It is going to be difficult for friends and businessman associates of the Benin-City, Edo State-born-billionaire-businessman Captain Hosa Okunbor to come to terms with his new status as a beaded Benin Chief. For about three decades, this gentleman and philanthropist with a heart of gold has simply been known as Captain by all and sundry, now their dilemma will be whether to call him Captain, which the majority can flow with or Chief, his new title or Chief Captain. I am not sure it is my role to solve this riddle that comes with elevation and change of status. They will all just have to find a way around it or maybe Captain will take out an ad to tell his friends and associates how he wants to be addressed.
Anyway, two weekends was great fun in Benin City, the Edo State Capital. Dignitaries and friends from far and near, with a cascade of private jets and chattered planes stormed the city, first on Friday, to rejoice with Captain Hosa Wells Okunbor, who was being honoured with a bead by the Oba of Benin at his palace, which is one of the greatest honour for any Benin man, though a lot of folks said this honour had been long overdue. The chieftaincy ceremony, which is another kettle of fish, will come sometime later.
The next day a galaxy of stars, money bags, politicians and Niger Delta’s who is who gathered at his sprawling residence to attend the commencement of marriage rites for his beautiful and respectful daughter Ivie Uhunoma whose beau, Utie A. Emiko, son of the Olu of Warri and his royal entourage came knocking for her hands in marriage.
For most of the people it was to pay homage to a great man who had empowered a lot of people across the Niger Delta and who as they say, in Benin, continues to ‘make big boys’ every day by his unique style of empowerment. It perhaps explains why most of the big boys present stayed back to give moral support and ensure the guests who kept arriving from the morning of Saturday and flowed through the night. The question people asked was what kind of entertainment the wedding proper will witness if the introduction is this grand. They all will have to wait and see or go ask the man. Dem wan tell am how to spend him money?
The entertainment, which was quiet simple, since it was just an introduction, though a lot of people said, Captain does not do small or simple things, and they must know. Anyway, culinary expertise was taken to another level; the food in all classes and cuisine was sumptuous and lavish.
The big boys had to decide what brand of champagne was most suitable, Moet, Rose or Dom Perigon or for those who love hard liquor, VSOP, Red Label, Black Label or Blue Label depending on how really big you are.
Each time Captain Hosa Okunbor moved about, his boys shouted, The Lion. That may be his new title. It further compounds what the jolly rich fellow will go by; Captain, The Lion or Chief. There was fun throughout the two-day celebration and merriment.
Meanwhile the gold-plaited invitation cards for the November 7-9 traditional marriage and wedding were printed in Atlanta, Georgia. And as we speak, the high and mighty in every nook and cranny of the country have been served with IV, just as all the A-class hotels in Benin City have been reserved for guests of the Okonbors.
GOOD TIMES ARE HERE FOR FYNEMAN WILSON
These are really good times for Hon. Fyneman Wilson. Following the formal resignation of Chief Fred Agbedi, which has been accepted by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, a new Special Adviser on Political Matters has been appointed. And he is Hon. Wilson, who had previously held several positions, including, Member of the old Rivers State House of Assembly in the 3rd Republic, Commissioner for Special Duties, Bayelsa West, under the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as Governor of Bayelsa State, Director General of the Green Movement, a Political Organisation, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in Bayelsa State, amongst others.
At the inauguration ceremony last Friday at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Dickson stressed that he expects Wilson to bring his wealth of experience as a grass-root politician, to bear on his new appointment, especially with the 2015 general elections around the corner.
During the ceremony, the governor equally expressed his gratitude to Hon. Agbedi for his diligence and commitment in the discharge of his various assignments as Director-General of his campaign outfit and later Special Adviser on Political Matters and wished him well in all his future endeavours, including his current bid to run for the Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
THE RISING PROFILE OF DR. MARTINS OKOI
Two weeks back in Banjul, the capital of the Republic of Gambia, Cross River State-born-Dr. Martins Ubana Okoi was sworn in as a Judge of the High Court of Republic of Gambia by President Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jammeh.
Justice Martins Okoi is from Ijiman Ward of Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area of CRS. He studied in Hope Waddel Training Institute, Calabar. He was the Senior Prefect of the famed Hope Waddel Institute that has produced great men including the revered Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe the First President of Nigeria. Hope Waddel was founded in 1895 by Presbyterian missionaries from Scotland, United kingdom.
Justice Okoi did his Advanced Level at the defunct School of Arts and Science, Uyo. He thereafter gained admission to the prestigious Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. He graduated in 1984. He attended the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985. After his NYSC he practiced Law in Calabar in the same law firm with Honorable Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam, Honorable Chief Judge of Cross River State of Nigeria and Chief Eteng Okoi-Obuli, former Minister of Agriculture, Federal Republic of Nigeria (1981-1983).
Thereafter he set up a partnership with his friend, Barrister Eno Ofong. In 1992 he joined the Public Service of the Federal Government of Nigeria when he was employed by the defunct Council of Inter-Governmental Relations in the Presidency with the assistance of late Professor Erim (who was then a Board Member in the Council of Inter-Governmental Relations).
He served later as the Secretary of the General Hospital, Gwagdalawa, Abuja. He left there to join the Federal Ministry of Justice as Director. In 2008 he was appointed Director of Civil Litigation, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Gambia on secondment. Justice Okoi is said to be a brilliant, conscientious and diligent professional. He is the fourth Cross Riverian to be appointed a Judge of the High Court of the Republic of Gambia.
The others are Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam; Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, who was later appointed Chief Justice of the Republic of Gambia and now a Justice of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, and Justice Ekpala. The Republic of Gambia for several decades has relied on Nigeria for manpower supply of lawyers in her public service and judges for its judiciary.