5 Richest Obas in Nigeria in 2024

Before the coming of the colonial masters, Nigeria was divided into kingdoms and governed by traditional rulers. In Yoruba land and some parts of the south, this traditional ruler was called the Oba, who was the king and ruled over the kingdom. Leadership was passed down within families from generation to generation.

Although these rulers do not have the authority they once did, they are still important today. As the old king passes away, steps down or is dethroned, a new king is crowned in his stead.

richest oba in nigeria

Richest Obas in Nigeria in 2024

There are currently 54 kings who have the title of Oba in Nigeria. Each of these Oba is rich and powerful in his own right. Some are undoubtedly richer though, and in this article, I will discuss the 5 richest Obas in Nigeria and their net worth.

1. Frederick Obateru Akinruntan

Estimated net worth: $300 million.

According to Forbes magazine, Obateru is the wealthiest King in Nigeria and the second-richest King in Africa.

Obateru was born in Ugbo, an Ilaje riverine community, in 1950 into the royal family of Sir Frederick Adetolugbo. He was the fourth child in an eight-child household. He lost his father in 1964 when he was only fourteen years old.

Obateru never took the 1982 prophecy—which said he would become the Olugbo of the Ugbo Kingdom—very seriously. His younger brother was bestowed with a chieftaincy title as the future Olugbo shortly after this prophecy.

As a consequence, a different royal family from the same lineage filed a lawsuit against the then-Olugbo, demanding he be overthrown because his family had held the position for more than 200 years. According to the customs and culture of the Ugbo Kingdom, Obateru was crowned King in 2009 after the then-King lost the legal battle.

In 1981, Obateru founded Obat Oil. In addition to owning one of the biggest tank farms in Africa—a state-of-the-art storage facility with the capacity to hold 65 million litres of petroleum products—the firm now operates more than 50 gas stations across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. Prince Akinfemiwa Akinrutan, Obateru’s second son, was named managing director of the business.

2. Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ọjájá II)

Estimated net worth: $70 million.

The 51st and current Ooni of Ife is Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, who was born on April 17, 1974. He is the Yoruba kingdom of Ile-Ife’s customary ruler and monarch. 2015 saw him accede to the throne of his ancestors as the 50th Ooni of Ife, replacing the now-deceased Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

Oba Ojaja II was born into one of the royal families of the House of Oranmiyan as Prince Adeyeye Enitan of Giesi. He is the fifth child of seven children. His grandpa gave him the name Adeyeye, which means “the crown befits the throne,” while his mother gave him the name Enitan since it was said that his birth was foretold years before he was ever born.

3. Ewuare II

Estimated net worth: 65 million.

On October 20, 2016, Ewuare II, who was born on October 20, 1953, was enthroned as the Oba of Benin. He is the forty-first Oba, a title that was given to the Benin Empire’s Head of State at some point between 1180 and 1300.

Before ascending to the position of Oba of Benin, Erediauwa studied at Immaculate Conception College in 1968 and Edo College in Benin City, Nigeria, from 1965 to 1967. He received his A-Level diploma from London’s South Thames College. He earned a degree in Economics from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University Graduate School in New Jersey, in the United States.

He was employed at the UN from 1981 to 1982. In addition, he represented Nigeria in Angola and Sweden, as well as Norway, Denmark, and the Finnish Republic. Additionally, he served as Nigeria’s envoy to Italy.

In homage to Ewuare I of the fifteenth century, Ewuare II took his name. Godwin Obaseki, the current governor of Edo State, and Ewuare II have collaborated closely ever since the latter took the kingdom. Similar to several other leaders, he ushered in his reign by insisting on the restoration of the historically and spiritually significant Benin Bronzes, which the British Empire had taken in 1897.

One of the Benin Bronzes was cleared for repatriation by the University of Aberdeen in 2021, and on October 28, 2021, a delegation including members of Ewuare II received the bronze. On February 19, 2022, during a ceremony held at the royal palace in Benin City, he was given both the item and a bronze cockscomb that had been returned by Jesus College, Cambridge.

4. Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu

Estimated net worth: $9 million.

The current Oba of Lagos is Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu, who was born on October 29, 1943.

Before he was crowned, he joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1970 and served for 32 years after graduating from high school. After being appointed assistant inspector-general of Police in 1999, he held several positions and continued to work until his retirement in 2002. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Law School and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management.

The Lagos State government officially recognized Akiolu as the 21st Oba of Lagos on May 23, 2003, and was crowned on August 9, 2003, replacing Oba Adeyinka Oyekan.

5. Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III

Estimated net worth: $5 million.

The current Alake of the Egba clan in Abeokuta, Nigeria, is Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III, who was born on September 14, 1943. His reign began on August 2, 2005.

On September 14, 1943, Gbadebo was born into the Laarun Royal family. He is the nephew of Oba Gbadebo II and the grandson of Oba Gbadebo, the sixth Alake of Egbaland, who reigned from 1898 to 1920. The first Alake of Egbaland, Okukenu, was his great-grandfather. Gbadebo’s ancestry goes back to Laarun, an Alake of Ake who reigned in the early 1700s, via Okukenu.

After attending Ibadan Grammar School and the Baptist Boys’ High School in Abeokuta, Gbadebo enrolled at the University of Ibadan in 1965 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1969. He enlisted in the army in 1969, and from September 1978 to August 1979, he was a student at the Command and Staff College in Jaji.

Later, he worked as Major-General Tunde Idiagbon’s principal staff officer at the Supreme Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, where he served as chief of staff from January 1984 to September 1985. He retired as a Colonel.

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