Here is the story of a man of many sides, Chief Victor Nnamdi Okafor, the Eze Ego (King of Money) I of Ihiala aka Udu Bunch aka The Young Millionaire, the Igbo tycoon who died tragically at a time he was to be celebrating his birthday.
A first son and a native of Uzoakwa, Ihiala in Anambra State, the late Ezego was born on the 25th of December, 1964. Ezego’s story is often touted as one of the classic rags-to-riches stories in Nigeria.
He had his primary school education at the Uzoakwa Primary School but he was forced to drop out in the secondary school, Abbot Boys’ Secondary School, Ihiala and eventually took to business.
His childhood was a very traumatic one and at a point, his own father reportedly disowned him when he was nabbed for being a member of a robbery gang that showed Onitsha traders hell on earth .
While some of his fellow gangsters were caught and punished, Ezego fled to Umumeni Village where his angry father was said to have driven him out. From there, he went to Umuduru, his mother’s village.
things were not rosy for him at Umuduru and in 1989, he decided to move to Lagos where he joined a mentor. What happened years after that remain shrouded in mystery but the next time the world would be hearing of Ezego, he was already a multimillionaire.
In Lagos, he set up the Ezego Shopping Complex on Allen Avenue (there was also a branch in Abuja) and also the Ezego Plaza on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road. From these spots, he operated and controlled one of the biggest electronics store in Nigeria.
His other companies were Vic-Winners International Limited, Ezego Nigeria Limited, Ezego Holdings Limited, Vitex Zinc Co. Limited and Ezego Properties Limited.
Ezego built houses, villas and mansions all over the country, one of which was an made of glass. All his real estate as at 1999 outside Ihiala was put at about half a billion naira.
Ezego aka Victor Okafor had a home worth $22.8 million (N500 million then) in Ihiala, Nigeria.
He had 70 houses and one of Africa’s largest private car fleets with Lincolns, Limousine, Porsche, Lexus SUV, Cherokee, Honda, Benz.
He died at age 35 in a car accident in 1999.
After Ezego’s death, the same fate that befell many African entrepreneurs crept in, and his vast business empire collapsed. the majestic house he built at his hometown of Uzoakwa Ihiala was a ghostly shadow of its former self.
His pretty and very fair-complexioned wife was said to have married the family lawyer and precisely what happened to his property and estate is still a controversy.
This Week on Octal Number
The controversies in Ezego’s life did not subside even after his death.
His lawyer and the person that was responsible for the execution of his will, Barnabas Igwe was murdered in cold blood, with his wife, Abigail on the 2nd of September, 2002, barely three years after Ezego’s demise.
Ezego’s will was thus, never read, and the exact beneficiaries are not known (at least as at January 2006). Maybe it must have been read now.