The traditional marriage held in Calabar, where ex-Governor Donald Duke was charge d’ affairs. It was on the 13th of September and on the 18th of September, the ever-bubbly senator hosted a select few society ladies at the Sky Lounge of Eko Hotel. It was tagged Mothers’ Night, where she gave out mini vanity boxes to the women as souvenirs. On Saturday, the 20th of September, all roads led to Eko Hotel where the super fabulous wedding held. Since the church service was by 3pm, most guests guessed that by 5pm, guests would have been allowed entry into the reception which was decorated by Uche Majekodunmi of Newton and David. [showads ad=GLO]
Unfortunately for most of the guests, the eagerly anticipated wedding party of the year would turn out to be their ‘nightmare’ in a very long while. Guests started arriving from 4pm but were not allowed entry into the venue. In fact by 6pm, guests were still locked out of the reception because, according to Mrs. Ndidi Obioha, who was the event planner, they were awaiting the arrival of the senator. After hours of waiting and loitering around Eko Hotel most guests became very irritated and began to pour their vituperation on Senator Ita-Giwa. They wondered aloud why she chose to have a night wedding without planning it very well. Most of the society ladies questioned the rationale behind locking them out till she returned from church. Just name it, from billionaire businesswoman Bola Shagaya to oil mogul and Africa’s richest woman Folorunsho Alakija to Chioma Madubuko and even lace merchant Shade Balogun, they were all locked out of the venue for a long time. [showads ad=GLO]In fact, Hajia Bola Shagaya was seen strolling up and down Eko Hotel like she was looking for a lost item. Considering the fact that these women were standing on high heels, they were furious as they cursed and lashed out without caring who heard them. Eventually when the event planner obviously got the approval of Senator Ita-Giwa, she opened the doors of the hall and there was an instant stampede to get into the lavishly decorated hall. But it was even the seating arrangements that caused more drama for the guests. Most of the tables in the front row had been assigned and marked out for the various embassies and the international community, while the senator’s friends were confined to the back tables. Instantly most of the society women vehemently rejected the seating arrangement and took to all the so-called tables reserved for the American, British, French and other western countries. Even when there were continuous calls from the MC for people to depart tables that were not for them, these richly dressed women refused and wondered aloud if Ita-Giwa had any appointment in United Nations or if she was some sort of ‘spy’ for the western countries. Because they couldn’t comprehend how a woman who is not heading a government parastatal and never been an ambassador would mark out such amount of tables for the diplomatic community at the expense of her friends.[showads ad=GLO] In fact, billionaire Folorunsho Alakija took a seat on the table reserved for couples’ parents and refused to vacate thereby forcing organizers to provide fresh emergency tables in front.Senator Ita Giwa’s wedding broke the records on all fronts but the most shocking scenario was when in the heat of the chaos…..Legendary Socialite and wife of Late Multi Billionaire Iyanda Folawiyo, Abbah, got into a fight with top Ibo society ladies Pamela Arigbe and ex -Customs top shot Chinwe Ngonadi a.k.a Big Chi over who owned the seat? The two Ibo ladies tried to play a fast one on Sisi Abbah as she is fondly called who had left her seat to check on other guests. By the time she returned they were on her chair.Abbah changed face and threatened to deal with them ruthlessly if they didn’t leave her seat and after initial hesitation they bowed to superior fire cracker of the Folawiyo matriarch.
The situation was so charged that it almost degenerated into a physical fight between the society ladies and one of Ita-Giwa’s errand ladies. She was later identified by some society ladies who seem to have known her from way back as Mary Walker, an “acquaintance” of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. This Mary lady went round trying to harass a lot of the society into leaving their seats as she was keeping it for the embassy officials. She was not only rebuffed but almost beaten up by a prominent female educationist and entrepreneur whose name won’t be mentioned because of her positive contribution to the development of education in this country. But if the guests who had waited all day to see the wedding of the century thought the drama ended with the seating arrangements, little did they know that the main shocker of the night was a few minutes away.
The food pattern was buffet where guests were mandated to serve themselves from a variety of delicacies. But this did not start until very late in the night by which time the guests had been ravaged by hunger. A top government functionary was heard screaming at the waiters to please get him a plate of food as he was starving. The wife of a prominent billionaire was heard telling another waiter to please get her something to quench her hunger and when the waiter replied that it wasn’t time to eat, she tipped him with the sum of two thousand naira and he immediately went to fetch her salad. Guests were grumbling aloud at the harsh treatment and wondered why a woman who has spent over 40 years on the party scene would come up with such chaotic arrangement. But even if the food was not forthcoming, the drinks would have as usual kept the agitating crowd bubbling with happiness. But we can authoritatively inform you with every audacity that it was in the area of drinks that Senator Florence Ita-Giwa committed her biggest blunder ever. For the avoidance of any doubt, we shall explicitly put it out as it happened. On each table of ten, the only alcoholic drink was a meager bottle of red wine. For hours on end there was no sight of champagne. In fact, when eventually the champagnes surfaced, it was Brut very basic version of Moet that was available. It is abominable to gather the superrich Nigerians who are champagne addicts and begin to pour champagne in minute-sized glasses. As waiters went round and poured these champagnes in glasses without leaving the bottles on the table to refill their glasses, people wondered aloud if something else was going on as they found such act an insult to their levels of accomplishments. Even at that style of sharing, most tables were left out of drinks. It got so bad that guests immediately began to pay for their drinks. First to bolt away from the mediocrity was the wife of oil mogul, the stunning Senator Daisy Danjuma. Daisy was seated with Terry Wayas and some prominent people. So they could imagine the horror of sharing a bottle of the Brut basic version of Moet Chandon amongst ten of them, so she instantly called the waiters and paid for exotic champagnes and cognacs to be delivered to her table. By this time, even on the other side of the hall, people had started paying for their drinks in what was hitherto tagged the most lavish wedding ever seen before. It was a huge scandal as this has never been seen in a society marriage before.
According to one of the big Abuja girls who is a jewelry aficionado, “It is wrong not to plan a party well yet give it the kind of hype that transcends the ordinary.” Speaking further, she said, “I attended Bola Shagaya’s wedding party for their son at this same venue and also Senator Daisy Danjuma’s wedding reception for her son at this same venue; it was spectacular and guests were well taken care of.” As guests were deprived of champagne, they cursed at their host, with a dexterity that was frightening. Igbo big boy and owner of Prime Chinese on Victoria Island, Uche Princewill regarded amongst connoisseurs of good living as champagne addict No. 1, went viral with his tongue. He threw invectives at Ambassador Greg Mbadiwe for not taking care of his guests. He said “it was a nightmare beyond imagination that the wedding of his close friend’s son was turning out this way.” As more and more guests placed orders for their champagnes and cognac from the bar, it became obvious that this event was the flop of the year.
Immediately we swung into action of investigating more guests, it became very apparent that Senator Florence Ita Giwa was the sole planner of the event. Her orders were carried out to the last letter, hence the situation on ground. [showads ad=GLO]
According to a very popular female journalist, “the wedding was everything but organized.” From the seating arrangements to the locking out of guests, to the no-food-no-drink situation, it was pathetic in every sense of the word. Even though Greg Mbadiwe was standing in for the groom’s father, late Showcross Obioha, he should have made separate arrangements for drinks. That way the situation would have been halfway brought under control. [showads ad=GLO]Guests began to leave in droves when they couldn’t eat or drink so late at night. What the senator doesn’t know is that she is the main topic of mockery amongst most of her friends and guests who turned up for the wedding. They said because of her nature, she is not the type to take to correction so they closed their mouths and laughed at her abysmal failed attempt at reception behind her. While this whole chaotic scene was going on, there were strong arguments on whether Senator Ita-Giwa did pay for all the things expected to make her daughter’s wedding grand or otherwise. Our team of reporters immediately proceeded to the refrigerating area which was behind the Expo Hall, the venue of the event and we spoke to about three or four workers on condition of anonymity. The revelations were unbelievable! We found out that the senator paid for a meagre 100 bottles of Basic Brut Moet Champagnes, no small chops, no Hennessy, no vintage cognac; in fact that last minute she contemplated serving her guests with bottled Gulder and Harp but backtracked after she was told it would seriously impair the high-profile image of her wedding. In other words, the senator and Greg Mbadiwe who stood in as the father of the groom are to blame. [showads ad=GLO]It was an epic show of shame that will linger on in the memories of guests for a long time to come. Nevertheless, we wish Koko and Chimobi a Happy Married and Blissful Life. [showads ad=GLO]