Spy Glass


Tokunbo Afikuyomi Still Out in the Cold


He was one of the powerful men in power in the late ‘90s. As a politician, his profile got a boost when he became a Senator on the platform of the then Alliance for Democracy, AD. He was also one of the few who had the ears of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State.

As proof that he was not just a lightweight at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, he was, at different times, appointed to the Committees on Aviation, Foreign Affairs, Women Affairs, Public Accounts and Federal Character. Indeed, he also enjoyed a robust relationship with the then President of the Senate, Alloysus Wabara.

Now, let’s take a cursory look at the flip side of his political adventure: In 2007, he literally played Oliver Twist, when he began to manifest traces of a man who was over-ambitious. Many say he was under some illusion over the dummy sold to him by sycophants or political hangers-on. He dreamt of becoming the governor of Lagos State, while Tinubu was interested in Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. All entreaties to make him forego his political ambition fell on deaf ears. Determined to actualise his dream, he dumped AD and pitched his tent with the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). It was a wrong political step, which he later paid dearly for. His ambition to be the number one citizen in Lagos was, therefore, given a kiss of death.

At the fullness of time, he retraced his steps, swallowed the humble pie and went to Tinubu, with undisguised remorse. He was again received with open arms by Tinubu, who ensured his appointment as Commissioner under Governor Fashola. Although many derided him for that singular action, Afikuyomi saw it differently, maintaining that it was in the line of service to his fatherland. Soon, he was dropped by Fashola. Driven by the desire to remain relevant politically, he worked briefly with Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as a Special Adviser. But it was just a fleeting ‘romance’, as he later moved to London.

After the hiatus, he planned to return to the Senate to replace his successor, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, from the Lagos West Senatorial District. But it turned out a dashed hope.

Today, the man that was regarded as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s closest pal has permanently gone into political oblivion as he has been left wandering in political wilderness.

Nike Oshinowo’s Headache


Ageless Nike Oshinowo hit the limelight when she emerged Miss Nigeria at 24 in 1990.

Interestingly, she has since remained in the warm embrace of stardom, thereby making her arguably the most-talked about beauty queen in Nigeria.

Typical of someone who is constantly seeking relevance, the celebrated entrepreneur, ex-pageant director, style icon, socialite and television presenter, in 2014, announced her plans to start a talk show tagged Late Night With Nike Oshinowo.

Indeed, many existing talk show hosts had received the news with mixed feelings. Not a few had expected that it would be an instant hit within a short period of time, given her status in the society. They were, therefore, forced to go back to the drawing board.

After the first season of the show was aired, many said the programme lacked any special appeal. Some even claimed that the poor outing was not unexpected. After several efforts to repackage the talk, it refused to meet up with the expected impact, while the standard was considered too low for 21stcentury.

It was gathered that many also claimed that such a poor outing is not unexpected. To further give vent to their arguments, they alluded to some of her past projects, including the widely publicised Nigeria’s Centenary pageant that was reportedly poorly packaged.

Even when you try to pooh-pooh their claim, critics are always quick to refer to her allegedly disgraceful sack by the Board of Miss Nigeria pageant, after she bought the franchise from the former owner, Daily Times of Nigeria.

The ex-beauty queen was once married to Dr. Tunde Soleye, a renowned businessman and socialite. However, since the marriage broke up due to irreconcilable differences, she has since moved on.

Oba Saheed Elegushi Shocks All


For obvious reasons, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Kusenla 111 of Ikateland has always remained in the news. When stories are not written about his empire, there is always an interesting discourse about his social life.

Popularly known as King Gucchi, he has friends around the globe who always join him in the celebration of life whenever he has cause to do so. He is known to have organised several shindigs that turned out to be the talk of town.

Little wonder, expectations were high recently when the handsome King turned 40. Many had looked forward to seeing him put up another superlative party in celebration of this landmark attainment. But the light -complexioned royal father literally trod the unbeaten path, as he opted to observe the lesser Hajj, Umrah, alongside his family and very close friends and confidants. It was gathered that his decision to embark on the trip was basically to slough-off the sobriquet of a party freak which he has been silently tagged.

Oba Elegushi (Kusenla III) was born to the family of the late Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi, Elegushi Royal Family of Ikate land. The monarch,who is married to Olori Sekinat, was officially crowned on April 27, 2010 at his late father’s palace in Ikate-Elegushi in Lekki, Lagos State.

He was the Personal Assistant to the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu between 2003 and 2007 and remained the Senior Special Assistant to former Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, on Special Duties from June 2007 until his installation as the Oba Elegushi of Ikateland on April 27, 2010.

Reality Dawns on Mariya Yuguda


These are indeed turbulent moments for Hajiya Mariya Yuguda, one of the wives of the former Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda.

We learnt that the exit of her husband from power might have started taking its toll on her. Unlike when her husband was at the helm of affairs as Bauchi State Governor; insinuations are rife that she is currently going through financial constraints to run her pet-project, A .D Rufai Foundation, which was created to pursue issues that are germane to the survival and progress of the society. Virtually all Yuguda’s friends and beneficiaries of his government who had been of financial assistance to the Foundation have since abandoned Mariya to grapple with the trauma of a financial incapacitated pet-project. Sources of funding the Foundation include fund raising activities and partnership with government and donor agencies.

‘’So terrible is the financial crisis at the Foundation that almost all the workers have left because their salaries and allowances could not be paid. At the moment, the corporate headquarters of the Foundation located a few metres away from Bauchi State Government House stands empty with only a gateman’’ a source revealed.

Only weeks back, some official vehicles of the Government of Bauchi State allegedly being used for the Foundation were retrieved from Mariya on the directive of the State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar. And as if all these are not enough, reliable sources disclosed that Mariya, who enjoyed a long vacation from her official duties when her husband was Governor has been finding it difficult to adjust to her job in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) as an Assistant Director without all the paraphernalia of Governor’s wife. Mariya, a graduate of law from Ahmadu Bello University, who was once rumoured in the media to have been divorced by Isa Yuguda founded the Senator A. D Rufai Foundation to immortalize the philanthropic ideals of her father.

Mariya is a professional administrator, she was first Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Bauchi State between 2001-2004.

Prior to that, she was Chief Administrative Officer with the Ministry of Defence before moving to Federal Ministry of Finance in the same capacity. Her membership cut across numerous professional bodies such as Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Zumunta Association, USA.

Tongues Wag over Gbemi Saraki’s Marital Status


Senator Gbemisola Saraki, daughter of the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki, and younger sister of the new Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is beauty personified. She is one of the few women whose beauty would make any full-blooded man drool. So many features, including her curvature, come-hither-look, figure and infectious smile can make any man weak on his knees. No one sees her without taking a pause to appreciate her God-given endowments.

However, since her marriage with Segun Fowora collapsed many years ago, the top politician and mother of three has since remained single. Her ex-husband, Fowora, who hails from Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, has since remarried, but the beautiful lady has refused to give matrimony another shot. It will be recalled that shortly before her 50th birthday on May 3, 2015, rumour went the round that Saraki, who has since decamped to the ruling party, APC, might use the occasion to introduce the man she intends to spend the rest of her life with. But the elegant woman shocked all when the part was excluded from the programme of the colourful event. Even though many of her friends are aware of her love affair with a prominent lawyer and a businessman, they have thought it would lead to the altar. Now, many are wondering why such a stunningly beautiful creature should remain single for so long.

She was first elected into the House of Representatives in 1999 to represent Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency, Kwara State and was later elected to represent the People’s Democratic Party in the Central Senatorial District of Kwara State in April 2003. She contested for governorship election in the state in 2011, but failed to make any meaningful impact apart. She also commands large grassroots followership because of her love for the poor and the lowly people in the society.

As Phillips Oduoza Bows Out


How time flies! Phillips Oduoza, GMD/ CEO, United Bank for Africa, UBA, started on a very eventful note when he took over the reins of leadership of the bank.

In reminiscence, the news of his appointment didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It was applauded by all stakeholders who expressed confidence that he would keep up the momentum that the bank is known for. Since his appointment, he has distinguished himself in various capacities.

Oduoza , whose second term will wind up in August , is acknowledged to have contributed hugely to taking the bank to the next level. It is, therefore, expected that he will leave a great vacuum behind when his term expires.

A banking wizard, having bagged a first-class degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos, providence brought him to the banking industry, which has now given him fame. But if you think his knowledge in engineering is a waste, you are dead wrong. How? He has been able to re-engineer and restructure a number of banks in the industry.

Very brainy, he began to show the stuff he is made of when he teamed up with some young, energetic, innovative and talented professionals to pioneer Diamond Bank in 1991. With his efforts and ground-breaking ideas, the bank rose to become one of the strongest in the country.

As Executive Director, Operations & Technology at Diamond Bank in 1999, he transformed the IT within the bank to global standards. In 2002, he became the Executive Director, Commercial/Retail Banking at the same bank until 2004. Against this backdrop, his exit from the bank was not something the shareholders took kindly, as it sent rude shock waves across to all.

He also displayed the tenacity that made him one of the most-sought- after bankers in the country in Reliance Bank, where he achieved tremendous success in 2004 as Deputy Managing Director.

As a restless soul with a bundle of talents, his sojourn in the industry continued when he joined the Management and Board of Standard Trust Bank Plc in 2004. He played a significant role in one of the biggest mergers in the Nigeria’s banking sector between STB and UBA. And then, six years after merger, he was saddled with the responsibilities of paddling the boat of the leading bank.

Oduoza has won many awards for his contributions to the banking industry, including the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) 30 “CEO of the Year” in 2013 organised by African Investor, one of the leading investment and specialist communication firms in Africa.

Atiku Abubakar’s Son, Aminu, Weds In Style


Over the years, former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has proven that he loves spreading his tentacles in business and politics. Beyond this, he may have also gradually begun to further make an in-road to Ghana, as one of his sons, Aminu, got married to a Ghanaian damsel, Nana Akyaa, last weekend.

It will be recalled that in November, 2015, three of his pretty daughters got married the same day, barely a year after his son, Abba Abubakar, tied the knots with his American wife, Mariana, in Dubai and Adamawa respectively.

The last Saturday wedding ceremony was well attended by dignitaries from both Ghana and Nigeria, including his wife, Titi Abubakar; Governor of Adamawa State, Bindo Umaru Jibrilla and Ghanaian monarch, Asantehene, HRM Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.