Inside Aig Imoukhuede’s Mansion in Surrey


•Bliss is in the detail as his guests make ceaseless pilgrimage to the billionaire’s manor
Aig Imouhkuede’s manor in Surrey, United Kingdom is a dream of bliss; a real life pictogram of the fabled Neverland. Amid its captivating plot, you could be forgiven for getting lost, metaphorically, if you are a first time visitor. Recurrent callers at the mansion have been known to keel over, in enthrallment with the lavish treat.

Aig’s mansion is a testament of class. Outside, it is garlanded with carven imageries of arches and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass. Inside, it is ornamented with panes of quaint decor, embroidered fabric and devices. It’s ambience of splendid dyes and luxury titivate like the damasked wings of the tiger-moth.

Such taste for luxury as displayed by Aig, it is often said, has ruined more poets and caused them to lose their wit, than ever did a taste for the gutters. Yet no poet or grand proponent of the high art could visit his mansion and totally lose it. Rather he or she would simply descend into the hallowed chambers of eternal muse. Aig’s manor no doubt, inspires the best of lyricism in the established poet and apathetic to art. Interestingly, penultimate Saturday, he celebrated his 50th birthday in this beautiful mansion.

It practically turned out a gathering of who-is-who in Nigeria and several moguls of the business community attended the event. But the mansion held practically all the guests spellbound. They talked about it all through the event. A visit to the mansion was quite an experience. In Surrey, Aig’s palatial mansion sticks out like a gold crest, amid the houses in the area. The exterior utters elegance without obscenity. Inside, expensive incandescent bulbs brightly illuminate the architectural delight. Everywhere is spick-and-span and has the halo of an improvised Eden on earth. Pristine and exquisitely burnished with class, his mansion emphasizes without much effort, the sheer tastefulness of the owner.

Goodluck Jonathan betrays the agility of a fox and wisdom of a coward in Nigeria’s political wilderness. He knows when to be cunning and when to abscond, in order to live and fight another day. The former President subtly seeks to outfox his traducers and keep a wide berth from his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption landmine. This explains his discomforting silence in the wake of his wife, Patience’s mounting travails in the dragnet of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Despite the controversies trailing his wife and Nigeria’s former first lady, Patience Jonathan, over her alleged complicity in money-laundering and other fraudulent activities during his tenure in the presidency, Jonathan has remained silent. One would have thought it wise of the former President to issue a statement or comment on the case but he has chosen to keep mum. However, suspicions trail his silence as many regard it as telltale of his desperation to avoid the wrath of the incumbent administration. According to pundits, Jonathan’s silence is borne of a need to prevent further inquiry into the case.

Yes, her phones are no longer buzzing like high-pitched alarums. Having realised that, her coterie of friends and political associates have stopped ennobling her as a warrior forged of steel and decades of exposure in a burning furnace. The secret is out: when the going gets tough and the heat intensifies, even a tough-talking Patience Jonathan loses her nerve and exaggerated wits. Indeed, the loquacious and highly controversial former first lady, is not finding it easy; even as you read. But while she stews in boiling waters, her closest friends and associates have deserted her.

Friends and political associates of Patience began to avoid her soon after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) commenced investigations about her alleged role in some funds lodged by a former presidential aide in Skye Bank. Immediately the EFCC pronounced her as a person of interest in its ongoing anti-corruption campaign and investigations, most of Patience’s friends vanished from her side into thin air. Many other political associates and acquaintances who flaunted their relationship with her are now denying having anything to do with her.

It would be recalled that such career sycophants misled former first lady and wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience. Patience’s praise-singers morphed into a group called Friends of the First Lady of Nigeria (FFLN) and the group comprised of self-acclaimed society women who paraded themselves Dame Patience’s closest circle of friends and associates. The objective of the group was simple: to reap bountifully from the defunct dispensation. Not a few women in Lagos, particularly from the city’s upper crust, engaged in a tiresome hustle to be part of the group. It is interesting to know that this same group of women formed an impenetrable ring around Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, wife to the late President, Umar Musa Yar’Adua. Today, the fortune hunters have shifted their allegiance from Hajia Turai and Dame Patience and transferred it to Aisha Buhari. Ask Pelebo Banigo, she would confirm this.

Don’t drown the man who taught you to swim, intones a popular proverb but the import is lost on Folarin Ogunsanwo and Fuad Oki. They have finally revealed to the world, the degenerate part of their hearts. Governor Akinwumi Ambode suffers no mediocre gladly. The incumbent Governor of Lagos State, like an excellent surgeon, cuts clinically and without remorse, in frantic bid to rid his administration and the coastal city of the scourge of incompetent staff. Beneath his quiet, unassuming mien, Ambode endures neither ineptitude nor lassitude compassionately.

This is why he sacked his trusted aides, Folarin Ogunsanwo and Fuad Oki, recently. The two former aides of the Lagos governor allegedly disappointed him by their misconduct while in his employ. Therefore, the sack of his two close aides serve as an indication that Governor Ambode gives no room for mediocrity and poor delivery rather he encourages transparency, hard work and excellence, according to sources in his cabinet.