Top Facts About Late Arthur Nzeribe, Oguta man who Lived In 5 Star Hotels for 20 Years, Born into a wealthy family

Arthur Nzeribe, one of Nigeria’s top politicians,  a multi-billionaire investment mogul. His father, Oyimba Nzeribe, was a lawyer and former state counsel, and his grandfather, Akpati Nzeribe, held the traditional title of Ogbuagu, Oshiji, Damanze Oyimba of Oguta.

According to a family source, Nzeribe died in a UK hospital on May 5 2022, we thought to curate his life and times for your reading pleasure.

Nzeribe was considered a self-serving rebel who befriended and worked with pioneer pan-Africanists and revered democrats like Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister and president of Ghana. He was also involved in the annulment of Nigeria’s most accessible and fairest general election ever.

Arthur Nzeribe pictured during his later years

Here are some facts and things to know about him.

Nzeribe was born on November 2, 1938, to an influential family in Oguta, Imo state. He, however, grew up in the care of Catholic priests after his mother died while he was still in primary school, and his father was away in the UK studying Law. He attended Bishop Shanahan College, Orlu, and the Holy Ghost College, Owerri, before travelling to Lagos State in 1957. He got employment with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as an Engineering Cadet.

Net Worth

Eager and talented for further education, Nzeribe won an NPA scholarship and studied marine engineering at the Portsmouth College of Technology and Chesterfield College of Technology in England. In the UK, Nzeribe first displayed his business acumen by selling life insurance schemes to black immigrants in the country at 22. And a year later, he bought his first Rolls Royce. In 1969, Nzeribe started up the Fanz Organization based in London, dealing in heavy construction, arms, oil brokerage, publishing and property investment, with much business in the Middle East and Gulf states. By 1979, Fanz had an annual trading turnover of £70 million. He was believed to be worth over 1.5 billion dollars as of 2018.

He worked for Kwame Nkrumah. In 1960, while selling life insurance in the UK, Nzeribe met Kwame Nkrumah, who had led Ghana to independence three years prior. Nzeribe won over Kwame and became his public relations officer, which led to a spell in Ghana. Nzeribe grew wealthy and influential among the Ghana elite and became one of the most influential immigrants in the country.

Arthur Nzeribe

He was involved in removing Joseph Ankrah as Ghana’s head of state. A coup ousted Nkrumah on February 24, 1966, but the influence of the Nzeribe did not wane among the Ghanaian elite. He found favour with the newly-enthroned National Liberation Council (NLC) and Joseph Ankrah, the head of state.

However, on April 2, 1969, Ankrah admitted he was involved in a bribery scandal that led to Nzeribe manipulating an opinion poll in the country. A commission of enquiry revealed that the head of state received C6,000.00 from Nzeribe, which might have influenced the outcome of the elections. As a result, Ankrah was forced.

June 12 annulment He also entered Nigeria’s political scene and became the Orlu constituency senator in the 1983 elections. During the lead-up to the June 12 presidential election in 1993. While the whole country wanted a change from the protracted reign of successive military regimes, Nzeribe wanted the opposite. He created the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), a group of private citizens sponsoring a campaign calling for Ibrahim Babangida, the then military head of state, to remain in office for at least another four years.

On June 10, 1993, two days before the election, the organisation obtained a high court injunction against the poll holding based on alleged corruption.

On June 15, as the collation of the votes was ongoing, ABN obtained another court injunction to halt the counting and verification. This time, however, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) accepted the request and announced on June 16 that it was suspending its announcement of the results, indicating a court order prohibiting it.
Eight days later, Babangida announced the annulment of the election.

He was suspended from the Senate. After Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, Nzeribe contested for the Orlu Senatorial constituency and won. In November 2002, however, he was suspended indefinitely by Anyim Pius Anyim, the then president of the Senate, over his alleged involvement in a N22 million fraud. Nzeribe will be exiled from the legislature for nine months until his re-election in 2003. He would eventually lose the seat in 2006 after suffering a defeat to Osita Izunaso at the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

There began the decline of the political strongman from the limelight. He lived in hotels for over 20 years. At the height of his life, he lived in Nicon Hilton Hotel Abuja Presidential Suite for over 20 years. He also lived at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.

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