Fola was originally married to Idowu Ogunlesi the CEO of Amazing Grace Fabrics Store at Alade Market, Ikeja, but their marriage packed up over 20 years ago due to incompatibility, according to sources. That was when Fola fell in love with his former secretary Omolewa who had also been previously married with three kids before she met Fola.
They got married and moved in together after their marriage, and the Kogi-born lady moved fast and ensured that she was part of every aspect of Fola’s life, from finances to all his properties scattered all over Nigeria and overseas. Fola did nothing without Omolewa’s consent and approval; in fact it is a known fact in the Lagos social circle that they had joint accounts and their cheque books were clearly marked “Mr Fola Ogunlesi & Mrs Omolewa Ogunlesi”.
So close were they that none carried out any financial or social transaction without the consent of the other party. This joint accounts made Omolewa so popular among most society women in Lagos because she was not only married to a multibillionaire, but she was 100 per cent entrenched in the life of her husband.
But while all this lovey-dovey was going on, Idowu, Fola’s ex-wife, we gathered, faced her business and remained quite popular among the society women in Lagos. However, while Omolewa was given the fancifully built high-rise on Opebi Road to run her kiddies store, “Ballon” Idowu had to suffer the humiliation of selling her goods from a small shop in an open market place.
Both women, however, had their first open clash in 2007 when Olumide (Fola’s first son by Idowu) got married. Idowu as the groom’s mother chose an all sky-blue aso-ebi for the family and friends and this was strictly adhered to by Lagos society men and women. But not wanting to be boxed to a corner, Omolewa went ahead and gave out a separate aso-ebi to family and friends to be used for the engagement ceremony and it became a big showdown as all the society women wore Idowu’s clothe except for Nike Akande. Abuses were hurled at Omolewa openly for daring to spoil a mother’s joy. Fola had to come out officially in Omolewa’s defense by writing and publicly disowning Idowu Ogunlesi in one of the society magazines and following the fisticuffs at the engagement, the white wedding was made a very low key affair.
It is important to note that Idowu Ogunlesi bore Fola four kids; while Olumide who is the first son is very quiet like his dad, Folake (eldest daughter) is said to be a fire cracker. From the outset she clashed with her father over his marriage to Omolewa and gave Omolewa tough times in the family house whenever she was around. So tough is Folake that her fight with her father and step mum escalated while she was being schooled in the UK and her dad had to temporarily halt payment of her school fees and other expenses; but not succumbing, Folake eventually acquired all the degrees and masters from the best schools abroad and relocated home and that marked the beginning of the battles.
Everybody thought Folake was going to do her own thing like her brother OIumide who went on to open Lumog Perfume in Ikoyi, but she chose the family business, and decided to work at the same firm where Omolewa presides as vice chairman and so a mother of all dramas unfolded.
Omolewa’s friends are of the opinion that Folake’s decision was very strategic, because two captains never work together; someone has to emerge the queen. There were plots and counterplots, conspiracies and counter-conspiracies but Folake stood her ground.
When Omolewa realized that she was fast losing out, she advised Fola that Folake leave the company for some other assignment, arguing that Folake was Idowu’s incarnate and that their single agenda was very clear, but Fola disagreed because he realized his daughter had brought so much dexterity to the business and a wealth of knowledge that was unrivalled.
Furthermore, Folake had grown closer to her father and they became like five and six, so for the first time in a very long while, Fola was said to have turned down Omolewa’s desperate opinion. Rather than turn out to be the laughing stock of the Lagos society establishment, Omolewa quickly devised a way to get her last laugh.
Recently, Omolewa advised her husband Fola that they should travel on holiday to Canada which doubles as their second home. Unknown to most people Fola Ogunlesi has got nothing in Nigeria compared to what he has in Canada. It is a known fact that apart from being one of the super-rich with a sprawling estate in Canada comprising of fabulous high-rises, he also has his main bank accounts domiciled in the North American country from where he funds his businesses.
When they both arrived in Canada, Omolewa had another plan and which was to deal with him. She was said to have sat him down in the comfort of their exquisite Canadian mansion and told him why she was out of love for him and no longer wanted the marriage. She was very blunt. Fola tried his best to talk her out of it, the more he tried the more she got provoked and when she couldn’t control her anger she called the Canadian police and Fola Ogunlesi was thrown out of his Canadian mansion which he bought from his sweat.
Not done with that, few days later Omolewa engaged a Canadian law firm which wrote to inform Fola of his wife’s separation notice and intent to file for divorce. Before he could realize what hit it him, Omolewa got the Canadian court to temporarily place an injunction on all Fola’s assets and bank accounts pending the final determination of the motion on notice, which means that Fola can no longer access his bank account and properties in Canada.
Because they are legally married and Omolewa’s name is also on the sprawling estate, it is going down to 50 per cent per each person. The Canadian law on divorce and alimony is very clear to all, right now they have both gone formal and their lawyers are working hard to divide the estate without any public rancour as Fola does not want the general public to know about this. Fola is said to have mansions in GRA Ikeja, Ikoyi, Banana Island and Opebi, not to talk of Canada and huge bank deposits.
It is very obvious that Fola played into Omolewa’s hands as she has refused all pleas to change her mind. While her friends are hailing her as a very smart lady who did her assignment very well and fast enough, the whole society circle is hailing Folake as the lady who chased out the devil.
Nowadays, Fola attends most major functions in the company of his daughter Folake. At a recent event on the Island they both stepped in together and were whispering to each other’s ears, which would not have been possible were Omolewa to be around.