HIGHLIFE With Lanre Alfred
…Amazing lifestyles of Nigeria’s rich and famous

As she clocked 70, Cecilia Ibru, former boss of defunct Oceanic Bank, holds on to the gift of life and memorable youth like dependable friars on the Alps. Cecilia smiled again as she celebrated her 70th birthday in abundant joy regardless of her woes. She clocked 70 on Tuesday, March 22, and despite all that she has been through, Cecilia remains strong and ageless.

The former bank chief who was known as the ‘first lady’ of banking back then, suffered a reversal of fate when she was hit by the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi-led Central Bank of Nigeria tsunami, following allegations of financial recklessness leveled against her. Consequently, the influential banker was forced to crawl back into her shell thus deserting the social scene.

Notable for her philanthropy and generosity, Cecilia was instrumental to the rise of many men and women to the esteemed circuit of the rich upper class in contemporary Nigeria – many of which landed her in trouble and cost her her reputation and position at the bank. Ask Jimoh Ibrahim! Unfortunately, people she helped have abandoned her as none except three or four of her friends who pooled funds together to place a one-page advert in Punch Newspaper on Tuesday, congratulated her.

Cecilia has no doubt learnt from her mistakes as sources close to her revealed that she now takes life very easy. With perfect understanding of the transience of life, power and affluence, Cecilia has renewed her passion for philanthropy with unparalleled vigour. She currently assists the needy through her brainchild, the Michael and Cecilia Ibru Foundation.

Robert Mbonu is Back with a Bang!
Maverick banker returns from hibernation and study tour abroad
Robert Mbonu has a saint’s heart and the demeanour of a monk. That was why he forgave his foes and major opposition when he was a top dude at Heritage Bank. After years of observation and enough courage to admit what he has suffered and observed, Robert has decided to sow seeds of loyalty and peace across the fallowing lands of his adversaries.
Mbonu has moved on. Years after he was cleverly eased out of Heritage Bank, he holds no grudges against anybody; as you read, he is planning to move into the arts business.

Mbonu, a brilliant banker and Executive Director in charge of Enterprise Management Group was allegedly eased out in a power tussle at the bank. The embers of discord were reportedly stoked when Heritage Bank acquired Enterprise Bank.

Mbonu reportedly believed that being a tested and trusted turn-around expert, he would be given the responsibility of integrating the moribund bank into the Heritage Banking Company Limited. Alas, that was not to be. Yet, his competence was not in doubt – a fact attested to by the bank on its website. Mbonu was allegedly paid off by the bank and he subsequently relocated abroad to study. He is back in the country now and planning to open an arts gallery.

A former MD of the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, owned by the illustrious Saraki family, Robert was arrested in 2013 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his alleged involvement in the pillaging of the bank’s vault. The SGBN later metamorphosed into Heritage Bank where Mbonu was placed below Sekibo. The centre never held between them as Sekibo allegedly felt threatened by Mbonu’s brilliance and competence.

On Oyin Adeyemi’s Birthday Celebration at Chocolate Royale
Every day in the life of Oyin Adeyemi, the MD of StillEarth portends a fresh adventure; it’s enchanting, melodic, like the coming together of lovelorn soul mates caught in an interminable whirlpool of passion. With Oyin, beauty subsists like eternal grace from above.
Therefore, her birthday last Saturday, at Chocolate Royal, Victoria Island, Lagos, was star-studded.

The celebrant took charge of the party herself, and endeavoured to treat every guest to a good time. The ecstasy of the event and innumerable treats made available to every guest at the celebrant’s behest tinged the atmosphere with a euphoric hue of sort; it all felt surreal. And not a few guests could attest to that. The ambience of the party signified class, privileged circumstances and the enviable good taste of the celebrant.

Interestingly, she worked hard to attain her current status and she is far removed from the contemporary alpha female stereotype that glorifies flamboyance, self-aggrandisement and narcissism above substance. The self-driven entrepreneur and construction magnate comes across as an enviable Amazon and achiever in an area and era where everyone seems to understate the worth of a driven woman.