Breaking News:

JOHN ADENIJI IS DEAD

There is breaking news from Ikorodu town about the demise of John Adekunle Adeniji, the immediate younger brother of Rtd. Lagos High Court Judge, Hon. Justice Adebayo Adeniji. Aged 75, “OGA JOHN”, as he was known, was the older brother of flamboyant Lagos town big boy, Dr Chief Harrison Bolaji Adeniji, famous banker and former Chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938. John Adeniji will be buried in Lagos soon and Bolaji is fully engaged with the arrangements for the obsequies.

TUNJI DOKUNMU IS DEAD

Bad news filtered in again this morning, Monday 20th July 2015, as the death of Tunji Dokunmu was announced. Tunji, a past Social and General Secretary of the Island Club of Lagos, has been under the weather for a while after suffering from a bout of the dreaded stroke or serious apoplexy. He was, however, hale and hearty enough, a few weeks ago, to celebrate his 50+ birthday at about the same time he treated many guests from Lagos to an adieu party for the passing away of his father, the popular and gregarious Chief M. A. Dokunmu (Madoks) of the popular Ebenezer Obey song  which was celebrated at the palace of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo. In accordance with Muslim rites, he is being buried today and the Jazz Night of the Island Club, which normally comes up every Monday evening has been shelved in his honour tonight. Tunji’s multitudes of friends including Tobi and Lere Awokoya, Seyi Joseph, Gbolahan Lawal, Andy Ikenwe, Bade Taylor and new Island Club Gen. Secretary, Ladi Akerele who is holidaying in London, will miss him tremendously.

EX GREGORIAN ORONSAYE IN DEEP TROUBLE

Steven Oronsaye

The name Oronsaye, like the Binities, the Abebes, the Baloguns, the Amus, the Lawsons, the Macgregors, Adedipes, Ajayis, Archibongs, Daniels, Dasilvas, Emmanuels, Emdens, Ikpohs, Hughes, Marinhos, Marquis, Martins, Onis, Sogbolas, Vivours, Adeyemis, Akereles, Anis, Cokers, Edets, Erogbogbos, Peters, Sowemimos, Ezes, Holmes, Hammonds, Johnsons, Alakijas, Cardosos, Dawodus, Fernandez, Prests and the Koteys, is a common and well-recognised name in the history of St Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, Lagos. These family names have had at least three of their kin in the college from the 50s to the 70s. There was Chief Oronsaye Snr who passed out in 1961, IK Oronsaye who passed out in the 1964 and the man of the moment, Steve Oronsaye Jnr. For a long time, no Gregorian name has featured in any malfeasance, nay cesspit involvement, in the annals of Nigerian public life and justice. Perhaps, the notable exceptions to this statement would be the arraignment and the later upturned conviction of Tete Lawson who finished in 1964 and popular socialite, Fela Nathan-Mash who had a brief spell in Gregs after his Igbobi school cert and who were both arraigned for drug trafficking in a melodrama involving Miss Oke, General Folusho Sotomi and Colonel Adekunle at the Ikeja airport in the 70s. Two air force officers, Goddy Amuchenwa and John Ukwu were detained for their misadventures as air force officers when they were linked to the 1966 anti Balewa and 1990 anti Babangida Okah coup d’états respectively.

Another Gregorian air force officer, Martin Luther, was executed for his active participation in that Okah coup. It has therefore come as a surprise that with an array of Gregorians who have served in public offices in Nigeria from late Chief TOS Benson to Mr Babarinde DaSilva, it has generally been a clean record of service, that now Mr Steve Oronsaye Jnr, former Head of Service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been indicted along with others, for fraud and money laundering of a sum of over N1billion. He has been granted bail and his trial comes up in October 2015. Lagos Blog will follow this story and trial closely and give our readers a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings and the outcome.   The immediate older brother of Steve Jnr, Mr Ikpomosa (IK) Oronsaye, was seen at Island Club Lagos two years ago at a Jazz section do (as earlier reported by Lagos Blog) as he visited his classmates, Dr Femi Vaughan and the erstwhile leader of the Jazz Section. IK had a very pleasant evening and it was observed keenly that during that period he was an intermittent and sporadic visitor to Nigeria, sojourning in Benin, Lagos and Abuja from his residence in Washington DC, USA where he has been resident for almost 50 years with a thriving and successful career as an accountant. The old adage is trite, “No one is guilty until so proven by a competent court of law”, and so, there is no presumption of guilt on the part of the gallantly retired ex Head of Service who prepared the famous Oronsaye’s report for President Jonathan, urging the merger of several Federal Government departments and agencies to coalesce into one and reduce Nigeria’s heavy expenditure on the agencies.

The report from Daily Times is reproduced below:

Former Head of Service, Mr. Steven Oransaye, who is standing trial for alleged N1.2 billion graft, was on Monday released to his counsel by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The release was, however, granted only after his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) wrote an undertaken to bring him to court to face trial.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), which investigated the alleged crime had arraigned Oronsaye and two others, Osarenkhoe Afe and Frederick Hamilton Global Services Limited, on a 24-count charge before the court.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty.

Consequently, EFCC’s counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial and for the remand of the accused in prison custody.

Yusuf said that the prosecution intends to call no fewer than 18 witnesses in the matter, along with the proof of evidence. He said he was served the accused persons’ bail applications inside the court and that he needed time to respond since it was not ripe for hearing. The commission, he added, strongly opposed the bail.

But in his response, Agabi representing Oronsaye as 1st accused person, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.

Agabi, who relied on section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, urged the court to remember that accused persons were generally entitled to bail.

Admitting that the granting of bail is at the discretion of the court, Agabi maintained that section 162 of the same Act puts the onus on the prosecution to make case why the accused persons should not be granted bail.

Counsel to the other accused persons, Oluwole Aladedoye, who aligned with Agagu’s submissions, stated that section 32(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 allows an oral application for bail and prayed the court to admit his clients to bail.

In his ruling, Justice Kolawole ordered that the accused persons should be released to their counsel, who must write an undertaking to produce them in court on July 21, 2015, when their bail application will be argued.

Noting that the accused persons had before the arraignment on Monday been on administrative bail, the trial judge held: “if they have not jumped bail, I agree with the submissions of counsel to the second accused persons that remanding the accused persons in prison will be punitive.”

He added: “I cannot blame the defence counsel for filing their bail application this morning, just as I cannot also blame the prosecution to ask for time to respond.

“The issue is where do I remand the accused persons? The prosecution has not told the court that the accused persons jumped bail while on EFCC’s administrative bail. The Court cannot grant a request to suit the ego of any person, by doing certain things that have alternative options.

“My duty is to strike a balance pending when the application for bail is heard. In view of the remarks I made about the personality of the 1st accused person, I do not see how he will pose any risk if he is released.”

Justice Kolawole held further: “If the complainant has the power to admit the accused persons to administrative bail, the court is entitled by section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution to provide a judicial reprieve.

“The duty of court is to keep the provisions of the constitution in focus, especially section 36 of the 1999 constitution which serves as a compass for navigating in judicial waters in the granting of bail.

“I decline the oral application for bail, but request that a formal application be filed to provide the court with materials to determine the application for bail.

“The accused persons shall be released on the strength of an undertaking of counsel which shall be filed within 24-hours”.

Below is the list of several ex Gregorians who have served the Nigerian nation with distinction and commanded immense respect.

  • Admiral Okanlawon Oni – Nigerian Navy
  • AVM Bello – Nigerian Air Force
  • Chief Anthony Ani – Federal Minister
  • Chief TOS Benson – Federal Minister
  • Dr Aderemi Desalu – Lagos State Permanent Secretary
  • Dr Femi Bucknor – Lagos State Director of Medical Services
  • Dr Francis Sunny Ajie – Rivers State Commissioner
  • Dr John James* – Federal Minister
  • Dr Kunle Desalu – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Dr Papa Sagoe – Chairman Lagos State Primary Health Care Board
  • Dr Tunde St Matthew-Daniel – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Eng. Dele Kuti – Ikorodu Council Chairman
  • General Femi Williams – Nigerian Army
  • General George Emden – Nigerian Army
  • Hon. Abiola Johnson – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour – Supreme Court Justice
  • Justice Niyi Ademola – High Court Judge
  • Late Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu – Lagos City Council Chairman
  • Late Chief Babs Akerele – Chairman Volkswagen
  • Late Chief Funso Williams – Perm Sec/Commissioner
  • Late Hon. Olu Afolabi – Deputy Speaker House of Representatives
  • Late Justice Basil Adedipe – FGDPP/High Court Judge
  • Late Mr Babarinde DaSilva – Secretary to Lagos State Government
  • Mr Bolaji Abosede – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Mr Charles Njoku – Presidential Adviser
  • Mr Erogbogbo – Lagos State Permanent Secretary
  • Mr Eugene Juwah – NCC Chairman
  • Mr Folorunsho Coker – Lagos State Special Adviser
  • Mr Gbolahan Lawal – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Mr Segun Dawodu – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Mr Steve Oronsaye – FG Head of Service
  • Mr Yemi Cardoso – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Professor Ajibade Rokosu – Lagos State Commissioner
  • Senator Ben Maurice Bruce – Chairman  NBC
  • Senator Udoma – Senator
  • Senator Victor Akan – Senator
  • Shoga Sofola – Vice Chancellor, Ogun State University