About 25 years ago, Chief Emmanuel Okusanya Okunnowo, popularly known as Baba Oni Damask because of his love for Damask, a brand of cloth that is popular among the wealthy in those days, died. Just like every other chief of his time, the Ijebu High Chief had many wives and was blessed with 25 children. Chief Okunsanya can be called a wealthy man as he left behind an estate and other properties which run into billions going by their current valuation.
The story however is that since the death of the patriarch of the Okunnowo family some 25 years ago, the family has been embroiled in
crisis which has pitched all other children of chief against the four children from the first wife. Information at the disposal of Global News revealed that all other members of the family have been denied access to their share of their late father’s property by Chief Funlola Chris Okunnowo, the Bobasuwa of Ijebu; Mrs. Kemi Shonibare, Remi Okunnowo and one other who shares the same mother
It was gathered that Chief Chris Okunnowo was trusted by their late father to take care of his property while he was alive, an
opportunity which enabled Chris to have been more familiar with their father’s properties more than any other children. And Chris, in connivance with his siblings of the same mom decided to use to their advantage to feed fat to the
detriment of other family members.
Among many of the atrocities the Bobasuwa and his sister Kemi Shonibare committed against other members of their family is that he
forged the signature of his maternal elder brother to transfer to himself the sole signatory to their father’s account and businesses, a matter which we were informed forced the elder brother, Remi Okunnowo to drag him to Nigeria Police Force CID, in Alagbon then, while Kemi was said to had fraudulently forged the signature of other members of the family to clear their father’s account in
A concerned member of the family revealed that the pair who are now holding the entire family to ransom were once sworn enemies, as Kemi
had at a time publicly dragged Chris with his cloth while calling him a rogue and that he will end up in prison
before Chris decided to involve her and it is their team that is now recklessly plundering the family’s money.
Sources within the family also accused Chris of using money from the property that belongs to them collectively to buy himself a house in
Palm Grove Estate, while his sister Kemi used about N400 million out of the money generated by their father’s property to erect a house on Lekki axis of Lagos.
While all this was going on, one of their brothers died because he was too poor to take care of himself.
All this we were informed led the second son of Chief Emmanuel Okunnowo, Chief Folahan Okunnowo to charge them to court on behalf of
other children. The notice of the case which was filed at the Lagos High court is scheduled to come up later in the year. His decision we were informed became necessary when all effort to make them carry out the instructions in the will of their father proved abortive, the last of which was a peace meeting called by a retired Supreme Court Judge mid this year.
At the said ,which had in attendance 17 of the initial 25 children out of which 2 are dead and another 2 out of the country, it was
agreed that the shareholding of Goodwill Investment Ltd, the company which was set up to be management company in charge of the properties and which is going to be under the control of the children, but which had since been hijacked by
Chief Chris and Kemi his sister, would be dissolved and the shares of the company will be shared equally among all the children. It was also agreed that the signatories to the bank accounts be changed as well as the company’s Board of Directors, to curb the excesses of the two. They all agreed to the arrangement at the meeting only for Chris to return a month later to renege on the agreement. This and many more are responsible for the latest court case, as an earlier one, instituted to force him to reveal the statement of account
years back, has not been obeyed till date.
Another member of the family who spoke with Global News revealed that while one of those that were stated in their father’s will to be
taken care of among the children is now a motor park tout in Ijebu, Kemi spent N1.3 million on Chinese food during her daughter’s marriage ceremony, while she also spent another N9 million on venue decorations. She was also said to be in the habit using her company, LASIM to milk dry the inheritance. The pair are said to be ruthless in the way they draw money from the account, a situation
that forced them to go borrowing when one of their brothers, Femi died in London and the money paid into the account was yanked out by one of the two, though no members of the family had anything to do about it as the two were also responsible for the borrowing to bring his corpse home for burial.
At the moment, Chris and the rest of his siblings, we were told, are planning a society wedding for one of their brothers, in an effort to
launder their image, not minding the fact that when the brother in question needed money while studying law, they told him there was no money in the company’s account, whereas it was stated in their father’s will that all children be well catered for, and that money be set aside for education of all grandchildren.