THE CHANCELLOR


Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion (born September 11, 1934) is a Nigerian businessman and traditional aristocrat from Okada Town in Edo State. He holds the chieftaincy title of the Esama of the Benin Kingdom.

The title Esama traditionally means the “Son of the People”, with responsibilities including assisting the poor in medial, monetary and private venture forms.

The Esama of Benin’s business empire includes an international property portfolio and a private TV and radio station. He owns a private bank, oil refinery, diamond, gold, marble mines over Africa, a private university (Igbinedion University, the first private university in Nigeria) and a large number of hotels. He previously owned the now-defunct private airline, Okada Air, of over 40 aircraft (planes and helicopters). He has built numerous churches including a Grand Catholic Cathedral, and has set up and owns a number of private hospitals across Nigeria.

Chief Igbinedion is married to Lady Cherry Igbinedion, a native of Jamaica. His children include a son, Lucky, who was a two-term Local Government chairman and two-term Governor of Edo State, another son, Charles, who was a Local Government chairman and one time Edo State Commissioner of Education, and a third one, Peter, who was the managing director of the Nigerian Aviation Authority. His daughter, Hon. Omosede Igbinedion-Akenzua, is the wife of Avan Akenzua, a dynastic Prince of Benin Kingdom. She currently serves in the House of Representatives in Abuja as a representative of Ovia Federal Constituency in Edo State. In addition to these four, Chief Igbinedion also has a number of other children.