+ How Her Step-children Salvaged What Is Left of Their Father’s Squandered Goodwill
+ As Justice Oguntade Rebuffs Reconciliatory Moves
+ All the Messy Details
The 17-year old marriage between Justice George Adesola Oguntade, Nigeria’s immediate past High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and retired Supreme Court Justice, and his wife, Modupe Wemimo (née Hastrup), has crashed.
The union, which had been miring in scandals crashed after many months of family squabbles, back-biting and mutual distrust and myriad of allegations bordering on stealing, exhorting and infidelity.
Credible sources revealed to The Boss that things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold for the celebrated couple as madam was sent packing from their Lekki, Lagos home on Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Her disgraceful exit on that fateful day occurred after a serious altercation which led to her stuffing her personal belongings and valuables into many suitcases, (mostly Eleganza branded suitcases), hurling them into a waiting pick-up van and driving out of the premises.
Indeed, what has transpired in the Oguntade household is akin to what usually plays out in the popular 90s sit-com, Fuji House of Commotion.
The Boss learnt that the marriage had faced challenges from the outset and chief among the problems was the stiff opposition mounted by Oguntade’s children whose names according to Wikipedia are: Abosede Snr., Abimbola, Folu (SAN), Deola, Daniel, Yetunde Abosede Jnr and Jide.
For some inexplicable reasons, the children made their opposition to their father’s choice for second wife very obvious. They were not far from accommodating, and it was no surprise that Modupe Oguntade too kept them at arm’s length. Then began the battle for Justice Oguntade’s heart and attention.
Unknown to the children, Justice Oguntade had known Modupe, (who was previously married to Dr. Jimi Okunola Aina) for whom she bore all her three children: Jimi, Ayodele and Folusho from way back.
We gathered that the duo actually met in 1961 through her maternal uncle, Alhaji Nurudeen Shitta-Bey, the 7th Seriki Musulumi of Lagos.
Modupe, who was a toddler then had come to see her uncle off to England at Apapa Wharf; Oguntade was also there to celebrate with his friend.
Therefore, when Justice Oguntade and Modupe reunited, it was a case of deep respect, devotion and love. She was so respectful that she calls him “Baba” (father) due to the age difference between them.
The Boss gathered that at the Oguntade home, Modupe’s word was law, she held court without any resistance. She was so fully in charge that whenever the step-children visited, they would be welcomed downstairs. They did not have the temerity to venture to the upper chambers of the house!
In no time, the duo became one of the most celebrated couples on the Lagos social scene on account of the status of Justice Oguntade as well as the powerful fashion statement that was always made by his wife, who had a good sense of style.
Over time, Modupe seemed to have settled into her role and along the line too, she was able to win over one of her step-daughters, a move that caused rancour between the children.
The Oguntades looked like your dream couple, always smiling and looking happy, but away from the prying eyes of the public, it was a ticking time bomb!
Despite the issues, multiple sources revealed to The Boss that Modupe doted on the husband, and showered tender, loving care on him all the time, and that was why despite his children’s seeming angst, he stood firmly by her.
In 2017, Justice Oguntade got the juicy appointment of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and was obviously joyous but members of his family were reading the situation differently.
For his wife, Modupe, moving to London was an opportunity to take complete charge of her man and flourish, away from her pesky step-children. Moreover, she was alleged to have boasted that she loved being addressed as “Her Excellency”.
The children on the other hand were in a state of panic; they felt this would further alienate them from their father. They allegedly began to spread words to family members and friends that they needed better access to their father because Modupe had not been doing a good job of caring for him. They even said she was bullying the old man!
Meanwhile, Oguntade’s arrival in London was big news! His historic visit to meet the queen at Buckingham Palace was well captured for posterity by Ovation International Magazine. It was a day of sheer grandeur.
From all indications Modupe was having a superb time at the High Commission, until some unsavoury stories began to hit the social media.
The stories revolved around Modupe’s penchant for extortion, high-handedness and worse of all, infidelity! She was described as debauched and decadent. Of course, she was very disturbed by these stories, her only feeling was that it was the handiwork of her enemies back home in Nigeria.
The stench elating from the gale of ugly tales still did not abate as preparations began for the 80th birthday celebration of her husband. This was held on March 10, 2020.
An 80th birthday ordinarily should be an occasion to celebrate, rejoice and unite as a family but this event seemed to have ignited the bile within the Oguntade family-and that was when the cookie crumbled.
As the Matron of the house, Modupe was in charge of all arrangements, of course, her step-children felt shut out because they had virtually no roles to play, thus, they were left with no choice than to fall in line.
The event itself was filled with splendour, colour and glamour, and as expected, was attended by Nigeria’s rich and famous. Held at the Hilton, Park Lane, it was the height of elegance and exclusivity. The Oguntade family and their 350 special guests had a great time. All members of the family were in attendance.
The Holy Communion service was officiated by the Most Reverend Josiah Idowu-Feran while music was provided by Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey.
Held in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, some rumpus emanated from the high-calibre ceremony as the rumour mill became agog with the news that some guests had contracted the virus and that in fact two people died.
This was later debunked by Chief Olusegun Osoba and Ovation Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu, who both attended the birthday party.
It was later discovered that only one guest died days after attending the birthday and his death was due to other health complications that had nothing to do with COVID-19.
While the coronavirus story was making waves in the social media, bigger problems had engulfed the Household of the Oguntades.
First, the step-daughter who was in the corner of Modupe reportedly broke ranks with her over a phone conversation that she overheard.
That was not all, there was an incident of a missing suitcase. We gathered that the suitcase, which contained all the gifts and cash presented to the celebrant, mysteriously disappeared from the Hilton.
After a few phone calls, it was later discovered that one of Modupe’s guests, who had been given a ride on the private jet of Premier Lotto Chairman and Odole of Ife, Sir Kesington Adebutu had checked in the missing luggage!
An enraged Justice Oguntade reportedly told Sir Kesington to kindly take the suitcase for safekeeping and later allegedly tongue-thrashed the wife.
Our sources revealed that the couple had such a bitter quarrel that week and were not on speaking terms. Also, Justice Oguntade went ahead to give his wife the marching orders. This marked the beginning of the end as things seemed to snowball afterwards.
The news from London was cheering for the Oguntade children who had all along been only tolerating their step-mother. Now joined by their sibling who had hitherto broken ranks, they decided that Mrs Oguntade had to leave.
They reportedly accused her of systematically drugging their father with psychotic drugs especially Trazodone, and manipulating him to favour her and her children. They also accused her of selling cars that had been presented to him as gifts without his knowledge.
In London though, the situation had somehow become better and Justice Oguntade and wife had mended fences.
In fact, Modupe had almost convinced her husband to stay put in London and not return to Nigeria again but he insisted that he had to return home, of course the children were also putting pressure. That was how they both flew on British Airways to Nigeria last weekend.
A mild drama ensued in the Oguntade Lekki home as the couple were flying into town.
Jimi Aina, eldest son of Modupe had got wind that the step-children were plotting to lock his mother out of her home and arranged security protection in form of some soldiers. The fully-armed men were dispatched to Lekki.
Not to be outdone, the children reached out to top persons in the security too, and they were able to get Police officers of their own to also stand guard.
The situation could have degenerated into a show of force and even worse if not for the intervention of Lagos Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu. He, it was, who was able to speak with Jimi, urged the soldiers to stand down and some form of normalcy eventually returned.
That was not all, news also filtered through that the children were going to storm the airport to stop Modupe from even entering her husband’s car but they were told that such an action will be embarrassing to their father, so they jettisoned the idea.
Our sources revealed just to calm frayed nerve, it was a close of friend of Modupe Oguntade, Chief (Mrs.) Shade Okoya and her husband, Chief Rasak Okoya , the Aare of Lagos, who arranged airport security and vehicles to ferry the Oguntades to their home in Lekki.
But the battle line had been drawn.
So it was no surprise that a few days after their arrival, Modupe and her daughter in-law, Deola, who is married to Mr Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN had an altercation.
Modupe’s inglorious exit that day occurred after a serious altercation which led to her stuffing her belongings and valuables into many suitcases, hurling them into a waiting pick-up van and driving out of the premises.
It was gathered that Modupe was angry that the Oguntade children, led by Mrs Deola Ayorinde had sent the cooks away without her knowledge and consent. They were only brought back that day. The hot exchanges of the two women attracted Justice Oguntade.
The wife complained that the daughter had hitherto called her a thief, who stole plates, cutlery and a Yamaha piano from London, and now had the temerity to order her cooks around.
“I am tired. This is too much. This is my house. The atmosphere is too toxic and I would not take it anymore”, Modupe Oguntade reportedly yelled. She also noted that the problem in the family had caused her to develop High Blood Pressure.
Her husband explained that he, in fact, sent the cooks away, but she would have none of it because according to her, for years, she had been in charge of her kitchen and domestic affairs, and it was impossible for him to suddenly change overnight.
It was a very heated encounter in the presence of Jide, Justice Oguntade’s last son.
In fact, an enraged and frustrated Modupe accused her step-daughter, Adeola Ayorinde of being the brain behind the negative stories being written about her on social media. In the course of venting her anger, Modupe referred to Jide as her son. But Ayorinde interjected and countered Modupe that she should not refer to Jide as her son because she (Modupe) had never treated him as one.
She reportedly said, “Don’t call him your son, all your three sons have at least one house each where is Jide’s own?” He also accused her and her sons of orchestrating Jide’s ouster from his job.
Also, Modupe told her step-daughter not to come to her house to give any orders, the step-daughter fired back that she was in her father’s house and had her rights. While also accusing her step-mother of raising her voice against the dad.
The back and forth went on for a few minutes and Justice Oguntade, who was there all along, was so embarrassed that he left the scene.
On the night of Wednesday, October 14, some prominent Nigerians including Chief Okoya were at the residence, allegedly to appeal to Justice Oguntade.
Sources disclosed that in the course of the discussion, Modupe Oguntade was accused of infidelity. She vehemently denied the allegations and declared that she was innocent. She was reported to have sworn with the Bible and the Quran.
Another argument was said to have erupted on Thursday, leading to a shouting match between Justice Oguntade and Modupe. This time around, the fight was so severe that the domestic staff had to call the children.
It was in the presence of the children that the respected Jurist said that he was no longer interested and declared that the marriage was all over. He then ordered the wife out of their home!
We were told that Modupe was adamant that she was not leaving, she said she was not going to step an inch out of the house, and almost engaged her husband in a fight. She accused him of taking the action because of his dalliances.
She reportedly told him that she was not going anywhere because she had nowhere to go. The Justice reportedly replied that he had built three houses for her three sons in Lekki and also built a house for her mother, Mrs Alexandria Motolani Adufe Haastrup (whom we learnt Modupe has a strained relationship with recently); that she was free to move to any of the houses.
When it was obvious that Justice Oguntade was serious about his order for her to leave, Modupe packed over 100 suitcases filled with clothes, watches and jewellery and left.
For now, the children seem to have won the battle of taking control of Justice Oguntade’s life and properties.
With their new leverage, the children had taken immediate action. We heard that they have already taken possession of a land allegedly owned by Justice Oguntade that was being developed by Modupe’s sons. And now take turn to spend the night at their father’s house.
Although, no one seems to know where Mrs Modupe Oguntade is living at the moment, sources revealed that close family friends like Chief Rasak Akanni Okoya and the Oba of Lagos have waded into the matter with a view to settling the brouhaha and bringing the erstwhile couple back together again.
Justice George Adesola Oguntade: A Man of Unimpeachable
George Adesola Oguntade, CFR, CON was born on March 10, 1940. He is from Epe, Lagos, and served as justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from May 19, 2004 to May 10, 2010.
He started his early education in Epe before attending Holborn College of Law in 1964 and proceeded to the Nigeria Law School in 1965, and was called to the Bar on January 15, 1966. He was in private legal service for 14 years before being appointed a Judge of the Lagos High Court in 1980.
Between 1984 and 1986, he served as the Chairman of the Armed Robbery and Firearms Tribunal in Lagos State.
In September 1987, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. He served as Justice of the Court of Appeal Enugu, Enugu State from September 1987 – September 1993; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Ibadan, Oyo State from September 1993 – September 1995; Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Jos, Plateau State – September 1995 – December 1998; Presiding Justice Court of Appeal, Lagos, Lagos State from January 1999 – December 2002 and Presiding Justice Court of Appeal, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory from January 2003 – May 2004.
Such were his sound judgments at the High Court that they were hardly over-turned by the Appellate Court. In the same vein, he worked very hard to clear back-logs of appeals at the four Appellate Courts over which he presided. Among the celebrated cases he presided over or co-handled were:
Justice Anyebe Vs Benue [the Judge was sacked by the State Government, but the appeal court reinstated him after a reprimand.
Amaechi Vs Omehia/PDP [Amaechi’s name was replaced by Omehia’s after the former was duly nominated. Omehia won the election, and the court ordered him to relinquish office to Amaechi as the authentic candidate and winner of the Rivers state Governorship elections.
Justice Oguntade’s tenure at the Supreme Court of Nigeria witnessed the delivery of many landmark judgments, which have impacted significantly on our legal system, particularly in the area of constitutional and administrative law. A fearless and courageous judge, thorough and resolute in his reasoning, Justice Oguntade would not hesitate to disagree with his colleagues when the need arise.
In his dissenting judgment of the appeal by the Presidential candidate of the ANPP, General Muhammadu Buhari [Rtd.] against the declared winner, President Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP, Hon. Justice Oguntade annulled the election and ordered a re-run. Interestingly, the President was to admit later that the election was flawed. So sound were his dissenting/minority judgments that rather than alienate him from his colleagues; they have set the tone for younger legal practitioners to explore other angles to similar cases.
Indeed, his understanding of the law and the adjudicatory process as manifested in his judgments, are reference points to lawyers and law students alike. By his incisive and analytical pronouncements, he has contributed to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria.
On the 19th of May 2004, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. His tenure on the Supreme Court Bench witnessed the delivery of several landmark Judgments [including several dissents] which substantially impacted on many areas of law, particularly in the realm of constitutional and administrative law. Many of his dissenting judgments have attained the status of “locus classicus” and remain the subject of discourse and analysis in law schools and legal circles.
Justice Oguntade retired from the Supreme Court Bench on the 10th day of March 2010 having attained the statutory retirement age of 70 years. In April 2010, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria decorated him with the national honours of “Commander of the Federal Republic” (CFR) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of law in Nigeria. Before then he had received the National honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger.
On September 16, 2015, George was appointed Chancellor of the Lagos State University Governing Council by Akinwunmi Ambode. George Oguntade assumed duty as High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Kingdom on 9th October, 2017.
Justice George Oguntade has over the years been invited to different fora to share his knowledge, experiences and perspectives on various aspects of law and jurisprudence.
Among his refreshing & illuminating presentations are:
Barrier to Justice — The Nigerian Experience” [International Bar Association Conference, Chicago, USA];
Fighting Corruption and Money Laundering in Banking” [International Symposium on Economic Crimes, Cambridge, England];
Dissenting Judgments and Judicial Lawmaking” [Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies]; and
Surely Justice is denied When Delayed” [Transcorp Hilton, Abuja]
Beyond the Judiciary, Justice Oguntade has also served society in many other roles.
He is Chairman, Customer Complaint Bureau, Nigerian Insurers Association and member, World Jurist Association.
He has been Chancellor of Anglican Diocese of Lagos since 1992 and the recipient of the First Anglican Communion National Award for Integrity and Excellence.