The six-year marriage between Nike Oshinowo and Dr. Tunde Soleye has collapsed!
The stunning former beauty queen and entrepreneur, and her medical doctor and businessman better half no longer live together, ENCOMIUM Weekly authoritatively gathered.
While the style icon lives in an apartment in Ikoyi (Lagos), her former lover is all by himself in Parkview Estate, also in Ikoyi (Lagos).
Celebrity sources who spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly in the course of many weeks while we investigated the troubled marriage confirmed that the couple are no longer together, in spite of scores of interventions to resolve their differences.
They claimed that the union broke down in the middle of 2012 – and all efforts to resolve the differences between Adenike Asabi Oshinowo and Dr. Ayotunde Soleye have been unsuccessful. And when we spoke to the couple last week, they confirmed that indeed their marriage was troubled, and both of them now live apart.
On Saturday, January 19, 2013, when ENCOMIUM Weekly called Nike Oshinowo,
she refused to talk elaborately about the collapsed union.
She told ENCOMIUM Weekly, “Yes, it is true that we live apart. We are working on our marriage.”
Efforts to get more clarifications was rebuffed by the beautiful damsel who’s now 47.
We attempted to ask her if there was any chance that they will become an item again, what actually led to the collapse of the marriage and when cracks began to appear in the union to no avail.
Nike Oshinowo actually ignored our questions and begged us for understanding.
When we contacted Dr. Soleye, 59, on Saturday, January 19, 2013, in the afternoon, he didn’t reply our text message. The text message we sent to him read, ‘Good afternoon, Dr. Soleye. I am a journalist with Encomium Weekly, and we are working on a story about your marriage to Nike Oshinowo. We gathered that the marriage has collapsed. That you now live apart. As it is our practice, we would like your side of the story. Thank you.’
Meanwhile, ENCOMIUM Weekly learnt that the once-upon-a-time lovers are working on a joint press statement to explain why they no longer live under the same roof.
Eventually, we got the joint press statement penned by the couple on Saturday, January 19, 2013.
The statement read:
Dr. Ayotunde Soleye and Chief Adenike Oshinowo have decided to live apart for now, while they work on their differences.
The couple, who have been married for six years, have requested for their privacy to be respected during this difficult period.
They hope that you will put them in your prayers.
DR. TUNDE SOLEYE SPEAKS
On Sunday, January 20, 2013, Dr. Tunde Soleye actually agreed to speak with us on the troubled union. That evening, he admitted that he now lives apart from Nike Oshinowo but that they are still an item.
He told us:
“We are a couple, but we are now living apart. There is nothing new about it. We are no longer living together. Nike and I have sent out a joint statement on the issue. It is simple and clean. There is no gap. We are resolving the issue.
“I commend your effort to call me. I’m happy about journalism practice in Nigeria. Please, send me your details. I won’t be in Lagos until later in the month. I will be in Akure (Ondo State) and Benin (Edo State). Please, quote us. Nike is not saying a different thing from what I have said. Please, I’m talking to you with boldness because I fear God. This is not a scandal. It’s only news worthy. I will never lie. I’m a Cross bearer. We had three options, the best of which is to tell the world the truth that we now live apart.
“We are trying to make up. We are no longer living together. We have been living apart for a couple of months now. We see almost every week. She calls me when she wants and I speak with her too.
“There is no fight. I have been to where she lives. We are still friends. I speak to her regularly. We are an item and nobody can stop us. We are going through difficult times. We will come out of it. I don’t like fiction. This is fact. I can’t fear you more than I fear God. That is why I’m talking to you.
“Send me your email and I will forward the statement to you. I will answer all your questions.”
FAMILY STEPS IN
While family members have not given up, on reconciling the estranged couple who were never given a chance, it is unclear what the future portends.
Those who have seen Nike Oshinowo lately admitted that she now glows, and appears happier. But the same cannot be said about Dr. Soleye who many think is looking paler.
But a source told us that he has been sick, and under the weather with a throat infection – which explains his pale appearance.
SURPRISE UNION WAS NEVER GIVEN ANY CHANCE
The romance between Nike Oshinowo who was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in December 1990 and Dr. Tunde Soleye, founder of Duro Soleye Hospital (with major presence on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos) took close watchers by surprise. Not many thought it was possible for the gorgeous damsel to agree to be Mrs. Soleye.
But after they were introduced by Segun Awolowo, Jnr (grandson of the sage and first Premier of Western Region and Leader of Opposition in Federal House of Representatives in the First Republic, Chief Obafemi Awolowo), they grew to be fond of each other.
And a trip between Lagos and Abuja, where both had time to talk at length, changed the equation.
“That trip, which gave Nike an insight into Dr. Soleye’s brilliant mind changed everything,” a family source told ENCOMIUM. “And before we knew it, they became very close and very fond of each other.”
The only issue at the time was Dr. Soleye’s many affairs, and some of them produced three children out of wedlock. And his wife, Dr. Funmilayo Soleye (mother of his three children) whom he was constantly quarrelling with.
And as weeks grew into months, Dr. Soleye promised to drop his baggage, and begin anew.
“Before we realised it,” another insider stated, “he became regular at Nike’s Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos home, practically abandoning the other women and his wife.”
Not wanting to live in sin, there was an agreement that both had to have a formal union – beginning with an introduction, and later a wedding, once he divorced his first wife.
They were on a train between Paris and London when he proposed marriage.
And by January 2007, at the home of Nike Oshinowo’s mother in Magodo area of Lagos, an introduction with close family members, and a few friends (including Sofisticat’s Lanre Ogunlesi and Nkiru Anumudu, wife of Globe Motors’ Willie Anumudu) in attendance was staged.
The introduction took the press by surprise – and many prophets of doom only gave the union three months.
TALK OF FABULOUS WEDDING OF THE DECADE RENT THE AIR
Rumour of a fabulous and well put together nuptials gained ground shortly after the formal introductions in January 2007.
And over the months, there were reports that Nike Oshinowo was visiting the choicest towns in the world assembling her wedding paraphernalia.
From Paris to London and Milan, New York and beyond, many claimed they sighted her shopping and getting ready for the big day.
But as the months wore on, the din of a wedding died down – and everyone quickly forgot about the one-in-town show that would have re-written how nuptials were staged in this part of town.
CYNICS CLAIM THE UNION WAS A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
Those who are quick to find faults went to town, painting the union a marriage of convenience which will collapse in a matter of months, once the dalliance became public knowledge. Many cynics actually gave Nike Oshinowo and Dr. Tunde Soleye a maximum of three months.
Some claimed that Oshinowo was ‘looking for gold’, with a made man who will lavish her with all the good things money can buy.
That Soleye was carried away and was looking for a trophy wife that he would flaunt as he struts among high society.
Many even insinuated that Nike Oshinowo was unaware that Dr. Tunde Soleye was no longer as rich as she thought – and when the highflying lifestyle stops, she would move on.
CHALLENGES THAT ROCKED THE MARRIAGE
Right from the beginning, there were many challenges that rocked the marriage, ENCOMIUM Weekly can now reveal.
Family sources told us that Dr. Soleye who was having a running battle with his first wife, Dr. Funmilayo Soleye, had abandoned the home they shared together.
He was away in Abuja, ensconced at Nicon Hilton Hotel, where he had a suite. And whenever he came to Lagos, he made Nike Oshinowo’s Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island (Lagos) apartment home.
And as the months progressed, another challenge, over a contract he allegedly failed to execute after he was paid millions of dollars crept up. He was to have procured 12 armoured boats for the National Inland Waterways Authority in 2007, valued at $4.8 million (from Malaysia and United States of America) – and the deal was never executed.
With Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after him, he went on exile to London with his new wife.
MAYFAIR, LONDON BECAME HOME FOR TWO YEARS
For two years, the new couple faced the most difficult period of their lives, away from home in Nigeria, holed up in Mayfair, London, practically with no new income.
With high rent and skyrocketing cost of living, their love was tried and tested and threatened.
“Friends and well wishers reportedly stood by them – but it was a very difficult and trying time,” a celebrity source who has been friends with the couple for over five years told ENCOMIUM Weekly.
Tired and frustrated, they both thought of their next line of action. And Oshinowo took a bold step by returning to Lagos (Nigeria), leaving her husband back in London.
FEDERAL PALACE HOTEL NOW HER NEW ABODE
Back in her Adeola Odeku (Victoria Island, Lagos) home, she had to move -and the Federal Palace Hotel, on Ahmadu Bello Way (also in Victoria Island) became her abode for some months.
Later she moved to another apartment on the axis, where she was later joined by Dr. Soleye who miraculously escaped EFCC prosecution.
Both now vowed to start afresh.
LEKKI PHASE 1 APARTMENT
As they struggled to put the pieces of their lives together, they settled at a luxury apartment in Lekki Peninsular Scheme 1 Estate in Victoria Island (Lagos) for almost two years.
And Nike Oshinowo began resuscitation of Miss Nigeria pageant – and successfully staged two events in three years (between 2009 and 2011) before she resigned to face new challenges.
Meanwhile, the businesses of Dr. Soleye were experiencing difficulties…
DIVORCE MESS BECOMES MONUMENTAL SCANDAL
When Dr. Tunde Soleye and his estranged first wife, Dr. Funmilayo Soleye decided to formally end their union, it was messy and unpalatable. Many mind boggling episodes sauntered into public sphere -and the embarrassing scandal was as shocking as it was salacious.
At the divorce proceedings which ENCOMIUM Weekly reported in our edition of Tuesday, July 13, 2010, the drama was arresting.
In some of her depositions, she described the marriage to Nike Oshinowo as illegal, and demanded that all he owns should be equally shared.
His wife of 28 years painted a picture of how they started a four-bed clinic at the Ajaokuta Steel factory in old Kwara State, and turned it into a 30-bed facility.
“I never looked back because I thought it was a lifetime commitment. But I decided to take the back seat when I noticed he was having illicit relationships with certain members of staff,” she stated about their Allen Avenue, Ikeja (Lagos) hospital.
She accused Dr. Tunde Soleye of adultery and ill-treatment, lamenting that he reduced her to an object of ridicule, causing her psychological trauma.
The case, then before Justice Elfreda Williams Dawodu, had Nike Oshinowo as co-defendant.
MORE MESSY DIVORCE DETAILS EMERGED
The case again came up on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 (and was adjourned till December 8, 2010).
Mrs. Funmilayo Soleye in the suit (No. LD/28 OWD/07 at Lagos High Court, Igbosere) stated, “Since the marriage, he has unscrupulously breached his marital vows and frequently committed adultery in the most scandalous manner with at least seven women.”
She listed Miss Loraine Johnson who has a son, Oluwaseyi, for him in 1992; Lara Lawal, with a son, Ayomide in 2000; Yemisi Abiola; Omua Oni-Okpaku, with a son, Olamide; and Miss Hadiza Muazu.
Dr. Funmilayo Soleye also accused her husband of being an habitual drunkard who maltreated his family. And also abandoned his conjugal duties for ten years in spite of the fact they lived under the same roof at 35, Sinari Daranijo, Victoria Island (Lagos).
The marriage, contracted on December 8, 1979, produced Atolagbe Olumayowa (April 8, 1980), Temitope Ebunoluwa (March 20, 1982) and Oluwadurotimi Ayomakinwa (May 30, 1987).
She asked for 250,000 pounds and N75 million from her husband; and N10 million from Nike Oshinowo (as damages for marrying her husband).
Dr. Ayotunde Soleye denied many of her claims, but admitted having children by three of the women. And that he stopped having sex with her for 20 years, as she refused his advances.
NIKE OSHINOWO’S ENDOMETRIOSIS PREDICAMENT
Along the line, Nike Oshinowo, who has suffered from Endometriosis for many years, faced another battle where she was very sick and losing blood.
The ailment, which practically makes a woman menstruate longer in unbearable pain, meant she could not be pregnant.
And that realisation must have put a lot of pressure on the union , especially with the accompanying pains and anguish.
“Miraculously, she recovered -and she’s now in good shape, with less pain,” another insider volunteered.
FRESH RUMOUR OF SEPARATION AWASH IN THE MEDIA IN SEPTEMBER 2012
The union of Nike Oshinowo and Dr. Tunde Soleye had always been dogged by rumours and tales of separation – and in September 2012, following Senator Daisy Danjuma’s scintillating 60th birthday gig in Marbella, Spain, another fresh story hit town.
Nike Oshinowo was reportedly enjoying a romance with son of Oba Okunade Sijuade, the Ooni of Ife. And Tokunbo Sijuade was rumoured to be kissing and hugging Nike Oshinowo at Daisy Danjuma’s shindig.
Tale bearers said Dr. Soleye was now on his own, attending social engagements alone. That the marriage was over.
When ENCOMIUM Weekly called the former beauty queen, she was astounded, to say the least. She labelled the tale not only stupid but preposterous, claiming that she was nowhere near the table Tokunbo Sijuade sat (with a female friend of his). And that there were many responsible and respectable Nigerians, including former Justice of the Supreme Court, Shola Oguntade and his wife, Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Ben Murray Bruce of Silverbird Television, among others.
When Nike Oshinowo returned from her trip, she came to the thanksgiving of the Alakijas at Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan (Lagos), walking in arm in arm with her beau.
MARRIAGE COLLAPSED IN MID 2012
While Nike Oshinowo and her husband, Dr. Tunde Soleye were trying to convince the world that their marriage was on course, it had already been hit by a storm, with their ship shattered and adrift.
A reliable insider told us, “By the time they were at the Alakijas’ thanksgiving, they were already living apart. They were scared that everyone was aware of their separation, and trying to get the press off their back, and onto the real story.
“Nike moved out of the Lekki apartment around the middle of last year – and has been by herself since then. Tunde Soleye also moved out, and now has a place in Parkview Estate.”
IS THERE ROOM FOR RECONCILIATION?
“There is a tiny room for reconciliation -and it depends largely on Tunde,” one of the couple’s friends told us. “He has to do something drastic about an issue before we can talk reconciliation…but he’s not ready to admit it and resolve the issue.”
But are we sure Nike Oshinowo is ready to return to the marriage? That’s a question we have no answer to.
For now, the marriage has collapsed, and only a miracle can reunite the couple…”
Credit: Encomium Magazine & Stella Dimoko Korkus