It ought to be fun being a billionaire mogul. It’s a sweet gig if you can get it, and business tycoon and lawyer Jimoh Ibrahim has got it. But the highly controversial businessman does not appear to be having any fun at all lately. That’s not just because many of his primed businesses are gasping for breath. In the case of his Air Nigeria, NICON, National Mirror, Newswatch, Global Fleet Oil & Gas and some others, they are facing setbacks that can be an unavoidable part of any big operation trying to do ambitious things. But Ibrahim is all the rage in Nigerian mainstream and social media circles these days. And why not? Arguably, the most controversial businessman in the land. Apart from his legendary abrupt shutting down of businesses, perhaps the most distinctive thing about Ibrahim is his mouth — he shoots when he wants and doesn’t care who is hit. “There is nothing that sets Jimoh Ibrahim apart from others, except that my ways are unusual; unusual to the circumstances that I find myself,” he was once quoted.
But what’s going on with Ibrahim? How is the happy billionaire investor suddenly becoming a cautionary tale? The Igbotako, Ondo State-born businessman’s problems lately are threatening to turn him into a fugitive. Reports from the grapevine suggested that Ibrahim had to move to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where he now operates his business to duck the heat both from home and his wheezing businesses. Asides his alleged huge debts that have pitted him against Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, there are tales about the businessman having issues with his marriage. Amidst all these troubles, came the unfortunate loss of his beloved Septuagenarian mum, Madam Theresa Omofemiwa Ibrahim, to an early morning inferno in his Victoria Garden City, Lagos mansion last weekend. The deceased was moved to his billionaire son’s VGC home after she was released by kidnappers some years ago. She was kidnapped in Igbotako, Ondo State and released after her family reportedly paid a ransom. Ibrahim, said to be in the United Kingdom presently (at the Cambridge University where he’s a PhD student), was shattered by his mum’s gruesome death but he has taken the loss with equanimity same with his other business challenges.