WILLIAM Shakespeare, that English legendary playwright and poet, wrote in one of his classic plays, Julius Caesar: ‘The evil that men do live after them.”
This quotation aptly describes the situation Mr. Chika Mbonu, the former managing director of Citizens Bank and later Assurance Bank, is in right now.
Since we published his messing up of Henry and Doreen Bassey’s 10 year-old marriage in our last two editions, our phones have not stopped ringing, from those calling us to tell us more about how he misplaced the trust of a young man who took him as a big brother and spiritual guide to those defending him.
We learnt that when Henry first came back into the country after a long sojourn in London (United Kingdom), where he bagged a Master’s degree and was already pursuing his doctorate degree, Chika was one of the few people outside his family that he made friends with.
They met at The Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, Victoria Island, Lagos, from where they struck their friendship. Chika, we learnt, assisted Henry a lot, particularly in the field of business.
Henry, because of this, grew to like him and took him as a big brother. He, therefore, did not hesitate to introduce his fiancé, Doreen, with whom he came from London.
Henry met Doreen in London during the course of his studies there. Doreen, a Burundian was living in London, under refugee status. While in London, she was able to pursue her education, acquiring the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level.
This was what she had when she came to Nigeria with Henry.
On August 2000, Henry married Doreen, his heartthrob, at City of David, Victoria Island, Lagos. The officiating minister at the elaborate wedding was late Eskor Mfon, and the person who signed the marriage certificate as a witness for Henry Bassey was Mr. Chika Mbonu. Also in attendance during the cross border wedding were Doreen’s parents and siblings from Burundi.
So also Henry’s father, friends and well wishers. Henry’s father at the time, was still the managing director of Nigerian Printing and Minting Company. It was certainly the happiest moment of the couple.
But barely a year later, Chika started having an adulterous affair with Doreen. Although, he was and still lives in his Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos residence while the couple lives at Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki, Chika, by virtue of his position as a former managing director of a bank, had a guest house at Victoria Garden City, then. This guest house usually served as their love nest.
Doreen, being a complete housewife, did not have problems moving from their residence to the guest house. Sometimes too, Chika will send his driver to pick her from VGC to somewhere within the Island.
We also have it on good authority that the two adulterers, sometimes met outside the country. That all the trips made by Doreen to Dubai, Paris and London were at the behest of Chika. Ironically, it was Henry that paid for all these trips because as a caring husband and supposedly loving father, he was doing everything to make his wife and mother of his children happy.
Henry certainly was the last person to know about the betrayal of the two people he entrusted with his life. He first got a whiff of the sizzling romance going on between his wife and Mbonu in 2006. When he confronted his wife, she denied it. He, however, reported them to late Pastor Eskor Mfon and Pastor Idowu Iluyomade.
As a complete gentleman and devout Christian who believed so much in the sanctity of the family, he forgave his wife and kept on playing his role as a loving husband and father.
The bubble, however, burst for the adulterers when again they went on their love tryst abroad and Emmanuel, the first child of the family, fell sick and needed blood. To Henry’s chagrin, he discovered that his supposedly first son’s genotype is AS, whereas his and that of the mother are AA. It was then it dawned on him that he was not the father of Emmanuel who is eight years old this year.
Emmanuel’s case was what prompted him to do the genotype of Tahella, his supposedly six year-old daughter, and to his surprise again, the result was negative. She too was AS. It didn’t take Henry too long to know who could be responsible.
If it took Henry six years to suspect his wife of frolicking with his supposed friend and Christian brother and eight years to know that he is not the biological father of his two children, Chika and Doreen knew from the beginning that Henry was not the father of those two children, because right from their birth, Chika had been dotting on them. Doreen too has been using this to rake in money from Chika. When Doreen came back from another of her trips abroad, Henry confronted her with the facts that he was not the biological father of Emmanuel and Tahella and she was too dumb-founded to argue with him. Immediately, Doreen left Bassey’s home and he filed for a divorce at the Lagos High Court. The suit was filed in July 2010 and by August 2010, it was granted. We learnt Chika has continued to take care of Doreen and the children. That her new apartment somewhere in Colindale, North London, is being taken care of by him.
Interestingly, the Basseys are not the only one Chika has wrecked their marriage or relationship, according to insiders. There was a lady, Erih, who came into the country from the United States of America few years ago. She was living at a flat off Admiralty Road, Lekki, with her boyfriend.
The boyfriend later discovered Erih was going out with Chika. He left the flat for her and relocated to Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos.
Chika relocated to the flat which was located inside Pendulum Art Gallery, Lekki, Lagos. This was where he was hibernating when the police declared him wanted at the height of the crisis in his bank then. The bank crisis was triggered by a petition written by his deputy, Nick Opara-Ndudu, to CBN and EFCC, accusing Chika of monumental financial misdemeanours.
The lady who is currently working in Zenith Bank is said to have a boy for Chika.
Mbonu, we also have it on good authority, had a rollicking romantic affair with an ex-beauty queen who is currently married to a medical doctor. He, we learnt, was the one who rented a flat for her at Victoria Island, Lagos, then.
When we called Mbonu, he refused to take our call. He later called our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kunle Bakare and editor, Mr. Azuh Arinze, to tell them they should stop our reporters from calling him. Thereafter, we sent him a text message which he never replied. The text goes thus:
Greetings, Sir. We will like to clarify some information from you.
Is it true that you knew from the beginning that Bassey’s children are yours?
Is it true that since July 2010, you have been responsible for the upkeep of Doreen and the children in London?
Is it also true that you dated a lady called Erih, and she had a boy for you few years back?
Is it also true sir, that you had a romantic affair with Nike Oshinowo and rented her Adeola Odeku Street residential flat for her?
We will appreciate your earnest response to these questions.
We also called Mr. Henry Bassey, who pleaded to be left alone. This was how the conversation between us and Mr. Bassey went…
Sir, we will appreciate it if you tell us more about this issue about your wife and Chika Mbonu?
I don’t like publicity. I will rather not discuss the issue. I have moved on with my life. Let us rest the issue for now.
But we want you to confirm the story so that our readers will know it actually happened.
You guys (ENCOMIUM) have done your research very well. I don’t have anything to say again. Like I said, I will rather let the issue rest for now.
But we learnt that Mr. Mbonu is your friend and even signed as your witness during your wedding. What do you want to do to him now?
Please, let me be. I said I don’t want to discuss the issue anymore. Please, please and please…and the line went off.
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM WEEKLY Magazine edition of Tuesday, September 21, 2010