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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

His father’s son

Since learning is not hot, scandal is. Just as I was beginning to crawl up the wall mentally in bumper to bumper traffic at 10pm, yes pm. I saw a late vendor with a copy of PM news and the headlining story was from Gbenga Obasanjo’s sworn affidavit in his on going divorce drama. He alleges that his father slept with his wife and that his father in law also slept with her and that he was not sure of the paternity of his children. He alleges that she slept with his father because she was greedy and continues to cast other aspersions on her. He fails to say why his father would do such a despicable thing.

That is what he said, this is what I think might have happened. His wife might have been a survivor of incest (plenty of that going on I can tell you) and she might have confided this in him as a lover, friend and husband. His father may have pressurised his wife into sex, these things happen. Now if any of these were true what would a real man do? He would have either supported and encouraged his wife to seek justice regarding her father and stop him molesting other young children or he would have removed her physically and emotionally from such a poisonous family, building a solid loving family life with her and cherished her deepest secrets even if they can no longer work as a couple. If the story regarding his own father were true (especially given the childhood trauma of his wife), he should have taken a gun to the man and dispatched him to the great beyond or again simply taken his family and walked out of such a dysfunctional family.

As it is none of it seems true, it looks like the tirade of a deeply disturbed, emotionally retarded and excruciatingly selfish man. He just appears determined to completely damage his wife’s reputation without a care as to the well being of the children they bore together. Even if by a long shot all of these were true why hurt the children? Why not conduct a quite paternity test and quietly divorce your wife and leave her to raise her children? Why ruin new lives? Even worse if it is proven that these are indeed his children how will he face those children and explain this madness to them when they are old enough to read the papers and affidavit. Why not a civilized separation and ensuing divorce after a few years citing irreconcilable differences. Acrimonious divorces are petulant, wicked and childish. Children need parenting not necessarily parents. Parenting can be done under same roof or different roofs but to take love and support from children in retaliation for real or perceived hurt on your person is the highest level of egomania, irresponsibility and bother line insanity. One cannot help but wonder at why Gbenga seem to hate his own father so.


Ahmed T said...

Well said Funmi,

Sometimes i wonder why men seek to punish their wives so much during a divorce.

I know divorce can be messy and all but this is just plain uncivilised

Nonesuch said...

My own theoy is yes her father might have molested her and like you said she spilled it all out to her 'Knight in shinning armour'.Her father in law could also have been down that road maybe even b4 she hooked up with his son.We all know Baba cant keep quite he might have told his son he has being there over and over again. I find it hard to think she would be messing around with Baba while in a marriage to the son even though Baba might ask for a piece of the action considering if they had something together in the past.(i hope i'm making sense) The guy swearing to the affidavit is hurt and in the process lashing out at all parties concerned and cant even see beyond his hurt right now. So he is cutting his nose to spite his face.
There is no smoke without fire and even if he is 'psycho' he might just be telling the truth. Isale oro oni egbin.( Not all that glitter is good )

I sincerly hope she has a ggood support system around her cos this is just the beginning.

Akin said...

Hmm Funmi, let me declare here that I know this dude. I was actually in Harvard with him & he struck me as humble. (I did not benefit from any largesse from him o & in truth most folks at Harvard with us will attest to the fact that he never paraded himself as OBJ's son).

These allegations sound ridiculous though but I will say let his ex-wife state her case. The options that you have mentioned for Gbenga to have done as a "real man" may be right but all I can say is you are focusing on just the Big Men in the allegations. What happens to the other Man he accuses his wife of sleeping with?

I hope its not true anyway.

Anonymous said...

u said all that i was thinking!

i even find it hard to believe that the accusations are true and even if they are, why publicise everything? what is wrong with just having a quiet divorce and moving on?

nawa o!

Funmi too said...

Funmi, I dont really believe this story o jare. Gbeborun that I am, I also read PM News. They were the first people to break the news of Gbenga's Divorce last year or is it 2006? Anyway, the reason PM News gave for the divorce then was that Gbenga said his wife could not cook and that he could not stand his father in law. Then some weeks later, PM News said the divorce thing at the court had been withdrawn by Gbenga. then now this - I smell something fishy!

Anonymous said...

Haba Funmi don`t be quick to judge, especially when you don`t have all the fact,don`t just fight for woman but fight for justice and the truth.
It`s hard to pass comment in a very personal and messy matter like this without all the facts.

Anonymous said...

Ms Iyanda,

Did you actually read the full petition? It was an affidavit and that is a court document. As someone in the legal profession, I know this is not for public consumption. It might have been leaked without Gbenga's consent.

a)You said Gbenga should have helped his wife against her dad
Did you miss this bit in the affidavit
"The petitioner (Gbenga) avers that the respondent (Moji) confided in him severally while they were living together (sic) that she had been sexually abused and defiled by her father, Otunba Alex Onabanjo on several occasions.

“The petitioner avers that it was his bid to forcefully put an end to this ignoble acts on the part of his father-in-law, Otunba Alex Onabanjo, that led to the total breakdown of relations between himself and Otunba Onabanjo.

Also did you read this bit
“The petitioner avers that it is now necessary for a court ordered DNA test to be carried out on both himself, Otunba Alex Onabanjo and General Olusegun Obasanjo by a competent independent medical laboratory chosen by the court, in order to ascertain the actual paternity of the children of the marriage as the continued uncertainty about their actual paternity is making his life a misery.

“The petitioner avers that the actual father of the children of the marriage will be found amongst himself, Otunba Alex Onabanjo and General Olusegun Obasanjo and same must be addressed immediately"

All this man was doing was asking for a paternity test but he had to justify why and he has put this in the affidavit but i think the problem is that an affidavit that should have been a PRIVATE COURT DOCUMENT has been leaked to the PUBLIC.

Anonymous said...

Ms Iyanda,
I am anon4.02. So sorry it was so long. It is rather unfortunate that the Nigeria press/online magazines have also denigrated this lady based on this court affidavit. Again, without us all having all the facts, the lady is being presented in a very negative light. How does one explain this that is making rounds in cyberspace with your blog view on the matter?
It is unfair what Nigerian press does to Nigerian women.

Anonymous said...

Orisirisi! (it takes all sorts). Why can't I get it out of my mind that this Gbenga fellow, Harvard education or not, is mentally deranged, selfish and vindictive? there's a lot we don't know about the underbelly of this sordid tale, but making it a publicly available affidavit was totally unjustified.

Just goes to show you, be careful what confidences you share with your supposed 'loved one', you never know when it'll come back to bite you.

As for the allegations against the Otunba, they should be thoroughly investigated because other children may be in danger of the same. I am pained that our society does not really see these acts for the criminal aberrations and abominations they are.
God help this couple's children.

Iyaeto said...

Funmi are you sure this guy is okay. E be like say craze dey worry am. He talks too much. Remember he granted an interview to a journalist Mr Sowore sometime ago in which he insulted Atiku and Stella's son. The guy looks like an ode (fool) anyway. If the allegations were true, I know his wife must have told him in confidence. I pray somebody keeps a copy of those papers and shoe them to his kids when they grow up to know the kind of person he is besides usually it's the woman that sings like a canary.

Sherri said...

it's very sad!
i won't jump to any conclusions but, i tend to agree with ur reasoning.

if there's anything to be learnt from this, i hope it is that:

females shud look hard before they leap.(she dumped correct bobo to marry him)

be very careful who u open ur legs for

discover urself b4 marrying anyone

live ur life well b4 marriage (if he's worth having, he'll wait)

deal with ur demons and baggage b4 marriage

when faced with separation/divorce, cut ur losses fast and move on

don't try to hit any man in the pocket(it's not worth it!)

protect ur children even from their "father"

one good thing about this is that it might actually lead to open discussion about this taboo..

Akin said...

Hello Funmi,

This thing baffled me that I had to write a blog about it.

As to the truth of these allegations, this would be a sworn legal document presented to court so the man is either perjuring himself or telling the truth - none of which is good either way.

The matter of incest, paedophilia and sexual gratification demanded by men needs to be addressed as a general issue though in Nigeria.

What concerns me most is the kids - what if they learn that grand-pa is daddy? How does that help the kids?

It is selfish, vindictive, rotten and deplorable on the part of all concerned apart from the innocent kids.

The revelations of businesses should attract the cursory glance of the EFCC.

Comrade said...

Basically, there's a pattern of behaviour among the Obasanjo males. They don't know how to disagree with others in a civil manner. They throw caution out of the wind in an attempt to deal with enemies/opponents. All is fair in war for them. There are no rules of engagement. Even though they may destroy themselves in the process, they seek to inflict great damage on their enemies. Like Father, Like Son

Anonymous said...

www.saharareporters.com. I think this is absolutely sick. I know moji and gbenga and both of them have issues. SERIOUS issues but this is totally uncalled for. I agree with anonymous above, it's a court document and these things generally come out in messy divorces, but it's NOT FOR THE PUBLIC! I think the court clerks or whoever leaked this story should be absolutely ashamed of themselves and sahara reporters should be sued for those pictures and statements. Ko da now!

Anonymous said...

My take on this rubbish affidavit, you do not need all those details for the desolution of a marriage in naija. The most you need is to state that the marriage has broken down irretrivably.Marital support is another matter. Which agency actually enforces those matters?
It is a bit irresponsible to put those details out there.At the end of the day, a man who treats the mother of his children badly is giving her lesson on how to treat her kids badly. A hurt mother will hurt her kids. These people have money,if he really wants to know whose kids they are, all he has to do is butter up the woman for a couple of weeks, go on holiday with the
kids and have a DNA test done.If he has been an absentee father, then the wife will be suspicious and not let him take the kids away.
At the end of the day, I do not really blame Gbenga for this silly behaviour, the apple does not fall far from the tree, did OBJ not beat up an ex-wife and got his army boys to remove the roof of the house she was living in with his kids at the time? Gbenga sadly is continuing the circle. The girl's father cried buckets when she was escorted , i wonder if he was crying cos he knew his daughter was marrying a monster.
To the last anon, Gbenga and his lawyers were irresponsible, did they for a minute think someone was not going to read the affidavit and make it public? Someone has to make a buck or someone is a bit of a gossip.Either way it comes out. You do not need all those details to ask for a paternity test.

Anonymous said...

I have unfortunately read the petition. And all the allegations are possible. Incest is unbelievably common and incest-in-law is not unknown.

The petition should never have been published, was a private document and i guess if a man does not have $22M, he will surely be very aggrieved at being asked to fork over N50M to buy a house. Seeing as claims she wants foreign schools, Has a house in the US and London, Has a bitumen factory etc etc. She is just not looking too good, to me - Assuming its all true of course.

I all seems really sad to me!

pam said...

When anyone decides to make such claims trust me they are ready for the world to know. He is not a naive fool. What confidentiality? Private documents ke...
Gimme a break!

This man wanted to do emotional damage. He wanted the shit out there. As an earlier poster pointed out, he didnt need all that detail for a divorce. He has succeeded. No matter what the outcome is the mud will stick forever. Poor poor children.
No matter what went down Im sure there were better ways to deal with this. This man HATES his father and his wife. Even if he has misinterpreted the situation his hatred is very real.

Yomi said...

Ah Funmi, this your blog has turned into law school o! From the little I know as a practising lawyer, an affidavit is a private document sworn under oath in court. However, I think the complications in this matter arises because the man is asking for DNA tests to prove the paternity of the kids and in that case, you need serious facts before the courts can allow a DNA test to be authorised.

Anonymous said...

Funmi, have you read today's thisday newspaper? It seems to be an all out war 4 money. The lady wants the man to pay i) lump sum of 54million naira immediately ii)monthly payment of 300 000naira for next 15yrs iii)then she wants lump sum of £360 000 and $400 000 to send kids to school in Switzerland & US.

Now tell me, if you are a man and you doubt the paternity of those kids and you ask for DNA test from the court and you give your own side of the case? why should you be crucified? This sounds like serious gold-digging considering the lady's father is also extremely wealthy.

Vanity upon vanity!

Anonymous said...

As to why the guy hates his father. It is rooted in history. Their mother Remi never forgave their father for his infidelity and she raised them all with a contempt for their dad.At least, she still revealed her hatred & bitterness towards OBJ in the interview she granted Punch at the peak of the third term agenda. Neither Iyabo nor Busola also respect their Dad!

She raised them and not OBJ and Gbenga worked his butt off and was a regular on the dean's list in UI. He went to John Hopkins and made his first class (http://www.jhsph.edu/Alumni/Profiles/obasanjo.html) became a medic etc.

Yet his father's sins have continued to be poured on them all since they have been kids. Its a shame we cant choose our parents!

Anonymous said...

anon at 2:14pm.............well said!

Chili Pepa said...

My sentiments exactly. But what I find it difficult to understand is how these legal documents bearing the accusations came to the press. And if we are speaking of being responsible doesn't the press stand guilty of irresponsibility? Some things are better left unpublished ... unless they need to be said to expose pedophiles.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who know the couple, yes, they have issues, and she has a history of incest etc., but that does not explain why he has to use her as his punching bag. Although on the outside she appears very strong and confident, but i know she has been through a lot with him. Anyone who beats a woman is a loser. She didn't need this kind of exposure. If paternity was really what he was contesting, he could easily have done it privately. he doesn't need a court to award him that opportunity. he is just vindictive. Can't deal with the fact that she has had enough and decided to walk away him.

As for her father, he is a known rat. This is what happens to so many children of the rich. If you think only that it is only the poor that suffers, think again. I know of at least 4 women with prominent fathers who were sexually abused by them.

I don't care how bitter Gbanga is, he doesn't have to behave the way he is doing. there are other ways.

Anonymous said...

I was just about to tease you Funmi that we haven't heard your opinion about the Gbenga Obasanjo saga, only for me to scroll down and see a post. This is why I like you 2 much, you have opinions about everything and you are not scared to voice them. Over on Bella's site, people have scared her into removing the link to the story and 4 lines or so she had about the story. It actually goes more on her blog than yours. I don't agree with your opinions on everything but I'd be lying if I said you haven't "enlightened" me more than once on numerous issues. In fact, I do not like you, I love you.
Good job!

Anonymous said...

That Gbenga is a mentally deranged human....how can u hate someone so much and spread lies or truths abou them..................i mean i dont know what to believe....but it really sounds like a crazy embittered person who hates his wife so much and is ready to ruin her life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
he has hurt so many peopla with the allegations he his making..His dad,wife,father-in law,his OWN children(they will one day read about it)The thing about it is that everyone will surely reap what they sow..God is not asleep...no he is not........there is a GOD!!!

Anonymous said...

as someone said even if the incest is true ..he didnt need to state that for a divorce..he did not need too...he knew waht he was doing,he wanted that document to leak..Gbenga has just let the whole world know the kind of person he is..he is a bitter bitter person,who is directly under the manipulation of the Devil.........I mean at least he should think of old time sake!i mean this woman was once your wife,bestfriend,lover...she is the mother of your children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!his kids are going to HATE him in future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ababoypart2 said...

I like your breakdown, the two sides of the story that you have carefully analysed. Its hard to tell which side is true, but one thing is certain – a lot of damage has been done. And mud sticks

BabaAlaye said...

Imagine a Camera focused on you and documenting every day of your life, imperfections and all. Will you be that quick to Judge? Honestly?

Funmi, Happy New Year Bawo ni?

Aspiring nigerian woman said...

Well done Funmi on this post. I don't agree with comments on Obasanjo boys or the daughters, or even some of yours. I went to school with soem of Obasanjo'sdaughters, infact I them and she was one of the nicest people I have ever met. I have also met a few of the sons, but I don’t' have anything negative to say about them.

Gbenga is hurt and he has a right to defend the divorce settlement, as I heard that it was Moji that first went to court. Whether the allegations are true or not, is another matter. I don’t think anyone is in the position to judge.

The only regret is that Obasanjo's family status, with unlimited wives and twenty something children was not an ideal environment to raise children and Gbenga is also getting it wrong, with his own family. Father did not live an exemplary family life. As for Moji, what amount of money/divorce settlement can make up for dragging your children's father and their happiness to the gutters?

I am a product of a divorced family and 17years later, my sisters are still suffering the consequences. All I remember is not even the divorce, it was what happened later. The allegations, petitions, disclaimers between my parents.

The media has a right to lap up the whole thing. Being an ex-president's son unfortunately comes with its own responsibilities. It has also brought to people's attention issues with corruptions, child abuse etc. all existign in our wonderful bubble called "Nigeria".

The Last King Of Scotland said...

again poignant and examined from bird's eye view and totally objective. OBJ is not the most likeable man anyway. hes crude, obnoxious and never ever forgives a foe. guess a few reasons why he might hate him. its all ugly, but as u opined, not new or unfamiliar to nigeria or nigerians. well said.

Anonymous said...

Well said Funmi, I applaud you for the way you lay it down, i wish Gbenga could read this and learn from it. I also wish everyone can learn from this. It is disturbing that Gbenga let things turn ugly. if i didn't know both parties involve, i could have thought otherwise of each one of them.

Kpakpando said...

It's easy to paint Gbenga as the devil in this situation, but I doubt Moji is an angel in this entire divorce matter.
I just pray someone is watching the two children in the middle of the battle of egos and greed, because if Moji was indeed sexually abused and they're in a similar environment what makes them exempt?

madam e said...

The whole story is simply disgusting! May it not happen to us....I really don't know who to feel sorry for! Moji should have thought of her children when/if she engaged in incest.

LemLem said...

@madam e
i believe the allegation is that she was abused as a child or when she could not give consent so how could she be thinking of of the children???

as for the allegations, none of them are outrageous, they just show a man destroyed or should i say blinded by grief and anger...o ga o

Opeoluwa said...

Everyone here seems to be blaming Gbenga but really why have the parties involved not come out to issue a denial ? Really, in my opinion, there is no smoke without fire. Its been over a week and not OBJ or Otunba A have said anything apart from PM News saying that OBJ is sure his wife, Gbenga's mum, is the one leading her son on.

Anonymous said...

funmi well done,

Sometimes i wonder why some people behave in an uncivilised way. Gbenga should have looked at the consequence of his action. I think women needs to think twice before deciding for vagabond like Gbenga. I am very sorry for the children of this big fool. I believe alot of young ladies will learn from this disgusting attitude of a man that what to put away his wife for this indecent behavior of which one can not tell if it is true or not.

'Muyiwa said...


Whether all these allegations are true or not...what can I say? It hasnt really put food on the common man's table in Nigeria.

When you are too well fed and satiated you become less sober. And if power and money are cornered by treacherous and selfish individuals...these are the kind of stories you get to hear...

Let me warn....worse things are going on in this country.
I have always maintained that our seemingly religiosity in this country is not Godly..
It is all a facade....

Let the truth, love and justice manifest for once in this country...and we can regards these kind of stories for bed time after we must have has a good day at work,with ECN (NEPA) working and crime rate going down...
God Bless Nigeria!!!

Tunde on the road said...

Its coming! its coming! .......... more from the supposed rich and weightless.I doubt if anyone knows the worse road in Nigeria. I'll tell you GOMBE-ADAMAWA ROAD, i bet a trailer will have flat tyres on that road and our dear former PV? used to pass through it every month.I even hear he is not a Nigerian sef. One more time; its coming! its coming! GODS JUDGEMENT

Anonymous said...

OBJ's son should NEVER have made the divorce petition public......... I mean, there are some things kids shouldn't know.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@ all, let me just say l had considered not mentioning this story and l still wonder if it was a wise decision. It was not an attempt to discredit Gbenga (he does an excellent job unaided) or support moji (don't know her) but as adult we are responsible for our actions including seeking professional help or legal redress for childhood damages. We as parents must also protect our (if the paternity test says yes) children and as enlightened humans protect all children especially those in our care (if it says no).
General Obasanjo is not a national hero nor much to be admired as a man, father and elder. Gbenga owes it to himself as a human and his children as a father to stop the circle of destruction. Even if his wife is a conniving gold digger, he should not rubbish his kids, men have been known to give unreasonable wives half of their estate in out of court settlements to maintain peace and stability for their children and to emotionally liberate themselves. This sort of money can be earned again but love, respect and emotional stability cannot be reclaimed just like that. it is always wise both sides to remember how much land a man really needs.. six feet. nuff said!

Anonymous said...

Funmi...well said...well said!!!!!no matter what happened between them think of the kids whether they are yours or not!!!if they happen to be yours then how do u explain the hatred you have for their mother and them too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This matter really hit me and i cannot belive these are two people who once loved each other

shola pacheco said...

oga ho!i had to take my time in reading all the comments left and most especially FI comment,true talk money can still be earned,but love ,trust and respect are things u cannot buy ,once broken only God can help in such situations,no matter what has happened between the four named ppl involved in this matter,am sure there is a thing called irreconcilable differences when it comes to the dissolution of a union,no one will bother to ask for further details,gbenga could have gotten a partenity test,confidentially without all this fuss,if he doesnt care abt his dad,father-in-law and even moji herself.he should have tot abt the kids.what would the world think of those children,and who knows what if they end up being his.how does he right his wrongs,no matter what has happened.i think with all the harvard education,there should be more to him than that.and just the tot of those kids taunted in school by their mates mums or dad said this.i feel so sorry for them all moji especially.not being feminist but just imagine that kind of publicity.

wunmi said...

i agree with you funmi.why hurt your children during divorce.i think gbenga obasanjo have mental issues.why bring out all this rubbish,it is not helping anyone.it is not going to make him look better,he will end up distroying about 3 families.i hope things work out for all in the end.

Anonymous said...

43 comments & still counting...particularly as you also blogged about Ribadu & Awo's statue on the same day & the comments on the latter issues have not even reached 10 yet they affect our lives more.

This thing is an Obasanjo/Onabanjo family affair. What is our business?