Lara Banjoko’s headache


SPY GLASS  with Bayo Adeoye ….08054680651

Lara Banjoko, CEO, Zone 4 Energy, is blessed with brains, beauty and confidence.

As one of the most-sought-after female experts in the oil and gas industry, not a few chief executives believe that she holds the magic wand that can turn around the fortunes of any moribund petroleum company.

Banjoko, a former Chief Operating Officer, Oando, once bestrode the Nigerian social scene like a colossus, thereby making many to think that her name would resonate in the social circle for a long time.

However, her popularity was temporarily eclipsed, following her exit from Spog owned by Jide Omokore in controversial circumstances.

But in a twist, she floated her own company, Zone 4 Energy , a development that instantly shot her back to reckoning in both the business and social circles.

Sadly, just when her fans were thinking that the storm was over, Banjoko fell into some troubled water. Her firm, it was gathered, is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly receiving N5bn from the former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Though she is said to be exploring a legal means to clear her name, she seems to be sinking deeper in the mess, as the anti-graft agency is said to be tightening its noose around her neck and other executive directors of the company.

Ogun Speaker, Adekunbi’s Show of Shame

‘‘Love is like a bird. If you hold it tight, it dies; if you hold it light, it flies.’’

For some reasons, you would have thought that the author of this deathless quote had the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi, in mind when he penned those words. Or how do you explain the shameful drama that played out on Thursday, August 11, 2016 when he allegedly threw caution to the winds within the premises of the Customary Court, Agbeloba, Ogun State?

The show of shame, according to witnesses, only showed that Adekunbi had either held the bird of love too tight or lightly, while he was on a romantic adventure with his ex-lover, Iyabo Adedotun.

Spy Glass gathered that aggrieved Adedotun, a staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, had dragged Adekunbi before the court for allegedly shirking his responsibility over their eight-year-old child, Samiat.

In the suit, Adedotun also accused the Speaker of threatening her life, while also preventing her from getting married to another man.

However, the court dissolved the 10-year-old marriage and ordered that both the complainant and the respondent could marry any person of his or her choice.

Adedotun, who was denied custody of the child, had reportedly attempted to stop the court officials from handing over the child to the Speaker.

Consequently, a policeman attached to the court was said to have called for reinforcement of policemen who later dispersed the shocked crowd that had gathered to witness the honourable lawmaker engaged in what they described as a ‘‘dishonourable act.

The Activist in Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi

While it may be too hasty to describe Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi, wife of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, as a feminist, what you can’t take away from her is her uncommon frankness, particularly on issues that are dear to her heart.

Recently, while speaking at the Emerging Women’s Forum in Maryland, U.S., she declared, matter-of-fact, that she did not believe in the clamour for gender equity, adding that ‘‘we can’t be equal, we can’t be men. We have our roles to play here, a very pivotal one.”

To underscore her conviction and seriousness, she highlighted the powerful roles women play and urged them to tap into their innate powers to reach ‘‘extraordinary heights’’, rather than fighting for power with their male counterparts. Although her call was received with mixed feelings, those close to her maintained that she had only given the world a slice of her sterling qualities. Think of an emerging activist and her name will fit perfectly into the description.

Interestingly, this woman of substance, who was once vilified by her traducers after she got married to the respected monarch in an elaborate wedding, is also said to be an epitome of simplicity and artlessness, an attribute that is a rarity among some privileged beings or people of her social class.

Spyglass gathered that the woman of substance had, on several occasions, exhibited her humility in the public to the amazement of all. Some call this disarming simplicity, while others describe it simply as geniality. In such a short period of time, Olori Wuraola founded her Queen of Ile-Ife Foundation, an organisation that has already put the women of Ife to work through Project Siwaju. QIIF teaches women artisan trade skills to make high quality products such as soaps, accessories and household products from locally sourced materials, empowering these women with the business skills to take care of themselves and their families. The women of Project Siwaju have been trained in the craft of tie-dying to create traditional scarves, garments and bags. Household products such as shea butter and cocoa butter will also be available for purchase through Project Siwaju. These women create bags, dresses, accessories and home décor for sale in local and international markets. Proceeds of the sale of these products are invested into their homes, families and business. As revealed Project Siwaju is enabled through the Queen of Ile-Ife Foundation’s provision of small business microloans and business management training.

A woman on a mission, Olori Wuraola’s humility and desire for a strong community and humanity development has endeared her to the hearts of many in the ancient city.

Ireti Asemota’s ageless beauty

If there is one woman who will continually win awards for the best dressed in Nigeria, it will be Ireti Asemota, wife of Sunny Asemota, an auto merchant.

Now in her ‘70s, she has been ruling the fashion and style scene for decades, and there seems to be no sign of her being eclipsed by the younger ones.

Call her an ageless beauty and you won’t be wrong. This septuagenarian still commands respect in the social scene with her dress sense and you cannot but turn your head in admiration anytime she makes a public appearance.

She floats well in either casual or elegant dress. Her dresses are timeless and she keeps a tab on modern trends without necessarily impressing anyone. She exudes simplicity and fits perfectly into the description of a radiant Queen!

Spyglass gathered that her trendy lifestyle and fashionable aura, among other sterling qualities, have placed her in the group of the most stylish women in Nigeria. Indeed, many younger ones look up to her for direction in fashion and style and pray for flawless body like hers.

Flipside of D’banj’s Career

DbanjHis emergence on the Nigeria’s music scene 10 years ago was quite dramatic. It, undoubtedly, signified a new dawn in the nation’s music industry. He introduced his own style, an up-tempo dance fusion of Afro-beat and electronic dance music. It was done in collaboration with his friend, producer and business partner, Don Jazz. The then kindred spirits launched MO Hits; and in no time, the duo became a phenomenon. They broke records and revolutionalised the industry. This led to the company signing in more artistes on the label, including Wande Coal, Dr. Sid and many others.

Over the years, D’Banj has carted home several awards, including Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007. His achievement contributed to the African version of that award which he also won in 2009. Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009.

In fact, no major event was ever complete without his inclusion; guys craved for him while girls fell in love, to showcase their love for him by doing something crazy to him on stages. His album sold millions while his popularity soared higher and he made millions of Naira doing what he know how to do best.

After this numerous awards came in and the young man’s career was heading for the moon, this led to him being signed on to internationally acclaimed star, Kanye West’s records label, G.O.O.D.

But shortly after the collaboration that many see as one of the best thing to have happened to the Nigeria music, the Ogun State born talented music star parted ways with his partner, Don Jazzy over what Spyglass learnt was an irreconcilable differences. Since the separation we gathered that his career has experienced serious decline.

His popularity declined while his songs that hit the scenes like volcanoes no longer make serious impact, in fact his 10 years anniversary in the Nigeria music scene that was celebration last year failed to make a serious impact expected of a star as D’Banj even with the importation of a foreign artiste, Amber Rose.

Abuja girl, Zara Dumps Spinsterhood

Undoubtedly, it was a prayer answered for Fatima Zara, daughter of ex- Sokoto State deputy governor, Mukthar Shehu Shaghari, when she bade bye to spinsterhood, amidst pomp and circumstance.

Together with her long-time love, Faizal, the couple embarked on the marital journey with the wedding”fathia” at Al-Noor Central Mosque, Wuse 2, Abuja, penultimate Friday.

The three- day ceremony, it was gathered, was also a celebration of culture and tradition, as the females adorned themselves with “Laale” , a traditional painting material, while the young men in attendance tried to outdo each other with their kaftans.

Though it has come and gone, the ceremony, which was attended by many dignitaries, including former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso, will remain the talk of town for a long time.

Fatimat, a ravishing and irresistible beauty, until her marriage was an eligible spinster in the Federal Capital Territory, but luckily she was able to remain scandal free through her spinsterhood. Not that she was not in romantic affairs but she was able to keep it out of public glare.