Late Ms Olu Oshodi
Lagos Blog has carried the story of one of the most gregarious female socialites in Lagos, Ms Olu Oshodi. A prominent daughter of the Oshodi family of Lagos, she was a trained and qualified senior Staff Nurse and spent most of her working career as a Psychiatric Nurse. Her exposure to patients requiring psychotherapy or afflicted with any of the mental illnesses arising from cerebral imperfections (See our special article on this subject) caused some personalities to immediately remove themselves from her presence at social events in realisation of the fact that although usually unknown to the society at large, she would recognise them as her current or former patients in the mental impairment treatment facilities. She had studied assiduously in the United Kingdom, as many Lagos young ladies were wont to do in those days, practised her nursing in England and returned to Nigeria to work with Nigeria’s foremost psychiatrists including Dr Marinho, Professor Lambo, Professor Asumi, Dr Muyiwa DaSilva, Dr Ademola Farri and Dr Paul Gasper. It will be completely out of place to mention any or all of Olu’s patients in this post-mortem reports and eulogy.
Olu Oshodi, formerly Mrs Odutola, had married Yinka, a lawyer, the son of one of the most successful and renowned families in Ijebu-Ode, Chief Jimoh Odutola. Chief Jimoh’s brother, Chief Ogbeni Oja of Ijebu-Ode, was the founder of the popular Adeola Odutola College Ijebu-Ode and was, in his lifetime, the foremost citizen in Ijebu-Ode second only to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona. Olu Oshodi’s marriage had crashed many years ago. The crash had been bitter and the separation was severe to the extent that when her husband’s father, Chief Jimoh Odutola, died two years ago, she was not allowed to attend the obsequies although her children were present at the funeral. There were three children resulting from the union. There was a son, two girls, Jumoke and Bolatito. Jumoke is presently in London working as an accountant and administrator in Camelot, the company that runs the British National Lottery. Jumoke has three children, a girl in tertiary education and a pair of male twins, David and Daniel who were 11 years old a week ago. Jumoke has lived a successful educational and working life with properties in Essex, England and Ikorodu town in Lagos, Nigeria. Her younger sister, Bolatito, is a Medical Doctor and a consultant specialising as a paediatrician. She lives and works in Dublin, Ireland with her two children. Jumoke and Bolatito were both planning to resettle back home in Nigeria and their mother had been hard at work discussing with Dr Bolaji Ajenifuja, the octogenarian Trustee of the Yoruba Tennis Club and the numero un and best known paediatrician in Lagos State, about her paediatrician daughter, Bolatito teaming up with him, Dr Ajenifuja. For the reason of this envisaged foray into Lagos, the two sisters have been regular visitors to Lagos in the last few years.
Aunty Olu, as Ms Oshodi was popularly called by many much younger persons that she associated with, was not only sociable, affable and munificent, she was the toast of every social occasion she attended and lived her life to the hilt, dating many eminent Lagos socialites like late Chief Sobo Sowemimo, the Jaguna of Egbaland. She lived in her beautiful and moderately sumptuous detached house in the middle highbrow area of Omole in the north of Lagos. She had attended many social events in the past six months including the wedding of Ms Dada Marquis and Prince Gabby Yardua at the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. She had also been sighted at the humongous society wedding of Abiola Johnson Junior and Temitope Adenubi, children of Chief Abiola Johnson, the Apesin of Lagos, ex Lagos State Commissioner, son of late Federal Minister, Chief J. M. Johnson, and Mr Bayo Adenubi, seasoned banker, boss of the Institute of Bankers and former Chairman of the most prosperous social club in Africa, Ikoyi Club 1938.
Olu Oshodi was last seen at the Waka Club 1945 on Joseph Street, Lagos on Sunday 13 April, 2014. She was in a happy, gay and vivacious mood on this Christian feast of Palm Sunday and looked completely unperturbed, hale and hearty sitting in this club where she was an honorary member in her own right along with Mrs Tola Sode, another honorary member and Pamela Omotilewa.
You can imagine how gobsmacked Lagos Blog was when we were hit on the morning of Wednesday 16th April, 2014 with the news of the demise of Ms Olu Oshodi. Apparently, her nephew, Mr Damole had, after several futile attempts to reach her on the telephone, gone to her Omole residence and found her dead on a settee looking like foul play, the veracity of which will surface by a post-mortem medical examination. Mr Damole is the son of Olu’s late elder sister who had married late Professor Damole, an egghead and politician. The police are set to be investigating the matter and we cannot speculate on what findings will emerge but:
- Ms Olu had only on Monday the 14th given her driver the boot, again, for an intolerable malfeasance.
- All attempts to contact the driver on the telephone have failed so far.
- This same driver had been a source of embarrassment to her for bad behaviour which she had tolerated because of her bon vivant and the necessity to utilise the services of a driver.
- She had sacked this same driver previously when he took her to church and he had proceeded on a drinking spree (Ogogoro, “illicit gin”) which incapacitated him from driving her home.
- She had reemployed him when the driver’s wife came pleading to Olu that the driver had no other means of livelihood and supplicated for her pardon.
- The other odd jobs man in the house who serves as occasional gardener and meguard, and was described by Aunty Olu as a nice person, has not been located to date.
- It is not impossible that this may have been the work of professional armed robbers and no definite accusation is being pointed to anyone.
The spate of murders of women in Nigeria by house helps, their children, their husbands, their associates and close relatives has assumed a new and dangerous dimension in recent years in Nigeria and in a separate investigative reportage on this matter; we shall delve into recent history and give you details of such ugly occurrences in our next issue. Some of these include:
- Murder of Naval Officer, body thrown into septic tank;
- Recent murder of policewoman and 5 other persons by her policeman husband;
- Murder of Mrs Coker by her cocaine addict London-based daughter in Ilupeju;
- Murder of woman banker by her husband in Lagos;
- Murder of university graduate daughter of army General by swindlers (419 operators) in FESTAC, Lagos;
- And many others…
- We are certain that Ms Olu Oshodi’s surviving elder sister, ace politician and Lagos High Chief, Ms Onikepo Oshodi, would have been apprised of this unfortunate incident.
- All the Oshodi family of Lagos—Presi Ade Oshodi, Hon. Gboyega Oshodi, Dr Femi Bucknor, Prince Dr Gbadebo Akisanya, Mrs Lanre Cole (London), Hon. Enitan Oshodi and the entire Oshodi family of Lagos, we lament at this gory episode.
- The Igunnuko Tapa, the cult and traditional base of the Oshodi family who migrated from Niger State in north-central Nigeria will miss their daughter, Olu.
- The old ladies of Lagos, Mrs Tola Sode, Ms Ayo Randle, Ms Iyabo Olorunkoya, Ms Biola Osho, Ms Funke Dawodu, Ms Dewunmi Sawyer, Ms Lara Harrison and the entire group of her friends of that age group of 70 and above will miss her dearly.
- Many members of Lagos social clubs, Eko Club, Yoruba Tennis Club, Island Club, Waka Club, many of whose members were familiar with her, will also grieve at the manner of her death.
- Her cousins and close friends and relatives—Ms Dewunmi Karunwi, Prince Gabby Yardua, Mr Kayode Tinubu, Mr Kayode Damole, Mr Ladipo Fashola and Mr Gbenga Otudeko (Otus), in Lagos and London will miss her exuberant and friendly disposition.
Ms Olu Oshodi had announced to her friends on Sunday 13th April, 2014 that she would be travelling to the UK on or about 28th of May, 2014, as she habitually did, to visit her children, grandchildren and friends. Poignantly, her children Jumoke and Bolatito are scheduled to arrive from the UK on Good Friday but paradoxically not for the Popo Aguda Good Friday traditional Brazilian menu of Frejon, fish and garri, but to make arrangements for the burial of their dearly departed mother.