From Barracks to the Bar! Former IGP, Solomon Arase, Establishes Law Practice


•Why ex-police boss stays away from public glare

Public service, like bullfighting, is a perilous art in which the public servant faces the danger of ravenousness and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the officer’s honour.

In public office, the one thing that does not abide by familiar greed is a person’s conscience and Solomon Arase certainly understands this fact. Unlike his more covetous peers, the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) nurtures no desire to perpetuate himself in public office or politics, that is why he has gone back to his law practice. As you read, the former IGP has established his law firm, Solomon Arase & Associates. Since his retirement from public service in July, Arase has been keeping away from public glare.

He is strong enough to keep the lid on his desires, to despise perversions, and become a whole man in himself; put precisely, he is polished and well-rounded. Arase would not be forgotten so easily in the Police Force. His enviable tact, humility, diplomacy and knowledge of statecraft established him as an uncommon cop. The NPF would surely miss him and Law would enjoy him so much.

Friendship has splendors akin to love. It grows stronger when crossed. It resists the ravages of time, which wearies and severs vacuous liaisons. It has heights unknown to love. And very few mortals are capable of its unfaltering features. Men like General Ibrahim Babangida and Brigadier-General Halilu Akilu however, constitute rare exceptions. They have been together for over 40 years as friends. Haliru, who served as Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Chief of Defence Intelligence, and Director of the Directorate of Military Intelligence under IBB has remained loyal to him since they planted the seed of their friendship. Together, they have watched it germinate into a fruitful relationship that remains the envy of too many of their underlings and peers. So tight is their bond that if you wish to see IBB, you must first get the approval of Hakilu. They remain very close.

The month of December is reputed to be a month when most organisations churn out gifts and awards to their customers for their continuous patronage and loyalty over the year. It is also that period of the year when homes and offices naturally enjoy creative and aesthetical adornments and decors, signaling the arrival of the joyous season of Christmas. But when one looks around, one will begin to wonder if the banking industry, which always leads the pack in corporate beautification during the Yuletide, is aware that Christmas is around the corner. Walk into any bank today, you will hardly perceive any aura of festivity.

People in the business of Interior and Exterior Decorations who always looked forward to the season to secure juicy contracts from the banks and smile back with loads of megabucks made from such contracts have been the hardest hit by the lull. No thanks to the government of President Buhari. Not only did he shake the banking industry to its foundation; he ensured that the banks’ books were opened, and tonnes of scandalous activities which had eaten the banks deep were discovered in the process. No banks dare throw money around in the name of elaborate decoration of any banking hall any longer. This new culture of financial abstinence was first observed last year but this year has been worse. As things are, only banks with sound financial record will remember it’s Yuletide.

The hypnotic appeal of watching Alhaji Francis Ogboro, who has just been appointed the new chairman of the SGS Inspection Services Nigeria, enthuse with passion about his heartfelt dreams is both captivating and instructive. It reveals years and studious efforts spent channeling purpose and the pursuit of worth. Nobody forgets the first time they met Ogboro, who was recently appointed the chairman of SGS; everyone wishes for an encore. Often it’s not the first meeting that resonates but the first time he inspired them to look inwards and tap into their innate individuality and purposeful clarity cum cheerfulness continuum that is the hallmark of his brand. There is a lot about Alhaji Ogboro that really steals under your skin at your first encounter with him: he is self-assured and yet not given to flightiness, unlike other business moguls.

A top polo player. Polo has traditionally been the exclusive sport of maharajahs, marquises and millionaires, and the game’s stars still tend to be the rich. Its advent and rapid growth in Nigeria cannot be appreciated far from the input of Francis Ogboro, President of Nigeria Polo Federation (NPF). Ogboro’s contributions have improved the sport considerably and attracted the patronage of corporate sponsors.

However, Ogboro’s Midas touch exceeds Polo’s green turf. He has recorded remarkable success across the local and international business sectors thus making him one of the shining stars of Nigeria’s high society. Over the past few years, Alhaji Francis Ogboro began working outside the box to make his peers understand that only their unstoppable people’s power could effect real change. He projects a manic self-confidence in public. He still has his edge: prosperity hasn’t robbed him of his disrespect for conventional wisdom, his spooky ability to see around corners, and his feral determination to make perfect products at all costs. All in all, success becomes him.

against Okeowo. Contrary to rumours of tight-fistedness being spread about him, the superrich magnate is in fact a generous man. His generosity exceeds the bounds and understanding of human reason, according to sources close to him. Beneficiaries of Okeowo’s generosity enthuse about his large heart and capacity for compassion even as you read. That is why he is the darling of peer and underlings across social divides.
Interestingly, angels fly because they take themselves lightly. They do not think too much of themselves, so does Okeowo. Like an angel, he takes himself very lightly despite his worth and intimidating stature.

He wears his badge of temperance and humility in the shape of a subtly hued bowtie thus affirming that he isn’t what many of his disparagers make him out to be. Contrary to misconceptions about his character, Olu, according to sources close to him, is actually a modest, compassionate, accommodating and understanding man. His only shortcoming if at all it could be considered ‘shortcoming,’ is his lack of tolerance for sycophancy, bribery or any form of corruption. He understands that his wealth and enviable acclaim are rare gifts from God bestowed on only the most deserving of humankind, hence his endless generosity and willingness to help the needy.

Recently, Okeowo, a philanthropist per excellence, was honoured with the Exemplary Philanthropist Award by the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos. This comes at the heel of his construction of a multimillion naira complex, named Sir Olu Okeowo Building, for Physiotherapy inside the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

Apart from this, the shrewd businessman is building a maternity centre in the heart of Lagos Island, with world-class medical equipment that would be solely sponsored by him.
Okeowo has donated to churches, choirs, schools to mention a few. His generosity extends to the farthest nook and cranny thus establishing him as a man whose heart truly palpitates in the interest of less privileged. How could anyone dream of maligning such exemplary character?