The wedding of Oluwaseyi Afolabi Tinubu, the son of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to his Lebanese lover, Layal Jade Houns at Oba Rilwan Akiolu’s Iga Idungaran Palace, Lagos Island, on Monday, August 8, 2016, unannounced. Many reporters and photo journalists got to hear about it that Monday, August 2016 morning.
Of course, many were aware the couple are getting married. But as it was reported by ENCOMIUM Weekly few weeks back, the wedding was scheduled to hold in Lake Como, Italy on Tuesday, August 9, and Wednesday, August 10, 2016 respectively.
ENCOMIUM Weekly was aware that some associates of the groom’s father were already making plans to make the Italy trip.
It was, therefore, a big surprise to us and many other journalists when a close source called us early Monday, August 8, 2016 morning that the wedding will be taking place at Oba Akiolu’s Iga Idungaran palace.
We asked whether the Lake Como initial wedding had been cancelled. Our source said no but only the couple and their friends will be going to Lake Como, Italy, for the continuation of the wedding. That their parents will no longer go with them.
We decided to make the trip to Iga Idungaran to see things ourselves and we were glad we did. By the time we got there at 11am, the event had not really started.
THE ROAD CLOSE
All roads leading to Iga Idungaran from all areas including 3rd Mainland bridge were all closed as early as 7am that day. They were cordoned off by police and traffic officials. As a matter of fact, when we got to the palace at 11am, we met Mr. Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, directing traffic, in his flowing gown (agbada) right there in front of the palace.
THE AMBIENCE INSIDE THE PALACE
The ambience inside the palace of Oba Akiolu was a festive one. There were two main canopies inside the palace. One was occupied by the musicians which included Oba Akiolu’s traditional drummers, musical troupe from Benue State and a juju musician – Kola Animashaun. The other canopy was for dignitaries.
IKOYI MARRIAGE REGISTRY BROUGHT DOWN TO IGA IDUNGARAN
The Federal Marriage Registry, Ikoyi, Lagos, the oldest marriage registry in Nigeria was brought from its 19, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi to Iga Idungaran, Oba Akiolu’s palace for the marriage. Four officials – two males and two females, came from the registry to administer the marriage vows between Seyi Tinubu and Layal Homs.
THOSE WHO WITNESSED THE EXCHANGE OF VOWS BETWEEN SEYI AND LAYAL
It was not all the guests that came to Oba Akiolu’s palace that actually witnessed the exchange of vows between Seyi Tinubu and Layal Jade Homs. It was for the privileged few. Aside the families of the couple, prominent personalities like governors, deputy governors, first class obas and prominent business men like Aliko Dangote, others who witnessed the exchange of marriage vows were personally invited by Asiwaju Tinubu himself or his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu. The make-shift Federal Marriage Registry, Ikoyi, Lagos took place in one of the small halls inside the palace.
Among those who witnessed the exchange of marital vows were Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Babachir David Lawal (SFG), Alhaji Abba Kyari (COS to the President), Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi and wife, Wuraola, Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his wife, Bolanle, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Wale Tinubu, Mr. Jim Ovia, Chief Bisi Akande, Hon. Lola Akande, Oba Abiodun Oniru, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, the deputy governor of Ogun state, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo and few others.
THE COUPLE’S PARENTS
At the make-shift marriage registry inside the palace, the groom’s family were represented by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Alhaja Fatima Bintu Tinubu, the Iyalode of Lagos, while the bride’s parents included Mr. Christian Holms (the bride’s step-father who brought her up), Mrs. Nkechi Holms, the bride’s mother, bride’s uncle and aunt.
The bride, we gathered, was only represented by these four people throughout the whole event.
THE PROFILE OF THE COUPLE
Oluwaseyi Afolabi Tinubu is the son of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the two time governor of Lagos State and National Leader of APC. He is a Law graduate of Buckingham University, Buckingham, United Kingdom where he bagged Masters in Corporate and Commercial Law.
Layal Jade Holms is the daughter of a Lebanese father and a Nigerian mother, Nkechi Holms. She is a graduate of Political Science and African Studies from the prestigious School of Oriental Studies, University of London. She also has Masters degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Management from University of Surrey, United Kingdom.
She is presently a senior associate, Country Management at PriceWater Cooper Nigeria.
ASIWAJU TINUBU’S VOTE OF THANKS
The groom’s father, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu gave the vote of thanks after the exchange of marriage vows. In the course of thanksgiving, Asiwaju said, if he wanted the whole world to honour him during his son’s wedding, it was not impossible for him. But he chose this low profile marriage ceremony in line with the change mantra of President Mohammadu Buhari and the present economic situation of the country.
THE TRADITIONAL BLESSING FOR THE COUPLE
After the completion of the court wedding, some traditional items like adun, oyin (honey), etc were brought into the small hall for traditional blessings of the marriage. But the groom’s step-mother, Senator Oluremi Tinubu ordered that they should be taken back. The traditional blessing was later done in Oba Akiolu’s residence within the palace.
It was after the traditional blessing that the new couple came out to take photographs with some other guests who were not able to attend the court wedding.
PRESIDENT BUHARI’S LETTER TO THE COUPLE
President Muhammadu Buhari sent a congratulatory letter through his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari to the new couple. The letter was read to the couple by compare of the event, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st.
President Buhari concluded his letter to Seyi Tinubu thus “Seyi, your father is among the most famous Nigerians who helped to shape modern Nigeria. You should cherish and help keep his legacy alive. Congratulation, happy day today and happy days ahead.”
There was no elaborate reception after the wedding. Although food and water were served, there was no formal reception. As a matter of fact, few minutes after ace comedian and compare, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st read the president’s letter, the couple took their leave into waiting vehicles.
We gathered that they left for the airport right from the palace to catch their flight to Italy where the remaining ceremonies will continue. But this time around, without their parents, just a handful of friends.
‘I am glad to have her as my wife’ – Seyi Tinubu
But in the early morning of Monday, August 8, 2016, a source called ENCOMIUM Weekly to inform us that Seyi Tinubu’s wedding will hold at Oba Akiolu’s palace, Iga Idungaran, Lagos Island, at 11am. We made some few calls and it was confirmed the wedding will actually be taking place.
Though we got there on time, we were unable to witness the solemnization because it was done privately in one of the halls in the palace.
The marriage registry officials, we gathered, were called in to perform the solemnization in the presence of the couple’s parents and some prominent Nigerians.
It was after the wedding that the couple came down to take photographs with some of the dignitaries present that we had the opportunity to talk to them.
It was in the rush to leave to catch their flight to Italy that we were able to get few seconds from the groom, Seyi Tinubu to talk to us.
We want to congratulate you on your wedding today.
Thank you very much.
How does it make you feel?
When and how did you meet your wife?
We’ve been friends for three and half years now.
What would you say you saw in her that made you think she is the one you want to live the rest of your life with?
She is my best friend. She is intelligent. She is my back bone. She is everything that a man want in a wife and I am glad to have her as my wife.
What is your expectation from this marriage?
Long life and plenty kids.