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GRAND OLD ST GREGORY’S COLLEGE

When we wrote the nostalgic story about the St Gregory’s College football team’s Ota visit and the consequential fiasco, we were jolted to notice that most of the students in that iconic secondary school in the 60s and 70s were children of the rich and famous, the crème de la crème and the political juggernauts and rulers of Nigeria. This observation has spurred us to realise that some of the public schools that we have continuously and serially celebrated in Lagos Blog as the ivy league of Lagos secondary schools in the 50s, 60s and 70s were the enclaves of the top dogs in the society. From CMS Grammar School, St Gregory’s College, King’s College, Igbobi College, Methodist Boys High School, Baptist Academy, Ahmadiyya College and later, Ansar-Udeen College, all missionary and public schools, education was not as expensive and segregated compared with the present list of very expensive private colleges and while you would find children of the high and mighty in those institutions, visible also were children of the not-so-affluent people in society. For a starter, we name today, some sons of top politicians who attended St Gregory’s College in those three decades:

Name                                      Father

  1. A. Tokunboh – Federal Perm Sec
  2. Abiola Johnson – Federal Minister
  3. Adeniran Ogunsanya – Federal Minister
  4. Aderemi Adelabu – NCNC Ibadan Leader
  5. Aja Nwachukwu – Federal Minister
  6. Charles Njoku – Federal Minister
  7. Chris Adedipe – Federal DPP
  8. Deji Balogun – Federal Minister
  9. Dewunmo Akran – Western Region Minister
  10. Edwin Abebe – UAC Chairman
  11. Emeka Azikiwe – the President
  12. Emman Ebosie – FG Chief Medical Director
  13. Femi Majekodunmi – Western Region Administrator
  14. Folorunsho Coker – Lagos Perm Sec
  15. Hilario Babs Akerele – Federal Minister
  16. Jimi Doherty – National Bank Chairman
  17. John Abebe – UAC Chairman
  18. Joseph Adedipe – Federal DPP
  19. Juwah Akran – Western Region Administrator
  20. Karamba Akerele – Federal Minister
  21. Ladi Akintola – Premier of Western Region
  22. Lawale Johnson – Federal Minister
  23. Louis Edet – Inspector General of Police
  24. Michael Prest – London Agent General
  25. Mike Enahoro – Federal Minister
  26. Numawon Akran – Oba of Badagry
  27. Oyekan Adele – Oba of Lagos
  28. Patrick Njoku – Federal Minister
  29. Robert Prest – London Agent General
  30. Segun Balogun – Federal Minister
  31. Segun Dawodu – City Council Chairman
  32. Tunde Folawiyo – Shipping business tycoon
  33. Victor Abebe – UAC Chairman
  34. Felix Adedipe – Federal DPP
  35. Yemi Magnus Williams – NCNC Secretary

You are not likely to find the children of eminent people as above scripted in public schools of these days, nay St Gregory’s College. It is indeed a totem from part of the lyrics of the Gregorian football theme song – “when you read our history, it is enough to make your heart grow glad” – that St Gregory’s College was resplendent in all its glory of yesteryears. (More later).

IKOYI CLUB SUED FOR N100M

A court in Lagos has adjourned ruling in a suit instituted by a past entertainment Chairman of Ikoyi Club, Mr Gbenga Gbadesire in which the dismissed member is suing the Club for a sum of N100 million for his unconstitutional dismissal from the club and abuse of his human rights. The details of the suit were published by the Punch of 29th June 2015. This is another example of many past officers of the club who had instituted legal proceedings against the club and its trustees for several reasons. Some of them had been indicted for wrong doings including involvement in the Augean stable that seems to be pervasive and fixated in this biggest club in Africa. An insight into the argy baggy involving Mr Gbadesire indicates an advertising problem in the Badminton Section of the club leading to his indictment and disqualification from contesting in other club elections, his initial three-month suspension and eventual dismissal from the club by the trustees of the club. Gbadesire had taken particular umbrage to the person of Chairman of the Board of Trustees, city lawyer Alaba Okupe of the Agbonmagbe Bank family fame whom he accused of utilising juju to cause him cerebral impurity and he labelled as his enemy number un. While many other Lagos clubs have had their unending brouhahas—Apapa Club, Yoruba Tennis Club, Island Club, Aso Club, Eko Club, Waka Club etc—some of those who have proceeded below the ebb tide  in the Ikoyi Club are Adekunle, Ladipo, Deshokan, Segun Johnson, Kolawole, Patrick Koshoni, Mike Inegbese, Demola Seriki etc. We shall keep you informed as usual. Punch report is reproduced below:

 

A Lagos State High Court in Igbosere has reserved judgment in a fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by an ex-Entertainment Chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938, Mr. Gbenga Gbadesire, against the Registered Trustees of the club.

Gbadesire had taken the trustees of the club to court, claiming N100m in damages, over alleged unwarranted or unprocedural expulsion from the club.

Though the court had fixed last week Monday for judgment, the judgment could however not be delivered as it was learnt that the trial judge, Justice K.O. Dawodu, was on “national assignment.”

The court registrars informed the parties that the judgment day would be duly communicated to them.

Gbadesire, who served as the Entertainment Chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938 between February 2006 and February 2008, is contending that his expulsion from the club, via a letter dated October 2, 2008, was not procedural and constitued a breach of Rule 9 of the Ikoyi Club 1938 Rules 2007.

In a 15-paragraph affidavit deposed to by himself, the claimant said he was made to face the disciplinary sub-committee of the club on August 14, 2008, on account of some allegations levelled against him by one Kole Jagun, alleging that he (Gbadesire) acted contrary to Rule 38 (c) and (d) of the club’s rules.

This allegation and his subsequent summon by the sub-committee, eventually led to his suspension from the club for a period of one year via a letter dated August 27, 2008.

He was, however, later informed through a letter dated October 2, 2008, that following a meeting of the registered trustees of the club on September 23, 2008, it was resolved that his membership should be terminated.

The claimant is contending that such decision to expel him from the club was a violation of his fundamental human right to fair hearing and principle of natural justice as enshrined in Section 36 and of the 1999 Constitution.

He also urged the court to declare that his expulsion was a malicious and flagrant abuse of his right to the freedom of association as protected by Section 40 of the Constitution.

The defendants, have however, asked the court to decline jurisdiction over the matter and dismiss Gbadesire’s claims, for failing to explore or exhaust the club’s internal dispute resolution mechanism as provided in section 18 (1) (c) of the club’s rules before heading for court.

The defendants also argued that inasmuch as the constitution recognised a citizen’s freedom of association, the same constitution did not force anyone or group to associate with anyone they are disinclined to associate with.

The defendants urged the court to award cost against the claimant for instituting the action.

ST GREGORY’S COLLEGE IN JUJU SCANDAL

When we read in the Punch of Monday 29th June 2015 that St Gregory’s College, Ikoyi had defeated St Finbarr’s College, Akoka to win the Lagos State Secondary School Cup now tagged Masters Cup, it was really no news but like a blow below the belt or Mike Tyson’s biting off the ear of Evander Holyfield in a world Heavyweight Boxing bout, memories of an event that happened over 50 years ago came alight like a sonic boom. We recall in the middle 60s how St Gregory’s College had played a very competitive football match at the Onikan Stadium against St Finbarrs College and had won the game 2-1 to proceed to the next round of the Principals Cup, as it was then known. A snitch had sneezed and the St Finbarr’s students had learnt that the Gregorians had travelled over 60 kilometres to Otta, then a sleepy town in Western Nigeria, to procure the assistance of a juju merchant who had then supplied them with the otunmopor or ekurube, a native and local talisman, to ensure victory on the field on D-day over St Finbarrs College by the margin of “fobale” (ad victoriam plus one). This meant even if St Finbarr’s scored ten goals, St Gregory’s would reply with eleven goals and so on. St Finbarr’s had an impregnable and overwhelmingly superior team deftly and expertly coached and managed by Rev. Father Denis Slattery, the Irish Roman Catholic priest who was the founding Principal of that second best Catholic secondary school in Lagos. Father Slattery’s name was already carved in gold and was a household name, soccer lover and administrator extraordinaire who was determined, having groomed the best secondary school in Lagos in soccer, to win the school cup that year. When the grapevine jive hit Father Slattery who had lived in Nigeria and amongst Lagosians for decades and had succumbed to belief in the occult, he became highly agitated and vexed, and in his uncontrolled angst, took the matter to Rev. Fathers McCarthy, McAndrew, McGuiness and Carroll, the St Gregory’s Sports Master, supplied prima facie proof of evidence of the visit to Otta by the Gregorian players for the dastardly, diabolic and despicable liaison with local babalawos to  ensure the defeat of his Finbarrs boys. How Roman Catholic Reverend Fathers, all expatriate Irish men, would believe such hogwash, balderdash and baloney, we do not know, but believe they did as they took umbrage and set up a probe where they received, as Roman Catholic Reverend Fathers are wont to do, as Father Confessors, confessions, admissions and attestations by the young lads of St Gregory’s College—the exorcist was at work. The young teenagers were all suspended from St Gregory’s College by the school authorities and they could not play for St Gregory’s team in the next round, which the team duly lost. St Gregory’s had a good team and some of the players were Charles Njoku, son of former Minister of Transport, Dr Raymond Njoku, Lati Gomez, son of Justice Gomez, George Amu, son of a Police Commissioner and now Arch Bishop, late Chris Okwudibonye, son of a Police Superintendent, Ade Fabiyi, Ladi Asenuga, Wangana Ugochukwu, Emmanuel Ehiemua, Benjamin Ohieri, son of Police Superintendent and now Medical Director of the Ebola famed First Consultant Hospital. We do not recall nor would we wish to name those who were suspended in an event of over 50 years ago. Some of the Gregorians of that era were Peter Tabiowo, Papa Sagoe, Fela Mash, Soga Sofola, Joe Molokwu, Francis Ajie, Bisi Igbon, Bayo Marquis, Hillary Cardoso, Ladi Akintola, Deji Balogun, Yinka Renner, Wale Rhodes-Vivour, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Dr Fatai Animashaun, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Patrick Njoku, Edmund Akpala, Yemi Magnus-Williams, Soji Thomas, Prof Andrew Ikpoh, Steve Oransanye Snr; I. K. Oransanye, Jide Akerele, Steve Omojafor, Mike Binitie, Peter Binitie, Biodun Binitie, Canice Etoh, Akin Januario, Bob Agim, Victor Damole, Emmanuel Ebube, Charles Eze, Bolaji Abosede, Steve Mumuni, Adeniyi Ademola, Robert Victor Edet, Robert Antigha, Funso Williams, Tokunbo Pearse, Eugene Juwah, Oyekan Adele, Gbadebo Akisanya, Victor Abebe, Femi Vaughan, Chief Abiola Johnson and Folarin Payne. The Punch article is reproduced below:

St. Gregory’s College on Friday defeated St. Finbarr’s College 3-1 to lift the 2015 GTBank Masters Cup trophy for the first time at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos.

The match, which was preceded by the women’s final between Queens College and Ansar Ud-Deen Girls College, lived up to its billing as it kept the fans on the edge of their seats throughout the duration.

The women’s final was no less entertaining as the first 45 minutes of their encounter produced two goal apiece.

The more enterprising Queens College, however, rose to the occasion in the second half to nail their opponents with a third goal to win the tournament for the third time running.

In the boys’ final, St Finbarr’s were the more aggressive as their efforts yielded a goal through Ayoka Kingsley. However, that did not last for long as St. Gregory drew level in the first half through Otetah Emmanuel.

St Gregory dominated in the second half and extended their lead through Adegbamigbe Toyosi. Not long after, David Obi netted their third goal to seal victory for the champions.

The winners in both categories went home with N750,000 each, trophies and medals. The runners-up and third-placed teams also got medals and cash prizes of N500,000 and N350,000.00 respectively.

Meanwhile, President of St Gregory’s College Old Boys Association, Dr. John Abebe, has promised cash rewards and scholarship awards for all members of the school football team that won the Masters Cup. He also extended the monetary incentive to their coaches.