Why UBA chairman was jailed in London

bola kuforiji olubiA former chairman of top banking conglomerate, United Bank for Africa, Chief Mrs. Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, is definitely not enjoying her old age in comfort and respect deserving of an elder stateswoman of her status.
The once upon a time highly revered Ijebu and Egba chief who was once touted as the most successful and accomplished femini business icon in Nigeria is now an inmate in a British prison courtesy of some business deals she got herself involved in that has robbed her integrity earned over the years in the mud.
She holds the title of Otunba Ayora of Ijebuland and was; President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Chairman of British Engineering Company, BEWAC, Chairman of French building materials supply conglomerate, EQUIP, Nigeria’s federal Minister of Commerce and Industry among several others. Ironically, she had studied Accountancy in the UK where she is now serving a jail term and got to know many Lagosians and Nigerians including old students of the highly famed CMS Grammar School; Grammarians, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Nigeria’s former Head of State, Dr. Yemisi Kuforiji, past Chairman of Yoruba Tennis Club, Mr. S. Babashola Joseph, leading legal practitioner, octogenarian, member of the Yoruba Tennis Club and father of Mr. Babaseyi Joseph, current Chairman of the Yoruba Tennis Club. She passed her accountancy exams in the UK with flying colours and met other great Nigerian Chartered Accountants to be like Prince of Ijebu- Ode, Supo Adetona, Chief Tunde Anjourin, Aremo Fola Awobo-Pearse and others. She also met a cousin of octogenarian, Dr. Yemisi Kuforiji, Soji Kuforiji whom she married and bore three children for.
As life is not always a bed of roses, she had separated from the father of her children before he died, but she kept the Kuforiji name in the interest of her children and as, indeed, she is legally entitled to so do.
She later met and married youthful-looking Chief Daniel Adeyanju Olubi who was an administrative manager in one of the companies she chaired and in her most popular and successful days, became known as Chief Mrs. Bola Kuforiji-Olubi.
Chief (Mrs.) Bola Kuforiji-Olubi later separated from her second husband, Chief Adeyanju Olubi and having retired after years of transversing corporate Nigeria like a colossus, the Otunba Ayora of Ijebuland retired to her massive riverside home located on haven of the richly endowed; Marine road on Apapa and surrendered her vast estate and holdings to her children while her past time were taking care of her grandchildren and occasional vacations and health checks during her numerous travels to her London millionaires row residence on Philimore Gardens, Willesden near the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) houses, the Asemotas dwelling on Manor House Drive, the Mike Adenuga, the Dangote and Fola Ogunlesi residences on Willesden Lane, NW London.
It has therefore come not only as a surprise but also as a thundering shock to hear that this lady of such high integrity is now languishing in the notorious Holloway women’s prison in London, England.
In a nutshell: She was involved in a business venture with three international companies in Nigeria. A business disagreement occurred between her, the two oil and gas companies and another international oil company (IOC). The original business agreement provided for arbitration on any disagreement to be settled in City of London, under English law, especially as Mrs. Olubi, the Chairman of the company and her son, Olutokunbo Afolabi Kuforiji, a Director of the company, are British citizens. The matter was taken before an English judge who ruled that a sum of USD19m in dispute should be paid by the IOC to the British company and a letter directing the IOC to so do be effected by Mrs. Olubi’s company.
Mrs. Olubi reverted to a Nigerian court, which failed to give a ruling on the matter even though the IOC offered to pay the amount in dispute to the court pending final judgment.
English court disagreed with intervention by Nigerian court as the agreement provided for arbitration in London and ordered Mrs. Olubi to direct the writing of the English court ordered directive.
Mrs. Olubi resorted to another Nigerian court and attempted to obtain another ruling. The English court ordered Mrs. Olubi to appear in court and comply with its ruling or face contempt of court.
Mrs. Olubi appeared in court and attempted to recuse herself from proceedings averring that she had resigned as Chairman of the defendant company as she had handed over the baton to her son, Tokunbo. The Judge, Justice Burton of the Commercial Division of the High Court of Justice Queens Branch Division, again admonished her and gave her a final warning that he was cognizant and considerate of her stature and age and thus gave her a last chance for her and her son to comply with the court ruling and purge herself of the seeming contempt.
Mrs. Olubi subsequently departed the shores of the UK and could not be found in her London residence.
Quite a few months later, when the Judge learnt of her presence in London, he issued a warrant for her arrest.
Mrs. Olubi refused to attend court stressing that she was very ill, on a wheelchair and only able to leave her house for medical appointments. The applicant in the case utilised the ploy usually associated with tracking of social security cheats who pretend to be disabled and are photographed the next day playing football. They set up a team to monitor Mrs Olubi’s movement and photographed her a few days later shopping gaily on London most famous Oxford Street.
When this photographic evidence was produced as evidence to the English Judge, he ordered the immediate arrest of the Madam. The Judge consequently sent her to the infamous Holloway Women Prison in North London where she is serving a one-month sentence for contempt of court.
Holloway Prison is reputed to be mostly occupied by Nigerian women fraud convicts (many called Alhaja Holloway) and the prison is reputable for vice, vile, prostitution, molestation and Lesbianism.
The Judge also convicted and sentenced Mrs. Bola Kuforiji-Olubi’s son, Mr Olutokunbo Kuforiji, to four months imprisonment, albeit in absentia. He is likely to join ex-Governor James Ibori in SW London Brixton Prison where porridge is the most common and savoury item on the menu.
Tokunbo Kuforiji is on the run and has been declared wanted while his mother, Chief Mrs. Bola Kuforiji-Olubi languishes in the roach-infested Holloway Women Prison at the pleasure of Her Majesty, the Queen of England.
What is unknown is whether failure to comply with the court ruling may warrant a continuous sentencing and whether the amount of £300, 000 costs awarded against her may lead to the sale by auction of her London property.

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