|Dr Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu Ojiebesi|
|Chief James Ibori|
Many years back a well known, very well recognised, super stylish man of God by name "Pastor Kris Okotie of the Household of God Church", who is specially blessed with the gift of the garb, rephrased a popular saying thus "Birds of identical plummage, congregate in the same vicinity", that time honoured statement is very apt in describing what we are focusing on here today.
Truly and truly, only soul mates connects and stay in the same area, minions always find their levels, like they say water has levels.
Ikoyi Crescent in Lagos, is one of those roads or streets that tries to help define very well, the apt statement above. At the beginning part is Victor Gbolade Osibodu's Vigeo HQ, while at the end of the same road that also houses the residence of the US Consular General, is the humongous 5 star hotel still under construction and owned by another super rich man, in the person of the Ide Ahaba himself, Chief Sonny Odogwu.
Years back in the late 80s till for a long while the street played home to one of Nigeria's great industrialists, in the person of the Chief Razak Akanni Okoya of the Eleganza Industries Fame. That spread of high-rise buildings, which had the gracious money man's suite too, used to be a beehive of activities then, as it hosted many wondrous parties, where the who-is-who of that time used to gather. That was until Chief Okoya relocated to his Olorunisola palatial home along the Lekki-Ajah Expressway.
Not too far from Chief Okoya then were the houses of whoever became the then Chief Justice of Nigeria and then the Vice-President or Chief of General Staff in the military government then. Ikoyi Crescent has always had its history as a major part of the very valued old Ikoyi.
There is what just saying you live at the old Ikoyi end conjures in the mind of the initiates, it immediately says you are part of old money and old money means part of the establishment, those who make things go tick and tock.
Now fast forward to the recent times, that stretch still retains some of the ambience of the old, but it has now been transported to a much higher realm now. Though it is still the rich that abodes here, they cannot just be described in that too familiar term. Those here now are not just men and also woman of timber and caliber, but these are people of extraordinary and strathospherical means, in other words "Billionaires". Hence the reason why that stretch of road has been recoined Billionaire's Row.
Imagine that one of the 2 wealthiest black women (African) on earth lives on this row! And that's none other than Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija of Famfa Oil fame. Mrs Alakija very recently showed the world in London, that she's a certified, Forbes rated billionaire unparalleled with that humongous wedding of her son which held the land of the queen mesmerised. London has always known the African and Nigerian rich and the wealthy, but they had never felt the power of such wealth, the way Mrs. Alakija razzled-dazzled everyone earlier this year on all counts. Madam and her family are residence on the Billionaire's row.
Right opposite Mrs. Billionaire is the humongous and superlative edifice of none other than, Dr. Billionaire himself by name Dr. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu Ojiebesi, the intimidating Lion of Okija, who is the Osuofia (pathfinder, clearer of bush) of Okija In Ihiala LGA of Anambra State and who is the owner of Nestoil.
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Dr Azudialu is a man of intimidating and arresting status. A man who has singled-handedly helped to place his homestead "Okija" on the map with extraordinary development. He sits as the Chairman of "Smile Communications", one of Nigeria's top internet services provider; he is also a Director on the board of construction giant- Julius Berger. Further more he is the "Group Managing Director of Obijackson Group of Companies", which has under her various other brands like Energy Works Technology "EWT", Neconde Energy, Nesto Aviation Services, B & Q Dredging, Century Power Generation Ltd, Gobowen Exploration & Production Ltd and Time Power Global Dynamics Ltd.
|Azudialu's home in Okija|
This philanthropist par excellence, singled-handedly built the "Obijackson Women and Children Hospital (OWCH) in Okija", which is an ultra modern, stupendously well equipped and state of the art medical facility for his people. He also singled-handedly built a standard stadium named St. Peters Stadium for his people, where even league matches are been played now.
Dr. Azudialu Ojiebesi's palatial home in Okija is one that needs to be spoken about and has become a tourist attraction. It is several edifices supporting the main mansion in an expansive compound, that is intimidating. He is so loved by his people for bringing his wealth to good use and employing hundreds, that they celebrate him endlessly without ceasing. Dr Azudialu lives opposite, the Dame of wealth herself on the row.
Also on the row, is also the stupendously wealthy & very well loved by his people former Governor of Delta state, in the person of the convicted Ex-Governor Chief James Onanefe Ibori. That this High Chief from Oghara in Asaba, Delta State is super rich cannot be controverted. Before he was convicted, he was unofficially valued to have been worth in excess of $250 million dollars, but he officially agreed to have misappropriated $50 to $80 million dollars and he was sentenced in 2012 to 13 years in prison, but was later released in 2016. No matter what anyone has to say, he has since paid the price for his folly, so he is allowed rehabilitation now. Some would argue that so many things in terms of properties and cars and cash were ceased and forfeited by him and so can't be that wealthy no more or that he let go of so many things, but that's just what was seen though, even at that, he is still a man of colossal means and he has his abode alongside other "billionaire's on the row too".
Also on the row, is none other than Chief Remi Muiyideen Makanjuola, the Executive Chairman and owner of Caverton Offshore Support Group who are the owners of Caverton Helicopters a top class logistic support company in Nigeria. Chief Makanjuola, has paid his dues. Many years back he started off as an AGM then at the merchant bank that was promoted and owned by Otunba "Dr" Mike Adenuga, known then as Devcom Merchant Bank. He later rose steadily in the brand, that by the time he willingly left, he had risen to the post of Executive Vice-Chairman. It was from the post he resigned from to set up Caverton Group. Apart from running his own company, he is also a director of many other blue-chip companies.
Still yet on this row, is another confirmed billionaire oil and gas magnate by name "Festus A. Fadeyi", the CEO and Chairman of "Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Limited", an indigenous oil company Panaco. Not only does Dr. Fadeyi who is in his late 70s own Pan Ocean Oil, the brand has substantial interest in the oil bloc OML 98, a Joint Venture with the NNPC which has about 6 oil fields.
Mr. Fadeyi doesn't just live on the Billionaire's row in Ikoyi, no no no, his abode, the palatial and expansive compound is vulgar in terms of size, in fact it is said to be the biggest house in the whole of Ikoyi even bigger than that owned by Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija', whose personal worth as rated by Forbes is said to be about $2.1 billion.