Then loved-up Femi, we learnt, had put Olayinka in a family way when he was selling stationeries at Iponri area of Lagos, and the result of that effort was 26 years old, Christie, the first from his loin but his mum did not only show disapproval, she condemned their dalliance and sent mother away and took the baby to her custody.
In spite of Femi’s mother’s rejection, the arrow of love hit Femi again and he found himself in the arms of Olayinka, who second time around got pregnant for the Femi who has since married delectable, Nana Otedola, the Managing Director, Garment Care and blessed with children.
As fate would have it, she lost the pregnancy seven months after. Since then, their paths never crossed, Olayinka was shut away from her only child, and her world became empty. Now she’s on a search for her long-lost daughter, Christy.
Below is the interesting story as said by the mother of the first daughter of Femi, the former Zenom oil boss, the emotional distressed mother provides insight into what went wrong with the romance, how Mr Otedola and his parents hoodwinked her into parting with her child and other intimate details in this interview.
For the purpose of this interview, can I have your full names?
I am Olayinka Odukoya.
What kind of relationship existed between you and Mr. Femi Otedola?
We used to have a love affair.
Was the love affair one that your parents knew about? I mean your own parents and his parents?
What happened was that I just finished from secondary school at that time and I was even working when he approached me for a relationship. I accepted his advances and somewhere along the line, I realised that I’d taken in for him. And this was a time I was just offered an admission into the School of Nursing in Ikoyi; I was only waiting to go for pre-registration interview before I realised I was pregnant. And at that point in time, there was a man, Mr. Tobun father’s house at Odo-Irangusi.
It was through my friend that was dating the contractor that I met Femi. And he promised me heaven and earth. As a matter of fact, we both sworn to an oath with the Holy Bible never to leave each other. I was about 21 years at that time and it was at that point that we started sleeping together and I got pregnant for him. And he accepted it. But in the long run, I realised that he didn’t tell his parents at home that he had put a lady in the family way. It was that Mr. Tobun that later went to his dad to tell him that his son had impregnated a young lady in Ijebu. And his mum later called him to probe him over it after the dad complained to her.
But he lied to his mum initially that he did not impregnate anybody. Meanwhile, I used to go to their house regularly before then to the extent that all his younger siblings were familiar with me. His mum even knew me, though she did not know that I was dating her son which was the real purpose of my frequent visit to their house. She thought I was only a friend to Femi’s sisters. So, since I took in, I would go to him to collect money for my upkeep and things like that.
As a matter of fact, I contemplated aborting the pregnancy at a point because I felt it was affecting the continuation of my education but unfortunately for me then, an old man overheard me telling a friend about my planned abortion and the old man went straight to leak it to my mum. So, my mum came to take me from where I was back home so as to prevent me from aborting the pregnancy. And my dad too also prevailed on me never to try aborting the pregnancy with the counseling that it is not only people that are well educated that make it in life. So, I later went to tell Femi that my parents were well aware of the pregnancy and he also plead with me to keep the pregnancy.
What was Mr. Femi Otedola doing then? Was he working or still in school?
He was a trader at Iponri Shopping Complex selling stationery materials. And since his dad was running a printing press then, he was also supplying them materials to work with. And when we realised he was not showing up at our house like it was expected, my parents said I should tell him that they wanted to meet his parents and he said no problems. But when he refused to come with his parents like he promised, a sister to my mum who was a registrar was even nursing the doubt that I might not know the real owner of my pregnancy and she attributed her doubt to the fact that the Otedola’s were well-to-do and very responsible, so they would not tolerate their son impregnate a girl and not do the right thing.
So, there was a resolve that my mum should follow me to their house and when we got there, it was Femi himself that opened the gate for us. And when we met his dad, Baba Otedola, and told him a bout the pregnancy, he probed Femi over it and he told his dad that he was the one responsible for it.
And the dad said he would have loved his mum to be at home for the meeting because when he first heard about the issue and raised it with the mum, Femi vehemently denied knowing anything about the pregnancy to the extent that the mum was saying any girl that was claiming to have gotten pregnant for her son should go and take care of it in her parent’s house.
Since her son had said he didn’t impregnate any girl. But the dad said we should not worry about it and that he would always send money for my upkeep. And shortly before I would deliver my baby, the mum came around at the prompting of Baba Otedola, I guess, she came with Baba Otedola’s elder sister.
They said they were the owners of the pregnancy since it’s their son that was responsible for it. And when I delivered my baby, a naming ceremony was organised at their house for my daughter.
So, since everything was cordial to that point, how did the denial of access to your daughter come into play?
Thank you. That’s exactly what I am about to tell you. After the naming ceremony, Femi came later to tell me that his mum said he should not marry me. And I was like if she says that then, maybe you should leave me alone. But he said he could not do that. Later on, I told him I wanted to learn Hair Dressing since I could not go to the School of Nursing any more. But he advised that I should go to a Catering school instead. So, I went to Catering school and it was while I was there that I got pregnant for him again. But his mum still stood strongly against our getting married.
Meanwhile, I had a forced labour when the pregnancy got into the 7th month which I had as a still birth. In fact, I almost lost my life during the delivery. It was the placenta that came out first before the dead baby came out b*ttocks first instead of the head. My dad later went to meet him that, Femi, so, so, thing happened to me. Though, he was fully aware that I was pregnant for him again, but he apparently did not inform his parents.
So, it was when my dad went to their house that his dad too knew about it and challenged him over it. But in his usual manner, he denied having anything to do with the pregnancy and I later told him that thank God I did not die in the course of the forced labour because that is how he would have denied me in death.
I reminded him of how he lied that he did not know anything about Christy’s pregnancy before he later accepted to be the one responsible. And shortly after that was when his mum became extremely hostile to me, telling his son that he saw girls from rich background, he didn’t go to them. That, why would he go for someone from a humble background like me. And it was because Femi told me that his mum might accept me if we had a second child that I accepted to get pregnant for him again. But when they said I should bring my daughter Christy to them when she was a little over 2 years, so that she could start kindergarten, I left her for them. But ever since then, the mum would not allow me to see my daughter.
There was even a festive period that my younger siblings went to their house to ask them to allow my daughter to come and spend some time with us, the mum refused. And I later went myself but as soon as the mum saw me, she took my daughter inside and locked her up. And when all my efforts to see my daughter became abortive, I later told them that I would always be my daughter’s mother because they cannot buy another mother for her no matter how much they prevent me from seeing her. And again, my mum’s younger sister told me not to worry because when it gets to a point my daughter would ask for her mum.
But when she (Christy) was 15 and was schooling in Akure, Ondo State, while she lived with her father’s younger brother, I still made an attempt to go and see her there, yet they prevented me. And that was the point in time I decided to leave the South-West for the Northern Part of the country to cool-off. So, I stayed and worked in the North for some time before I returned few years ago. Meanwhile, I was already aware that my daughter had been taken abroad for further studies.
And I even made an attempt to be close to Otedola’s house but each time I went, Femi’s mum was always like “what do you want?” And I would tell her that I only came around to say hello and also to know if you are hearing from my daughter.
But when it got to a point, I could no longer cope with not seeing my daughter, I sent a Reverend Father to the mum to beg her for me. And she was like I should never again in my life send any emissary to beg her again. And about 7 years ago, I told my younger brother that I felt I would need to take the matter to a relevant government authority to contest my right to see my daughter for me. But my brother said I should not go that far that he would go and talk to Femi man to man.
Meanwhile, at that point I was always texting Femi asking about the well-being of my daughter, he would not reply any of the messages. There was even a day I went to his Zenon House in Victoria Island.
He saw me face to face as he was driving in because I was standing at the gate. And when he got out of the vehicle, he looked back at me and I said “Femi, you are the one I have come to see”. But he rushed into the office and never came out till I left. I got there around 8am and left at 12 noon. I later dropped a note for him with his security guys stating that I did not come to fight him but to see him and ask after my daughter. The number that my younger brother had was no longer going through, so, he got another number of his from me which he called without any one picking it. And he decided to send him a text that why would he not allow his sister to see her daughter. And that he should redress the situation since the child belongs to him and his sister.
But by the second or third day, he called his mum to go and warn Felix, that is my brother, that he was threatening his life. And the mum went straight to my dad’s house to fight him. That he should warn his son who was threatening the life of her son. My dad called my younger brother from Ijebu immediately asking why my
brother would wade into the matter. And when my brother went to Ijebu some time later, he told anyone that cared to listen to go and tell Femi’s mum that he had come to town and that she should come and arrest him, maybe the Police would be able to resolve the matter once and for all. But after spending 3 days without seeing anyone come to arrest him, he returned to Lagos.
So what happened after then?
We decided to give them some time again before raising issues over the matter. In fact, at a point, I decided to go to Human Rights Advocacy Groups and I was already in Ikeja with pictures before my brother called me and plead that I should not do anything like that. Because no two opposing parties in a court case return as friends.