as not being alive to his responsibilities towards their two children, Boluwatife and Wuraola.
Under Particulars of Income of the Petitioner, Mojisola claims her husband makes an average yearly income of over N500 million.
She is demanding ample compensation because of the financial status of the husband.
According to her: “The Petitioner earns from commissions paid to him as an agent to a construction company with various construction projects, which was recently awarded an N11 billion contract.
“The Petitioner has several construction contracts from Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
She says her husband owns substantial shares in an oil trading company, Linetrale Trading Company Ltd., a company engaged in importing, selling, supplying and marketing of petroleum products.
He also collects oil allocations from Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“The Petitioner receives payments from Health AIDS Support Services, an HIV consulting firm currently working on a transaction with MTN and some state governments, as well as receives commission for brokering different deals on behalf of foreign companies and earns a sizeable commission therefrom.
Her husband, she claims received commission for the supply of 800 vehicles to Ogun State, has substantial investment in some Oil Blocks.
“The Petitioner has substantial investment in Glo Oil Ltd. And
Hyster Investments Ltd.”
She claims Gbenga has the capability to earn income because he is a “medical doctor with a Masters in Public Health and a PhD from John Hopkins University.
She says the Petitioner enjoys goodwill of being the son of the serving President of the largest black nation in the world, which gives him access to several eminent world political and business personalities all of which he has utilised and continues to
utilise and leverage upon to earn considerable income in all the states as well as in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
She lists her husband’s physical estates as “land in Maitama,
Abuja, land in Banana Island, Ikoyi, land in Lekki Phase 1, land in Abeokuta, a house in GRA Ikeja, Peugeot 607, Land Cruiser SUV 2006 model and a Kia Opirus among others.
She claims she became aware of the particulars of Gbenga’s income
as a result of “prior discussions” between them while they lived together.
As “ancillary relief” for the dissolution of the marriage, Mojisola asks the court for a permanent order directing the petitioner to pay a lump sum of N54 million for the maintenance of herself and the two children , Boluwatife and Wuraola, till the children attain adulthood.
She also seeks an order that the petitioner provide two of the cars owned by him for the Respondent and her children’s use together with a chauffeur to be paid by the petitioner; an order that the family house at No. 8, Ladipo Bateye Street, GRA Ikeja be settled on the respondent or in the alternative the petitioner be ordered to pay the sum of N50million to be used by the respondent to purchase a decent house of comparable standard for the accommodation of the respondent and her two children; and an order directing the petitioner to make adequate financial arrangement for provision of security for the two children of the marriage including adequate security safeguards for the premises where they will be residing, being grand children of the incumbent president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Mojisola is seeking a monthly payment of N300,000 for the period of 15 years or till the children attain adulthood.
She is also seeking that the Petitioner pay a lump sum of ?360,000 or its naira equivalent and $400,000 or its naira equivalent for the education of their two children of the marriage.
The sum of ?360,000, she claimed, would cover cost of school fees for a period of six years each for the two children at a secondary school in Switzerland already picked by their father, while $400,000 would be the cost of a four-year degree programme for both of the children in an American university.
But Gbenga fired back in a 50-paragraph fresh affidavit signed by Emankhu Addeh , of Addeh and Associates, legal practitioner for the petitioner.
It was in the tenth paragraph that he dropped the bomb that has now sent everybody into shock.
“The petitioner, Gbenga Obasanjo, further avers that he knows for a fact that the respondent, his wife, committed adultery with and had an intimate, sexual relationship with his own father, General Olusegun Obasanjo, due to her greed to curry favours and contracts from him in his capacity as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He avers that the respondent also got rewarded for her adulterous acts with several oil contracts with the NNPC from his father, General Olusegun Obasanjo, amongst which was the NNPC consultancy training in supply chain management and project management awarded to her company, Bowen and Brown.”
The eighth paragraph says: “The petitioner avers that the respondent confided in him severally while they living together that she had been sexually abused and defiled by her father, Otunba Alex Onabanjo on several occasions.
He also claims that it was his bid to ‘forcefully put an end to this ignoble acts on the part of his father-in-law, Otunba Alex Onabanjo, that led to the total breakdown of relations between himself and Otunba Onabanjo.
Gbenga denies that he has since January 2006, stopped being responsible for the payment of school fees, books and other relevant materials and other needs of the two children as well as general expenses for their welfare and upkeep and avers that the Respondent normally collects from him on behalf of the children, monies to meet all the children needs but has refused to collect same this year despite several reminders and entreaties from the petitioner and the petitioner’s solicitor.
He has also averred that the children of the marriage reside and are in the custody at alternative times with both himself and his wife depending on whether they are in school or on holidays, and are also accessible to either party whilst in the custody of the other upon proper notification to either side. He denies that either party has exclusive custody of the two children of the marriage.
He also denies that Mojisola attends to the moral, religious and physical wellbeing of the two children, stating instead that her way of life and social conduct is so unbecoming that it would have a very negative moral and religious impact on the children if they are made to reside with her.
Gbenga avers that he has always met all the needs of the children of the marriage despite always having serious doubts about their actual paternity.
And on and on and, it will continue until the union is buried.
Even then it is doubtful if the last would ever be heard about Gbenga and Mojisola’s marriage as many questions raised in the petitions and counter-petitions have not yet been resolved.
Olugbenga Obasanjo has been known to be very outspoken in one or two public utterances he had made in the past.
He once cast doubts as to his father’s real age as well as on the integrity of some of the people who worked with him.
But it is his laying the blame for the collapse of his marriage on his father and father-in-law, Otunba Alex Onabanjo that has raised more than a few eyebrows.
All these are coming up just seven years after what was obviously the most spectacular wedding Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, Ikeja ever hosted.
The case continues, so does this spectacle.
If I were(may God forbid bad things from happening) in Gbenga’s shoes, I would rather put an end to the ‘thingy’ quietly – at least for the sake of the name and repute: Obasanjo.
1) Did Daddy Obasanjo sleep with his son’s wife?
2) Even if Daddy Obasanjo slept with his son’s wife, What does Gbenga Obasanjo hope to achieve by washing his dirty undies in public – the Nigerian public and the World-Wide Public?