There is no gainsaying that Iwo monarch, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi eats and breathes controversy. Since his enthronement over four years ago as Oluwo of Iwo in Osun State, it has been one issue or the other. Just as one thinks the self-styled emperor has calmed down, like a bolt out of the blue, another news from the Iwo palace hit the airwaves via a terse statement from his media aide—the first class monarch announced the separation from his Canadian-born Queen, Chanel. In the disclaimer sent out from the palace, Oluwo warned “the public to disregard any business transaction or request with her using the office of His Majesty.” Oba Akanbi and his 35-year-old estranged queen were known to be serious lovers with the monarch serenading her always on the social media and anytime they were together.
Contrary to the reports that the two estranged lovebirds met and got married in Canada, it was learnt that the couple were never legally married.
Spotlight gathered that Oba Akanbi, long before he mounted the throne, met Chanel in Lagos, Nigeria. The source claimed that Chanel was in Lagos alongside a friend of hers on the invitation of her (Chanel) boss —a certain Muyiwa, an indigene of Ile-Ogbo, a town close to Iwo, but based in Canada. Muyiwa, a businessman, was hosting a party in Lagos where all their mutual friends including one notable Lagos monarch and then Prince Akanbi were in attendance. It was learnt that the popular Lagos Oba introduced Chanel to Oba Akanbi. As at then, Oluwo was said to be dating a certain older woman, a divorcee who used to work in the Judiciary. But with the coming of Chanel into his life, Oluwo had to dump the other woman. Also, Oluwo, at the time also had a wife, Olori Jumoke who was based in Canada with his older children. With the coming of his Jamaican Queen, the monarch abandoned both Jumoke, his wife of almost 20 years, and the other woman while he made Chanel, the centre of his world.
But like a house built on a quicksand, the one-time lovers are now estranged as Oluwo claims he has separated from his wife due to “personal (and) irreconcilable differences”.
Many, however, are wondering what could have actually gone wrong with the marriage many thought was made in heaven. There have been several tales about the estranged couple, however, many of these are exaggerated, a source told Spotlight.
Aside the bickering over the monarch’s alleged unending life of fun, Chanel was said not to be too comfortable with the myriad of controversies that mire her estranged husband’s reign as Oluwo. She was said to have been unhappy with the fact that Oluwo has quarreled with almost all the friends and some notable personalities who stood by them prior to becoming the monarch —including Oluwo’s childhood friend, one Remi Morgan, who accommodated Oluwo for many years in his Bodija, Ibadan home while he waited to be named as Oluwo, as well as a notable Iwo High Chief who allegedly bankrolled his coronation and paid the hospital bills of Chanel when she gave birth to the couple’s only son, Oduduwa.
It was learnt that Chanel has tried all she could to rein in her intractable husband with no luck. She was said to have become so desolate and lonely as she has no friend and hardly allowed socializing like other monarchs’ spouses.
Spotlight gathered that Chanel bided her time very well as she waited for the couple to embark on their last trip to Canada in November. She was said to have refused to return with the monarch to Nigeria. It was after the monarch noticed that she means business of not returning to the palace that he issued the press statement to announce their ‘divorce.’