The Untold Story of Anambra King of Money – Ezego 1 of Ihiala

Ezego whose real name is Chief Victor Nnamdi Okafor was a controversial businessman popularly referred to as the king of money. He became a billionaire at a shortest period of time and his source of wealth still remains a mystery to everyone. He went to Lagos in 1989 to hustle for money and within a short period of time he became a billionaire.

Ezego was born on 25th December 1964. He is a native of Uzoakwa, Ihiala in Anambra state. Ezego only attended primary school and could not complete his education. He later abandons education entirely and moves to Lagos to hustle for money. But before relocating to Lagos, Ezego in his quest to make money faster joined an armed robbery syndicate that terrorized the people of Anambra state for years. In 1988, every member of the armed robbery squad was apprehended except Ezego.

In 1989, he decided to move to Lagos where he joined a mentor to pursue business opportunities. Nothing seemed to happen after being in Lagos for a while. Then suddenly, and behold he became a billionaire and a very well-known individual. He was said to have engaged in “Ọgwu ego” (money rituals), which helped him gain great fortune.

Ezego’s source of wealth was unclear, as he accumulated his fortune after only a brief time in Lagos. He owned multiple businesses, buildings, and a large collection of high-end automobiles, and he always traveled in a convoy. He was known for his flamboyance, showmanship, and generosity. Ezego built a number of large shopping malls. He has one at Allen Avenue, Ikeja and another one at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road in Lagos. In Abuja, Ezego also had another massive shopping complex.

In these shopping complexes, he ran and controlled one of Nigeria’s largest electronics stores. His other companies were Vic-Winners International Limited, Ezego Nigeria Limited, Ezego Holdings Limited, Vitex Zinc Co. Limited and Ezego Properties Limited.

His house in Ihiala was built with the marbles imported from Italy. The mansion is said to be worth N500 million. His whole real estate outside of Ihiala was valued at almost half a billion naira in 1999, a mindboggling amount at that time. Ezego had one of Africa’s largest collections of exotic vehicles during his lifetime. He spent a lot of money on these expensive cars. He kept high-end vehicles in his garages in Lagos and Ihiala. Some estimate the value of his garage at one billion naira.

Ezego once spent N14 million on two high-end vehicles: a Lincoln Continental Mark 8 sedan and a Mercedes-Benz R230 convertible. At the time, N14 million was a huge sum for two cars. He bought the cars from popular Lagos car dealership, Tayo Ayeni’s Moontrends Motors. Ezego was married to the fair-complexioned and beautiful Laurita Nkechi, a princess from Akata in Imo State and the marriage produced eight children. Not only that, he also had kids by other women apart from his wife, Nkechi. When Ezego died, a lot of controversy erupted amidst his family members. Although Ezego’s life was very mysterious and controversial, his death was even more mysterious.

All his wealth and assets became useless after his death, all his cars rusted as no one was willing to drive nor purchase them, his houses were abandoned as no one wanted to live in them or purchase them either, as the community firmly believed he made his money through diabolical means. Furthermore, all his businesses collapsed under strange circumstances.

Ezego would normally take a flight from Lagos to Enugu, and then, take a convoy all the way to Ihiala. However, the fatal rates of air crashes during that period claimed to have made him change his mind. The outcome was disastrous for the mogul. Sadly, on 23rd December 1999, he was involved in a fatal automobile crash under bizarre circumstances. Ezego hardly ever drove, rather he had a personal driver whom he travelled with, but on this journey, it was reported that he instructed his personal driver not to drive and that he intended to drive himself.

Ezego decided to get behind his Lexus jeep in the convoy and drive himself all the way from Lagos to Ihiala. The car developed fault on their way along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, but finally broke down completely in Asaba, Delta State. Ezego did not want to leave his cherished automobile in the middle of nowhere in Asaba at the mercy of robbers. So, he bellowed at one of his boys to purchase a chain so the jeep would be towed.

The boy returned with the chain, which was then attached to the faulty jeep. However, that was the beginning of his problem because Ezego was said to have insisted on towing the broken-down vehicle all by himself with him driving the Lexus pulling the broken-down vehicle. So he was in front while another of his boys was behind the wheels of the broken-down vehicle.

Tragedy stroked when they entered Anambra State, between Ozubulu and Okija on the Onitsha/Owerri Road. At that point, they were just two kilometers away from Ihiala in Anambra State, Ezego’s hometown (Their final destination), and that was when death decided to unveil his dreadful figure. Ezego reportedly ran into a damaged portion of the road while he was going down a steep slope and all of a sudden, he stepped on the brakes.

The driver of the broken-down vehicle behind him was caught unawares and as he was not even prepared for the sudden stop, he suddenly rammed the broken-down vehicle into Ezego’s shiny Lexus, sending the billionaire tumbling down a deep ditch by the roadside. It must however be noted that there are some other slightly different accounts of precisely how the accident happened.

Other reports stated that it was actually the towing chain between the two jeeps that snapped, thus forcing the broken-down vehicle at the rear to ram into Ezego’s Lexus making him lose control and plunging into that horrible ditch. Immediately this happened, his convoy was thrown into a pandemonium. Those in his convoy made frantic and desperate efforts to get him out of the ditch and get him the most effective medical attention promptly. By the time they finally succeeded in getting Ezego out of the ditch, he had sustained a deep gash and his face was massively puffed up.

He was rushed to the nearby Lady of Lourdes Hospital (where Ezego incidentally made a donation of N15 million naira a few years before the accident). He was still alive and stable when they brought him to the hospital and all the medical workers went into an overdrive to save the life of a man they know as a mentor and generous giver. However, things got worse and to make matters even more frightening, there was no doctor on duty. By the time a medical doctor eventually showed up, Ezego was already bleeding through his mouth, he was having internal bleeding and was already in shock.

All attempts to stabilize him failed. At that point, his family members suggested that he should be moved quickly to a better-equipped hospital in Port Harcourt. Unfortunately, he finally died while he was on his way to Port Harcourt. Ezego died on 25th December 1999 at the age of 35. After his death his properties was abandoned and his businesses and assets collapse mysteriously.

Austine Ikeru
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