Friday, 15 December 2017

The Last Christmas: The Strange Case of A Kannywood Actress by Onigegewura - Part 2

Officers and men of Nigerian Police began their investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Auwalu. They left no stone unturned in their efforts to unravel the mystery of how a grown up adult could have suddenly disappeared on Christmas Day.

The DPO was a very diligent lady. She reviewed the report of the preliminary investigation. She saw some holes in the claims of the movie star. She therefore decided to visit the Dam to confirm or disprove the facts as narrated by Rabi Cecilia. On December 28, the DPO along with her officers and some relations of Auwalu went to Tiga Dam. Auwalu was nowhere to be found.

The police were however undaunted. They went to work. They spread out across Kano metropolis. Of course you know that komi ya ke chikkin dan kaza, shafu ya deddi da sanninshi. [There is no secret inside a chicken that the hawk does not know.] They soon located one Yahya Usman. He was the one that Rabi sold Auwalu’s television and VCD to for N8,000 and N4,000 respectively. They also found one Halima who bought Auwalu’s Nokia phone for N1,000. Finally the police found Adebayo Abdulkarim who she had given Auwalu’s car stereo and two speakers.

Confronted with these fresh facts, Rabi broke down in tears. She confessed that she had pushed the unfortunate young man into the river. The DPO and her officers again took her to Tiga. At the dam side, Rabi showed them the spot where she pushed the deceased into the water. The investigating police officers also saw coal and other traces of the fire she made on Christmas Day.

With these new revelations, the police began a detailed search of the water and the surrounding areas. Finally the search paid off. About a kilometre away from the point where he was pushed into the water,  Auwalu was found. 

Or rather, his body was found. It was in an advanced state of decomposition.

The police went back the following day with officers from the Fire Service and a medical doctor from Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital as well as members of Auwalu’s family. The body was brought out by Fire Service officers. Police photographers went to work. They took photographs of the body from different angles. In some of the shots, Rabi was seen pointing at her now deceased boyfriend.

With investigations completed, Rabi Ismail aka Rabi Cecilia, the movie superstar was arraigned before His Lordship Justice Haliru and charged with the offence of culpable homicide. When the charge was read to her, she was asked to make her plea. She responded: “I understand the charge. I am not guilty.”

The prosecution knew that the case was indeed a very difficult one. To secure a conviction, three things had to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. It must be proved that Auwalu had died. It must also be proved that Auwalu’s death was caused by Rabi Ismail, alias Rabi Cecilia, the movie star. Finally, the prosecution must prove that the act or omission of Rabi which caused Auwalu’s death was intentional with knowledge that death or grievous bodily harm was its probable consequence.

The challenge confronting the prosecution was the fact that there was no eyewitness account of Auwalu’s last hours on earth. The evidence was therefore circumstantial.

At the trial, the prosecution called 9 witnesses in support of its case. Umma Ibrahim, Auwalu’s sister, was the first witness. Ado Muhammad, the taxi driver was also called. Sergeant David Watsav, an investigator with CID, also testified for the prosecution. He was the officer that found the decomposing body in the water. Yahaya Usman who bought Auwalu’s properties from Rabi was also brought to court as witness for the prosecution.

I hope you recall that Rabi made two statements to the police. In the first, it was her case that one Ibrahim assisted her to carry Auwalu to an abandoned house. In the second, she admitted pushing Auwalu to the water.

At the trial, Rabi changed her previous statements. She was the only witness for herself. She called no other person to testify in her defence. According to her, when Ado, the taxi driver, dropped them at the Tiga Dam side and drove away in annoyance, she and Auwalu (who was now unconscious) decided to trek back to the main road.

She claimed that they came across a motorcyclist and pleaded with him to “carry them to the Highway but the cyclist insisted on carrying only one of them.” It was decided that the cyclist would take her first and come back for Auwalu. She claimed that when they got to the junction, the cyclist refused to go back to pick Auwalu. She had no choice but to proceed to Kano, leaving Auwalu to his fate.

The trial Judge, His Lordship Justice Haliru considered the evidence adduced by both the prosecution and the defence, as well as the address of their respective counsel. On December 5, 2004 – 20 days short of the second anniversary of Auwalu’s death – Justice Haliru found Rabi Ismail who was also known as Rabi Cecilia guilty of murder. She was therefore convicted accordingly. She was sentenced to death by hanging.

Immediately the judgment was pronounced, Rabi’s family members who were in court broke down in tears. Rabi herself was however unmoved. According to an eyewitness account, Rabi scolded her younger sister who was weeping profusely as she was being led away.

On January 17, 2005, Rabi appealed against the judgment of the High Court of Kano. The appeal was filed at the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal. Amongst other grounds, she contested the judgment on the ground that the learned trial judge erred in law by holding that the case against her was not that of drugging but of drowning Auwalu.

At the appeal court, Rabi was represented by N. O. Ishola who led four other lawyers. Alhaji Aliyu Umar, the Attorney General of Kano State led S. B. Namallam, the DPP; Y. A. Adamu, the Assistant DPP; and M. B. Dan’azumi, a Senior State Counsel for the respondent.

Rabi’s counsel submitted powerfully that the trial judge made a new case for the prosecution when the facts adduced were against the weight of evidence at the trial. On the other hand, the Attorney General forcefully argued that all the learned trial judge  did was to analyse the evidence of the prosecution upon which it reached its conclusion.

The Court of Appeal listened to both the Appellant and the Respondent. In the lead judgment delivered by His Lordship Ba’aba, JCA, the appellate court held that: 

No cogent reason has been shown for me to interfere with the judgment of the learned trial judge who painstakingly reviewed the evidence adduced before him and in my opinion resolved the issues raised properly in accordance with the law. In the final analysis, I hold that there is no merit whatsoever in this appeal and I therefore dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.”

My Lords Honourable Justice Olukayode Ariwoola and John Inyang Okoro who sat with His Lordship also agreed with the lead judgment. The unanimous panel dismissed Rabi Ismail’s appeal. With the dismissal of her appeal, Rabi Cecilia moved a step closer to the gallows.

Off to the Supreme Court. At the apex Court, Rabi was represented by Tawo E. Tawo who led N. E. O. Ngele and Miss E. M. Igbokwe. Again, Alhaji Aliyu Umar, the Kano State Attorney General led a host of learned counsel from the State Ministry of Justice to appear for the Respondent.

The only issue the Supreme Court was called upon to resolve was whether from the totality of the evidence adduced, the prosecution had proved its case against Rabi beyond reasonable doubt.

At the end of the hearing, all the five Honourable Justices [Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, Francis Tabai, Ibrahim Muhammad, John Fabiyi and Bode Rhodes-Vivour] who heard the appeal affirmed the concurrent decisions of the two lower courts and dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.

That was the end of the case but not the end of the story. 

Following the dismissal of her appeal by the Supreme Court on July 8, 2011, Rabi Ismail (Prison Number K/22c) was moved from Kaduna Central Prison to Hadejia Prisons in Jigawa State to await her date with the hangman. It was at Hadejia Prisons that the unthinkable happened five months after her final appeal was dismissed.

On December 16, 2011, Rabi Ismail mysteriously disappeared from the prison! Some said she escaped, others agued that she disappeared. 

Her escape/disappearance was mysterious indeed. According to reports, Rabi did not break the prison walls; neither did she dig a tunnel out of the prison cells. She was there one day and the next day she was no longer there. Just like that! Yes, just like that! Her escape was discovered when a prison warden went round on the morning of December 16 for the usual roll call.

Prison authorities believed that the convicted murderer was aided by insiders. This was confirmed by the Jigawa State Comptroller of Prison who revealed that when he was told of her escape without breaking the wall or digging an underground tunnel, he concluded that the prisoner must have been aided internally.

According to the comptroller: “I just told the officer in charge of the prison that it is a clear inside plot because there was no way the actress could have escaped from Hadejia prison without the help of an insider.” The six prison wardens on duty when it was discovered that she went missing were immediately summoned for interrogation. 

It was assumed that she would soon be found on account of her being a famous figure as well as the notoriety of her case. The prison authorities were soon joined by sister law enforcement agencies in their manhunt (or womanhunt, if you like) for the escaped prisoner. They spread out their dragnet across the country.

Well, the first year rolled by without Rabi or her shadow being sighted anywhere. It was as if she had simply disappeared into thin air. The second and third years followed in quick succession. There was no Rabi Ismail anywhere in sight.

When the fourth year came to an end without any news about Rabi, it appeared that the sultry actress would never be found. Slowly, the fifth anniversary of her escape came and went. Her file continued to gather dust.

Would Rabi ever be found?

What Rabi however did not know was that Law and History have something in common. History and Law do not forget. A criminal will forever be haunted.

Finally in 2017, six years after her dramatic escape from Jigawa, the long arms of the law caught up with Rabi Ismail. She was captured by officers of the Department of State Security  while attempting to escape from the country. According to reports, the convicted murderer was caught along Lagos-Benin border. Her final destination was not known but it was certain that the road where she was caught was not the route to either Kano or Jigawa.

You want to know where Rabi is at the moment? Onigegewura knows but he won’t tell you...


And with that we have come to the end of our last story for 2017. And what a year it has been! 

Eni ti a se lore ti ko dupe, o da bi olósà ko ni leru lo ni [There is no distinction between an ingrate and an armed robber]. 

Many thanks to Becky Oduguwa, Titi Alimi, Olubunmi Taiwo and Reginald Udom. Becky and Titi edited the stories you read on the blog. I am eternally in their debt.  

Special thanks to Ibrahim Olatoye Lawal and Rafindadi Abdul Muhammad. They are both dependable and committed. I appreciate their support.

My heartfelt gratitude goes to Aare Afe Babalola, the Aare Bamofin of Yoruba Land.  I appreciate the privilege given to the boy from Ile-Ife to dine at the table of elders. Mo juba o!  

What of Mutiu Babalola Ganiyu [MBG], the man with the prodigious memory and extensive library [There is no day I speak with him that I don't learn something new. He is brilliance personified].

Professor Abiola Sanni is a practical definition of the word 'gentleman'. You don't expect anything less from someone from Ile-Ife. It is in the Yoruba constitution.

Anti mi, Princess Funmi Odunsi must be mentioned for her singular dedication to the cause of Onigegewura. 

If I have been able to see the world from a vantage point, it's because I have been privileged to stand on the shoulders of The Two Great Bosses, who shall remain nameless, at least for now [If you know them, Chatham House Rule applies].

I am very grateful to their Lordships, Distinguished Senior Advocates, Learned Professors, Gentlemen of the Bar, members of different Lawyers WhatsApp fora, the co-conspirators, and those who found out the identity of the Onigegewura by mistake. “You are the Onigegewura, the Raconteur!” I plead guilty as charged.

I appreciate Lanre Shasore of Quramo Books []  and Olaotan Oladitan of  Regal Flowers [] for their support and gifts. Thank you.

Yinni yinni ki eni se mii [Appreciation triggers more good deeds]. I appreciate the wonderful librarians across the country who allowed me unrestricted access to their archives. You deserve a gold medal. 

And of course, awon Kekere Omo Akin whose incessant questions and endless requests for bedtime stories gave birth to Onigegewura.

And to you, beloved members of Onigegewura Readers Club, I thank you all for your support. There is no Onigegewura without you. Thanks for your comments, for your likes, and for sharing our stories. Our combination has been terrific. I love you all.

Last but certainly not the least, Anti Wura, buroda Alani's third wife deserves to be mentioned - she started it all.

I wish you boundless goodness.  I am not ungrateful.

Ipade wa bi oyin. Ipade wa bi adùn. Ipade wa wooo bi ojó ro! [Our reunion will be as sweet as honey.]

 -Olanrewaju Onigegewura©
History Does Not Forget

The right of Olanrewaju Onigegewura© to be identified as the author of stories published on this blog has been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright laws. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Last Christmas: The Strange Case of A Kannywood Actress by Onigegewura

Rabi Ismail was used to being the centre of attention. This is only natural as Rabi was a movie star. It is doubtful if there is anyone who is familiar with the Hausa movie industry, popularly called Kannywood, who does not know Rabi Ismail. She was famed for both her acting prowess and her alluring figure. Her stardom was however not limited to Kano where she was based. She was as popular in Abuja as she was known in Lagos and Enugu.

On this fateful day, as she descended from the Black Maria, she was once again the cynosure of all eyes. Camera flashlights were popping as journalists and cameramen struggled to take the perfect shot. It was everything Rabi was used to. She could as well have been on the red carpet. But this time around the delectable actress was not on a movie set. Instead of a director and a producer, she was being chaperoned towards the courtroom by prison warders and police officers.

Some passers-by who saw the screen goddess being led to the court thought it was a scene from another movie project. Rabi Ismail, also known as Rabi Cecilia, was indeed a screen goddess in her own right. She had earned her stripes by featuring in popular Kannywood movies like Mankisa, Aya, and Tsumagiya, amongst other flicks. There was no doubt that she was destined for the top of the acting profession. Some of her fans were even thinking that she would soon leave Kano for Hollywood. Well, that was until that fateful Christmas day in 2002.

What could have turned the movie star into an accused? Or could it be part of a movie script? Or perhaps it was a publicity stunt for her new movie project? These and more were the questions on people’s lips when they heard the incredible news of her arrest. For answers to these questions, let us follow Onigegewura to the Emirate of Kano for a true story that is stranger than fiction.

Umma Ibrahim woke up very early on Christmas day. She had hardly slept a wink. Her brother whom she stayed with had not returned home the previous night. Following her separation from her husband two years earlier, she had been staying with Auwalu Ibrahim, her half brother. She had made several attempts to get across to Auwalu on his Nokia phone without success. What could have happened to him? She was worried.  Unknown to Umma, Auwalu had spent the night at Farm Centre police station where he was detained overnight for a traffic related offence.

Ado Muhammad was a taxi driver in Kano metropolis. As he drove along Zoo Road on Christmas day looking for a fare, his eyes caught sight of a familiar figure standing by the side of the road. The figure looked very familiar. He was wondering where he knew the woman when he realized that she was flagging his taxi. The woman was no other than Rabi Cecilia, the popular actress. I have told you that Rabi was not an unknown commodity in Kano. Where could she be going this early? Ado wondered as he parked beside her.

Rabi wanted to hire his services for the day. After minutes of bargaining, it was agreed that she would pay him N250 per hour. Their first point of call was Farm Centre Police Station. Rabi went inside the station. Of course, the police officers on duty knew the popular artiste. What they didn’t know was that Auwalu who was detained for traffic related offence was her boyfriend. She filled the relevant forms and Auwalu was released to her.

Perhaps if Auwalu had known what fate had in store for him, he would have preferred to remain in the custody of the police. But you know that me rabon duka bai jin bari [the person who is destined to be beaten will never accept reconciliation in a fight]. From the police station, the lovers went to Auwalu’s friend’s house and from there to Auwalu’s house.

Umma was more than excited to see her brother. She had spent the day waiting anxiously for his return. Auwalu explained to his sister how he had been detained overnight at the police station. She wanted him to eat but Auwalu told her that he was going out and would soon be back to take his bath and eat. He changed his cloth and quickly dashed out. It must be true that fura da zai (za ya) zubar ba shi tara'n guribi [A pot of fura that is destined to fall will not stay in the hole hollowed out for it.]

Rabi was waiting for Auwalu in the taxi cab she had chartered for the day. The lovers decided to have a picnic at the scenic Tiga Dam. The Dam had been constructed between 1971 and 1974. It is a major reservoir on Kano River, the main tributary of River Hadejia. Ado was not very familiar with the route but as he was eager to earn his fare, he told the lovebirds that he would ask for direction. In 2002, N250 was a princely sum. He must have made a mental calculation of how much he was going to make if his service was retained for at least six hours.

They soon arrived at Tiga, but the dam was still some distance away. Rabi got down from the cab and asked for directions to the dam. The people she asked offered to lead them down to the dam. They soon located the Tiga Dam. It was a sight to behold with cascading water forming frothing foam. Ado parked his cab beside a tree and watched as the two lovers dashed off for a swim.

Ado however noticed one thing. Auwalu was not particularly excited about the swim. He looked tired and withdrawn. He soon stopped swimming and came out of the water. Rabi would have none of it. She pushed her lover back into the water. Auwalu struggled a bit and managed to crawl to the bank of the river. Again, Rabi pushed him back into the foaming waters of Kano River.

Despite his weakened state, Auwalu found his way back to the bank. Even to Ado who was watching from the safety of his cab, it was apparent that Auwalu was cold. He was trembling all over and Ado clearly heard him telling Rabi that he was feeling cold. Rabi gathered some twigs and made a small fire to warm him. Ado assumed that it must be the lovers’ idea off a movie. It was a bit weird, but he must earn his fare.

He however realized that something sinister was about to happen when Rabi approached him and asked for his help to leave the shivering Auwalu at the riverside. Ado refused. According to him: “I told her how could that be when we went there together.” 

Rabi was undaunted. She asked Ado to help her with battery acid. Having realized that her intentions were less than noble, Ado refused. She then asked for petrol. The taxi driver knew that she had no engine with her that required fuel. He didn’t want to assume that she wanted to burn the hapless and helpless young man who was now shivering uncontrollably. On the other hand, he thought it could be a plan between them to burn him and steal his precious cab. He was not comfortable with either option and he refused her request.

Seeing that Ado was not going to aid her plan, whatever it was, she asked him to take them back to Kano metropolis. On the way to Kano, Ado stopped to buy fuel for his taxi. He was hardly back in the cab when Rabi asked for fuel again. Fuel? Ado had forgotten totally about her request for petrol. It was at that point he became afraid for his dear life and his precious cab. He however managed to refuse the request.

That was when Rabi played the ace she had up her sleeves. She told the taxi driver to take them back to the dam as she had forgotten her bag. Realising that it would amount to a breach of contract not to take her and having not been paid for the charter, Ado had no choice but to turn the car towards Tiga. All these while, Auwalu was almost unconscious and was lying at the back of the car. It was clear that the Eclairs chocolate sweet given to him by Rabi was drugged.

Back at the dam, Ado expected the actress to go and look for her handbag which she claimed she had forgotten. He was surprised when Rabi asked him to assist her to bring down the barely conscious Auwalu.  Immediately Auwalu was safely out of the cab, Ado made a quick U-turn and fled! He didn’t stop to pick any fare on the way. He was thanking his lucky star for his narrow escape. Although he couldn’t place his finger on it, he knew instinctively that Rabi’s intention towards Auwalu or himself was not pure.

For the second straight night, Umma Ibrahim spent a sleepless night waiting for her brother. She could not believe that Auwalu had failed to return home again. Where could he have gone to? His phone had not been going through. She prayed that he had not been arrested for another traffic related offence.

Umma was not the only one who had a sleepless night. Ado, the taxi driver, was also not able to sleep. He wondered whether it was all a dream. The movie star, the young man at the police station, the dam, the fuel station, the forgotten handbag, back at the dam, the shivering young man, and the narrow escape. But it could not have been a dream. It was all too vivid.

After the day’s adventure, he decided to clean his car. That was when he discovered the woman’s handbag!

At the sight of the bag, his heart skipped a beat.

The lady had claimed that she left the bag at the dam. That was why she asked him to return to Tiga. So, if the bag had been in the car all along, why had she lied? What was her purpose for asking him to take them back to the dam?

Then he remembered something more important than the bag.  He had not been paid for the charter. He estimated that he was with them for eight hours. At the rate of N250 per hour, they were owing him N2,000. Although he didn’t know where the Kannywood artiste lived, he could still remember the house where the man went to change his cloth at Gyadi-Gyadi. He made up his mind to go there early on Boxing Day to collect his fare and return the bag.

Ado arrived at Auwalu’s residence early on the morning of December 26. He did not go there alone. Having regard to his experience the previous day, he asked a couple of his friends to accompany him. As he was parking his cab, he was surprised to see Rabi also arriving on a motorcycle. He handed over the bag to her and she quickly examined the contents and certified that everything was intact.

Ado then asked for his fare. To this, Rabi responded that Auwalu would pay him. Ado was not going to have any of that. It was Rabi who engaged his services and it was Rabi that must pay him. He insisted on being taken to wherever Auwalu was so that he could get his money. At this point, Umma, who knew Rabi as her brother’s girlfriend, told them that Auwalu had not come home to sleep.

Again, Ado insisted that Rabi must take him to Auwalu. Instead of taking him to where Auwalu was, Rabi took him to a house along Dan Kura Road, off Zoo Road where she gave him the sum of N2,000. Ado collected his money and sped off. He must have been thanking God for his second escape. He hoped that would be the last he would be seeing of the actress. Alas! He hoped in vain.

Umma was about to settle down to her morning chores when Rabi returned, this time alone. Umma was eager to find out whether she had brought news about her brother. Rabi told her that her brother was hale and hearty but that he was busy at a film location. He had sent her to bring his Video CD and Television set. To confirm that she had truly been sent by Auwalu, she showed Umma his I. D. card, vehicle particulars and the key to his room. Umma was convinced and she allowed her to take away the items.

Some hours later, Umma was shocked to see Rabi again, the third time that day. Rabi told her that Auwalu had asked her to bring him his CD recorder. This time, Umma refused. She insisted on being taken to wherever her brother was. Rabi pacified the distraught and obviously suspicious woman by telling her that she would “see the film director to allow Auwalu to come back home as his family were worried.” She left without being allowed to take the CD recorder.

Umma waited in vain for her brother to come back home as promised by Rabi. If she saw anyone that evening, it was certainly not her brother. To her everything was like a dream. If Auwalu was indeed at a location as claimed by Rabi, he would have at least called to inform her. She wondered why a film director would detain an adult without allowing him to call his family members.

When Ado left Rabi on December 26, he had hoped that he had heard the last of the strange couple. Do you recall that when Rabi and Auwalu left the police station on December 25, Onigegewura told you that they first went to Auwalu’s friend’s house. What Onigegewura did not tell you was the friend’s name.  And you didn’t even bother ask. No wahala, I will tell you. Aminu Ahmed was the friend’s name.

Two days later, Ado was driving his cab along Dankura Road when he saw Aminu Ahmed. His curiosity got the better part of him. He had been wondering what fate befell Auwalu after he left them at the dam. He therefore waved at Aminu who recognized him immediately. Aminu was pleased to see him and pleaded with him to follow him to Auwalu’s relatives who had not seen him since the day he was released on bail by the police. That was how the family got to know the role Rabi played in their son’s disappearance.

They all trooped to the Sabon Gari Division where a case of abduction was lodged against Rabi Ismail. The police swung into action and promptly Rabi was arrested. She was asked to assist them to find the missing actor. At the police station, she claimed that on getting back to Kano on Christmas day, she told one Ibrahim Shuru that she had left Auwalu in the bush and that the two of them went back and met Auwalu. According to her, Ibrahim carried Auwalu to an abandoned building and left him sleeping in the inner room of the house.

Following this information, Supol Adekoya, the DCP, went with some police officers and searched every room in the house. 

Auwalu was nowhere to be found.

So, where was Auwalu?...

Let's stop here for today. 

The story continues tomorrow... 

-Olanrewaju Onigegewura©
History Does Not Forget

The right of Olanrewaju Onigegewura© to be identified as the author of stories published on this blog has 
been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright laws.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

One Good Turn Deserves Another: A True Story by Onigegewura

What you are about to read is a true story that illustrates the saying: one good turn deserves another. One of the things I have discovered is that, in many cases, it is those ‘small things’ that we do or say everyday that culminate to become history. To us it might be insignificant, but to the person on the receiving end, it might be the most singular thing that changed the course of their life.

People may forgive and forget, but history does not forget. Let’s follow Onigegewura to the Central Bank of Nigeria where this story started in the ‘70s. The author is Chief S. Bamidele Falegan, the first Nigerian Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. Chief Falegan retired as the Director of Research of Central Bank of Nigeria.


“An example of a good turn deserving another, was in respect of three members of staff – two young men, Mr. Bode Leigh and Mr. Aderungboye, both clerks in the Research Department [of Central Bank of Nigeria] and a young woman, Miss Ajoke Ishola, also a clerk in my research library.

Chief S. B. Falegan
The three entered the bank with Grade I in their West African School Certificate Examination. However, due to the “unproductive policy” of promotion every two-years outside the Research Department, they were not only complacent but also wanted to be transferred from Research Department to the Operations Department where they could earn two-yearly promotions.

One day, I told the three of them that not only wouldn’t I transfer them out of my Department but I would not guarantee them any automatic promotion at the end of that year. I ended by saying, “If you don’t find your way to any of the universities in Nigeria with your good grades and equip yourself for the future, I will never promote you.”

I dismissed them from my office, only to discover the following year that they had all left the bank for further studies as I advised, with the following success trailing them:

Mr. Bode Leigh became not only Professor Bode Leigh, but also Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University. We later became good friends at St. Peter’s Church, Faji, Lagos where we met as worshippers and in the same church society, Christian Companions.

My first meeting with him after he left the bank was in the house of my later brother-in-law, late Professor Atanda Adenuga at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Unknown to me, he had told them of my influence in furthering his education; they had had all burst into laughter when he greeted me warmly and familiarly and I could not recognise him.

When Bode later became Commissioner of Lands under Alhaji L. K. Jakande administration in Lagos State, it was he who persuaded the Governor to allocate a piece of land to me and another to Chief Olu Falae where we both built side by side on Ahmed Onibudo Road on Victoria Island.

Mr. (later Dr.) Aderungboye, General Manager of Okitipupa Oil Palm Company whom I met many years later (after he left the bank) as the Operational Manager of the company which the Inter-State Securities Limited was helping to privatize. I led the team that was packaging the privatization and I was in the company’s guest house for two weeks. It was there he disclosed what I did for him. On my departure, he provided me with:

(a) oil palm seedlings free of charge for planting on thirteen of my twenty three acres oil palm plantation at Ado-Ekiti;
(b) the labour to deliver and plant all the seedlings on my farm site free of charge; and
(c)  ten big kegs of palm oil free of charge to me for the burial of my mother-in-law at Igbara-Oke.

In her own case, I came across Miss Ajoke Ishola, one Sunday in 2000 after the morning service at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Ado-Ekiti. I saw a lady knelt down before me to greet me, full of smiles and radiance, in her natural habit. She had always been a vivacious socialite. She introduced herself as Mrs. Ajoke Oluwasanmi, nee Ishola of the Research Library of the Central Bank of Nigeria 1976.

I was taken aback. “How did you get to Ado-Ekiti?” I asked her. Her remark was that when I encouraged her to leave the Central Bank to further her education, she gained admission to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife to read pharmacy. She came to Ekiti for her National Youth Corp programme during which time she met her husband, Mr. Oluwasanmi from the famous Oluwasanmi family of Ode-Ekiti.

It was a warm embrace! I overheard her tell a friend, “That was my boss at CBN” she enthused. “Oga was friendly and tough” she concluded. She became very close to my family, especially my wife. I was privileged to be the chairman at one of her children’s wedding. She rose to the peak of her career and became Permanent Secretary, Public Service Commission in the Civil Service of Ekiti, from where she retired at the end of July 2011 after a meritorious service.”


Culled from My Yesteryears – An Autobiography of an Economist/Banker  by Chief S. B. Falegan, published by Bamboo Books [2013]. 

One good turn indeed deserves another!

Do you have a true-life story that you want Onigegewura to publish on how a good turn deserves another? Please forward your story to Our readers will be pleased to read and learn from your experience.

Please do not forget to leave your comment below for a chance to win Bolaji Abdullahi's new book: On a Platter of Gold - How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria. Winners will be announced on Monday, December 11, 2017.

I thank you for your time.

-Olanrewaju Onigegewura©
History Does Not Forget

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